Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1, Episode 5: “Stories We Tell Ourselves.”
The latest episode of The Walking Dead: Dead City finally explored a bit more into the world of Maggie, but not really in a good way. Turns out, Maggie is not the hero character she was in the original series. Let’s find out why.
With the main group split up, we spend half the episode following Maggie’s group (with Ginny, Tommaso, and Amaia) and half following Negan and Marshal Perlie Armstrong. If you remember from the end of Episode 4, the marshal’s life was saved by Negan, but the lawman still insisted on holding Negan at gunpoint to bring him in for his previous crimes.
Maggie, Ginny, Tommaso, and Amaia are down in the underground tunnels trying to find a secret way into The Croat’s lair. Tommaso mentioned in a previous episode that he escaped the prison before, so he should be able to do the reverse and get them inside.
The group discovers some pretty raunchy stuff along the way, leading to an intense gore factor in this episode. We see piles and piles of bodies lying everywhere (including a gigantic ball of rotting fat) as we get closer and closer to The Croat’s methane lab that creates fuel from rotting zombies. The methane gas is getting stronger as the group gets closer, which plays a big part of some final scenes where Maggie is tripping balls as the oxygen is slowly being cut from her brain.
But along the way, Maggie figures out that Tommaso’s a little too suspicious with the way he’s leading them along (and he just so happens to find oxygen masks!). So she confronts him about being a mole and he admits everything. He says that he was promised a boat ride to a sanctuary if he led them to a certain spot. He swears that he only did it to help get a better life for himself and Amaia, but Maggie thinks he’s just scum. We do see a bit of a reconsideration later as she realizes that he really was doing it all for Amaia. Awww.
But, as often happens with people who aren’t named Maggie or Negan, Tomasso and Amaia both get chewed up pretty badly by some fleshies. This leads to one of the outright coolest undead ever to be on a TWD show: The Walker King.
In the aftershow commentary, Eli Jorné describes how they made this monstrosity to represent a boss walker that was made up of few walkers melted together. Very cool scene and worth a watch for that alone.
One other notable thing that happens in Maggie’s group is when Maggie just loses her patience and tells Ginny that she needs to stop looking for Negan because he’s actually a huge monster and she shouldn’t hang around him anymore.
But, as often happens with teenagers, if you tell them not to do something or hang out with someone, they’re just going to do it harder. So good luck with that, Mags.
Ginny realizes that Maggie’s plan is to turn Negan in to The Croat in exchange for her son, so she’s a bit skeptical about Maggie’s words against Negan. Are we seeing a turn of events that will paint Maggie as more of a bad character?
Negan and Armstrong
The dynamic between these two is odd, as it’s mostly Armstrong holding some sort of grappling hook gun at Negan while Negan makes jokes, but it does come to a head at one point.
Negan traps Armstrong with a walker at one point, but then changes his mind and saves him again. He just can’t stop doing that, can he? Armstrong repays him with a long story about his older brother, Joel, whom we saw dead in his apartment in a previous episode.
I feel like those scenes with Negan and Armstrong are solidifying some sort of bond between those two that will come up against The Croat in later episodes.
A New Evil Character Arises
A new “bad guy” surfaces toward the end of this episode as a woman named The Dama (which is Croatian for “lady”) is talking with The Croat about his obsession with Negan. It seems that The Croat and The Dama are looking to bring Negan on as the new ringleader. Now wouldn’t that be a plot twist?
And if you’re looking at this woman (Lisa Emery) trying to recall where you saw her before (like I was doing), you might remember her as Darlene Snell in Ozark. That was a great role and I’m looking forward to what she brings to the table here.
Ginny is Now a Main Character?
I totally called it in a previous review, didn’t I? Ginny is getting ready to be a huge character in future seasons of this show. At the end of this episode, we see something that might be hard to catch if you’re not paying attention.
When Ginny runs off and Maggie chases after her, we see the word “LIAR” scrawled on a wall in blood, presumably by Ginny. What does Ginny know about Maggie? Is it enough to turn the tides on Maggie’s character?
Conclusion and a Theory
So this info about the possibility of Negan becoming an evil warlord again was shocking. It was shocking because it seems like the writers were trying really hard to make him a good guy up until this point, but it’s also shocking because it might just work. Can you imagine Negan in control of all of New York City’s gangs? Oh boy.
So here’s what I’m thinking: What if Negan does take over New York City with The Dama, they dump The Croat because he’s creepy, and Negan is back in warlord mode. Maggie’s transformation into a bad character continues, and Negan is now actually the good guy leading a bunch of people who never really even liked The Croat in the first place. Negan good, Maggie bad. It’s a stretch, but we’ll see what happens on this season’s finale next week!
Episode 6, entitled “Doma Smo” (which means “We are home” in Croatian), will air next Thursday, July 20 for AMC+ subscribers and next Sunday, July 23 for everyone else.