[SPOILERS for those not caught up on The Walking Dead ahead.]
Sunday night's The Walking Dead featured the big moment everyone was waiting for: the touching reunion between Daryl and Carol at Carol's cabin of solitude. The reunion was short-lived as Daryl quickly parted ways with his old friend and headed out, armed with a new crossbow among other weapons, to rejoin his new ally Richard. Despite hooking back up with Daryl, Carol is still reluctant to jump back in the fray herself, and for now is content to remain in her cabin reading paperbacks and eating Jerry's cobbler.
Unlike Carol, Daryl is itching to get back in the fight as quickly as possible. The promo for the next episode of The Walking Dead hints that Daryl won't have to wait very long to get some action, as the fight may soon be coming to him thanks to Negan and Dwight.
After going totally Negan-less for the first two episodes of season 7.5, The Walking Dead next week will bring its chief villain back with a vengeance. In the promo for "Hostilities and Calamities" (via AMC), Negan can be seen menacing poor Eugene and having a heart-to-heart with Dwight, the latter of whom apparently is sent out on a mission to recapture an escaped Daryl. This looks to be the big Dwight episode that was recently teased by showrunner Scott Gimple.
The episode description for "Hostilities and Calamities" says "an Alexandrian discovers they must navigate the mysterious, confusing and terrifying world within the Saviors' compound". Undoubtedly this is a reference to Eugene, who can be seen in the promo cowering in terror before Negan. Considering Eugene's bullet-making knowledge, which was the whole reason Negan captured him in the first place, it seems the Alexandrian should be safe for the time-being. But that doesn't make his predicament any less horrifying.
The interaction between Negan and Dwight indicates that Negan at this point may be dubious as to Dwight's loyalty, and could be testing his second-in-command by sending him out to get Daryl. What will happen once Dwight finds Daryl? Will the two battle, or is Dwight ready to flip his loyalties over to the other side? Considering Dwight's knowledge of Negan's whole operation, he would be a valuable ally for the Group if in fact he decided to turn on his master.
There could be mixed feelings among Walking Dead fans over the return of Negan. Though Negan has certainly created a lot of buzz with his over-the-top evil behavior, there are some who don't care for the character much and think Jeffrey Dean Morgan's one-note performance drags the show down. The fact that Scott Gimple and company waited until the third episode of Season 7.5 to bring Negan in could indicate they've learned a lesson on over-using the character and are planning to sprinkle him in more sparingly from now on. When Negan is on-screen though, you can bet the sense of danger will be ramped up.
The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Hostiles and Calamities’ @9pm on AMC.