Walking Dead: Dead City season 1’s ending, explained


In November 2022, The Strolling Lifeless followers had been unhappy to see the long-running series come to an end after 11 seasons. However lower than a yr later, two in style characters have returned in The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Towards the brand new setting of New York, the story follows Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and their reluctant journey collectively to save lots of Maggie’s son, Hershel (Logan Kim), who has been kidnapped by somebody from Negan’s previous. There are simply six episodes within the first season. The ending, and the second season renewal, affirm that The Strolling Lifeless’s infamous barbed-wire bat-wielding villain and badass mother aren’t going wherever, although there’s nonetheless no love misplaced between them.

Observe: This text options main spoilers for The Strolling Lifeless Lifeless Metropolis season 1.

To start with

Maggie sitting in a bar having a drink in a scene from Walking Dead: Dead City.

Having fun with a drink in a bar (an indication that some semblance of life earlier than the zombie apocalypse has apparently been reestablished), Maggie is searching for out Negan, although it’s unclear why. When she finds him, she reveals that Hilltop was raided by a vicious man who took their wheat and Hershel for collateral. She realized a connection to Negan when the person arrived whistling a very haunting tune. She’s sure he was as soon as a Savior, and Maggie thinks Negan may be capable of assist her get by way of to him.

Negan looking surprised standing in a bar in a scene from The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Negan is reluctant to assist, however she reminds him that he’s on the run from marshals (society’s new authorities legislation enforcement company) for the cold-blooded murders of a number of males. They severely beat his spouse, Annie (Medina Senghore), so he returned the favor, then advised Annie to relocate with their son. He was alleged to observe however hasn’t but been capable of convey himself to go away. He’s additionally surprisingly touring with a teenage lady named Ginny (Mahina Napoleon) who has selective mutism: she hasn’t spoken since seeing her father flip right into a zombie. Negan someway got here to take her below his wing.

Maggie guarantees to ship Ginny to security at Hilltop so Negan can be a part of her on the hunt. He agrees and the unlikely pair cross the water into Manhattan.

Takedown plans and the outdated Negan

The Croat on a day background staring in a close up scene from The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Paying homage to the time Rick and firm took down the Saviors, Maggie and Negan meet a bunch of like-minded people with plans to take out the mutual enemy: a person who goes by the identify of The Croat (Zeljiko Ivanek). However Negan can also be operating from the Mike Tyson of marshals, a by-the-book lawman named Izaak (Gaius Charles) who adopted them, decided to convey justice and fulfill Negan’s execution sentence. In the meantime, Ginny wasn’t about to go away her father-figure mentor, so she secretly escaped Hilltop to search out him.

Who’s The Croat? Effectively, he’s a mentally unstable man Negan picked up years in the past when he was at his most weak level. Negan shortly realized that The Croat was prepared to go to heinous lengths even Negan couldn’t condone: he went in opposition to orders and killed a toddler. Negan chased him away, capturing however lacking, taking off solely his ear.

Whereas Maggie is aware of Negan is crucial to her plan given his historical past with the person, she will be able to’t assist however be haunted by the trauma of what he did to Glenn (Beef‘s Steven Yuen), reliving the second Negan killed him time and again in her nightmares. It doesn’t assist that she sees glimpses of “the outdated Negan” peeking by way of his charming façade, even when this time, he’s truly on her facet.

The old Negan looking smug in a scene from The Walking Dead: Dead City.

He surfaces, for instance, in a single scene he shows his signature love of nursery rhymes, repeating “knock, knock” 3 times over whereas concurrently smashing a person’s head into home windows to get the eye of his enemies (that’s all earlier than he guts the person, letting his innards and blood spray down from the highest degree to his comrades beneath, after which throws his physique over the railing).

One other is when he lastly cruelly reveals to Ginny, albeit to cease her from following him to what he believes shall be his sure demise, that he’s the person who killed her father, and makes it appear as if he solely took her on as a result of he felt responsible. Maggie’s horrified look every time Negan’s outdated persona makes an look is telling.

