In the fourth episode of The Walking Dead season 7, “Service,” we finally check back in with Team Family in Alexandria just as Negan drops by for an early visit. This episode takes an in-depth look at how many of the characters are dealing with the new world order under Negan, and two of those characters make some impressive decisions.
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Negan Comes A-Callin’
As the episode begins, Michonne wakes up and prepares for the day. She retrieves a rifle she has hidden in the fireplace and quietly leaves the house, trying not to disturb anyone. Alas, Rick is already up and sees her leave with the gun.
Michonne heads out into the woods for some target practice, which she clearly needs, as she fires multiple shots but doesn’t hit the one walker coming at her. She finally gives up and takes it out with her weapon of choice. We then see that the only thing Michonne managed to hit with those many shots was a poor, unsuspecting deer. (Am I the only one surprised that there are any deer left at this point? Between the walkers and people out hunting for food, how did this deer survive for so long?)
Back in Alexandria, Rosita and Spencer are about to go on a supply run when Negan and his people arrive. It hasn’t been a week yet, so Negan is early. Spencer opens the gate and then acts like he doesn’t know who Negan is. Negan is offended but still kills a walker that approaches the community. Rick lets Negan in, and Negan makes him hold Lucille. Rick is surprised to see Daryl with the Saviors, though Daryl is clearly still a prisoner. Daryl can barely look at Rick, and when Rick attempts to talk to Daryl, Negan shuts that right down. Negan then gets uncomfortably close to Rosita, but Rosita ends their brief stand-off by walking away.
Negan sends his people to check out the houses to see what Rick and Company have to offer. Rick tries to explain that they have Negan’s half of their supplies sorted, but Negan says he gets to choose what he takes. Negan then tells Rick to show him around.
While Rick is dealing with Negan, Rosita and Spencer are preparing to leave when Dwight stops them. He strips them of their guns, their water and even takes Rosita’s hat. He says he wants them to go get Daryl’s motorcycle. He also tells them not to take too long getting back.
(I suspect that anyone who felt sorry for Dwight in the previous episode is back to disliking him now. At this point, I think the only thing that could turn me around on him is if he took out Negan and all his top guys by himself.)
Negan Takes the Community’s Guns
Negan is just delighted by the idyllic Alexandria Safe Zone. As his people start loading up mattresses and other furniture, one of the Saviors presents Negan with the camcorder that Deanna used to tape all her interviews. Negan watches Rick’s initial interview and remarks that the guy on the tape is not someone Negan would’ve messed with. Luckily for him, Rick isn’t that man anymore.
Negan then asks about Maggie, aka “the sick girl” that Negan realizes was married to “Number 2.” He explains his interest in her in gross detail, but Father Gabriel — of all people — actually comes to the rescue. Gabriel somehow thought ahead and dug a fake grave to make it seem like Maggie didn’t survive her pregnancy complications. Negan is disappointed, as he was going to ask Maggie to join him at The Sanctuary. Negan and Rick then hear a gunshot, and Negan is not pleased.
Negan finds Carl holding some of the Saviors at gunpoint because they are taking all of the community’s medicine. Negan is impressed with Carl’s courage but tells him he cannot have Carl threatening him or his people. He offers to prove how serious he is, and Carl finally backs off. Carl’s stunt with the gun reminds Negan of just how many guns Rick’s community has. Negan decides that he cannot allow that, so he wants Rick to turn over all their guns.
Rick takes Negan to the armory, where he meets Olivia. Olivia says she keeps track of all their guns and supplies. While Olivia takes Negan’s men to get the guns, Negan tells Rick that he will not be taking any of Alexandria’s food since they have so little and they cannot work for Negan if they starve to death. Negan wants Rick to thank him for letting them keep their food rations, but Rick remains quiet.
Negan asks if Rick has any guns hidden away, and Rick says they’re all there. Alas, that is not true. One of the Saviors checks the inventory and realizes that two guns are missing. Since Olivia is in charge of the inventory, Negan blames this loss on her and lets Rick know that if he doesn’t find those missing guns, Olivia will die.
Rick brings his people together and tells them to hand over the guns. It is clear that not all of the Alexandrians are okay with submitting to Negan, but Rick says that there’s no way around it. Rick tells them, “I’m not in charge anymore. Negan is.”
Eventually, Rick realizes that Spencer is the person most likely to have stashed the missing guns. He breaks into Spencer’s place and starts searching it. During this search, Rick has a chat with Father Gabriel in which Gabriel tries to give Rick hope. Gabriel thinks they will get through this and find a way forward. He has faith in their people and he has faith in Rick. Rick thanks Gabriel for coming up with the ruse of Maggie’s death. After their chat, Rick finds a vent in the floor of Spencer’s home. Hidden in the vent are stolen supplies and the missing guns. Rick’s relief at finding the guns is palpable.
