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The Walking Dead “Service” 

The Walking Dead “Service”
Photo Credit: AMC

Rick and the members of Alexandria are no longer in charge of their lives on The Walking Dead. Their lives belong to Negan, and no one is happy about that…except for Negan of course.

The Saviors paid an early visit to make sure everyone knew their place and to test them over and over again. “Service” was an extended episode that didn’t need to be stretched out. Before I get into my criticism, let’s discuss Negan’s unwelcome house call.

Photo Credit: AMC
Photo Credit: AMC

Life in Alexandria has changed since Rick and the group returned without Glenn, Abraham, and Daryl. Michonne took off with a shotgun hidden in the fireplace for some target practice in a field away from the compound. Unfortunately, Michonne’s steady hand and mind have been compromised by their friends’ deaths.

Negan and his crew made their way to the Alexandria gates, just as Spencer and Rosita were ready to head out on a run. Spencer made the dumb mistake of asking who Negan was, and he is quickly turning into my least favorite character on this show.
Rick was horrified to see Daryl in such a horrible condition, and he wasn’t permitted to speak to him. As if it weren’t enough for The Saviors to show up early to the compound, Dwight took it upon himself to take all of Rosita and Spencer’s guns, water, and the hat on Rosita’s head. He then instructed them to retrieve Daryl’s motorcycle.
Negan also tasked Rick with the lovely opportunity to hold onto Lucille during his visit. While many audience members on the couch were probably screaming for Rick to bash his skull in, Rick knew better. Everything Negan does is a test. He was probably hoping Rick would try to pull a fast one on him just so he could have the pleasure of killing another one of Rick’s people.
Negan’s rules can change at any time, and half their shit can turn into all their shit if it so pleases him. As The Saviors were taking mattresses out of homes, one of Negan’s crew showed him the video footage of Rick when he first arrived in Alexandria. Negan was quick to mock his beard and addressed the fact that Rick is nowhere near the man he was before Negan came along.
Here’s where I got a little confused. Negan was brought to the graves where they insinuated that Maggie had died. Negan made some absolutely disgusting remarks about her and how he had hoped to see her as an empty widow. Father Gabriel appeared, creeped the hell out of Negan, then continued to play along with the fact that Maggie didn’t make it.
Were they concerned Negan would come for Maggie? She’s definitely with Sasha at The Hilltop. They could have very well predicted Negan would come to take her since she’s pregnant. I hope we get a more definitive explanation in the next episode why everyone is pretending she died.
Photo Credit: AMC
Photo Credit: AMC

Then everything got a whole lot more tense from there. A shot was fired and Carl was the one holding the gun. He was furious The Saviors were taking all of the medicine. Negan found his courage humorous. Carl eventually lowered his gun after Rick’s pleading, but now Negan had one thing on his mind: the guns.

Rick brought The Saviors to the armory where Negan told Rick he would take all of their guns. Of course two guns were missing from the inventory, and Negan was determined to take those as well. If the Alexandrians wouldn’t turn them over, he would kill Olivia for her careless.

Rick held an emergency town meeting. He’s no longer the man in charge, Negan is. When no one stepped forward, they figured the guns must be in the homes of the people not there, Rosita or Spencer. While rummaging through Spencer’s home, Gabriel tried to give Rick a pep talk. His hopefulness was annoying if I’m being honest. No one wants to hear everything will be peachy-keen when everything is going to hell.

Rick discovered the missing guns in Spencer’s stash beneath his floor, and promptly handed them over to Negan. Just as The Saviors were on their way out, Michonne returned. Rick went to go speak to her privately, and told her they needed to hand all the guns over. Negan then decided he would test Daryl. He told Rick that Daryl would have to plead his case if he wanted to stay in Alexandria. Daryl remained silent, and I can’t say I blame him.

Before Negan left, he just had to give one last degrading remark toward Rick. He oh-so eloquently stated, “I just slid my dick down your throat, and you thanked me for it.” Later on, Rick shut down Michonne’s suggestion they team up with The Hilltop. No matter what they do, they will be outnumbered.

I was stunned by the admission that followed. Rick finally said out loud that he knows Judith isn’t his daughter. He told Michonne about Lori and Shane, but how he chose to love his child no matter what. He explained they have to accept their new life, even when it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. As the cherry on top of the worst sundae ever, Michonne discovered their mattresses on the side of the road burnt to a crisp. Negan is so vindictive that he will take your supplies only to destroy them.

Photo Credit: AMC
Photo Credit: AMC

While everyone inside was dealing with Negan’s bullying, Spencer and Rosita were on their mission to retrieve Daryl’s bike. Once they got to the train tracks where they knew the bike was, Spencer droned on and on about accepting things as they are now. Rosita was having none of it as she took out walkers in the woods just so she could grab one gun off of them.

Of course, the gun was unloaded. Rosita was smart enough to know that if Dwight took their guns, The Saviors were probably taking all of Alexandria’s guns. She was right! When they returned to the compound to deliver the bike, Rosita had daggers in her eyes as Dwight gleefully took off on it. After The Saviors left, Rick chided Spencer for hiding not just the guns, but also canned food.

Spencer then almost got punched in the face when he brought up Glenn and Abraham’s deaths. Even though Rick didn’t get in his face, I’m glad Rosita did. She refused to accept this new life, and she chewed him out for going along with it.

Rosita officially became by favorite person when she took the shell casing to Eugene’s door and told him she wanted him to make her a bullet. Someone needs to plot an escape from The Saviors’ hold, and I have a feeling it will be the women who take charge going forward.

This was a needlessly long episode. So much of it could have been condensed, and the majority of Negan’s scenes came off as repetitive. I understood Negan’s surprise visit. He needs to constantly keep them on edge. I just think his charisma will get in the way of our fear of him as an audience. We know what he’s capable of, but right now he’s just throwing out threats.

Check out a sneak peak of the next installment titled “Go Getters.”

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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