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TV Review: The Walking Dead 7.4 “Service”
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The Walking Dead, Season 7 Episode 4 review

The Walking Dead
Episode 7.4 “Service”
Directed by David Boyd
Written by Corey Reed
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Christian Serratos, Sonequa Martin-Green, Josh McDermitt, Khary Payton, Austin Amelio
AMC
Air Date: Sunday, November 13, 2016

Warning – SPOILERS for AMC’s The Walking Dead…

Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead was all about Daryl and his imprisonment at Negan’s Sanctuary and his torturing there by Dwight. Negan wanted him to become one of his main men, which would mean that Daryl would be living the sweet life. But Daryl wouldn’t comply. We also got a deeper look into Dwight’s situation, which isn’t as great as he lets everyone believe.

On this week’s episode, 1.4 “Service,” Negan and his Saviors show up at the Alexandria Safe Zone. Initially, Negan said he’d be there in a week to accept his tribute of food, guns, and other provisions, which will be an ongoing arrangement, but it’s now only a mere 3 days since he killed two people from Rick’s camp. Rick is still visibly shaken over what happened, and he seems to be the only one in the community taking Negan’s threats seriously. When moron Spencer greats Negan at the gate, he asks him “Who are you?” :::facepalm:::

The entire episode is basically Negan monologuing and baiting Rick, starting with his “Little pig, little pig, let me in” knock at the gate, with his bloodthirsty barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille in hand, and a full crew behind him, including his prisoner Daryl. Rick tries to speak to Daryl, but Negan says, no, that Daryl is “the help” and that Rick is not to look or talk to him, and he won’t make him cut anything off him (referring to how he was initially going to make Rick cut Carl’s arm off). And that warning goes for everyone. The physically bruised and battered Daryl remains quiet through this altercation, as well as through the entire episode. Is he biding his time, or has Negan truly broken him?

Negan expects Rick to cough up half of their stuff at Alexandria, and as we know, they have it pretty good there. Negan struts around saying stuff like “Hot diggity dog, it’s an embarrassment of riches” and “this has been a banner day” when he gets a load of what the group there has, include all the guns that they stole of Negan’s outpost last season. There’s a little problem with Carl, who holds a gun to one of Negan’s men who is trying to take all of their medicine, not just half. But the big bad bat-wielder explains that “half” is what he decides is half, which means, he’ll take whatever the hell he wants. Rick meanwhile begs Carl to give up the gun and let them have what they want.

This is a reoccurring sentiment in this episode: Rick has completely fallen in line with Negan. He gathers the community together at the church to stress to them that he is no longer in charge — Negan is — and that this is their life now. They must cooperate with these raiders, or risk losing their lives. There’s a part where the Saviors find Deanna’s video camera, which has the footage of the interviews of all the incoming residents of the community. Negan watches a little of the interview with Rick, which was when he was all bearded and grizzly, having nearly died getting from Georgia to Alexandria. Pointing to the camera, Negan says, “I would not have messed with that guy, but that’s not you anymore, is it?” Nope, he says, then comments about he himself needs a shave.

Anyhow, thanks to Carl’s stunt, Negan realizes that he can’t leave these people with any guns at all. They head to the armory so he can confiscate the weapons. Olivia is there – she is in charge of inventory of everything for Alexandria. Here’s where Negan points out that they interestingly enough have a “fat lady in charge of rations.” Turns out, there’s two handguns missing, and Negan wants them, or Olivia dies. Rick and several others start searching the houses looking for the missing guns, and Rick finds them inside a grate in Spencer’s house, along with food and liquor. That prick, Spencer! We knew from early on he did this kind of shit, and it looks like he’s still doing it.

