“Doma Smo,” the title of The Walking Dead: Dead City
’s final episode, means “We are home” in Croatian, and the episode finds all the characters back home, either literally or figuratively. Hershel (Logan Kim) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) return to the Bricks, Perlie Armstrong (Gaius Charles) goes back to New Babylon, and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) becomes, for the second time in his life, the leader of a group of survivors. The Croat (Željko Ivanek), introducing the Dama (Lisa Emery) and Negan to each other, says it is like “mommy and daddy coming together,” and thus he, too, finds himself “home.”
At San Diego Comic Con on July 21, a second season of Dead City
was announced, and when I watched the finale some weeks ago, there was no mistaking the creator’s intention that the series continue.
The episode is a collection of open ends, the season itself revealed as a kind of prologue to a show in which Negan becomes the swaggering, sarcastic king of New York, giving Morgan the opportunity to do what he does best in the role. But the character’s redemption, systematically and at times clumsily reinforced during Dead City
’s first season, remains intact. Negan is visibly repelled by the Croat’s recollections of their days together in the Saviors, and he responds uncooperatively to the Dama when they meet…until she gives him the keys to a box containing one of Hershel’s toes, sliced off by the Croat on her command. The boy grew close to her during his captivity, it seems, and he told her about Negan killing his father. “I could sense in the rest of this story,” she informs Negan, “what he himself couldn’t: that his father’s killer might feel remorseful, responsible, for the boy whose family he destroyed.” If Negan will not work for her running New York, she indicates, she will further harm the boy. She has read him correctly: unable to tolerate that idea, he appears to concede to her demand.