Negan Gets What He Wants
Before handing over the guns, Rick sees one of the Saviors taunting Enid about the green balloons she’s been keeping in memory of Glenn. Carl is clearly upset that Rick didn’t step in when the Savior was bothering Enid. Instead, Ricks gives Negan the missing guns. Though Negan is pleased that everything is sorted, he tells Rick that he needs to get all of his people on board with the way things work now. If he doesn’t, they’ll have to go back to square one.
Negan is finally ready to leave when Rick spots Michonne. He asks Negan for a minute, and Negan eventually grants his request. Rick goes to Michonne and tells her that he knows she has the rifle. He asks her to hand it over because they need to give it to Negan. Michonne tries to argue with him, but Rick says that if the Saviors learn that she has it, someone will die. Rick doesn’t want to lose anyone else. Michonne begrudgingly gives him the rifle, and Rick hands it over to Negan. Negan is very happy that Rick is “reading the room and getting the message.”
Since Rick and his people proved they can follow Negan’s rules, Rick asks Negan if Daryl can stay. Negan decides to let Daryl make up his mind, but when given the opportunity to speak up, Daryl remains silent. (I assume this is because Daryl knows Negan well enough by now to realize that Negan has a price for everything and Daryl doesn’t want any of his friends to pay that price.) With that settled, Negan tells Rick that they’ll be coming back soon, and if Rick’s people don’t have something interesting for them, someone will die.
Negan is pleased with how everything has worked out, but he wants to hear those two magic words before leaving. Rick finally says, “Thank you,” and Negan makes a comment that comic fans are sure to recognize. (Quite a bit of Negan’s dialogue is this episode is lifted right out of the comics.) Before heading out, Negan turns his back on Rick to kill another walker, giving Rick the perfect opportunity to take him out. Alas, Rick doesn’t take it, and the Saviors finally leave.
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Rosita Steps Up
Rosita and Spencer head back to where they last saw Daryl’s motorcycle. It’s still hidden in the bushes where Daryl left it. While Spencer retrieves the bike, he starts complaining about how everything that’s happened is Rick’s fault, but they all have to live with the way things are now. Rosita ignores him and heads off into the woods. (Even I might brave the walker-filled woods to get away from that guy.)
No thanks to Spencer, Rosita ends up taking out quite a few walkers in order to get one single gun. You see, Rosita’s absolutely furious at what the Saviors did to those she cared about, and she wants to fight back. Alas, the gun doesn’t have any bullets, so her efforts seem rather pointless.
When they get back to Alexandria, Dwight is happy to take Daryl’s motorcycle off their hands. He doesn’t return their guns, but he does give Rosita back her hat. He also lets poor Daryl know that he can have his bike back as soon as he says the word. Thanks to the previous episode, we all know exactly which word, or name, Daryl refuses to say.
Rick Opens Up to Michonne
After Negan and the Saviors leave, Rick confronts Spencer about hoarding the guns and supplies. Instead of apologizing for stealing from the community, Spencer just cops an attitude. He even goes so far as to call out Rick for getting Glenn and Abraham killed. For the first time all episode, we get a glimpse of the old Rick as he tells Spencer that if he says anything like that to him again, he will break his jaw.
Rosita also confronts Spencer about the guns. She is pissed that he let her go to such extremes to get one gun when he had two stashed away back home. Spencer talks a lot of crap about not trusting Rick and then says she was right that this doesn’t have to be their life. (Here’s hoping it won’t be Spencer’s life much longer because someone will take him out.)
Back home, Rick is putting together some semblance of a bed now that the Saviors took most of their mattresses. Michonne tries to talk to Rick about fighting back against the Saviors, but Rick says they wouldn’t stand a chance against the Saviors’ numbers. Michonne suggests teaming up with The Hilltop, but Rick still thinks the odds would be in Negan’s favor. Rick says they have to play by Negan’s rules and hopefully get some kind of life.
In one of the best moments of the episode, Rick then confides in Michonne about his past. He tells her about Shane and his relationship with Lori. He also tells her that he knows Shane is Judith’s father. Rick says Judith is his daughter and he loves her, but he had to accept that he isn’t her father. Rick says there were some things he just had to accept in order to keep everyone alive. Michonne tells him it is not his fault when people die, but Rick believes it is. Rick tells her they all have to accept this life now, and Michonne promises to try.
Alas, I doubt Michonne will want to try after what she sees when she goes out beyond the walls again. Not far from Alexandria, Michonne finds the burning remains of the community’s mattresses. (I hope this snaps Michonne into action and she starts looking for a way to fight back against Negan.)
In the episode’s final scene, we see Rosita turn up on Eugene’s doorstep with a shell casing. Since she still has that one gun, she asks Eugene to make her a bullet. (Have I mentioned how happy I am with Rosita’s scenes in this episode? Here’s hoping the writers continue to give her an actual storyline instead of wasting her on the sidelines.)
What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? Are you glad we finally checked back in with Team Family? What did you think of Rick’s behavior in this episode? Were you pleased to see Gabriel and Rosita stepping up? Do you think Michonne will go after Negan now, and if so, who will she turn to for help? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Walking Dead season 7 airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC. Want more news? Like our Walking Dead Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of AMC)