The latest episode of The Walking Dead plummeted to the lowest ratings in America since its second season.
The AMC show, which began airing its 8th season last month, saw just under eight million viewers for the first time in over five years.
The latest season saw the declining numbers during the fifth episode of the season, which was named The Big Scary U, and had an estimated 7.85 million people tuning in within the key 18-49 demographic.
Plummeting: The latest episode of The Walking Dead plummeted to the lowest ratings in America since its second season
The last time an episode for The Walking Dead drew in under 8 million viewers was back in 2012 which its episode Better Angels, which registered 6.89 million viewers.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for The Walking Dead for further comment.
However, on an overall level, the ratings are still impressive and the last episode saw a feverish Father Gabriel locked in a cell at the The Saviors’ Sanctuary after joining forces with Negan and escaping from a trailer surrounded by walkers.
The two shared a bizarre scene during Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead that saw them making confessions to one another.
While Gabriel told Negan how he had locked his congregation out of the church when the end of the world began, Negan opened up about his first wife.
Dropping: The AMC show, which began airing its 8th season last month, saw just under eight million viewers for the first time in over five years
Low: The latest season saw the declining numbers during the fifth episode of the season, which was named The Big Scary U, and had an estimated 7.85 million people tuning in within the key 18-49 demographic
He told the priest: ‘My first wife was a real wife. My only real wife ’til death did us part. It was before this. I lied to her, I screwed around on her. She was sick and when she went it was during this. I couldn’t put her down. That is how I was weak. That is what I will confess.’
The episode titled ‘The Big Scary U’ began with a flashback to Gabriel praying inside his church.
Gabriel told God: ‘I might die. I very likely will die. I’m not asking to live. You’ve given me redemption and it’s that which makes me no longer fear death. But what I fear is a fruitless death and what I ask for, after you have given me so much, is purpose.’
The show then flashed back again to the day Rick’s group began their attack on the Saviors, with Gregory telling Negan and his men that he could persuade the Hilltop to stand down.
Odd couple: Gabriel Stokes teamed up with Negan during Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead as they escaped a trailer surrounded by walkers
Opening up: Negan gave a confession to Gabriel while they were holed up together
Prayer time: The episode opened with Father Gabriel praying in a flashback at his church
‘I don’t like killing people any more than you do,’ Gregory told Negan.
Negan replied: ‘I like killing people. I say it’s about killing the right people. You kill the right people at the right time, everything falls into place. Everybody’s happy.’
While Gregory told The Saviors he could help them, Negan questioned why, if his power was so great, he was not forewarned about a planned attack.
‘I think you’re playing both sides,’ he said. ‘I think you’re a thin-d***ed politician threading the needle with your thin, thin d***.’
‘I wasn’t aware of things until they were already in motion,’ Gregory assured him.
Things picked up again inside the trailer, where Gabriel and Negan found themselves locked inside at the end of the first episode of this season.
Offering help: Gregory offered to help The Saviors before the attack on The Sanctuary
Authority figure: Negan assured everyone they would continue on their mission to save people
Trailer trap: Gabriel and Negan were trapped in a trailer surrounded by walkers
There was a moment of confusion for viewers, when Negan knocked Gabriel to the floor and took his gun, but then helped him sit up and congratulated him on his ‘smart play’.
Asked why he stayed back to help Gregory, rather than escape from The Sanctuary, Gabriel said: ‘What I fear is a fruitless death. There had to be some reason I did what I did. Maybe this is the reason.’
‘What?’ Negan asked.
Smart play: Negan congratulated Gabriel for his smart move
‘I think I’m here to take your confession,’ Gabriel told him.
Back inside the Sanctuary, and unaware that Negan and Gabriel were locked inside the trailer, Regina told her fellow Saviors: ‘We have to assume Negan’s dead.’
A furious Simon retaliated: ‘I’m Negan and as I understand it, everyone in this room is. I realize there’s a lot of stress in the air, but just to clarify, are you saying you’re someone else Regina?’
Stressful situation: Simon was angry as The Saviors met without their leader Negan
‘No,’ she said.
While Dwight vowed to lead the Saviors out of their crisis, Simon said they needed to find the mole who led Rick’s group to attack.
Looking at former Alexandria resident Eugene, he said: ‘We find that subhuman coward that did this to us and we’re going to kill him very slowly in front of everyone here over the course of a few very long days.’
