Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched The Walking Dead’s “The Key.”
Tensions have been compounding within Negan’s Saviors, with a chasm of mistrust having formed between all of the higher-ups, and “The Key” may very well have taken the group to the point of no return, with Simon and Dwight agreeing to leave Negan for dead in order to take on more power with the Saviors. Dwight is obviously just along for whatever ride keeps him alive, but Simon clearly has a wealth of intentions that go against Negan’s wishes. So, assuming Negan survives his potentially deadly encounter with Jadis, he may be returning to face a slapdash mutiny. And we can’t wait.
Simon already knows he’s living on borrowed time after having ordered his group to slaughter Jadis’ entire junkyard community, so ensuring a future where he doesn’t have to pay for that crime is priority number one for him. At this point, he doesn’t seem capable or ready to take physical action against Negan himself, but he sees nothing wrong with letting nature take its course whenever Negan’s car got ambushed. That reaction wasn’t inherently shocking, since we’ve been led to believe Simon’s loyalty is on its wobbliest legs, but it’s surprising in the sense that he’s willing to assume leadership in full view of so many remaining Saviors without more concerns being raised.
Whenever Simon railroaded Dwight into riding with him in the convoy early on, it looked like he would give Dwight the third degree about loyalty issues, and the double-crossing Savior’s nervousness implied he was also preparing for the worst. Instead of a rain of doubt and suspicions, though, Simon amusingly wanted to “get weird,” which basically meant checking Dwight’s temperature over Negan’s warning-based strategies for handling Rick’s group. Not wanting to kick up dust, Dwight laid low and let Simon wax on about how he doesn’t think Team Family will ever back down and accept Negan’s rules, and that the only smart strategy now is scorching the earth and getting a fresh start.
Dwight, who was staring into Tara’s gun barrel during his last interaction with the good guys, likely doesn’t want Simon to get his way, if only because Dwight isn’t a monster willing to unleash a mass genocide upon the Alexandrians, Hilltop folks and Kingdom survivors. But as it was implied when he was fiddling with his wedding ring, Dwight’s main allegiance is to his wife Sherry, so we can probably count on him thwarting Simon’s murderous plans to stay on Rick & Co.’s good side and bide time until he is somehow able to reconnect with Sherry. We’re really not sure how that would go down, though.
Also, assuming the Hilltop attack is still the next item on the list for the Saviors, how long with the remaining bunch stay in line behind Simon instead of determining their real leader’s fate? Despite the vocal support, it doesn’t seem like everyone has the same forced respect for Simon as they do for Negan, so we’ll no doubt see further in-fighting while waiting for the leather-clad leader to return to his minions. And I’m going to guess that Laura will show up at the MOST inopportune moment to reveal Dwight’s duplicitous actions, putting his life in major jeopardy. And that Eugene will…hmm…probably continue being a frustrating wanker.
Will Simon actually sustain a noteworthy reign atop the Saviors’ ranks, or will Negan end up teaming with Jadis to take Simon out of the picture once and for all? We can’t wait to see what happens next when The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are on the way, head to our midseason premiere schedule.