carol and negan in season 11
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

‘The Walking Dead’ Season 11C Premiere: Negan and Carol’s Dynamic Makes Everything Better

Analyzing the dynamics on The Walking Dead is just as fun as anything else. We can gush about the special effects (Nicotero is continually a genius) and how badass the walkers look. But at the end of the day, this is a horror drama that explores what the post-apocalypse world does to people. The horror isn’t solely the zombies; that would be a boring way to look at TWD. Therefore, we dig into the relationships that the characters have with one another.

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With Carol (Melissa McBride) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), their dynamic is incredibly interesting. Last season, Carol schemed with Negan to kill Alpha (Samantha Morton) because she wanted revenge. And her death played out differently in the comics, but in the comics, Carol doesn’t have as rich of a storyline. She never even gets to meet Negan. So, I say with confidence that this is something the show gets right. This season, however, has a different threat, one that involves the Commonwealth, a community that should be a beacon of hope, though it proves that bringing back the old world is only good if it’s in the right hands. And even then, that’s a shaky idea.

Season 11 hasn’t been my favorite, if I’m being honest. Thankfully the 11C premiere (episode 17, “Lockdown”) gave us some quality Carol and Negan scenes. Separately and together. They play off each other in a way that’s entertaining to watch, with Negan’s crass dialogue and Carol’s no-nonsense attitude, w dynamic that’s heavily appreciated. Without Carol and Negan’s scenes, I wouldn’t have been as drawn in. Carol spends most of the episode being her badass self (with a knife ready to cut somebody), while Negan slips back into his old skin when talking to Mercer (Michael James Shaw) and shithead Sebastian Milton (Teo Rapp Olsson), who sucks in the show and comics. Their chemistry is spot on and leagues more intriguing than Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan’s scenes.

They both started off similarly with their tragic pasts and having to really adapt to the world, whereas some people let their true selves out at the end of the world. They both just adapted and did what was necessary in their eyes. Obviously Negan had a much different role when he was introduced. Though at many points Carol has been seen as dangerous and a problem. But this season, her ruthlessness is welcomed in order to protect those she loves. Essentially, that’s something that Negan understands (sorry, his whole wife storyline is my least favorite thing right now).

Overall, this kickoff to the final episodes of this series was alright. Carol and Negan’s scenes, however? Chef’s kiss. One can hope they’ll get to kick some ass together before the series is over.

(featured image: AMC)

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Vanessa Maki
Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.