The Next ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Giving Us Back The Characters Fans Are Asking For

by Lilli Petersen

There was a lot of suspense around this week’s The Walking Dead. From the ongoing anxiety of a character possibly on the edge of death, to the tragic death of a beloved character, there was plenty to keep fans on the edges of their seats. And yet, the thing that everyone was most nervous about was what wasn’t in the episode. Namely, fans were wondering what happened to Negan and Father Gabriel?

For a season that was billed as “all out war,” it’s been an awful long time since we saw the leader of one half of this war. By halfway through the fourth episode of Season 8, fans were starting to wonder what the heck had happened to Negan, and why we hadn’t seen him for three whole episodes. A refresher: at the end of the season premiere, we saw Father Gabriel get trapped with Negan, leader of the Saviors, in a dark trailer surrounded by walkers. "You are about to sh*t your pants,” Negan told Gabriel with a grin. The camera panned up to show the trailer they were hiding in completely surrounded by walkers, and, bam. That was it. That’s all we've gotten to see of them for the rest of the season.

So of course, fans were all like, *taps watch.*

But our prayers, and some of our questions, are answered! Though there was a sad lack of Negan and Father Gabriel in this week's episode, "Some Guy," it looks like fans will have better luck in the next episode, "The Big Scary U." The promo for next week's episode revealed that the two have apparently just been hanging out in the trailer for the past three episodes, making small talk and getting into fights.

The promo for the fifth episode of Season 8 showed a quick glimpse of Negan and Father Gabriel still stuck in the trailer, still surrounded by zombies — as Negan grabbed Gabriel and threw him to the ground, apparently getting ready to beat him further. So, things aren't going well for Gabriel.

But the sneak preview of the next episode showed something even more ominous. The short clip showed the two adversaries sitting in the dark, talking quietly. "Let me ask you something," Negan questioned Gabriel. "Why did you become a priest?"

"I love God and I love people," Gabriel said. "I wanted to bring them together and to help people through their difficult times." Okay, sounds reasonable.

"That's my thought," Negan replied. "I like to help people through their weaknesses, too. Been doing it one way or another my whole life." Considering Negan's history of violence, Gabriel was rightfully skeptical, and asked Negan how he helps people. "You wanna know why people are going to start dying in there? Because I'm not there to stop it," Negan responded.

Sooo... what, exactly does that mean? How does Negan usually keep people from dying? Is he just talking about protecting them from zombies? What does it all mean?

I have no idea, but I think we can start expecting things to get intense.

Fans are definitely ready to have Negan back, too (poor Father Gabriel doesn't get quite the level of excitement). And they're particularly filled with hope and the anticipation of maybe getting some backstory on the show's favorite sadistic villain.

Some, however, are less enthused.

Either way, the return of Negan can only mean good things for the drama levels of The Walking Dead. After all, zombies only make good villains for so long. Sometimes, a show just needs a crazy guy with a baseball bat. You know. Just to keep it interesting.