Rick not only hands over the guns to Negan, thereby saving Olivia, but he even goes outside the Safe Zone to where he had hidden a high-powered rifle, which we saw that Michonne had been using for sniper practice. (We also learn that as good as she is with a sword, is as bad as she is as a sniper.) She doesn’t want to give it up, and is confused as to why Rick would offer up a weapon that wasn’t even listed in the inventory. But again, Rick must stress that they have to comply with the new regime; if they try to hide the guns and it’s discovered, people are going to die. She doesn’t want to, but she hands over the rifle, which Rick gives to Negan to show him that he is taking everything very seriously. “You are special,” Negan tells him. Rick takes this opportunity to ask if Daryl can stay; Negan says it’s up to Daryl, who of course says nothing. There’s no way he’s going to fall for that.

Meanwhile, Dwight was one of the people who came to Alexandria. We saw last week what he had to sacrifice in order to survive and how Negan was constantly belittling him with a smile. Now we see him act this way towards Rosita. He tells her to go out and bring back Daryl’s motorcycle to him, but first takes her guns, hat, and water so that she’ll hurry back. She is having a hard time not responding to him. She and Spencer go back to the railroad tracks where the Saviors killed Denise and find Daryl’s hidden bike. But before heading back, Rosita goes into the woods to try to find a gun on one of the walkers. It was a dangerous thing to do, and she does find a gun, but it’s empty. Spencer tries to tell her not to bother, that they should go back, but she is fighting against this. “This is not our life,” she says to him before they head back.

When Rosita brings the bike to Dwight, he asks her if she found anything else out there. “Just your dead friends,” she responds. He tosses her back her hat as he drives off. He passes by Daryl and says, “You can have it back, just say the word.” Meaning, join us, and things will go easy for you.

Negan asks about the “sick girl,” referring to Maggie, who had been having complications from her pregnancy when Negan met her — and when he killed her husband Glenn. This is when Father Gabriel, who we used to hate, pops up with a smile, offering to take Negan to see her grave. Negan is bummed that Maggie is dead, because he liked her and wanted to take her back with him, even though he killed her husband. He says widows like her are special. “I love ‘em,” he says. “Right after their husbands go, they are empty inside but usually not for long.” While standing at Maggie’s grave, Negan stresses to Rick that while he had to kill Abraham as payback for Rick killing his people at the outpost, Glenn’s death was all on Daryl because he acted out. Daryl is there to hear every word.

As Negan and his Saviors prepare to leave, we see they’ve really taken a huge amount of stuff, including everyone’s mattresses, but not the food. Negan tells Rick he’s leaving that for them because he needs them to be productive for him, because when he returns, he expects something “interesting” or else Lucille is going to have her way with someone.

Throughout the episode, Negan consistently drives the point home to Rick that he is in charge, but does so with a big grin on. You never know when he’s going to flip. He keeps talking about how he’s really a good guy and that every bad thing he does – like bashing someone to death – is because he has to. Like so many tyrannical men, Negan believes that he’s actually not unreasonable. Yet he keeps swinging around Lucille, knocking the heads off Walkers, to keep reminding Rick of how he killed his friends. He even makes Rick hold Lucille half the time.

As Negan leaves, he tells Rick that it wasn’t a bad day — nobody died, and that they’ve refined their understanding of how things are now. “Do you want me to go?” Negan asks him, to which Rick respectfully replies, “I think that’d be good.” “Then just say the two magic words,” Negan tells him. Nearly choking on it, Rick tells him, “Thank you.” But before Negan leaves, he grabs a huge candlestick and bashes a Walker with it; Rick has a grip on Lucille and you can tell he’s using every ounce of willpower not to use it. So, it’s not enough for Negan to take what he wants from a compliant and now docile Rick, he has to continue to traumatize him and humiliate him. As he leaves, Negan takes Lucille back from Rick and says, “Thanks for being so accommodating. I just slipped my dick down your throat and you just thanked me for it.”

Seeing Rick in this position is a real bummer, and makes watching the show such a downer! But will it last? No way, it can’t. There has to be an uprising soon. Obviously, Rosita thinks something will happen, because we see that she did sneak a gun in in the car and now has it hidden on her person.

