HOLLYWOOD—It has been way too long since we last saw Negan on “The Walking Dead.” After being MIA for several episodes, the villain returned in this week’s episode, ‘The Big Scary U.’ The episode kicked off with Father Gabriel speaking to God, which almost seemed like his farewell to viewers. I feel like this episode is a flashback because Gregory already left the Sanctuary, and he felt the need to prove his loyalty to Simon, who noted he trusted his pal, but Negan was not totally sold on what Gregory was selling.

So the audience is getting a look at the quiet moments before the war erupted. He wanted Rick, Maggie and Ezekiel’s head on a platter, but he wasn’t prepared for what was about to erupt. The notorious villain was caught off guard and it threw him for a major loop. About time, it took over 13 minutes for the episode, to get where audiences wanted things to head: that trailer with Negan and Father Gabriel. Negan has an unhealthy obsession with Rick, and tried to understand Gabriel’s reasoning for wanting to assist Gregory who is a known coward. Interesting, could Father Gabriel be the one person to actually speak a bit of sense into a man like Negan?

Rick and Daryl picked up precisely where things left off last week with ensuring to finish off that Savior who was attempting to take that firepower back to the Sanctuary headquarters. Even on this guy’s death bed, he continued to make threats. Negan attempted to learn more from Gabriel about his venture into priesthood. When talk turned to traitors within the Savior camp, Eugene looked like he was about to break, while Dwight delivered a convincing argument to prove he is still on the Saviors side, even though we know that is not the case.

The look on Eugene’s face should have been a clue to anyone that he is not to be trusted people. Eugene reminds me so much of Gregory; a guy who will do anything to save himself, but he has glimmers of hope that he isn’t as cowardly as he appears most of the time. Things were beginning to look grim for Negan and Father Gabriel as the walkers found a way to penetrate that trailer.

Negan revealed that he used other people’s weaknesses to his advantage as a leader. When Gabriel pushed for information about Negan’s weakness, ‘The Big Bad’ continued to stay mum about sharing information that may look him less of a leader. Yes, it looks like Gabriel is pushing buttons inside Negan that is forcing him to unravel. Negan wielded Lucille; ready to strike at Gabriel the more he talked about a woman from his past. It was that distraction that allowed Gabriel to seek shelter in a closet which aggravated Negan that much more.

Rick and Daryl was in disagreement about the next step to dismantle the Saviors; Daryl wanted blood, Rick was doing his best to think rational now that The Kingdom has abandoned ship. It led to the two getting into a major scuffle, where fists were thrown. Negan begged for Gabriel to exit that closet, and Negan decided to confess sins from his past. However as a viewer I questioned rather he was telling the truth or just hoping to get Gabriel to let his guard down? Maybe both, but it did indeed work. The two enemies aligned to dredge themselves in the organs and blood of a dead walker to camouflage as a non-threat.

Negan opened up the doors and the walkers came right in, as they found themselves in the middle of a literal zombie fest feast, and things did NOT look good people. I was certain Negan would allow Gabriel to bite it, but nope; he is indeed stand-up guy because he fought for Gabriel to survive. Ok, this is an unexpected twist; the workers who are underappreciated made a move to show that their numbers are stronger than those who are in power. Simon tossed his authority, but the workers were having none of it. An uprising is coming people, but when Negan and Father Gabriel returned everyone dropped to their knees.

Negan was certain betrayal was in his presence, the question is how soon would he discover the culprit and what would be the ramifications of that truth coming to the surface? Ok, I see Rick, but where in the hell is Daryl? And the fact that Rick spotted that helicopter is proof that something game-changing is about to happen in the very near future. Rick was being watched people, only he had no idea it was Jadis, up to her tricks yet again.

Negan made it clear to Eugene that death could be headed his way, and it was apparent that Eugene per usual was shaking in his boots. However, the episode ended on a climatic note where Father Gabriel did not look well, uh-oh, is he becoming a walker people! I feel like this season is headed for a major bloodbath, but my biggest concern is who will bite it before season 8 wraps? Until next Sunday “Walking Dead” die-hards!