The Walking Dead – Service
By: Jennifer Vintzileos
Excuse me while I am still excited about last week’s Daryl (Norman Reedus) episode! I am proud that he didn’t give in to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), which continues to affect Dwight (Austin Amelio) for some reason that we’re not quite sure of yet. But this week we finally get to see how Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Alexandrians are going to fare against Negan’s visit.
Life after Negan seems to have created a bit of a chill between Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira). Their normal sweet-loving bedroom demeanor has been replaced with retreating to their own sides of the bed. When she gets up, Michonne appears angry and confused, taking to grabbing her sword and a handful of weapons out beyond the walls. She is determined to keep up with learning how to properly shoot as her proficiency with guns is not nearly up to par with her sword fighting.
Rick tends to Judith while Spencer (Austin Nichols) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) prepare to head out beyond the gates to forage for Negan’s visit. They request that Eugene (Josh McDermitt) open the gates, but as Rick walks up and hears trucks pulling up outside of the gates they see that unmistakable silhouette: Negan has arrived at Alexandria ahead of schedule.
Spencer lets in Negan and his Saviors with Rick realizing that Daryl was brought with them to help collect their bounty. Negan asserts himself, warning everyone that if they look at Daryl someone will pay. While Rick explains to Negan how he has compiled supplies for the Saviors to take, Negan makes it clear to Rick that is not how this works. Instead, the Saviors start to go door-to-door, pilfering the items they want such as furniture and mattresses.
Dwight stops Rosita and Spencer before they leave, confiscating their weapons and requesting that they bring back Daryl’s bike to him. To be even more arrogant, Dwight takes Rosita’s hat and their canteen of water, pouring it out before their very eyes. This only fires up Rosita further when her and Spencer locate Daryl’s bike and place it in the back of their van that was abandoned last season. Spencer is upset with Rick’s decisions, but Rosita is not listening as she goes into the forest and quietly dispatches the Savior walkers left out there. One of them had a gun with no bullets that she decides to take with her.
During their collection, one of the Saviors gives Negan the video camera from Spencer’s home. On it is the “audition” tape of Rick when he had arrived, causing Negan to taunt Rick further for going soft after being behind the walls. Another fun fact that Negan then becomes privy to is being told of the fate of Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Rick leading them to her grave. Negan had hoped Maggie was alive, since Glenn (Steven Yeun) was murdered and he was looking for another notch on his bedpost.
The conversation is interrupted by a gunshot, leading to Carl (Chandler Riggs) trying to defend himself against Saviors taking the mattresses out of their home. Negan threatens Carl and Rick convinces him to drop the weapon. Now noticing the weapons, Negan explains that the Armory is all his property now, but he will leave them their food for the time being. Rick leads the Saviors to see Olivia (Ann Mahoney) so they can clear it out, but not without an issue: two handguns are missing from the inventory. Negan proposes an ultimatum to Rick, either find the guns or Olivia will meet her end.
In an effort to taunt Rick further, Negan makes him take Lucille with him into a town meeting where it becomes clear to Alexandrians that Negan is in charge now. Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson) tries to sway Aaron (Ross Marquand) to stand up with him, but instead stands alone wondering how they get out of this. Rick makes it clear: there is no way out this time. They need to find the missing inventory. Eugene takes notice at this time that not everyone is with them.
While Negan sits with Olivia, Alexandrians take to the search. Rick heads in Spencer’s home and starts tearing everything apart. Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) comes in to see Rick, assuring him that everything will be okay. We then learn that the grave for Maggie was a fake and she is safely ensconced at Hilltop. Gabriel leaves Rick to his search and in that moment, Grimes has a moment of clarity. Hidden underneath an air conditioning duct is a ration of food, complete with the two missing handguns. With their bounty in hand, the Saviors are ready to go, but not before Negan finds out who stole from the Armory.
As Rosita and Spencer return from their trip, the Saviors are on their way out. Rick tries to plead for Daryl to stay in Alexandria, but Daryl keeps quiet knowing that he is fighting his own battle to stand strong. Dwight returns Rosita’s hat to her, but not before flaunting Daryl’s bike in front of him as a reminder that he can submit.
Before leaving, Rick sees that Michonne has returned and is waiting outside of the gates until the Saviors leave. Pleading with Negan to speak with her alone, he is sent in with Lucille in hand to her. Michonne needs to hand over the gun they have, as Rick cannot bear to lose anyone else. She complies in delivering the gun and bringing a dead deer to Negan’s feet as part of the offering. The Saviors leave Alexandria, the last truck holding Daryl. He and Rick exchange the only look they could have during the visit.
Rick confronts Spencer about the guns, as they almost lost Olivia over them. Spencer calls Rick out by saying he is weak, but the old Rick has resurfaced and calmly tells Spencer he will break his jaw if he says that again. Rosita, hearing this whole conversation, is appalled at Spencer’s behavior. Spencer kept those guns because he didn’t trust Rick. When he walks away, Rosita produces the gun she found on the Savior walker.
Meanwhile, Rick begins to set up the bed on the floor. Michonne enters the room and it is clear that while they want to defeat Negan, Rick complies because they have the numbers. And in another bombshell, Rick shares with Michonne how he knows that Judith is not his child, but Shane’s (Jon Bernthal). He has kept her alive because he cares for that child as though she is his. Michonne promises to try and work with Rick through this. The next morning, as she goes back out to her target practice area, Michonne sees smoke and decides to follow the source. When located, she finds all the mattresses from Alexandria burned.
Rosita, who is still contemplating what to do with her empty weapon, locates a bullet on the ground. This prompts a visit to Eugene. In the last scene, Rosita holds out the bullet, knowing that the only possible way they can fight back is by Eugene manufacturing bullets.
This episode may have been intense, but hold on as next week promises some Hilltop action. With Maggie being cared for, has the baby survived? How is Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) faring after Abraham’s (Michael Cudlitz) death? Stay tuned next week for a new episode of The Walking Dead!