Zombie Cliche Lookout: Dispensing with Niceties
There are a lot of different kinds of villains in zombie stories, and they all serve different roles. One of my favorites is the person who isn’t really a bad guy, but can’t quite hack it as a normal survivor and has to assert themselves in other ways. The go to example here is Cooper in Night of the Living Dead. There are, naturally, villains that are much more obviously bad as well. I already mentioned the biker gang from Dawn of the Dead, so let’s jump to another zombie mainstay: The Walking Dead.
On the show I have seen two major villains and a handful of smaller ones (the guys at Terminus, for instance). Our two main baddies, The Governor and Negan, contrast fairly nicely. The Governor being generally calm and forceful, where Negan is boisterous and crazy. Both have histories and goals that justify their villainy, and viewers can poke all sorts of holes in those justifications.
About this Episode:
I’m not sure if it’s entirely clear, especially after a comment in the previous episode, what’s going on in the background. Murphy’s friends are all on their knees, with Jess standing behind them with a gun. The threat is very clear: Murphy can behave, or be the cause of his buddies getting executed.
Discussion Question: Excuses for Bad Behaviour
I touched on this a bit in the Zombie Cliche Lookout, but people’s justifications for their villain-like behavior is something that always fascinates me. I especially like it when the excuse makes sense from a logical perspective, but a reasonable person can look at it and point out all the different ways they could have approached the problems without hurting other people. The villain simply doesn’t think this way.
That said, your mission today is to justify Ned, based on the little you know or can safely assume based on what’s happened in the comic thus far. Good luck.