Possibly Negan isn’t the unhealthy man, although? That’s a query Maggie grapples with in any case he’s accomplished to assist her. As he suggests, perhaps everyone seems to be the unhealthy man.

The true intentions revealed

Maggie from The Walking Dead: Dead City standing and looking.

Negan and Maggie have their work reduce out for them. Not solely is The Croat mentally unstable, he’s additionally fiercely clever. He beforehand labored within the discipline of different power and has found that the our bodies of reanimated people produce methane. This fuel will be pressurized and made right into a liquid gasoline. People, he believes, are a useful resource who can turn into much more helpful in demise.

Regardless of his intelligence, his rash conduct makes it unsurprising that The Croat is merely a puppet. He’s taking orders from a lady referred to as The Dama, performed by Ozark’s Lisa Emery. This isn’t about The Croat’s revenge on Negan. There are greater issues at play. Maggie didn’t hunt down Negan as a result of she felt his earlier connection to The Croat could possibly be useful. She was fulfilling a bounty, buying and selling Negan for Hershel.

Maggie holding a knife to Negan's throat in a scene from The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Negan figures out what’s happening and he and Maggie combat virtually to the demise, till they’re stopped by The Croat and his males, who cart them each away. Negan feels severely betrayed whereas Maggie exhibits slight indicators of guilt for what she has accomplished.

What does the Dama need with Negan? Negan’s status precedes him, and The Dama wants him to be their chief. She is aware of the marshals have realized about her profitable different power supply they usually need to get their fingers on the components for it. She wants to guard it in any respect prices, and the charming, articulate, vicious former chief of the Saviors is the person to assist her try this. “What’s politics if not efficiency?” she asks him. She is providing Negan the keys to a kingdom with what’s seemingly a proposal that’s too good to refuse.

How The Strolling Lifeless: Lifeless Metropolis season 1 ends

A close up of The Dama on The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Herein lies a dilemma, not just for Negan, but in addition for Maggie. Her reunion with Hershel ought to be a constructive one. However the sullen boy suggests he was happier in captivity. Why? He didn’t must continuously look over his shoulder and combat for consideration from his mom, who was at all times obsessed and preoccupied with Negan. Maggie may by no means be capable of let go of what Negan did to Glenn, but when she desires to save lots of her relationship together with her son, she’s going to must. Seeing the turmoil she has prompted Hershel due to the vendetta consuming her, Maggie guarantees him she’s lastly going to learn to let go.

In the meantime, at his job interview, Negan means that he has no real interest in bringing again the individual he was. However he won’t have a selection, or at the least one he’s prepared to make. The Dama fingers him a small lock field with a tiny human toe inside — Hershel’s — and he immediately realizes she’s way more harmful than she might sound. She explains that it was by way of Hershel that she realized of Negan’s one weak point: the boy himself. Hershel spoke of how a lot Negan has accomplished to make up for his heinous actions, and The Dama makes use of this data to pressure Negan’s hand. He both takes the job or she finishes that one.

Maggie and Negan standing together looking down at something in the dark in a scene from The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Followers had been promised a return of the outdated Negan, they usually received simply that. Nevertheless, there have been solely temporary appearances from the whistling, smirking unhealthy boy. The Strolling Lifeless: Lifeless Metropolis has been renewed for a second season, so chances are high the cocky, self-centered, morally corrupt model of Negan will present his face as soon as once more in a a lot greater manner. However what drives it out of him this time is an admirable cause: to guard Hershel.

Maggie, nonetheless, doesn’t know this, and that might show catastrophic when the 2 inevitably come face-to-face once more. Seeing Negan turn into the very individual he swore to her he not was will make the promise she made to Hershel to lastly let issues go rather more troublesome to maintain. Nevertheless it may additionally, in a twisted manner, show that Negan actually did change, in any case. Or did he? With The Strolling Lifeless: Lifeless Metropolis formally getting the inexperienced gentle for a second season, we’ll discover out simply the place the story goes from right here.

Stream The Walking Dead: Dead City on AMC+.

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