The Walking Dead hasn’t quite put Fear The Walking Dead to sleep yet, but the franchise has already launched its first new spinoff, The Walking Dead: Dead City. Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan reprise their roles in this series, in which they (unwisely) journey into Manhattan to capture Maggie and Glenn’s son, Hershel. Overall, this season is a thrilling throwback, and in the premiere, we hear about the new “big bad,” known as The Croat. Who is he?
Well, we don’t know everything yet, obviously, since this is only the series premiere (“Old Acquaintances”), and heck, I’m simply happy that the series hasn’t decided to ship Maggie and Negan like a certain group of surely-joking viewers. Instead, they are moving straight into conflict with The Croat, who is portrayed by Željko Ivanel, seen below on the left.
As Maggie relates to Negan, she learned about The Croat when he descended upon her newest encampment, which is basically full of the Hilltop people but in a different location. He’s an old member of Negan’s crew, which Maggie soon figured out due to how she met Negan during Glenn’s death scene. The Croat made this association known by letting loose Negan’s old Savior whistle.
The look on Negan’s face when he hears this whistle? A mixture of shame and regret: “Oh. That Croat.”
As it turns out, The Croat was a Negan understudy of sorts. “Let’s just say that there were a lot of psychos in my crew back then,” the semi-reformed villain declared. “But he always stood out as being an exceptionally insane son of a bitch.” And here’s what Morgan previously told EW:
The Croat is an unwelcome blast from Negan’s past. “He is an underling of Negan’s from back in the day” reveals Morgan, “But he has taken the evil to places where not even Negan in his heyday has gone … Negan has born this monster in Željko’s character.”
Maggie lets Negan (who is also being sought by the Marshals as well) know that he has little choice but to help her find Hershel. At the end of the episode, we learn — when The Croat comes into view while threatening the imprisoned Hershel — that The Croat probably kidnapped Hershel to get to Negan.
“Did you ever meet the man who killed your father?” The Croat asks Hershel. “He lived among your mother’s people for years. Negan. What do you know about him?” And he seems like a true sadistic bastard, as we see when he seemingly lets another prisoner believe that he’s escaping, only to send him crashing from the top of a skyscraper into the walker-filled depths of the city. Surely, we’ll soon find out more about what The Croat really wants.
AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights.