Previously on The Walking Dead, “The Cell”
The Walking Dead – S7E4 – “Service” | Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sonequa Martin-Green, Norman Reedus, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Khary Payton
We didn’t get to see how Rick explained their run-in with the Saviors to the rest of the residents of Alexandria, but their actions in “Service” show that the group is in different stages of dealing with their new reality; some even question Rick’s ability to lead.
The most obvious response (after shock and tears), would be to figure out a way to minimize what is given to Negan so that they may still survive, but if anyone considered hiding provisions and weapons, they didn’t do it fast enough because Negan and his crew arrive at the gate before their one-week deadline. What followed next was one agonizing confrontation after another.
Half of their supplies was a given, but Negan has other plans and sends his crew to go through every home in the subdivision to take anything they want. Rick has to suffer the indignity of this while holding Lucille as Negan struts around. When a few of his men try to take all of their medicine, Carl fires a warning shot. Carl left all of his fucks in Atlanta, apparently. No one is punished for this (at least not physically), but it reminds Negan (not really; he was taking their guns regardless) that Alexandria has weapons. In fact, they have a shitton of Negan’s weapons. Olivia’s records show two handguns missing and Negan threatens to kill her unless the guns are located. Where could they be?
Well, Rosita and Spencer were headed out to scavenge when the Saviors arrived. After taking their guns and pouring out their water canteen, Dwight, with his petty ass, sends the two out to retrieve Daryl’s motorcycle. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dwight just insisted people call him Daryl. As they find Daryl’s bike hidden where Denise was ambushed, Rosita slips into the woods to kill the Savior walkers they left behind. Only one is carrying a gun and it’s empty. Realizing that Dwight taking their guns meant they were taking all the weapons at home, Rosita was thinking ahead. Spencer? Not so much. He’s all too willing to go along and accept their new arrangement with Negan. Michonne is also out, using a rifle she’d hidden in the fireplace to practice her aim.
Rick pleads with the others at home to give up the guns. No one comes forward, but a few want to discuss other things like why the Saviors are worried about two guns when they have them so outnumbered, why they hadn’t thought to hide the weapons before the Saviors got there, and how long will they have to put up with this shit. Rick has valid reasons for not taking chances, stressing that he doesn’t want anyone else to die. Eugene notes Rosita’s and Spencer’s absence and Rick eventually finds the guns hidden in Spenser’s home. No one is more relieved than Olivia.
Perhaps more so than Spencer, who straight out blames Rick for Abe and Glenn being killed, Michonne also questions Rick’s decision to go along with Negan’s demands without even trying to prepare for a time when they can take back control. This leads Rick to finally admit what the audience has always known: Judith is Shane’s daughter. But because he loves her as his own, he’s not willing to do anything that will cause her, or anyone else, to die.
Negan definitely physically and mentally beat Rick into submission, and it’s nice to see Rick not having a complete tyrannical breakdown (as he did a few times in season 3) and choosing the more thoughtful approach. That’s not say he doesn’t want to see Negan dead. His grip on Lucille tightened a few times when Negan was being Negan; Rick came close to risking it all.
Rick isn’t the only one. Father Gabriel sounds like every white person trying to tell minorities that the Cheeto in Chief is something they can live through. Daryl may not be ready to call himself Negan, but when given the opportunity to plead his case to stay in Alexandria, he reminds quiet. Though his decision may be out of guilt more than anything else.
For all the talk of not taking a chance that the Saviors would sniff out any lies or resistance, the group makes a gamble in telling Negan that Maggie died. If Negan hasn’t yet figured out that Hilltop is the reason Rick’s group attacked one of his compounds, that doesn’t mean the community is off the hook. It would make sense if Negan paid a visit to all of the other communities to make sure everyone stays in line and not be tempted to launch a coup with Alexandria. If that man sees Maggie at Hilltop…
Rick may have convinced the group that going along to get along is the best course of action for now, but I’m not sure how long that can last. Carl is extremely reluctant, Michonne looks furious when she finds the Savior burned their stolen mattresses simply because they could, and Rosita finds a shell casing and demands Eugene make her a bullet.
The Walking Dead S7E4 = 8.2/10