In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Negan arrives in Alexandria for the first time looking for his piece of the pie as Rick and the others adjust to the new world order…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
As brutal and unnerving as the debut episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ was several weeks ago, the real impact of Negan killing Glenn and Abraham will be felt in the ripple effect throughout season 7.
The last two weeks have taken us to other corners of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe — first to The Kingdom to meet King Ezekiel and then to the Sanctuary to find out how Negan commands such loyalty from his soldiers — but finally this week we land back in Alexandria.
Rick and the others have returned home without two of their own and with a third missing in action as Maggie is nowhere to be found — more on that later.
Meanwhile, Negan’s arrival shakes up the status quo in Alexandria so profoundly that you begin to wonder if life will ever truly go back to normal now that he’s reset the natural order of things. Some of the citizens of Alexandria thumb their noses at Rick for cow towing to Negan while others wish he would have bent the knee much sooner.
What we do know for sure after this latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ is that Rick has been beaten — but he’s not yet defeated because he’s still got something worth fighting for. And that major revelation at the end of the episode just goes to show the depths Rick Grimes will go to when it comes to protecting the ones he loves.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘Service’…
Little Pig, Let Me In
It’s been only a few days since Rick and the others encountered Negan and the Saviors — which means it’s only been a matter of hours since they watched Glenn and Abraham being butchered. The new world order, as Negan calls it, means Rick is forced to be subservient for the first time in a long while and that’s not sitting well with some of the people closest to him. In fact, Michonne is now waking up early in the morning, taking a hunting rifle with her into the woods where she’s conducting target practice.
Deep down inside, each shot Michonne takes at a random walker stumbling towards her, is a bullet that’s meant for Negan and his followers.
Elsewhere, Rosita and Spencer are headed out of Alexandria to gather some more supplies because Negan and his men are expected within a few days and they want to make sure to be stocked up when he asks for half of everything they own. There’s only one problem — Negan arrives early and he’s huffing, puffing and threatening to blow the whole house down if the front door isn’t opened for him.
When Rick arrives at the gate, he opens it up for Negan and his men, who have shown up early just to keep the people in Alexandria on their toes. Remember Negan’s slogan — “I am everywhere” — and there’s no better way to prove that than to show up unannounced, expecting the entire town to roll over for him and give his group whatever they might want.
Once Negan is inside the walls of Alexandria, he hands Lucille over to Rick to hold — further cementing his control — as he lets his troops loose to gather whatever it is they want to take back to the Sanctuary.
Negan has brought along plenty of people — including Dwight and Daryl — to help him gather up all of those things inside Alexandria. Because Dwight is forced to be Negan’s servant, he tends to exert his own control over everyone else and this week that means a little mental warfare aimed at Rosita and Spencer.
He takes Rosita’s hat along with the guns both her and Spencer had in the car as protection before going out on a run. Dwight then orders them to head out to find Daryl’s motorcycle — the one he left behind after Denise was killed when they were attacked by the Saviors a season ago — because he needs a new bike.
As for Daryl, Negan orders Rick and the other people in Alexandria to avoid any eye contact or conversation with him whatsoever. Daryl is there to serve, not to have a conversation with the people from his community.
It’s clear in those opening few minutes that Negan is a man with a plan and he’s got Rick and everybody else under his thumb and they aren’t going anywhere.
Give Us Your Shit
Negan disperses his team out into Alexandria to gather whatever supplies they need — including furniture, beds, medicine and anything else that might be useful. Negan has Rick show him around town so he can get the lay of the land to find out what’s hiding inside the walls at Alexandria.
One of the first things Negan inquires about is Maggie’s whereabouts. She was rather sick when he encountered them a few days ago and after bashing Glenn’s head in, Negan believes she might need some consoling — the kind he’s more than happy to provide. Thankfully, Father Gabriel did some quick thinking and dug a grave when Negan’s group first arrived and marked it as if Maggie died after the group returned from their encounter with the Saviors.
Negan doesn’t question it much considering how far gone Maggie was when he last saw her and he moves onto other endeavors inside the town. In reality, Maggie has been shipped off to the Hilltop for medical care after she became sick at the end of last season and continued to show the ill effects of her pregnancy before and after Glenn was murdered.
Along the tour, one of Negan’s men discovers the video camera the Deanna used to conduct interviews when Rick and the others first arrived in Alexandria. Negan watches as Rick — with a face covered in “man bush” — explains how he’s killed a lot of people since the zombie apocalypse began. Negan remarks how that version of Rick is someone he wouldn’t have messed with, but thankfully he’s not that guy anymore. To further prove his point, Negan switches on the camera and mocks Rick to once again exert his control over Alexandria’s chosen leader. Rick may have once been a savage, capable of all sorts of despicable acts, but now he’s nothing more than a pawn as Negan plays the king.
Meanwhile, one of Negan’s men also encounters a problem when Carl draws a gun on him as he was gathering up all the medication inside Alexandria to take back to the Sanctuary. Negan intervenes and tries to warn Carl just like he told Rick and the others a few days ago — this sort of shit just doesn’t fly. Negan may have said “half your shit” when talking about taking Alexandria’s supplies, but what it really means is they will give him whatever he wants and they can go beg, borrow or steal more if they need it.
