The Walking DeadTV ReviewsThe Walking Dead (10×05) What It Always Is Review

Keith NoakesNovember 3, 201974/100
Laura Belsey
Eli Jorne
Running Time
44 minutes
Sundays 9pm
Overall Score
Rating Summary
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his criminally short subplot as Negan in What It Always Is saves the episode, albeit slightly, from being another fully mediocre mess.

For our review of last episode of The Walking Dead, click here.

Synopsis: Supplies go missing from Hilltop; Negan is idolized by an Alexandrian; Ezekiel holds a secret. (IMDb)

More Negan please.

Who would have guessed that letting Negan go on his own would make a vastly improved episode but unfortunately, What It Always Is, had to muddy the waters with plenty of underwhelming subplots that have plagued the last few seasons of the series. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t just take Negan and run with him for an episode as Jeffrey Dean Morgan was great here as he got to put on his old leather jacket and was reunited with Lucille, however, with some new perspective, it was definitely interesting to see how it would effect him and so far it has.

The episode started with Kelly (who? would be the appropriate question) out in the woods for some reason. Her attempt at hunting a warthog would be thwarted by a group of walkers who would eventually overwhelm her (also she can’t hear). As she looked like she may have faced her demise, the opening credits began to roll (spoiler alert but she survived of course).

The aforementioned Negan was out and about. Little did he know, he was being followed by a man named Brandon (Austin Freeman), a Savior living in Alexandria who had also escaped some point prior. He was definitely fangirling over him, assuming that he was still the same person he remembered (for which we know was seemingly no longer the case). Despite this, Negan saw some usefulness in him (he gave him Lucille and his leather jacket) and strung him along.

Brandon’s master plan was to find a new Sanctuary to presumably revive the Saviors. He and Negan stumbled onto a bus with a woman and child inside who were overrun by walkers. Brandon also different intentions for the woman and child, wanting to take them out, until Negan tried to set him straight. Perhaps seeing where things were likely going, Negan told him to go home (but we know that’s not going to happen). Later, Negan tried to bond with the kid (using an admittedly creepy speech). This would all be for naught as he returned with firewood and found the woman and child killed by Brandon who would in turn, get satisfyingly beaten to death by Negan with a rock.

Daryl and Connie (the deaf one) got closer while looking for Kelly (they later ran into Magna). Also, Ezekiel has had thyroid cancer for a while but it’s no big deal (perhaps accentuating his general frustration). Kelly was eventually found as well as supplies that at least she and Magna (Yumiko and Connie claimed to not be involved) stole from Hilltop (Daryl went along with a lie that they found the supplies in order to cover for them). Magna clearly had trust issues which led to a fight with Yumiko but who cares due to this group’s overall development thus far?

All the things that we suspected the Whispers of doing, they did. Alpha had a plan and was not going to let anyone stand in the way of it. Gamma was fetching more masks (tasking out her frustrations on a certain walker). Aaron would happen to walk by and notice her cutting her hand and offered to help which was begrudgingly accepted. Alpha’s next task for Gamma appears to be infiltrating Alexandria.

The episode would end with Negan, jacketed and Lucille-d, swinging around at some walkers until he found Beta.

Negan may have done some bad things in the past but at least he’s the most interesting character on the series right now because of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s incredible charisma. Would it kill the showrunners to give us a flashback episode?

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and also like me on Facebook.


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