NaNoBlogMo, Day 8 – The Tale of Negan Duquette

I’ve been watching significantly more TV these days, mostly great older shows that I missed–Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Arrow, etc.

@snarke’s favorite is Grey’s Anatomy (when we watch new episodes together, there are rules concerning talking, bathroom breaks, and general movement). She’s watched the whole series several times, and I’m making my way through 293 back episodes. I’m quite enjoying it, though I still question how all these Sexy Doctors with Sexy Problems manage to get any actual work done at Seattle Grace.

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We’ve just started Season 3. Season 2 culminated in the death of Izzie’s fiance and her subsequent resignation.** She’s been baking muffins. SO many muffins.

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Not pictured: even MORE muffins.

**That episode aired more than 11 years ago, so I feel reasonably safe declaring this post spoiler-free.

The actor who played her love interest, Denny Duquette Jr., was a charming man with a failing heart. After several collapses and near-death experiences, he was scheduled to receive a new one from a donor. A problem arises, and Izzie has to lie to order to secure the heart for him. Doctor Burke, the show’s star cardiothoracic surgeon, is shot before he can arrive to perform the surgery. Izzie makes a series of incredibly risky decisions., during which Denny asks her to marry him. His heart transplant almost fails, but he finally, after all the trauma and depression and hope and fear, survives–only to be killed a few hours later by a stroke.

The ending of the Season 2 finale is incredibly sad, and it made me actually like “Chasing Cars,” and you truly sense Izzie’s pain and confusion about how (and if) she can ever move forward–but it’s all a little disconcerting for me.

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You see, Reader, Denny Duquette Jr. is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whom I know only as Negan on The Walking Dead.

Negan is a ferociously violent sociopath who exerts complete control over The Saviors, a terrorist group that forces other communities to provide them with food, medicine, and whatever other scarce necessities Negan chooses. The Saviors have several semi-autonomous outposts, each of which is operated by a lieutenant, but all swear fealty to the man with the barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat. He’s much more a cult figure than a leader.

The problem is that while Negan is brutal, cruel, and a completely despicable person, he’s also charismatic and can be funny, sarcastic, and even charming.

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Every time he appears on screen, something like this occurs:

Brain: OH NO, IZZIE, GET AWAY, IT’S NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGAN
Me: Nah, that’s just Jeffrey Dean Morgan doing his actor thing.
Brain: BUT WHAT IF THAT’S PART OF NEGAN’S PLAN? HE’S SO MANIPULATIVE
Me: That doesn’t make any sense. Denny and Izzie aren’t even in the same universe as–
Brain: OR ARE THEY
Me: Of course they’re not! And Denny’s a good guy. He wouldn’t–
Brain: WHAT IF THERE IS NO DENNY, ONLY NEGAN FAKING A BAD HEART
Me: OK, seriously, that’s ridiculous.
Brain: AND TOTALLY SOMETHING NEGAN WOULD DO
Me: N-No. He’s busy running the Saviors. And there is no zombie apocalypse on Grey’s.
Brain: THAT’S WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO THINK, SO YOU’LL BE OFF-BALANCE WHEN HIS PLAN COMES TOGETHER
Me: That’s…entirely reasonable.

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