I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, have been since it started. Even through the years when it has lost fans, and the story may have sagged (The Saviors war, the farmhouse etc), I have kept with it. And this week series 10 finished (only what 18 months after it started – damn you Covid!!). The final episode was Here’s Negan, the backstory of the titular character, protagonist of earlier series, and all round badass.
I have to say I have been taken with Negan as a character, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as an actor. They both have an effortless cool (smashing people in the head with a baseball bat aside), and brought a lot of menace to the series. This week we saw how that came about, and why he was how he was. And of course, cancer has to play a part. I have noticed that many programs now use cancer as a plot device, which when you are living with a sufferer is very annoying – we had to stop Deadpool for instance, and struggled with Cold Feet in the UK when a main character got breast cancer.
But I feel that The Walking Dead dealt with the subject very well. I saw a reflection in the way that I need to protect and do anything for my wife – Negan heading out to find drugs, and refusing to leave the cabin as it is too dangerous for instance, matches how I feel when my wife requests a particular food stuff, or I want to keep her safe during the last year of the pandemic. And then the way that Lucille wanted to try and control her environment – this is exactly how my wife feels – she cant control her health, but can control how our house looks. The portrayal by Hilarie Burton was amazing.
And finally, I can see how the change came about in Negan when his wife dies. Not just the anger causing a reaction, but the mental reaction to the stress that has built up, the release of the end of the feeling of being held back by the disease – that is how I feel alot. Similar to Negan – we are trapped by the cancer, cant move on, and feel paralysed with fear, and confusion. I dont know how to move on, but have a feeling that when the day comes, that is when the pressure will lift.