Rick finally talks Carl down and he surrenders the gun he had trained on one of the Saviors, but that encounter reminds Negan that the people in Alexandria not only have furniture, medication and supplies worth taking but they also have a shit load of guns.
And Negan wants all of them.
Hand it Over
Negan sends his people into the armory where Olivia is ordered to hand over all the weaponry to the Saviors, except there’s one problem — two of the guns are missing. Negan reminds Rick that this new “partnership” won’t work if the people of Alexandria keep lying to him about what they possess or even worse if they are so incompetent that they can’d do the jobs ordered of them. Negan tells Rick to go gather up the last two guns on the inventory list or Olivia is going to find out just how thirsty Lucille is today.
Rick quickly calls everybody into the church for a town meeting where he lays out the new rules set forth by Negan, while also reminding them that he’s no longer the one in charge. Of course some of the people in town are angry and questioning Rick’s leadership for bending over for Negan, but none of them were present when Glenn and Abraham were so savagely killed either.
Finally, Rick figures out that Spencer was probably the most likely culprit to steal the guns considering he’s done it before. Sure enough, Rick finds a hidden cubby inside Spender’s home where he discovers the guns along with some food and liquor that he took as well.
Rick turns over the guns to Negan and he ultimately spares Olivia’s life as he starts to establish some rapport and trust with the people of Alexandria.
Just One Gun
Rosita and Spencer return to the scene of the crime where Denise had an arrow put through her eye during an attack from Dwight and the other Saviors a few weeks ago. That’s where Daryl had his bike hidden and Dwight ordered them to go retrieve it. While there, Spencer rails on Rick’s decision to fight the Saviors rather than striking a deal with them right away that could have saved Glenn and Abraham from being sacrificed.
Rosita is largely tuning him out as she wanders into the woods to find the Saviors, who were killed during the attack that day. Rosita kills them and then we find out the whole purpose of this trip for her — she wanted to recover a gun. Sadly, there were no bullets in the gun but after Dwight took her weapons, Rosita knew that the Saviors were going to take all of the guns from Alexandria and now was the time to start rebuilding that supply — one way or another.
Trust is a Four Letter Word
After ransacking Alexandria for all the supplies and guns, Negan holds one last conversation with Rick before going. He kills a walker that’s just outside the gates as proof of just how he’s offering protection to the town — like a mobster forces businesses to pay them for “protection” when in reality, they are the ones committing the crimes in the first place.
Rick then asks for one favor — he wants Daryl back. Negan isn’t keen on the idea but he offers Daryl the chance to plead his case on why he should be allowed to stay. Daryl never says a word and instead just turns to get back into the van to go back to the Sanctuary. It’s clear Daryl is still resisting Negan as much as possible and this is the only way he can maintain control. He’s never going to beg — not even with a chance to go home again.
Finally, Rick hands over one last offering to Negan — the hunting rifle that Michonne took with her earlier that morning. He knew she was going for target practice and this was a rifle that wasn’t on the inventory list because it was a rifle taken from the Savior’s outpost that they ransacked weeks ago. Michonne is fighting against Negan and his men with every fiber of her being, but Rick explains that they have no choice in the matter and turning over the weapons might be the only way to ensure no one else gets killed.
When Rick hands over the rifle, Negan smirks and says that this is the beginning of the trust that needs to be built between the two communities. Finally, Negan has Rick hand back over Lucille to him when he utters one of the most famous lines ripped straight from ‘The Walking Dead’ comic book.
Negan gathers his troops and they leave with everything they wanted to take from Alexandria. Dwight gets his bike from Rosita and as a “reward” he gives her back the hat that he took when first arriving in town.
After the Saviors exit, Spencer takes this opportunity to question Rick’s leadership while also invoking Glenn and Abraham’s names as proof that he should have just submitted in the beginning and maybe they would still be alive. Rick may not be able to take a swing at Negan — as hard as it was to resist while being forced to hold onto Lucille — but he has no problem breaking Spencer’s jaw for talking back to him.
Finally, Rick has a conversation with Michonne about why he was so willing to bend and then break to Negan’s control.
Rick drops the bombshell (that we’ve suspected for years) that Judith is actually Shane’s child, but he’s been raising her as his own. Rick says in every way that’s important, Judith is his daughter, but he’s caring for her knowing all along that she’s not really his kid. That’s the kind of responsibility he has to the people of Alexandria as well. They aren’t family to him, but he wants to care for them like they are and sometimes you have to do what’s right for the greater good. Right now, bending a knee to Negan is the right thing to do to make sure no one else from Alexandria gets killed.
And finally, Rosita finds a shell casing in town from a bullet Negan fired off early in the episode while gather up weapons from Alexandria. She arrives at Eugene’s house, hands him the casing and asks him to make her a bullet. If you remember at the tail end of last season, Eugene had laid out the blueprints to make ammunition for Alexandria and now Rosita wants him to do it.
The people of Alexandria may be beaten — but not all of them are defeated just yet.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC