Carl confronts Negan in The Walking Dead ‘Sing Me a Song’ (review and recap)

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Image via AMC

Carl has always been getting a lot of hate throughout the series. With tons of memes regarding how he’s never in the house, or the pronunciation of his name by a devastated Rick, Carl can’t catch a break. He’s always seen as the young kid who is either in the way or not strong enough even though he’s been through a lot of difficult situations. The latest episode of The Walking Dead, “Sing Me a Song,” Carl is going behind enemy lines in an attempt to kill Negan. He ends up on an unexpected journey that changes who he becomes.

While both Jesus and Carl hide in one of Negan’s trucks to find their hideout, Jesus begins to leave a trail and plans on both jumping out to find their base on foot. Carl tricks Jesus and continues inside the truck. Once inside their base, he hears men heading to the truck and even hears Negan giving orders. Once he’s spotted, he quickly shoots that man and blindly fires outside the truck’s door while demanding Negan. Once in view, Negan hides behind his men while claiming his fear of Carl, which slightly distracts him to have one of the Saviors get close enough to him. Carl kills a second man and is tackled by Dwight. Negan’s orders his men to stand down, welcomes his new guest and takes Carl around the base.

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Image via AMC

The tour around the base looks like a ruse to Carl, but Negan never lays a hand on him unless it’s a pat on the back or of a friendly gesture. Negan shows Carl how the Saviors function, and even their punishment for not obeying their rules. A harsh reality is shown to Carl, but he can only watch how the Saviors willingly kneel before Negan and standby as one of their own is punished with a hot iron. Even Negan’s wives fear him, though are told they have a choice to stay, Negan slyly convinces one of them otherwise. The scenes with Negan and Carl are literally taken straight out of the comic, almost word for word and one of the most important experience for Carl. Negan says he fears Carl, but in reality he respects him and wants to build Carl into one of the Saviors. Negan can only imagine the hardships Carl has been through, but knowing that he sneaked in and killed two of his men, Negan knows that Carl will one day be a strong leader that no one will be able to mess with.

That’s the importance of his experience with Negan. Carl hates him with passion. But Carl needs Negan as well to drive that hate and push him far beyond any boundaries he’s faced. Negan even says that his father Rick should be teaching him these things, which is different from the sheltered life Rick has been trying to provide for Carl. Rick wants his son to enjoy his life as a kid, but in The Walking Dead’s world, that’s not possible. Everyone has the will to survive, but not the skill set. Carl may be young and naive, but he’s been through a lot to the point that he’s been hardened. He doesn’t show fear even when he’s afraid. He may have been weak up to this point, but Negan helped him overcome that. By forcing him to remove his bandage, Carl has become Carl. To accept his injury and to no longer hide behind it. And even after being taunted by Negan due to his injury, Carl still faces up to him and shows his intent on killing him.

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Image via AMC

Everyone wants to kill Negan. Rosita brings Eugene to the shop he found to manufacture a bullet for her. She only has one shell, but one bullet is enough to kill Negan. Michonne sets a trap for one of Negan’s followers and demands to be brought to Negan. We haven’t seen how they plan on fulfilling their mission, but they have the intent on completing it. While Rick and Aaron continue to find supplies, his only motive is to ensure the safety of his people. The only way he knows that now is to follow Negan’s will. Rick is broken. He can’t lead his people with Hilltop to confront Negan, and so far we haven’t seen him turnaround to the point that he wants to.

Carl, on the other hand, goes deep into enemy territory and comes face to face with the lion in the lion’s den and walks out alive. Negan pays him back by helping him become a man. He allows Carl to live and brings him back home. In the comic, it’s a sign to show Rick that both the Saviors and the Alexandria Safe Zone can work together. Rick follows orders, and Negan plays nice despite his own men being killed. Though this episode was a close adaption to the comic, Carl may be that person who helps lead the people against Negan. Negan may have just created the man who will bring him down.

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Joe Gonzalez
Joe Gonzalez 286 posts

Gamer since '86, well knowledgeable in movies and games, and semi tech savvy. Graphic artist and t-shirt printer for over 10 years.