When I first realized that this episode of The Walking Dead was going to be 90 minutes long, I thought it was going to be action packed. When I saw the tweet from Jeffrey Dean Morgan that said, “Tonight’s episode is A LOT. You will hate it. You will love it. Buckle up… It’s a brand new world,” I thought Lucille the vampire bat would be getting her thirst quenched. Then, once I started watching The Walking Dead and I saw the warning about graphic content after one of the commercial breaks, I thought, “Oh, shit! This extra half hour is going to be gruesome!” But, alas, this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, titled “Service,” was none of these things.
Not to say that this was a bad episode of The Walking Dead. As a matter of fact, it was a pretty damn good one. Unfortunately for gore- and action hounds, “Service” was more about tension, exposition, submission, and aggression. It was certainly Negan-centric, which is a good thing for me because I love to hate the guy. He’s witty. He says things like, “Easy Peesy lemon squeezie,” which is somehow more terrifying than the F bombs he dropped at a comic book character. He reeks of testosterone. And he loves to swing his dick around, both physically and mentally. I swear, if his bat had a guy’s name, I would wonder if he was compensating. The guy can’t even stand without pointing his pelvis toward whomever he’s talking to, like he wants them to address Negan Jr. when they answer. But I digress. On with the show!
So the episode started off with Michonne (Danai Gurira) sneaking off to practice sniper shooting (sniping?) with the rifle she had hidden in her and Rick’s chimney. She kinda sucks at it, by the way. She did accidentally bag a deer, though, so there’s that. Just as Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Spencer (Austin Nichols) are about to leave, Negan shows up a week early and throws the entire town into chaos.
Little pig, little pig! Let me in!
This kicks off a game of Let’s See How Far We Can Push Rick Before He Starts Ripping Out Throats With His Teeth. Apparently, he can be pushed pretty far. Although Negan mentally kicked him in the balls and emotionally sodomized the guy, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) still defers to that wife stealing, face melting maniac, and in front of the entire town, no less. This lays a hair across the ass of quite a few Alexandrians, but Rick continually insists that they give in to the Saviors. He cries as he tells them that he can’t lose another person. It’s draining and depressing and heartbreaking. Andrew Lincoln did an excellent job in this episode.
Negan insists on a tour of the town so he can decide what he wants to take. “Oh, did you think you would get to choose?” Negan asks Rick, his eyes shining merrily. He starts off by bloodying up Lucille with walker blood and then making Rick carry the bat for the Saviors’ entire time in Alexandria. As if Rick needs more PTSD. When Rick sees Daryl (Norman Reedus) in the group of Saviors and tries to talk to him, Negan shuts him down by showing Rick what a beaten down man Daryl is now. Although I’m not sure if I believe that quite yet. I think Daryl is biding his time and just pretending to be a cowering sycophant.
Nobody puts Daryl in a corner!
As Negan takes entire truckloads of things from Alexandria – including almost all of their mattresses – he insists that he’s helping them out by letting them keep all of their food. Starving people can’t scavenge, so it’s basic business sense. It’s not until he’s confronted with the one-eyed gunslinger that is Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) that Negan realizes Rick’s town may not be ready to go down without a fight, and he makes the call to take all of their guns. This leads to a tense standoff when Negan is told that two guns are missing from the Alexandrian armory inventory and he wants to know who took them. He calmly holds a gun to bean counter Olivia’s (Ann Mahoney) head and threatens to blow her melon off of her shoulders if the two guns aren’t found ASAP. Rick panics and tells his searchers that if even one gun were left behind and any of Negan’s men saw one of them with it, there would be so much more bloodshed. This is not a risk he’s willing to take.
I heard you needed to bloody up your bat. Feel free to use my skull.
They do find the guns – in Spencer’s house, of course, along with some booze and a few cans of food. Spencer and Rosita did end up leaving Alexandria – but not before Dwight (Austin Amelio) took their own firearms away and then sent them on a mission to get Daryl’s bike. Apparently Dwight wants for nothing else in the world but to be Daryl, right down to the winged vest. They find the motorcyle where Daryl had dumped it after the Savior ambush from last season. Spencer spews a bunch of It’s All Rick’s Fault whining before saying they should all just give up and let the chips fall where they may. Rosita is not about to let that happen. She stalks and slays a zombie carrying a pistol in the hopes that she can use it to fight back against the Saviors at some point.
I think they know we have guns. Let’s just give them the entire lot. ‘Cause yeah.
The episode ends with Michonne coming back to camp with her deer. Even though Negan didn’t know about Michonne’s sniper rifle, Rick makes her give it up to him. She’s pissed at first but after he explains that he just wants to live long enough to raise Judith – who he FINALLY admits isn’t his biological child – she says she’ll try to work with the Saviors as well. This is before she leaves town and sees a smoldering pile on the side of the road. Apparently, Negan didn’t really want their mattresses, but he didn’t want the Alexandrians to have them either. I agree with Talking Dead – what a dick move.
Just before the credits start to roll, Rosita shows up at Eugene’s (Josh McDermott) house and asks him to make her a bullet for her newfound gun. At least some of them are still willing to fight.
We still don’t know how Maggie (Lauren Cohen) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are making out in the woods. They’re both in shock and without supplies and Maggie was possibly having a miscarriage. TPTB haven’t given us a hint yet as to where they might be hiding during this episode, although we did get a mention of Maggie by Negan and the realization that the Rev (Seth Gilliam) dug and filled in an empty grave to fool Negan into thinking she died. Do they actually expect her to go all Carol on the Sanctuary when the Saviors least expect it?
Tune in to PopHorror next week’s recap of The Walking Dead to finally get some Maggie-related questions answered. Finally!