Walking Dead Character Returns in TWD: Dead City Cameo

Warning: This discussion contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: Dead City season 1 episode 4. There are certain boundaries that should never be crossed, and those boundaries were shattered in Sunday's "Everybody Wins a Prize" episode of The Walking Dead: Dead City. In the previous week, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) shared with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) the pivotal moment when he realized that the Croat (Željko Ivanek) was "a dangerous force that needed to be eliminated." It occurred when the Croat disregarded a direct order to release a girl captured by the Sanctuary, firmly believing she was a scout for the Kingdom. This belief led him to mercilessly torture and ultimately kill his captive.

During Sunday's episode, we are transported back to the days when Negan ruled as the leader of the Saviors, sporting his trademark leather jacket and wielding his infamous baseball bat. As he casually jots down notes about "deceased troublemakers" in a notebook, his loyal second-in-command, Simon (Steven Ogg), enters the room.

"Hey, Neegs," Simon exclaims, "we've got ourselves a predicament." The predicament revolves around the Croat, who defied a relayed order to neutralize the drifter they discovered taking shelter in a car a few miles away from the Sanctuary. "I won't say I told you so. I'm not that kind of person," the burly man with a mustache asserts. "But there are a lot of people out there suggesting it's time to rein him in. Allocate more authority to, you know, someone similar to..."

However, before Simon can proclaim himself as the second-in-command, the Croat swings open the door to his interrogation room, eager to brag about breaking the girl who confessed to being sent by King Ezekiel. "He instructed us to let her go," Simon barks. "He issued a direct order."

The Croat argues that his "method" requires sufficient time. It's a technique that previously led to the successful discovery of a concealed weapons stash at the Hilltop, a fact that Simon dismisses with a smirk, saying, "I could have found that stuff myself."

As Simon taunts the Croatian, referring to him as a "deranged Slavic lunatic," Negan, who is usually talkative, remains silent. He can only hang his head in dismay when he sees a young girl, her body covered in blood, securely tied to a chair. Simon approaches menacingly. "Children—CHILDREN!—are off-limits," he growls. "We all know that."

Ironically, Simon himself would later cross that very line on The Walking Dead. He ordered the massacre of the Scavengers and every male above the age of 10 from Oceanside. Years later, during the war involving the Kingdom, Hilltop, and Alexandria, Negan's once-loyal subordinate grew increasingly defiant. After attempting to overthrow Negan as the leader of the Saviors, Negan ultimately strangled Simon and displayed his reanimated body, chained to the fence outside the Sanctuary.

New episodes of The Walking Dead: Dead City premiere on Thursdays on AMC+ and Sundays on AMC.

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