In “The Walking Dead” recap for the final extra episode in season 10, Negan’s backstory is revealed from his first days in the apocalypse to the moment he lost and then found Lucille…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It took six weeks to get here but “The Walking Dead” finally delivered the best of the best in the final installment for bonus episodes attached to season 10.
While a couple of the past episodes — Maggie’s return and some new enemies as well as Daryl finding love outside of Alexandria — were solid additions to the overall mythology but truth be told, others were just completely unnecessary. Perhaps the most pointless episode of “The Walking Dead” ever created took place last week, which involved Carol trying to cook dinner and Daryl attempting to fix his motorcycle.
That was the entire plot and anyone who tells you different is lying.
That said, the final season 10 bonus episode went back in time to tell Negan’s origin story and this one delivered in every way possible.
Not only do we begin to understand how Negan became Negan but we also learn more about the person he was before becoming the barbed-wire baseball bat wielding sociopath, who led an army of followers and killed many, many people including both Glenn and Abraham when first introducing himself to the survivors.
Now some will say no amount of origin story will ever redeem Negan and that’s perfectly fine but understanding the man he was in order to know how transformed into the man he became is an important lesson of the zombie apocalypse.
We also got to meet Negan’s precious Lucille — the woman and wife, who inspired the name for his future baseball bat that served as a constant reminder of his powerful hold over the Saviors and anybody who crossed them.
With that said, let’s get to the final bonus episode for “The Walking Dead” season 10 titled “Here’s Negan”…
Where Is She?
The episode begins in Alexandria where Maggie is walking Herschel through the town square while singing songs but the happy day comes to a rather quick end when she locks eyes with Negan as he works to repair a wall. The tension between Maggie and the man responsible for killing her husband was never going to just go away and instead it seems these two are on a collision course for disaster.
In order to simmer things down a bit, Carol takes Negan out on a hunt with her and after killing a rabbit, they end up at a cabin in the woods. As ominous as that might sound, it turns out to be Leah’s cabin — the woman who got closer to Daryl and then disappeared one day without a trace.
After going inside, Negan finds all of his belongings there waiting on him.
Carol then tells him that the council has voted to banish him once and for all and this is where he’ll be living now. Considering the laundry list of crimes he committed, Carol believes Negan should be thankful this is his fate and not much worse.
Of course, Carol promised that if Negan helped her take down the Whisperers and kill Alpha for what she did to her son Henry that he would eventually find a welcome place inside Alexandria’s walls. Instead, Negan is now expected to live out the rest of his days in solitude, hoping to survive all on his own.
Negan isn’t sure if Carol is being sincere about this supposed vote or if she’s just trying to save everybody a headache by getting rid of him but he doesn’t fight the decision.
Later that night while sitting by the fire, Negan is visited by a ghost from his past.
The knock of a baseball bat on the floor is the signature reminder of Negan when he was the leader of the Saviors and that is the vision he sees taunting him about the decision to try and play nice because look at where it got him. Negan doesn’t want to listen to that voice inside his head, although he definitely never feared for his life when he was leading the Saviors because everyone was too terrified to cross him in those days.
Past Negan taunts the current version about leaving “her” behind and that’s when he begins to remember the day Rick Grimes cut his throat to end the war between the Saviors and the survivors. That was the day Negan became a prisoner but he also left Lucille behind — and from his jail cell Michonne told him that his beloved baseball bat was right where he left it in that field.
So Negan returns to the scene of the crime — so to speak — and begins digging around the area as he’s finally reunited with his beloved Lucille. That also takes him back to the story surrounding Lucille’s creation but more importantly the genesis of the man who would wield that baseball bat and rule over the Saviors with an iron fist.
You Are So Beautiful To Me
Twelve years before he was a passive Negan, neutered by a council that banished him to a cabin in the woods, he was getting beat up by a gang of bikers who had discovered him on the road. They order Negan to tell them where he got the supplies they found on him and he tries to explain that it’s medicine to help his ailing wife, who was diagnosed with cancer.
Negan then tells them that two or three days earlier, he found a caravan in the woods that had the necessary medical supplies his wife needed but the people there got the drop on him and knocked him unconscious. The person who thwacked him with the baseball bat was none other than Laura, the woman who would go onto become one of Negan’s main partners in the Saviors.
