REVIEW: The Walking Dead, S7 Ep4 – Service

The focus returns to Alexandria in this week’s extended episode of The Walking Dead. Life has somehow continued despite the tragedy of the season premiere, and Negan comes calling for the first time to collect what he wants from the community. And a broken Rick complies, almost pathetically, to the tyrant’s every demand.

The Walking Dead, S7 Ep4 – ServiceIt’s a jarring image, seeing Rick so sad and subservient. No doubt the other residents of Alexandria are similarly shocked, and it seems like Rick had not adequately prepared them for the kind of bullying and terrorizing the Saviors would bring. But they have no choice, so they have to watch with clenched fists as Negan and his goons take away their good furniture and, more importantly, all of their firearms. 

There were some moments of tension when two guns go missing from the inventory and Rick has to move heaven and hell just to find them, just to avoid having another person killed so wantonly.

The Walking Dead, S7 Ep4 – ServiceNegan spends most of the episode talking. A lot. Being horrible and casually threatening people and just talking. Which diminishes his impact as a villain somewhat, despite Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s compelling performance. I also don’t see why the episode had to be so long when it pretty much covered familiar territory in The Walking Dead and did not offer anything new about the situation.

The Alexandrians are forced to give in to the Saviors for now and Rick is visibly broken (even when he had Lucille in his hands, he dared not do anything.) But it’s clear that at least two members of the community are gearing up for retribution. Rosita and Michonne were shown suppressing their rage, the grim expressions on their faces proof that they will not tolerate this treatment for too long. Rick may be down for the count at the moment, but Rosita and Michonne are already planning their revenge. Negan better watch out.

The Walking Dead, S7 Ep4 – ServiceAnother interesting thing is that Rick managed to hide Maggie somehow, perhaps at the Hilltop. He and Father Gabriel showed Negan a fake grave and hopefully, Maggie is getting the medical attention she needs and is somewhere safe, recovering from her devastating loss. At least for now, she’s away from Negan and that’s a great comfort. The next time we see her, she will probably be in a better position to get her revenge, and that will be glorious.

One big revelation the episode gave us was the identity of Judith’s father. It’s not really that big of an issue, but it is a question that has remained unanswered for the past few seasons of The Walking Dead. Well, now it’s official: Shane is Judith’s father. Rick has always known this but he chose to love the child and raise her as his own, in the face of all the world’s horrors. This is what Rick tells Michonne (who never even met Shane) and Rick is determined to do whatever it takes to survive. But hopefully, he gets out of this funk soon because Negan needs to seriously go.