Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1, Episode 6: “Doma Smo.”
Welp. A lot happened in this episode. It’s almost like Eli Jorné originally planned for 8 episodes this season but AMC said, “You’ve got 6, make it work.”
This episode wrapped up a whole bunch of loose ends in a short period of time, which isn’t unusual for an episode in The Walking Dead universe, but it was just a lot all at once.
So let’s sift through this. I want to use this article to not only explain the finale episode itself but also how earlier episodes came together to make sense and hopefully pave the way for a second season.
Why Maggie Came to Manhattan
We’re led to believe through most of this season that Maggie’s sole intention for coming to the isolated island of Manhattan was to save her son, Hershel. While this is a large part of it, we find out that she lied about a few things. She lied about The Croat coming to The Bricks and stealing grain, and she lied about having no other hidden motives.
The truth is, The Croat used Hershel as a pawn to use Maggie to get to Negan. And the plan worked.
But when she tells her original story to Ginny, the young girl catches on that Maggie lied because she spent some time at The Bricks and never saw any of the food shortages that Maggie described. So from there, Ginny figures out that Maggie is mainly there to kill Negan. This is why Ginny wrote “LIAR” on the wall at the end of Episode 5 and it’s why she shot the flare to warn Negan.
Ginny even speaks her first few words in this episode, seemingly to warn Negan about Maggie, but Negan cuts her off. I think at this point he figured Maggie out, and he didn’t want Ginny to be the one to tell him so she wouldn’t be involved.
Negan Tells Ginny the Truth
During that same scene, Negan also breaks the heart of that poor young girl in an effort to save her life.
When he cuts her warning short, he tells her the truth about her father: he’s the one who killed him.
“You’re just a debt that I had to pay,” he says as he explains that he only took her under his wing because he felt bad that she had no one else. Now, whether he actually is the one who killed her father or not, it’s obvious that he’s telling her this to save her life. He wants her to stay away from him and all of the danger that is surrounding him as he goes to confront The Croat (and Maggie). He’s already figured out that Maggie is planning to either kill him or turn him in to The Croat, so he wants Ginny to go back to The Bricks and out of harm’s way.
I said in earlier write-ups that I believe Ginny will become a major character in this spin-off and I still believe it, despite her being sent away to safety. She’s going to let her anger for Negan boil up, and she might become the next Maggie Rhee if the story allows it.
Maggie and Negan: The Ultimate Showdown
We knew this was going to finally come to a head, but I have to say that this knife battle between Maggie and Negan was probably the most disappointing part of the show. Not only was the fight sequence fake as hell, but when Maggie fell off the platform, it was almost like we accidentally got the unedited stuntman version of the tape. And Negan’s fall was almost as bad. People don’t rock back and forth while they’re falling to their death (onto an obvious cushion).
But anyway, the knife fight over a pit of zombies didn’t really turn into anything, and the only bloodshed was when Negan got stabbed (but then… miraculously wasn’t stabbed later?).
Hershel is Saved! Or is He?
The Croat kept his word and traded Hershel for Negan, but Hershel doesn’t look too thrilled about being back with his mom, especially when he sees her holding a knife to Negan’s throat during the transaction.
Later, Hershel reveals, in his own emo teenager way, that he knows that Maggie cares more about revenge than him. He believes that he was actually safer with The Croat than he would be with his own mother who is still hell-bent on killing Negan. And he’s right. She even admits that she still feels like this whole Negan thing is unfinished. Ugh, Maggie. Ugh.
Marshal Armstrong is Back Home
After Marshal Armstrong dropped Ginny off at The Bricks to plan the rest of her life seeking revenge on Negan, he heads back to New Babylon where he tells them that he killed Negan. Yep, there was a brief struggle, and Negan’s dead, so let’s get some ice cream and just forget about that guy.
Not so fast, Perlie. The New Babylon leader is on to him and demands that he spill the beans on his knowledge of The Croat’s methane operation. Looks like New Babylon is about to change its name to Bartertown.
Negan and The Dama
As I mentioned in my Episode 5 review, The Dama is looking to recruit Negan as the new leader of Manhattan. An interesting discussion between the two really detailed this plan as The Dama describes how Negan can help her combine the tribes of Manhattan into a united front against New Babylon.
Negan seems skeptical and uncooperative until The Dama shows him a box with a severed pinkie toe inside. She tells him that the toe belongs to Hershel and she can get a lot more pieces if Negan doesn’t join her crazy plan. He seems to be on board after that, but for how long? What’s his plan?
Unanswered Questions for Next Season
The main question from here is: Will Maggie and Negan reunite again to defeat The Dama, or will they become larger enemies of each other? The final scene of the season showed a split-screen face that seems to hint that they’re essentially the same person now and they should work together toward the same goal. Or it means they’re turning into The Incredible Hulk. Either one.
We also have the question of what will become of Ginny. Will she show up later as a major thorn in Negan’s side? Will she take Maggie’s place as Negan’s hunter?
And finally: What will become of the conflict between New Babylon and The Burazi? And which side will the marshal play?
Share your thoughts below on what you think will become of these unanswered questions in Season 2.