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The Walking Dead: Dead City Episode 4 Review – Everybody Wins A Prize


The Walking Dead: Dead City continues to make great use of The World’s Most Famous Arena as Negan confronts a face from his past.

Zeljko Ivanek as The Croat in The Walking Dead: Dead City episode 4, "Everybody Wins A Prize."
Photo: Peter Kramer/AMC

This The Walking Dead: Dead City review contains spoilers.

The Walking Dead: Dead City Episode 4

The idea that anyone could be too much of a psychopath for the Saviors is, honestly, hard to swallow. The first time we meet Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan on The Walking Dead, he introduces himself by bashing a couple of fan favorite characters to death. His chief lieutenant, Simon (Steven Ogg), is at least as bad as his boss. None of the Savior leadership were good people; at the time, the Saviors title seemed ironic. Now that Negan has been established a little better on The Walking Dead: Dead City, it’s easy to see just how things got so out of control. If Simon is the voice of reason, then things are too far gone to save.

It’s no wonder Maggie has such a grudge against The Croat (Zeljko Ivanek) for taking her son. He’s a less scrupulous version of Negan; if the opening scene didn’t make that obvious, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan stumbling across a teenage walker strapped to one of The Croat’s torture chairs does. The Saviors were, generally, kind to children. The Croat himself seems to be willing to allow defectors to join his group, but we’ve seen him in action and we’ve seen how he treats people who aren’t willing to follow along with the party line, and the end result is not a good omen for Hershel. The clock is ticking for him, thus the clock is ticking for Maggie. With every buraz raid, the group of survivors gathered around Amaia and Tommaso grows smaller and their urgent need to escape The Croat’s reign of terror grows larger.

There’s a certain efficiency to the way Eli Jorne’s series has developed. We get a strong, immediate introduction to the new characters; we learn what makes them tick early on. This isn’t necessary for Maggie or Negan, but The Croat’s introduction is strong, and throughout this episode, Zeljko Ivanek builds on that debut with very strong, specific choices. Even when The Croat is trying to be nice, he comes across as menacing. Even when he seems calm and reasonable, there’s something in his body language and expression (Ivanek has great crazy eyes) that suggests that he’s anything but.

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