Who Let Negan Out of His Cell on ‘The Walking Dead’?


Tonight, The Walking Dead returns with its mid-season 9 premiere. One thing you’ll notice right away is that Negan is no longer locked in a cell in Alexandria. But do you remember why and who let him out? Read on for a quick refresher.

During the midseason finale episode in November, Negan was able to get out of his cell. Considering how dangerous he was in the past, this seemed like a big oversight. Near the end of the episode, Negan discovered that his cell was unlocked. It was a shock, and pretty unexpected.

But how did that happen? Whose mistake was this?

If you weren’t watching closely, you might wrongly think that he was let go by a Savior who snuck into Alexandria. Or perhaps you might think that he was let go by a “Whisperer” who is quickly gearing up to be the new big enemy of the second half of the season. But none of those guesses would be correct.

It was Gabriel who unlocked Negan’s cell. He made another big mistake. Here’s how it all went down.

Gabriel got really mad at Negan during the midseason finale. They had a long talk, and Negan was able to twist things around to get under Gabriel’s skin. (Remember how he convinced Maggie not to kill him in an earlier episode?) Well, this time, Gabriel was angry that he missed out on going to The Hilltop to see Rosita after she was injured because he had to stay and “babysit” Negan in his jail cell. Then he got so mad that he left in a rush of anger, slamming the jail cell behind him and not locking it.

That was a big mistake.

Some viewers thought that a guard or someone would catch Gabriel’s oversight, but they apparently didn’t. Negan didn’t even realize what had happened at the time. So in theory, we could also blame Negan’s escape on whichever guards were left in charge of Negan’s cell. But who bears the ultimate responsibility: Gabriel or the guard?

In case you don’t remember, this isn’t the first time that Gabriel has made a mistake like this. In the Season 5 finale, Gabriel went out into the woods alone, and left the gate open when he returned to Alexandria. As a result, the city was invaded by walkers. You would think after that, Gabriel would be more careful from now on.

Gabriel even purposefully betrayed the group another time. Gabriel told Deanna that Rick and his group were “bad people” back when they first arrived at Alexandria and Deanna was in charge.

Gabriel had just recently regained a lot of fans’ respect, becoming a liked character again, when he made this mistake in the midseason finale. So can anyone even trust Gabriel now? Probably not.

Let us know what you think about Gabriel’s mistake by tweeting the author of this story or commenting on a Reddit discussion here.  You can stay updated on new stories about The Walking Dead by joining the email list here and choosing the “Scifi and Fantasy TV” category.