Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's midseason premiere.
While much of The Walking Dead's midseason premiere focused on everyone coming to terms with Carl's death (including Carl), the other half of the episode followed Morgan and Carol's attempts to lead the Kingdom survivors to safety. Which included saving Ezekiel from being held hostage, something made easier by a bunch of random Saviors getting brutally slaughtered. Against everyone else's wishes, it also included the murderous awakening of young Henry, who stepped up at the last minute and killed off the bureaucratic and slightly reasonable Savior Gavin. We expect some interesting consequences to come from this.
In order to get through all the Saviors attempting to make a temporary home at the Kingdom, Morgan turned into something resembling a movie monster, putting villains down quickly and viciously. (Sometimes extremely, extremely viciously, as it went for the one Savior who lost his innards.) Carol seemed perturbed, but Morgan's efficiency likely kept her from making too big an issue of it at the time; it could be that his renewed bloodlust puts him on the path to Fear the Walking Dead's characters. Of course, little did they realize that the vengeance-minded Henry was probably getting an eyeful of the bloody messes that Morgan's wrath created; it shouldn't be lost on Henry that this was all in an effort to find the kid in the first place.
Meanwhile, Gavin was keeping a watchful eye and an initially curious ear on Ezekiel as the Savior underlings took things into the Kingdom. To his credit, Ezekiel kept spinning the conversation to try and convince Gavin to give up his Negan-following ways, and Gavin's arguments weren't very strong. At least until he realized that all the Saviors outside his small group were likely dead, which clouded his judgment just a smidge, and he lost the capacity to grasp a life outside Negan's rule.
After a bunch of other Saviors were killed off, only Gavin remained, and Morgan was not about to allow his escape. Carol and Ezekiel tried to reason with the less savage side of Morgan's psyche, but he tearfully and regretfully assumed the responsibility to put Gavin down. (Props to the editing here for mirroring Morgan's crisis of conscience with Carl's attempt to sway Rick to peace's side.) For what it's worth, Gavin earned his fate anew once he started talking big about how Negan couldn't be beat.
In the end, though, it wasn't Morgan with Gavin's death on his hands, but Henry. Understandably, that turn of events completely pissed off Carol, who has the worst luck with children, but Ezekiel offered him the chance for repentance. I'm going to go out on a very welcoming limb here to suggest that Henry is not going to put aside his newly proven talent for stabbing someone's throat out from behind, and that he is going to instead try and refine such skills on others in the future. And -- if you're all still with me on this wild journey of a theory -- I bet it doesn't go well for him. On the other hand, The Walking Dead's creative team might just let randomly this kid kill Negan, so who knows?
One thing is certain, though. Negan has now officially lost one of his big enforcers, which doesn't altogether bode well for the remaining leaders such as Simon, Eugene and Regina. Since Dwight already has a strange and ungrounded future ahead of him, it's hard to say how he'll be affected here. But losing Gavin and another small town's worth of Saviors is going to piss Negan off, and he'll likely go for broke with whatever attack he plans next. We can't wait to watch morale continue to crumble among Negan's darkly amusing inner circle, too.
With the other Savior leaders' days now numbered, The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. In the meantime, check out what Chandler Riggs told us about those flash-forwards, as well as why we might see a little more of Carl Grimes in the future. And then head to our midseason premiere schedule to see all the other new and returning shows keeping primetime entertaining.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.