Monday Memo: Negan comes for your guns on ‘Walking Dead,’ and ‘Westworld’ … wow

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) bullies Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of Alexandria on Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead.”
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) bullies Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of Alexandria on Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead.” AMC

On Sunday, we glimpsed what life is going to be like under the tyrannical rule of an unabashed bully.

And if you thought this was about President-elect Donald Trump’s “60 Minutes” interview, well, shame on you.

No, we’re talking about Negan on “The Walking Dead,” of course. And we could just as well be talking about Ford on “Westworld,” because that show took a bit of a turn on Sunday, too.

Here are our brief recaps of weekend TV, KC concerts and our weekly look ahead at the good stuff.


Warning: There be spoilers ahead.

▪ “Westworld”: Wow, wow, wow. It’s not very often the internet gets something right, but they nailed it on “Westworld.” The show opened with a flashback of Bernard reading more “Alice in Wonderland” to his dying son, and it ended with the revelation that Bernard is himself a host. The revelation comes at a shocking cost, and we’ll leave it at that. Now we just have to wait and see if Bernard is a replica of Arnold.

Elsewhere, Elsie is missing, Delores and William rendezvous on the nitro express, Theresa and the board reveal to Ford that the hosts have the potential to harm the guests, and Maeve tells Felix she wants to escape, threatening to kill them if they don’t help her.

As Ford, Anthony Hopkins is darn near full-on Hannibal Lecter in this episode. His Emmy awaits. In an interview with showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Variety discovers they didn’t tell Jeffrey Wright that Bernard was a host until the second episode. More here.

▪ “The Walking Dead”: OK, show of hands: Who’s tired of Negan’s crap already? That guy suuuuucks. (And Jeffrey Dean Morgan is chewing the scenery a little too much, in our opinion.)

Negan and the Saviors showed up in Alexandria on Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” so they might do their whole grasshoppers-and-the-ants schtick. Stealing mattresses. Taking the guns. Even threatening to take away Ingrid’s balloons. Plus, Negan took the opportunity to show off how he’s whipped Daryl into submission (as if Rick’s acquiescence weren’t ample enough evidence). And they sent Rosita into the woods to get Daryl’s motorcycle.

The whole situation looks incredibly hopeless. If only they knew a guy with a tiger who might be able to help them out. Next week, it looks like we find out what happened to Maggie, and we witness the return of Jesus. Christian Serratos tells the Hollywood Reporter her character, Rosita, is on the warpath here.

▪  “Saturday Night Live”: Speaking of “The Walking Dead,” if you missed “Saturday Night Live,” you missed the best cold open, monologue and digital short in years.

Dave Chappelle took a bat to some of his beloved “Chappelle Show” characters (Our favorite: The return of Lil Jon. “WHAT?! OK … !!!”), and his monologue landed several punches on a lot of targets.

If you haven’t abandoned Facebook since the election, you’ve probably seen Kate McKinnon’s emotional rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Her performance again proves that song is appropriate for nearly any occasion (except for the sex scene in “Watchmen,” still the worst song choice in cinema history).

Weekend reviews

▪ After a long and emotional week, KC favorite Alejandro Escovedo came onstage Saturday at the Garage at Knuckleheads and said, “I just need to rock really hard tonight.” And he did. The Star’s music writer Timothy Finn was there, and his review of the show is here.

▪ Tim also penned an ode to Leonard Cohen, who died late last week. “It was a life full lived, and he leaves behind a trove of great music and memorable words. But in a year that has taken an inordinate number of music legends from us, a lot of us weren’t ready for another one to go.” The full piece is here.

▪ Music correspondent Bill Brownlee took in the Blue Oyster Cult show at the VooDoo on Saturday. He wrote, “The entirety of the rock band’s 90-minute set felt like a defiant celebration of a bygone era.” And, yes, there was plenty of cowbell. Brownlee’s review of the show is here.

▪ Classical correspondent Libby Hanssen reviewed the Bach Aria Soloists’ “intimate and engaging” “Notes & Letters” performance Saturday at Kirk Hall. The full review is here.

On the way to KC

▪ London-based party band Skinny Lister plays the Riot Room on Thursday. Tickets are $13 in advance. More info at

▪ One of the finest bands in KC, the Grisly Hand, plays Knuckleheads on Friday for an album release party. The band has pressed 500 vinyl copies of “Hearts & Stars,” which will be available at the show. Tickets are $12 in advance. More info at,

▪ Country bro Kip Moore plays the Uptown on Saturday. Tickets to the officially sold-out show were $25 in advance. More info at

KC Stars

▪ For those of you who can’t get enough of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, don’t forget that the two-hour finale of “Catching Kelse” airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on E! The episode promises to show a whole lot of KC.

New this week

▪ Movies: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; “Bleed for This”; “The Edge of Seventeen”; “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”

▪ Music: Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”; Miranda Lambert, “The Weight of These Wings”; Metallica, “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct”; Thee Oh Sees, “An Odd Entrances”

▪ Video games: “The Walking Dead: A New Frontier”; “Watchdogs 2”

▪ Video: “The Beatles Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years”; “Finding Dory”; “Better Call Saul: Season 2”

David Frese: 816-234-4463, @DavidFrese