The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Everybody Wins a Prize

Invading Madison Square Gardens to kill the Croat and grab Hershel was never going to be a simple task.

The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4 dialed up the suspense as Maggie, Negan, Pearlie, Tomasso, Ginny, Amaia, and the others quite literally faced their worst fears as the mission went awry.

The most surprising aspect of the hour is that Tomasso and Amaia didn’t realize Negan killed Luther, but I guess the series is saving that bombshell for further down the line.

The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Everybody Wins a Prize

The pair have put their trust in Negan, despite his prior association with the Croat, so they will be pissed when they learn the truth.

This is assuming they both don’t perish in the battle against the horde of walkers they now have to face. Tomasso’s faux-death was just that.

The Croat and His Nail Gun - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

The Walking Dead showed Glen’s insides torn out of him, only for it to be explained away in the next episode as him pulling someone on top of him and hiding under a dumpster.

If any franchise can lead you to believe someone’s dead, it’s The Walking Dead.

Hey, Neegs? Um… We got a problem. I told him to kibosh that shit. Said you gave the order, but you know he don’t listen to me. I mean, you know, I’m not gonna say I told you so. I’m not that kind of guy, but certain folks, a lot of folks are saying it’s time to rein his ass in. Invest more authority in, you know, someone not unlike…


Truthfully, I’d be mad if Tomasso or Amaia died because they’ve both proven to be people with many stories to tell, so I hope they make it off the island and thrive in the wider TWD universe.

Maggie gearing up to tell Negan something before changing her tune when the penny dropped that he murdered Luther was the ultimate tease for the final two episodes of The Walking Dead: Dead City.

Where's My Son?! - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Maggie’s sentiments about many things haven’t added up since her return on The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 1, including her telling Negan the Hilltop had to move because of Negan working with the Whisperers on The Walking Dead Season 10.

At the end of The Walking Dead Season 11, the Hilltop was thriving, so there’s a case to be made that Maggie isn’t being as open about how she’s the leader of this revamped iteration of her former home.

Maggie and Negan had a significant breakthrough on The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 3, so it’s disconcerting that Maggie’s opinion of Negan would change the moment she learned of his crime.

No matter how you look at it, Negan had to kill Luther, or he would have been killed first. Luther wasn’t taking no for an answer because he worried about what trouble Negan would bring their way.

Hiding Out - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Negan has had time to reflect on his actions, and while it’s hard to take this latest chapter’s attempts at redeeming him seriously, it’s clear there’s someone who spent several years of his life in a morally grey area.

Croat: Negan, we did it. The girl, she confessed. She was sent by the King, exactly like we–
Simon: He said to let her walk! He gave a direct order.
Croat: Negan, you know, these things… my process, it takes time.
Simon: Your process?
Croat: Yes, Simon, my process. Who determined the location of the hidden arms cache at the Hilltop?
Simon: I would’ve found that shit.
Croat: Oh, really? Your keen sense of observation. Your emotional intelligence.
Simon: Emoti-blah, blah, blah, this is what I’m talking about, Negan. Usin’ these highfalutin words to cover up what we all know you really are. A Slavic, psychopathic nutjob.
Croat: Oh my god, I refuse to participate in these childish conversations. Simon: Kids… KIDS .. is a line we do not cross. We all know that.
Negan: Enough.
Croat: Buraz, I know you understand. We had to be sure.

You can also only apologize so many times for your past actions before you begin to resent the people who won’t accept that apology.

There’s a good chance Negan is looking at taking down the Croat as another shot at redemption, whether he’d admit it or not.

Negan knows how the Croat’s mind works and how this terrifying man will try to lure him into a false sense of security before striking.

On Their Way to Madison Square Garden - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Željko Ivanek is truly chilling in this role as this man who thinks his worldview should be inflicted on everyone else or their lives aren’t worth living.

The Croat understood how Negan’s mind worked and was thinking multiple steps ahead when he left a series of traps for the gang as they invaded Madison Square Garden.

Watching the zombies pour in from every single entrance was terrifying because it successfully knocked the wind out of the gang. They went into this with a clear plan in which they thought they’d take the Croat by surprise.

Unfortunately, the Croat has eyes and ears everywhere, so he’s not the type to have the wool pulled over his eyes.

Sharpening Knives - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

With his grip on the city tightening, it will be fun to see how he navigates trying to locate Negan, Pearlie, and everyone else who evaded capture.

The Croat: Heh. Nothing to be afraid of! You’re safe, Negan. It’s only me. Negan! My brother! Buraz!
Negan: Oh, I see you have their weapon of choice. Truce. No? You know… I heard what happened at that bank. It sounded like your handiwork. You assumed I wanted revenge. tіt for tat. So you found common cause with your new friends. You blew off my ear! So what? I have another! Where is Lucille? Negan: She’s gone.
Croat: She broken? One too many hits to the heads, eh?

Negan’s first meeting with the Croat after all those years was intense. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was on another level as he played this more vulnerable version of Negan.

Obviously, the only thing on Negan’s mind was finding Hershel and reuniting him with Maggie, but I can’t lie; my jaw hit the floor when Pearlie was the person the Croat brought along to the party.

It’s rare for a franchise on the air this long to deliver genuine surprises, but “Everybody Gets a Prize” was a nail-biting hour that sent things in an exciting direction.

Negan Reflects - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Pearlie almost being thrown to his death, only to be saved by Negan, was another satisfying development, but Negan won’t take too kindly to Pearlie wanting to turn him in.

If Pearlie’s words at the beginning of The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 are true, he has a family to return to.

Anyone else who gets in his way will be collateral damage, but then again, he’d probably look strong by handing Negan to his superior.

My best guess here is that Negan and Pearlie will be forced to work together to escape the city and will make an alliance when they understand what they’re both fighting for.

Taking the Big Apple By Storm - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Maggie was in a variety of wild locations on this excellent hour, but did anyone expect her to make a comment to Negan about trying to throw her to her death on The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 1?

I saw Jerome on the mainland. He told me about the war with the Hilltop, the Kingdom… Alexandria. I should have been there. I can only imagine the damage Simon caused. He never listened… never really listened to you. It’s okay. It’s okay you lost the Sanctuary, ’cause I have built a new one. And we’ll keep going. We’ll build something bigger, stronger! The whole island will become our sanctuary, fuelled by the death in its bowels.


She had to remember it the moment they went into the subway tunnels, right?

Despite Maggie’s issues with Negan and her mission to save her son, it was a great show of character how she paused her mission to secure Ginny’s safety.

Maggie probably got the fright of her life when she realized Ginny was on the island because it probably didn’t cross her mind that the youngster escaped the new Hilltop.

What Are You Doing Here? - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Maggie probably had questions about whether her people were still alive, but instead, she had to think quickly because the stadium was filling up with the undead.

One wrong move could have sealed both her and Ginny’s fates.

Venturing into the tunnels shouldn’t lead to much excitement because it has to be worse than up top.

What are your thoughts on the flashback to the Croat’s days at the Sanctuary?

Tomasso - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 4

Are you buying the retconning about Negan, the Sanctuary, and them not harming kids?

What’s your take on Maggie telling Negan she had something to tell him?

Hit the comments.

The Walking Dead: Dead City continues Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC and AMC+.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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