Title: The Walking Dead “Service”
Air Date: November 13th, 2016
Genre: Serial Drama, Horror
The Walking Dead just returned with an all new 90-minute episode titled “Service.” Given that the episode was upped to 90 minutes, I think I was expecting some sort of high profile death… which never came. I’m not saying the episode was bad, but I think I was just looking for some deeper substance than just Negan arriving at Alexandria. When taking out the commercials, the episode does end up coming in at the one hour mark, opposed to the usual 46 minute run time. So in reality, we’re just getting about 15 minutes of extra time in the episode. Despite the extra time, due to a horrible illness (aka a really severe man cold), I am going to keep this review fairly short.
Since the season seven premiere of The Walking Dead, we’ve spent two episodes away from Rick and company. First being introduced to Ezekiel and the Kingdom, followed by checking in with a captive Daryl in the Savior compound. Finally, we’re back in Alexandria with Negan making his arrival to the compound. I felt this episode did a fantastic job of creating tension and suspense. I was convinced someone from Alexandria would potentially be meeting their death at any minute, particularly when Spencer met Negan at the gate. While Spencer was not with the group when Glenn and Abraham were killed, he no doubt is aware of what happened. Yet still, he looks at Negan and asks, “Who are you?” I thought right then he was dead.
The opening of the episode showed Michonne grabbing a hidden rifle from the fireplace. While Rick may currently be accepting of Negan’s reign, Michonne is ready to strike back. Well… maybe I should say Rick is NOT accepting his current situation. Not only does Rick not stop Michonne, he is literally on the verge of hitting Negan with Lucille later in the episode. What gets me about Negan, is the manner in which he knows how to push buttons. This is the guy that knows how to get under your skin… how to break you down. I actually talked about this with Julie and Dianna a good bit during my guest appearance on their Aim for the Head podcast. This episode of The Walking Dead also pulls from the comics. Those that are familiar will definitely recall the dialogue from Negan as he’s about to leave Alexandria.
The most emotional moment in the episode for me came during the conversation between Rick and Michonne. Rick admitted that Judith isn’t his, and discussed his relationship with Shane and his desire to see his daughter (Judith) grow up. The loss of Glenn and Abraham has hit Rick hard. He feels responsible. Even if he wanted to push back, they simply don’t have the numbers, even with the Hilltop. It’s a painful realization for Rick but it’s why he continues to restrain himself from fighting. Many times during this episode we saw Rick grip Lucille very tightly, preparing for an impending swing. Each time, he managed to regain his composure.
Maggie was noticeably absent from Alexandria. It was a big risk for Father Gabriel to tell Negan she died, yet it seemed to pay off… thanks to the fresh grave. I am curious about where Maggie is. One would think that the Hilltop would most certainly give her up if she were there or at least inform Negan of her being there. The Saviors searched all of Alexandria for loot so if she were hidden there, she would no doubt be uncovered. Perhaps she’s somewhere outside the compound? Speaking of outside the compound, Rosita and Spencer embarked on a quest to receive Daryl’s motorcycle for Dwight.
Rosita is one pissed off woman right now. When she looks at Negan and the Saviors, it’s not with fear but with contempt and hatred. The ending scene where she asks Eugene to make her a bullet is the start of the revolution against Negan for me. Eventually, they’re going to be able to begin manufacturing ammo on their own which I imagine will be used in the fight against Negan. Dwight is clearly back to his ruthless self but Spencer was interesting to see in this Walking Dead episode. Obviously, he blames Rick for what has happened with the Saviors. Seriously, though… can you blame him? Sure, there’s a solid chance that the Saviors would have eventually found Alexandria but with Rick attacking one of their outposts, it was inevitable.
I did expect Spencer to meet his demise in this episode, from the guns they found stashed in his house to the way he answered Negan at the gate. However, a conflict is clearly brewing here between Rick and Spencer. We’ll have to wait and see what course that takes.
We do get to see Daryl, who was clearly brought to keep Rick in line. Here, he looks even more somber than he did in “The Cell.” I wonder if something else went down that we didn’t see or Daryl just realizes he absolutely needs to stay in line. Negan having Rick hold Lucille was the ultimate show of power as he had Rick hold it until he left Alexandria. Not only that but the line at the end to Rick which was right out of the comics. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I just slipped my **** down your throat and you thanked me for it.” Totally demeaning and a line that is a breaker of spirits, particularly when you can’t do anything about it.
Well, so much for keeping it short. What did you think of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead? Is Spencer going to come around or eventually work against the members of Alexandria? Where do you think Maggie is? How did you feel about the extended runtime? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and check back next week for our all new review.
- Jeffery Dean Morgan as Negan
- Rick's rage
- Making Rick hold Lucille
- Little action for the 90-minute episode