Inside the RV carrying medicine, Negan was questioned by the leader of the group named Franklin but only after he received attention for his wounds and a hot meal to eat.
The generosity of the people didn’t make sense to Negan because after the world went to shit, nobody seemed to care about anybody but themselves. But Franklin led this group of doctors trying to right by people and he’s especially amazed after learning that Negan was caring for his sick wife after teaching himself how to give her chemotherapy treatments.
Everything was going great until it wasn’t.
Negan then tells Franklin the story that began six weeks earlier when he was administering one of his wife’s treatments while noting how their generator was constantly drawing in walkers to their property. Back in those days, Negan struggled to even put a walker down and it was his wife Lucille who was forced to shoot the zombie dead in order to save him.
To hear Negan tell it, killing a zombie was difficult because he didn’t want to get used to killing. It’s obvious his stance changed and we find out why soon enough.
After heading out to hopefully find gas and a few more supplies, Negan returns with a pouch of weed he found in an abandoned car and he hopes this will help Lucille’s nausea caused by the chemotherapy. The two of them end up at dinner that night enjoying a plate of dog food covered in hot sauce and Lucille presents him with an anniversary present.
Inside a bag is a leather jacket — the leather jacket that became Negan’s signature outfit in the apocalypse.
It seems the couple had an argument about this jacket and the expensive price tag attached to it before everything fell apart but Lucille never returned it. Instead, she presents it to him as a gift.
The two of them celebrate together and end up making love but the joy is short lived in the morning when Negan wakes up to discover their generator stopped working, which means the refrigerator keeping Lucille’s medicine cold has also shut down. Sure enough a check on the freezer shows that the medicine has already been ruined because the temperature got too warm.
With only so much time before Lucille will need her next treatment, Negan decides to go on the hunt for the mobile doctors he was told about from some past travelers coming through the area. He figures out the location where they must be stationed for now and Negan believes he’ll have just enough time to reach them before moving on.
Lucille argues with Negan to just let it go but he won’t listen so then she’s forced to tell him about a secret she knows from their past.
This story requires another trip back through time as Lucille remembers the day she was diagnosed with cancer but Negan couldn’t be bothered to take her to the doctor.
It seems Negan had just been fired from his job as a high school gym teacher after he got arrested and convicted of assault and ever since then he’s been spending his days at home playing online video games. To make matters worse, Lucille finds the leather jacket he bought that they clearly can’t afford since he’s no longer working.
The next day after Lucille gets the awful news from her doctor, she calls Negan but he doesn’t answer. She also calls her friend Janine but she’s nowhere to be found as well. That’s when Lucille begins to put two and two together — neither Negan nor Janine could be there for her at the doctor because they were somewhere else together.
That night, Lucille reveals to Negan that she’s been diagnosed with cancer — while she was also clutching onto a gun with a chance that she might just seek retribution to pay back her cheating husband.
The scene returns to Negan and Lucille in their house together and he’s grief stricken that she knew about his affair but never told him. He tells Lucille that the relationship with Janine ended as soon as she got her diagnosis and she knows he’s telling the truth.
Lucille also tells him that he’s already made up for his past misdeeds and he doesn’t need to keep trying to prove himself to her by jumping into harm’s way while seeking out the cancer medication she needs. But Negan refuses to give up on her so he leaves the house intent on finding these doctors so hopefully he can return with the medicine she needs.
That brings Negan back to the medical caravan where Franklin has a package of the supplies Lucille needs to continue her treatments. Franklin gives Negan back his unloaded gun while warning him that there’s a local gang that watches these roads and he needs to be careful on his way back home.
As extra protection, Laura hands over a baseball bat so he has some kind of weapon to defend himself.
But sadly despite the warning, Negan ends up being captured by that biker gang and they are demanding to know about this medical caravan so they can steal the supplies for themselves. Negan does his best to resist but he knows he needs to get home to Lucille so he eventually relents and shows the gang on the map where Franklin and his group are staying.