Oh, and that shit with Spencer: Rick confronts him, saying that Olivia was nearly killed because the guns were missing. Rick says he gets hiding guns, but taking food and liquor is fucked up, and that’s true! Rick tells him they were “lucky”; Spencer, who was resentful of Rick’s arrival at the Safe Zone from day one, asks if Abraham and Glenn are lucky, too. Spencer thinks they should have made a deal with Negan from the beginning instead of invading the outpost. “You were gonna lead us to the promise land,” he shouts, but Rick isn’t going to take that from him. “You say anything like that me to me again, I’ll break your jaw and knock your teeth out, you understand?” Rick threatens him. When Spencer doesn’t respond, he tells him to say “yes” — that was very Negan of him to do, I’d say. “Yes,” Spencer reluctantly responds. Later, Rosita is pissed at Spencer for hiding guns when he knew she was risking her life against the Walkers just to obtain one gun. He says he hid them because he doesn’t trust Rick, and that she was right, this doesn’t have to be their life now.

Later on, Rick is at his house creating a makeshift bed out of blankets, now that all the mattresses are gone. Michonne shows up and says that everything they got, they got from fighting, and that they could join with the Hilltop to fight against Negan. But Rick says they just don’t have the numbers to do that. “We play by their rules,” he says, “and we get some kind of life.” But what kind of life? she says. This is when Rick drops a bombshell on all of us.

Rick tells her that he had a best friend and law enforcement partner named Shane, who got Lori and Carl to safety after the outbreak. At the time, Rick was presumed dead, so Shane and Lori got together. “Judith isn’t mine, I know it,” he reveals, referring to the baby that Lori had that he has been caring for since her birth. “I love her,” he says, “she’s my daughter, but she isn’t mine, I had to accept that.” Whoa! I mean, we all suspected that Shane was the father, but this is the first time Rick has said this out loud to anyone.

Rick goes on to say that he does this to keep Judith alive, and that he’ll die before her, though hopefully that’s a long time from now. He needs to raise her, protect her, and teach her how to survive. “This is how we live now,” he says, “I had to accept that so we can keep us alive.” He blames himself if anyone dies, but Michonne says it’s not his fault. Sometimes it is, he says. Again, he stresses that they ALL have to accept their new life, or it won’t work. “I’m gonna try,” she tells him, as she goes to help him with the bedding.

Later, we see her return to the field where she had been doing her sniper practice, except this time without her rifle. She sees smoke in the distance and goes to check it out. It’s all of the mattresses from the Safe Zone — they’ve been burned and left on the side of the road by the Saviors. Those f**king pricks!

I know I’ve said this before, but HOW under any circumstances do these people waste ANYTHING? First Dwight with the water, then Negan tosses a can of soda after taking a sip, and now the mattresses. It’s not like there’s going to ever be any new mattresses made. Ughhh!!! I can’t stand this.

By the way, I should mention now that Maggie is not dead. Rick commends Father Gabriel for his quick thinking with making the grave for her to throw off Negan. (After Negan killed Glenn and Abraham, everyone returned home except for Maggie and Sasha, who continued on to their original distance at the Hilltop so Maggie could get medical treatment.) The priest, who initially had been a great coward, has slowly redeemed himself, and now is very optimistic that everything will work out for them. “We’ll find the guns, we’ll get through today, and find a way to beat this,” the priest tells Rick while they were searching for the two missing handguns. While they did find the guns and make it through the day, it seems doubtful at this point that they will overcome this. But, we know, there’s the Hilltop and the Kingdom out there, too.

Can I just say, that while Negan’s arrival on the show surely shook things up, and gave Rick a major wake-up call, I’m almost sick of him already. He just talks SO much, and the whistling and humming, ugh. I’m used to people like Daryl, Sasha, Michonne, and Carl who are the silent, brooding types. I don’t know how much more I can take of this guy’s monologuing. Please, let’s get an uprising real soon.

Photos

Video

The Walking Dead Ep. 704 Official Sneak Peek: ‘Give Them What They Want’


Rosita’s scavenging trip is put on hold when a surprise visitor arrives at Alexandria.

The Walking Dead Ep. 704: ‘Negan’s in Charge’

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