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Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 12 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s take on Prison Reform: Can Negan change?

- Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

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Is Negan’s stay at Alexandria’s rusted, destitute jail cell just a modern-day pillory on the public square or meant for self reflection and penance?

The Walking Dead has gotten down on one knee and popped the question to viewers, “Do people change?” If you believe as Michonne that “No, people don’t change. Not really,” then any argument for letting Negan out for ‘good behavior’ becomes moot. Eye for an eye, Hammurabi’s code of law, lex talionis. There is no substitute, no action Negan can ever undertake to make up for his prior deeds from Michonne’s standpoint. It would take a literal emergency and severe undermanned defenses for it to be even plausible for her.

However, if you feel like Judith Grimes that the passage of time and circumstance changed her adopted mother, then Negan’s freedom gains liquidity. Shaped in the soft motion of water rather than the rigidness of stone. Can you marry into giving another chance to Negan knowing new potential instances of ruthlessness loom based on your answer? At the same time, matrimony could see a Negan in equilibrium, rehabilitated and reformed. An active asset to society rather than a living statue of deterrence.

Keep in mind, there is no correct answer for this subject. Yes or no, it’s purely case-by-case individual basis at best. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the arguments for and against keeping Negan locked away with only books as amenities.

Arguments against keeping Negan locked away:

Removal from society creates vacuum

By removing Negan, you’ve created a void for another figure to possibly rise in his place. Just because Negan lost his throne doesn’t mean the demand for what he provided vanishes into the wind. The people of Sanctuary loved Negan, even after being ousted from power, his grip on the people’s sentiments remained intact. The inequality in trade he claimed elsewhere assured them a richer, better quality of life. Not to mention, his code provided structure to a society on the brink of madness and chaos. Look back at Sanctuary residents’ growing discontent with Simon and The Saviors when Negan was temporarily missing-in-action.

Without Negan’s Savior whistle sending chilling fear across the land, Alpha and Beta have risen without opposition. Where the group might have been limited to a junkyard as The Scavengers with Negan to keep them in check, they’ve been allowed to develop uninhabited. People that might have become productive members of society in Sanctuary or elsewhere joined Alpha’s cause instead.

Reduction in cost of limited resources

By confining a healthy, strong individual from giving back to society, you’re essentially making them a net negative on resources. A drain on Alexandria’s already limited food and medical supplies as an isolated community. One that’s always on the edge of teetering on economic collapse. Really, all it takes is one random natural disaster for the entire utopia of Alexandria to come to a somber end. In Negan’s own words, he could help Michonne run the place if given the opportunity.

There is no denying Negan’s leadership ability, methods withstanding. By reintegrating Negan into society, you add leadership, defense and potential to both add resources and loyal people to the community.

Rehabilitation and Reform

What is mercy really? Negan referenced himself being kept alive as a public display of mercy from the great Rick Grimes on last week’s Walking Dead episode. If an individual appears sincerely ready to rejoin society, humbled and apologetic… Is it mercy to allow them a second chance to reform, or a crime against the families their deeds hurt for eternity?

Arguments for keeping Negan locked away:

Deterrence

Rick and Michonne’s not so subtle message through Negan’s jail sentence is to keep others from doing the same. By not seeking absolute vengeance and keeping Negan alive, Rick showed the whole new world that the sun was on the horizon. No longer would an eye for an eye based society where might makes right control the land.

Negan is a walking, talking symbol for deterrence. His four-by-four cell serving as a community wide memo on what happens when you break their laws. Arbitrary as they might be in the time of the apocalypse, Michonne’s charter was poised to bring about a new code of ethics.

Time served and Restitution

If the punishment should fit the crime as the old phrase goes… Is there any amount of time Negan can ever pay back to make up for what he’s done? Though Maggie once said the Negan she knew was already gone upon seeing him, it’s doubtful she’d want him to walk free. Even if he can make up with physical labor through willing restitution, those hurt might see any flexibility as reward. Michonne even wanted his window to the world closed off last episode (“Guardians“). There might be no emotional restitution Negan can ever provide tangible compensation for.

Retribution

Negan’s jail sentence in Alexandria didn’t arise out of coincidence, it’s exact retribution for the lives of Abraham, Glenn and countless others lost in the war. Although Rick ultimately didn’t go through his verbal eye for an eye promise to Negan upon vanquishing The Savior monarch, he still took away everything he had.

Would you let Negan out of jail? Tell The Natural Aristocrat in the comment form below!

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Lodge 49

TWD’s Pollyanna McIntosh debuts in Lodge 49’s Season 2 Premiere this Monday

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Lodge 49 - Clara (Pollyanna McIntosh) and Connie Wright (Linda Emond) in Season 2. Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The Walking Dead’s Pollyanna McIntosh officially makes her Lodge 49 debut as Clara mid-episode on this Monday’s Season 2 Premiere on AMC.

