Negan is the happiest we've seen him since his polyamorous days at the Sanctuary in this CBR-exclusive clip from The Walking Dead Season 9 finale. And to think, all it took was a massive winter storm.
At the end of last week's tragic episode, "The Calm Before," Daryl guided Lydia to Henry's pike so she could pay her respects, and after she lays down her Hilltop necklace in his honor, we see snow start to fall as she and Daryl depart. The preview for this week's finale "The Storm," features the survivors contending with the harshest winter storm ever before featured on the AMC drama. It looks as if there were a few of those in the six years we skipped over during time jumps, if the contingency plans and winter clothing are any indication. But clearly Alexandria's infrastructure wasn't quite enough to keep Negan safe and warm in his cell.
The scene shows Negan, Judith, Gabriel, Rosita, Eugene and Siddiq holed up in a cabin waiting out the storm. Negan is gleeful at being set free, even for just a few hours, and happily needles at everyone in the room. He pokes fun at the "love quadrangle" between adults, and even goes so far as to wonder aloud if Gabriel is worried that Siddiq, as Rosita's doctor and former lover, has ever done anything untoward while giving her medical care. It's as gross and eye-rolling as any of Negan's humor, and Gabriel wearily asks the convict if he could be a little less predictable. Negan "apologizes," but can't help himself from digging at the priest one more time calling him, "Father ... Not the Father," and erupting in laughter again. Everyone's either too tired or too uninterested to care, but he does manage to coax a smile out of Gabriel, indicating that, deep down, the relationship between the two is no longer strictly antagonistic.
Negan's arc has been largely internal this season, as we saw him grapple with the mania of being locked up with his demons before settling more comfortably into prison life, with occasional visits from Judith to keep him tethered to sanity. However, if this scene is any indication, it appears, that despite his progress, he still hates confinement enough for a brief break -- even a freezing one -- to spark some serious joy. Whether that will last or be cut down by the multitude of tragedies that could quickly befall them will have to wait until Sunday's finale.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC, The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Nadia Hilker, Dan Fogler, Angel Theory, Lauren Ridloff and Eleanor Matsuura.