The big bad wolf himself Negan has escaped the cell on last week’s episode and this week, he goes on a little adventure with Brandon. What could possibly go wrong as you are reading this? Well, you will find out right now as I give my recap to the fifth episode of the tenth season of The Walking Dead titled “What It Always Is.”
The episode opens as Kelly is in the woods observing her surroundings as she also sees a lonely pig. I also want to add that her vision and hearing is going low and we see it happen from her perspective during this opening. She kills the pig using her slingshot weapon and she did not know that a walker was approaching behind her. But she killed a few walkers and the ones that were left devoured the pig. She runs through the forest to return back to Hiltop and she gets injured. As she is laying down, a walker grabs her head and then we cut to the opening credits. Negan is by himself washing his face and Brandon approaches him. He first pointed a knife towards his direction, but he said that he was just joking (Brandon is also a fan of Negan). Brandon also told Negan that it took him forever to catch up with him. He gives Negan water to drink and Negan smiles. Yumiko and a few Hiltop residents are finishing up clearing walkers at the gate. Earl still believes that it was The Whisperers that cut the tree down. When another Hiltop resident tells Yumiko about fish being stolen at the middle of the night, she asks who was on watch and then goes inside and talks to Magna who is also listening to music. They both talked about why Magna was not at watch and that she should do her job. Magna ignores her and turns back on the music. Daryl, Dog, and Siddiq arrive at Hiltop and they talk to Ezekiel about Negan. Ezekiel also says that they need more help due to the damage of the tree fall. Ezekiel also does not want to talk to Carol. Oscar and a few soldiers also return and Connie asks him about Kelly’s whereabouts.
Brandon is practicing Negan’s Savior whistle and he even asked Negan how did he get out of the cell. Negan told him that he is looking for a new place and Brandon says that they need a new Sanctuary. Brandon even brings up a rumor about Negan killing Carl Grimes and Negan shuts that conversation down real quick. Brandon also says that “we are Negan.” As they were both looking at a house, a walker attacks Negan and he killed the walker bny using the barbed wire attached to it to rip the head off followed by smashing it’s head. Brandon did not help because he was making Lucille 2.0 for Negan. He even showed him his jacket and Negan told him to put it away so that way, he could not be reconized.
Aaron is by himself and he hears a walker and seen that Gamma killed the walker and cut open its stomach to drain its blood into the water stream. Back to Brandon and Negan as they talk about what The Saviors used to do to kill time. Then, they hear a woman screaming in the bus and Negan not only saved the woman and her son, he killed those walkers in that bus in gruesome fashion. Brandon even yells out “damn, classic Negan!” While Daryl and Connie were alone looking for Kelly, Daryl tells a good fishing story about Merle. Dog alerts them both and they see blood and the corpse of that pig from earlier. Magna appears moments later and Daryl drew his crossbow at her thinking it was someone else. Siddiq and Ezekiel are looking through the cabinents and they noticed that some of the medical supplies are missing. He also begins coughing and Siddiq tries to care for him and Ezekiel refused at first. Something is clearly wrong with him and Ezekiel revealed that there is a lump on his neck and that he has had it for a month. Siddiq thinks that it could be an infection, but Ezekiel knows that it is thyroid cancer because his grandmother and father had it too. They fought it and beat the cancer and he thinks that the odds are very slim for himself. Siddiq also revealed to Ezekiel that he had to leave Alexandria because hje cannot stand how everyone looks at him and even brings up his PTSD from the barn.
Back to Negan and Brandon as Negan is talking to the woman as she told him how they got to where they are now. When she and her son exited the bus for a minute, Brandon tells Negan that they might have weapons and supplies but Negan not only does not care to find out, but he told Brandon to go back to Alexandria and tell everyone where he is. Also to note, Negan stopped Brandon from attempting to kill them with his metal pipe. At The Whisperer camp, Alpha talks with a Whisperer and then Gamma and Beta about the walkers they are sacrificing. The unnamed Whisperer speaks up about not wanting to take down any more walkers. Beta was about to attack him, but Alpha lets him finish speaking. Alpha wanted to take a vote with everyone to see if they agree with him in which nobody did. She then leaned over, smiled, and said “that’s democracy for you” and slashed his leg. He tried to fight back and she slashed his arm. He is completely immobilized and Alpha gives Beta a knife to kill that Whisperer and he did exactly that. Negan has a talk with Milo as he was playing with a toy airplane. Negan tells him what it was like to be on an airplane before everything changed and even makes a joke about nut smacking. Funny bonding time. Negan then told him that he and his mom should come to Alexandria. Gamma is walking with the walker who was that Whisperer that Beta killed. She does the same thing to that walker that she did earlier to and that is, contaminate the water. While she was stabbing the walker, she cuts her hand and Aaron introduced himself and gives her bandages. Gamma runs away after this. Dogh finds Kelly and Magna, Daryl, and Connie rescued her. She could not hear at the moment and this is when we find out that they show them the stolen fish and medical supplies that we now know that Magna stolen. Connie was unaware that this was going on and Magna had a dumb reason explaining why she took it which was because she did not trust them.
When Negan returned with the logs to burn fire, he sees that Brandon killed Amelia and Milo and he even got that Savior whistle correct. But that did not last as Brandon attempted to have a Tony Stark moment and say “I am Negan” before Negan himself killed him by bashing his head with a heavy stone. Negan takes his jacket and Lucille 2.0 with him and left. While Siddiq and Aaron are on the radio, it was mentioned that Rosita is sick and that Siddiq is leaving at night. Ezekiel also does not want to speak to Carol. Magna and Yumiko had a falling out and she brings up that they known each other for thirteen years. We also find out here that the reason Yumiko was her lawyer is because it was during the trial of when Magna killed a guy for hurting her cousin who was very young at the time. Gamma and Alpha talk about Aaron giving her the bandages and about her sacrificing her sister. Later at night, Everyone at Hiltop says their goodbyes. Elsewhere, Negan crossed one of Alpha’s borders. He killed a few walkers and called them out and one of The Whisperers knocked him down and Beta and Negan had a stare down and Negan challenged him to a fight as the episode ends.
This episode is awesome and the comic moments from Issues 153 and 154 were done really well on screen. Jeffrey Dean Morgan gets a high praise for me on this episode as not only that he (Negan) did not want to go back to who he was years ago, but he showed that he can be very human to unknown survivors who are in need of help. Also, killing Brandon and having him being a “fanboy” of Negan was the best fan service I have seen this season so far. Ezekiel revealing that he has thyroid cancer made me sad and it also adds to everything that Khary Payton said about Ezekiel’s state of mind last week. I also love Daryl’s interractions with Connie, Magna and Yumiko’s falling out, the opening with Kelly, Alpha showing who is the head boss in charge, and the graphic gore on those walker kills and even Brandon’s death too. My only criticism is the reasoning of Magna stealing the fish and medical supplies. I did not want to roll my eyes after I heard that, but I just had to because Judith saved her in the first place back in season 9 and she is still up to her old nonsense that she brought into the community. I cannot wait for Negan and Beta’s scenes on the next episode!