It’s Negan, not Neegan.
Pretty disappointed with the way the show handled such an important event from the comics, although the double tap was an effective way to convey the same shock to readers already familiar with the story that the events initially have to the unfamiliar. I also liked how Darryl’s inclusion (absent from the comics) altered events in an interesting way.
What I really hated in both this episode and even more so in the season finale was the way events were stretched out and teased, largely by given Negan and his crew supernatural abilities/awareness. The side trip Negan took with Rick was just ridiculous and couldn’t have possibly ended in anything other than Rick’s death (immediately, or though being bitten). But instead, Negan just happened to pop up every time the script required him to after Rick had been painted into a corner, and never injured Rick despite firing blindly through the roof or around him - it was all just so contrived and ridiculous.
And by making this confrontation so elaborate and lengthy, they entire episode made very little sense within the context of the setting – why the hell would Negan tie up (and risk) hundreds of his guys for hours/days just to capture and “break” Rick and crew? They would just immediately kill these 7 people, especially after what they’d already done to Negan’s crew, and just walk into Alexandria after decapitating its leadership and have acquired another settlement.
In the comics, which are by no means a roadmap to plausible human reactions, the events made more sense and were more shocking as a result - there wasn’t the build-up or prolonged encounter - Rick and crew had previously run into a hostile Savior crew and defeated it on the road, but then was caught by surprise by Negan when resting for the night when taking a car from Alexandria to Hilltop - Negan did what he always did when meeting a new crew - killed one to make a point and cower the rest. Brief, unexpected, and shocking, and more effectively conveyed the dangers of the world and the fact that there were other people who were even more organized, numerous, and dangerous.
The TV show’s depiction of those events were so heavy-handed, so reliant on absurd coincidences and unlikely events, and so manipulative of the audience that I’m skeptical that the show can get back on track. I think Kirkman has too much influence and is forcing the show to follow the books too closely, but in an overly indulgent bloated manner.
Also don’t think Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a very good actor - even though I like him in stuff like Magic City and Watchmen-- a lot of Negan’s dialogue during the bashing scenes was stripped right from the comic and yet it felt flatter than it should have. Negan is actually a very interesting character in the comics, and often quite funny (when not being sadistic) - he has his own sense of honor too - not sure that JDM can deliver those lines effectively or convey the same nuance without seeming cartoonish.
I was surprised at the extent of the gore in the bashings - that was right at Noe’s Irreversible level and pretty unpleasant to see, but I applaud the producers for having the courage to go with that - the deaths of known characters have continued to get more gruesome and upsetting, which is a difficult feat to accomplish given how common death is on the show.
Finally, I think that there really was no reason not to show the victim in the season finale, and then have Darryl’s intervention and consequencial in the season premiere, which would have been less manipulative (and annoying to fans of the books) and yet made both episodes more shocking and given each victim a more distinct moment.