Slow death: The traitor among the group was going to be tortured and killed, Simon said
Back inside the trailer, Gabriel asked Negan to tell him his weakness
‘We may be dead soon,’ he said. ‘Wouldn’t you want to confess before all that happens? Wouldn’t you want absolution before that? Forgiveness? It costs nothing more than saying the truth aloud.’
After asking Negan if he wanted to confess to killing people and forcing people to work as slaves, he hit a nerve when he asked about his wife.
Nerve hit: Gabriel hit a nerve when he asked Negan about his wife
The priest asked: ‘Was there a first? One before all of this? A wife you promised to have and to hold, forsaking all others? One you told that lie to?’
Then, while Negan’s back was turned, he grabbed his gun back and locked himself inside a closet in the trailer.
Instead of using the gun to kill Negan, Gabriel agreed to work with him to escape the trailer, on the condition that he confess.
Escape plan: Negan and Gabriel struck a deal to escape the trailer together
After Negan opened up about his wife, the priest opened the door, held out the gun and said: ‘You’re forgiven’.
Negan punched him in the face and told him to keep his gun.
While Negan and Gabriel covered themselves with the innards of a dead walker and slowly emerged from the trailer, the Saviors found themselves surrounded by workers at the Sanctuary as tensions grew.
Covered up: Negan covered himself with zombie innards as they escaped
Close call: Walkers hung onto Negan as he and Gabriel left the trailer
Open mouth: An open-mouthed walker approached Negan with wide eyes
Dwight, trying to calm the situation down, told them: ‘We’re going to get through this. We just need some more time.’
The workers, however, complained about the lack of water and protection and demanded to know where Negan was.
Regina, shooting one of them dead, declared: ‘I’m Negan. Anyone else want a bullet?’
Calming presence: Simon ordered the workers to head back to their designated area
Right on cue, Negan appeared with Gabriel and the group dropped to their knees.
He told them: ‘I’m guessing a lot of you fine folks thought I was dead, chewed up, never to be crapped out again.
‘Well, here’s a little refresher on who the hell I am. I wear a leather jacket, I have Lucille and my nutsack is made of steel. I am not dying until I am damn good and ready.’
He’s back: Negan returned just in time and restored order at The Sanctuary
While tensions grew at The Sanctuary, they also rose between Rick and Daryl as the fan favorites disagreed about the best way forward.
After retrieving dynamite from the truck loaded with ammunition, Daryl said: ‘We know what we’ve got to do. Blow up the Sanctuary, let the walkers flood in and they’ll surrender. It’ll be done. We could end this by sundown.’
Rick, however, told Daryl he did not want to put the workers and their families at risk and vowed: ‘There’s a plan and everyone’s sticking to it.’
That’s dynamite: Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon unloaded dynamite from the truck
Blow it: Daryl suggested blowing up The Sanctuary but Rick disapproved
‘Not everyone,’ Daryl proclaimed. ‘Some of our people are dead, Rick. Negan and that other group, this is on them. If people die, it’s their fault, not ours.’
As Daryl marched off, Rick grabbed him and the pair wrestled on the floor until Rick threw the bag of dynamite into the truck.
They suddenly realized the vehicle was on fire and ran for cover while it exploded.
Blown up: The truck loaded with ammo and explosives burst into flames and exploded
In flames: Daryl and Rick watched the flames after the explosion
As they prepared to leave, Rick saw a helicopter in the sky.
Back at The Sanctuary, Negan gathered The Saviors and told them they needed to find out how the attack had been possible.
Eugene appeared to figure out that Dwight was the traitor among The Saviors.
Looking up: Rick looked up as he heard a sound overhead
Chopper sighting: A helicopter was spotted flying above the trees
Negan cornered Eugene after the meeting and told him : ‘You solve this thing with the bad smelling convention outside, I will make you very, very happy.
‘But even if you try your best and I know you try your best, but you don’t figure something out, I assure you, I will kill you quickly so you don’t have to see all the awful, horrific things that are going to go down in here when we run out of food and water.’
Eugene nodded when Negan asked if he could still count on him.
Allegiance check: Negan made sure he could still count on Eugene
At the end of the episode, Eugene knocked on Gabriel’s cell door to bring him supplies but found him ill and feverish inside.
Shaking and sweating, Gabriel told Eugene they had to get Maggie’s doctor out of The Sanctuary.
‘That’s why I’m here. There’s a reason we’re here,’ he said. ‘We have to get him out of here.’
Burning up: Gabriel was confined in The Sanctuary and burning up with fever in his cell