The next morning, Negan is finally released by the gang after the map pays off and they’re able to capture the medical caravan. He leaves with the supplies needed for Lucille while hearing Laura’s terrifying screams as one of the bikers attacks her.
When Negan finally returns home, he walks inside hoping to find Lucille waiting for him. Instead, he discovers a note on their bedroom door that reads “please don’t leave me like this.”
As he opens the door, Negan is horrified to find Lucille has committed suicide by overdosing on pills and then wrapping a plastic bag over her head as she suffocated to death. Lucille had also tied herself to the bed so she wouldn’t be able to harm her husband after returning as the walking dead assuming Negan made it back home again.
Negan is grief stricken immediately but after some time passes, he realizes that this is no longer his home if Lucille isn’t there with him. So he goes outside and cuts off some barbed-wire that was protecting the fence surrounding their house and he wraps it around the baseball bat that Laura gave him for protection. He then douses the entire house in gasoline and sets it aflame as he watches the last remnants of his old life turn to ash.
Negan then travels back to the bar where the local biker gang was holding up shop as they torture Franklin in order to find more of the doctors’ medical supplies.
Without batting an eye, Negan takes out the guards outside the bar as well as the ones inside the RV stolen from the doctors. The commotion outside alerts the bikers in the bar but they are soon cut down by Negan as well as he finally makes his way back into the building.
After Franklin breaks free to lend a helping hand, Negan knocks out the leader of the bikers before tying him to a chair. He sends Franklin out to check on his daughter while Negan has a chat with the biker.
Negan proceeds to tell him the story about how he got fired from his job as a high school gym teacher and it all goes back to a night out on the town with his wife at their favorite local bar.
It seems this particular establishment had a juke box and one of the tracks available on that juke box was “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker and that was Negan and Lucille’s favorite song. But after slipping in .50 cents to play the song, a loud drunk in the bar kept making so much noise that it disturbed them from actually enjoying Joe Cocker’s throaty rendition of that classic love ballad.
When Negan told the belligerent bar patron that he owned him 50 cents for the ruined song, the guy actually charged at him. That’s when Negan realized that the old saying about seeing red when going into a fit of rage is actually true.
He saw red and demolished this guy within an inch of his life — and then Negan took out the guy’s wallet, grabbed a $1 bill and played Lucille’s favorite song twice.
But sadly this drunken asshole had kids that went to the school where Negan taught gym class and that little altercation cost him his job. The drunken idiot then sued Negan but because he had no job, it was Lucille who was forced to pay for the medical bills from this bar fight.
On that night, Negan learned the hard way that there were consequences for seeing red but those days are long since gone.
“See, now, nobody’s suing anybody. Nobody’s getting fired. Hell, nobody’s keeping score. Now when I see red, it’s just a question of what I am capable of. And well, man, I hate to break it to you, see I am starting to think that I am capable of damn near anything. So this is for not killing me.”
Negan then proceeds to prove that Lucille is a vampire bat and she’s thirsty for blood as he beats the biker’s head into mush.
Flashback to present day and Negan is forced to use Lucille to stop a zombie coming for him but one blow cracks the baseball bat down the middle. Negan then returns back to Leah’s cabin where he puts Lucille into the fire while apologizing for all the awful things he did both before and after her death.
Negan admits that the pain he felt from losing Lucille convinced him to shut off all of his emotions, which then transformed him into the sociopathic madman who led the Saviors. Now he’s strong enough to confess that his actions were all predicated on his own inability to face how Lucille’s life had ended so senselessly years earlier.
The next morning, Negan returns to Alexandria much to the chagrin of Maggie, who watches him walk back into the camp as if this was always his home. Carol tries to cut him off but Negan has already seen through her rouse — there was no council vote and he was never banished.
Carol explains that she just didn’t want his death on her conscience and now that he’s returning of his own free will with the understanding that Maggie will eventually kill him, she’s free of that constraint. Negan agrees that she’s no longer responsible for his well being and he rushes past her while locking eyes with Maggie yet again — except this time there’s an undeniable smirk on his face.
Negan is back but who exactly returned from that sojourn to the cabin in the woods remains to be seen.
“The Walking Dead” will return for season 11 — the final season — this summer on AMC.