Calling all Walking Dead Jadis / Anne fans, Pollyanna McIntosh is back on AMC Television this Monday (8/12)! McIntosh plays the posh British emissary Clara who meets Connie Clark on Lodge 49’s Season 2 Premiere. Clara appears high society and clean-cut, a definite contrast when juxtaposed against her junkyard self on TWD. The same when contrasted with her recent reprisal as The Woman in Darlin’, even her real life English accent is intact on Lodge 49. It’s honestly astonishing how a different accent can recharacterize and change perception of an individual instantly… Before you even get to know them! Makes you think.

While The Natural Aristocrat has to be mum on the finer details of this Monday’s Lodge 49 Season 2 Premiere… You can be guaranteed without any spoilers that Pollyanna McIntosh is seen at the half way point in the episode. In the Lodge 49 First-Look Photos for Season 2, McIntosh’s Clara and Connie Clark appear to be fast friends.

Lodge 49 Season 1 finale recap for Connie Clark

In Lodge 49’s Season 1 finale, Scott Miller revealed to Ernie that Connie has been suffering from brain seizures following their tussle. Connie confirmed to Ernie over the phone that her medical condition was indeed true but said, ‘not to worry.’ That she knows her clock is ticking but so is everybody else’s. Based on this, it’s likely Connie is growing open with revealing her medical state to others. Will she divulge the fine print to Clara or merely hint at it?

By the looks of their AMC photo, it seems a bond between Clara and Connie develops, whether on the Season 2 Premiere or in the future.

Pollyanna McIntosh’s upcoming films

Pollyanna McIntosh was originally confirmed by Deadline for Lodge 49’s second season back on February 27, 2019. Outside of Lodge 49 and this summer’s Darlin’, McIntosh has been announced for an upcoming, unnamed Walking Dead film with Rick Grimes, horror Western film The Moonshine Gang of Cheyenne (with Steven Ogg), thriller Revenge Ride, and German horror film Deathcember.

Get our Lodge 49 Season 2 Premiere live stream details, including a sneak peek of the episode! Catch up on Lodge 49’s first season on Amazon.

Be sure to check out our exclusive Pollyanna McIntosh interview on her film Darlin’ featuring her fellow TWD cast mates.

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Fear the Walking Dead

Austin Amelio talks Dwight’s return at Split Screens Festival (Interview)

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Austin Amelio as Dwight in Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green / AMC
Photo Credit: Ryan Green / AMC

The Natural Aristocrat spoke with Fear the Walking Dead’s soon to debut Austin Amelio (Dwight) at NYC’s IFC Center during Split Screen Festival.

Austin Amelio is about to make his Fear the Walking Dead official debut and relishing the opportunity to create ‘something deeper’ with Dwight. Amelio was in the Big Apple along with fellow Fear cast mates for the Season 5 Premiere at New York’s IFC Center and living in the moment. The Natural Aristocrat initially asked Austin off-camera how happy he was Dwight got to live on in Fear and didn’t get killed off by Daryl after all… Which Austin replied comedically deadpan, “Careful, Scott Gimple could be around here somewhere,” (shifting eyes from side to side) drawing laughs from Gimple and everyone around close by.

Austin would later comment at Split Screens Festival Fear the Walking Dead panel that when he was told he was riding with Gimple he was worried about having ‘the talk.’ The character end talk to be exact. Fear castmate Colman Domingo remarked, ‘Well you still have to ride in the same car with him back!’ which brought big laughs from the rest of the cast. The Walking Dead star and former Daryl Dixon rival discussed the initial pressure of being on the grand stage in the role, relaxing more now, and if he thinks he’s ever getting that vest back…

Watch the interview video above or read the full transcript below!

Interview with Austin Amelio on Dwight

The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: Austin, how does it feel to transverse and do your own crossover? The first semi-villain to come over to Fear the Walking Dead!

Austin Amelio: I’m really excited about it because I get to keep playing with this character and create something a little deeper with him. So it’s been nice.

We spoke off-camera about how you’re afraid of Scott M. Gimple over there killing your character off!

Always!

(Gimple laughs in the background)

Are you guys always watching your back when he’s around?

Of course, it’s part of the show! (laughs) Whenever you’re turning the script pages, and you see a walker, you think “Oh no! This could be the episode where I go!”

How do you feel your character has changed over this season?

It’s changed a lot, that’s about all I can say. I don’t want to talk about it too much or give it away… But he leaves on a pretty emotional note and the troubles rise up on the show I’m on now.

Do you feel you prepare differently after you’ve gotten experience on The Walking Dead than when you first came on the show, acting wise?

