The last episode of “The Walker Dead” featured the long-anticipated start of the Negan War, the great post-apocalyptic conflict to rid the planet of the maddest, baddest, and more dangerous to know warlord ever to afflict the zombie-laden world. The episode was a classic study in how no plan survives contact with the enemy or, in this case, the overconfidence of a leader.

Some spoilers follow.

The first two mistakes made were by Rick. He not only underestimated Negan, who apparently has a pretty good intelligence network but ignored the possibility for treachery on the part of the Scavengers.

What was going to be a beautiful ambush on the part of the Alexandrians against the Saviors turned into betrayal as out heroes found Scavenger weapons pointed at the back of their heads and Negan launching into one of his long-winded soliloquies about how disappointed he was in Rick’s refusal to recognize that the only path resides in absolute submission.

The next mistake was Negan in overestimating how much he had turned Sasha. He had planned a theatrical moment in which he would open a coffin to reveal his prisoner to give Rick and company a choice, submit or the woman dies. Unfortunately, Sasha managed to get her hands on some poison and used it to fashion a big surprise for the warlord, killing herself and turning into a flesh eating zombie.

When she came out, chaos and mayhem ensued. However, Negan soon got the upper hand and had our heroes on their knees.

Negan made the last mistake of the episode by launching once again into a speech about what he was going to do to Carl and Rick and why and maybe it was all his fault by going too easy on his vassals. Rick stretched things out by offering defiance, which causes Negan to start talking about how astonished he was at the former deputy’s moxie.

All of this led to buying enough time for the armies of the Kingdom and the Hill Top to arrive, with a weaponized tiger, at least one guy on horseback, and King Ezekiel waving a sword and yelling as if he was King Hal at Agincourt. Negan and his bully boys showed their enemies their backs as they ran through smoke they made.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until October to see what happens next.