Oh, a little more relaxed now. I was pretty stressed out the first couple of years but after playing the guy for a while… I just sort of sunk into what he’s about. So yeah, I’m not as stressed out anymore.

Why do you feel you were stressed out?

It was just such a big thing for me, it was a big show… It’s not like it’s just your grandma and grandpa watching, it’s millions of people. There’s a little pressure with that. But yeah, I’m just sort of relaxing now.

I’m wondering where you’re going to go forward with your career. Are you getting offers to do movies now in-between or after Fear?

No idea, I just take it day-by-day. This business is pretty unpredictable. So it’s just day by day and if something comes around and I jive with it, then great. Sort of where I’m at, no pressure.

My last question is… You ever going to get that vest from Daryl back?

(smiles)I don’t know. I think he took that for good! (laughs) I think it’s gone.

Thanks man!

Absolutely, thank you!

Be sure to follow Austin Amelio (@austin_amelio) on Twitter!

Check out The Natural Aristocrat’s interview with Fear the Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo ahead of Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 5 sophomore episode tonight!

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The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead #TBT: Negan asks Daryl ‘Who are you?’

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The Walking Dead #TBT - Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in Season 7 Episode 3 "The Cell" - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

On today’s Walking Dead #TBT, we reminiscence about the time Negan had but a simple question for ole Daryl Dixon, “Who are you?”

Picture Daryl Dixon laying helpless on the ground like a maimed buck freshly hit with a round. Crossbow-less and therefore dehorned, being kept alive against its will, past an honorable expiration date. Filth highlights every corner as a bittersweet symphony blares across the room’s speakers on repeat. Dante’s Inferno playing a Liquorice-scented encore again and again with no crowd request. “We’re on Easy Street and it feels so sweet!” The only ticket out suddenly flips ajar, it’s rival Dwight serving up lunch sans the chef hat. Dog food. Yet, Daryl has eaten worse and indulges with no hesitation.

The Walking Dead’s “The Cell” asked viewers the question, does dignity have a price? How many in the same mentally deformed situation as Daryl would have thrown in the towel? For as much fan backlash as Eugene later took on social media… He did what 99% of people would have done. It was the mirror reflection back that haunted viewers and brewed resentment. An uncomfortable looking glass. The gritty reminder they would not rise above either given the predicament.

They too would likely say whatever a despotic regime demanded. Not even paying empty lip service but fully embracing its foundations. Engaging in the belief and rationale… That you are Negan.

Negan’s juxtaposition of Dwight to Daryl

From the onset of “The Cell” Dwight is seemingly living the good life in the heart of Sanctuary. Luxury food, premium items like cigarettes, his own secure room and board. Not to mention the honor and respect of being a prime-time Savior lieutenant. A made man one can say from the outside compared to his Alexandria-bred counterpart. Demeaned, dehumanized, stripped of all decency.

Negan recalling the origins of Dwight’s membership into Sanctuary to Daryl was obviously no small talk. It was meant to convey that the past can stay in their rearview mirror. Negan has always been about looking forward and maximizing his roster’s talent to the benefit of the team. The Savior team that is.

Telling the plight of Dwight and how he sacrificed his loving marriage was meant to foster two goals. Willing camaraderie to the fact that the team always comes first and obvious intimidation of what can happen when a member falls out of line. In Negan’s words’ you know how Lucille is a stickler for the rules!’ Thus Dwight had to give up half of his reflection as punishment for abandonment of the rules.

Easy Street requires Easy Words…

At the same time, Negan promised rewarding good team-oriented behavior. Those who fall under the umbrella of Negan enjoy the grander things in life. They get to see daylight whereas Daryl sees walls. They get to enjoy dijon so-to-speak while Daryl receives tinned pet food. Even rising up the hierarchy is an option on the table for Daryl if he just speaks the all mighty exit words.

The defining pardon that will end Daryl’s hardship and bring the beam of the sun through a newly built window. Emphasis on new. Negan believes in forming new relationships, new partnerships and new team seasons. A one time rival can become a teammate through roster trade or free agency to Negan. Last season was last season, there’s a new championship to build towards this year.

“Who are you?” Negan asks expecting to hear the answer he’s heard a thousand times before. Yet, one strays. This buck still has the vigor of life in it and is willing to endure. Its memory of a greener horizon where it lives free intact… Even through excruciating pain. The specter of riverbeds, fertile soil, and most importantly, its treasured herd. The wounds might fester but this buck will never give the desired signal to its captor.

“Daryl.”

Fun Fact: “The Cell” was penned by current Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang! The Kubrick-esque episode was directed by Alrick Riley, who also directed episode 13, “Bury Me Here” in season 7.

Check out The Walking Dead #TBT: Nicholas says ‘Thank You’ to Glenn Rhee to revisit more ground of the show’s all-time mementos.

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