Well, it took three weeks, but we finally get to catch up with Rick & Friends back in Alexandria. Hopefully Enid has now been freed from that closet and Father Gabriel really did keep Judith safe. It’s time to take a look at this week’s 90-minute episode: “Service.”
Rick and Michonne are asleep in bed. Michonne wakes up and sneaks out, taking some weapons with her. She doesn’t hear Rick get up and watch her go. She takes the cache out to a rusted car in the middle of a field and waits. Rick, meanwhile, goes in and gets Judith out of her crib.
At the gate, Rosita and Spencer are in a car and ask Eugene to open the gate. Spencer explains they are going out to find stuff to give the Saviors and invites him along, but he declines. And then a loud vehicle pulls up outside and the silhouette of a man with a bat approaches the gate.
Negan raps on the gate and says, “Little pig, little pig, let me in.”
Spencer opens the gate and asks, “Who are you?”
Negan is upset about that question and when Rick shows up and says, “You’re early,” Negan shows him a walker, kills it, and then tells Rick, “Hey, I could have been mad about almost being turned away and about the fact that guy doesn’t know who I am, but instead I take care of a walker for you.” Then he hands Lucille to Rick and says, “Hold this.”
Negan has brought a whole collection of soldiers with him, including Daryl, who looks terrible. When Rick tries to talk to Daryl, Negan says, “You don’t look at him, you don’t talk to him and I don’t chop anything off of him.”
Negan’s impressed with Alexandria and laughs about the “embarrassment of riches.” He also tries to weirdly flirt with Rosita, who just walks away.
And then he has his Saviors search the houses so they can take whatever they want. Negan asks Rick for a tour. As they leave, Dwight asks Rosita where she and Spencer were headed and as Spencer tries to explain, Dwight cuts him off and says he doesn’t care. Dwight takes their guns out of the car.
Dwight tells Rosita to go get him Daryl’s bike. She says it’s not there and he says she must know where it is then. And he empties her canteen while she and Spencer get back in the car. “Don’t take too long,” he says. They leave.
Michonne spots a walker and tries to shoot it, but misses. She keeps trying and keeps missing and when it gets close enough she finally just kills it with her katana. She goes into the woods and finds a dead deer. It appears to have been shot. Probably by one of her missed walker shots.
The Saviors take furniture and things out of houses around Alexandria. One of them finds a camcorder and brings it to Negan. It’s the video Deanna recorded of Rick when they first arrived. Negan teases Rick about the beard and says he wouldn’t have wanted to mess with that guy, but Rick’s not that guy anymore.
And then he asks where Maggie is. Says she looked like she’d had a bad night. He figured out she was married to Glenn. As he talks about Maggie, Rick grips Lucille, which he is still holding. Negan says, “Where is she? I’d love to see her.”
When Father Gabriel appears and asks, “Would you care to pay your respects?” Negan turns and says, “Holy crap! You are creepy as shit sneaking up like that.” And then he understands that Maggie didn’t make it. They take him to the cemetery. Negan says he was going to ask her to come back with him.
There’s a gunshot and Negan looks at Rick with accusation in his eyes.
The shooter is…Carl. Because of course it is. He’s holding a gun on a couple of Saviors who are taking all the medicine. Rick tells him to put the gun down. Negan lectures Carl about what he meant when he said “half.” He says, “I’m serious. Do you want me to prove how serious again?”
Negan turns his attention on Rick and demands all of their guns because Carl’s outburst tells him they can’t be trusted with weapons. This can’t be good.
They go to the armory. Olivia says she figured they were coming. Negan asks if she’s in charge and she explains she just keeps track of everything. He sends Saviors along with Olivia and points out to Rick that they aren’t taking any food since they can see pickings are slim in Alexandria.
Negan asks, “Are you cooperating?” Rick says, “What’s it look like?” Negan asks if all the weapons are actually in the armory or if anyone else is hiding and waiting for an opportunity to use them. Rick says they’re all in there, to the best of his knowledge.
Rosita and Spencer find Daryl’s bike still by the railroad tracks where he left it. Spencer is pretty upset about this Negan business and blames Rick for it. “Maybe if Rick thought it through, people would still be with us.”
Rosita takes off into the woods.
Negan says, “Today is a banner day. This arrangement is gonna work just fine.”
Daryl comes out of a house with guns and Negan takes one, holding it on Daryl, who ignores him. Negan fires the gun into a window. Olivia and a female Savior come out of the house. The woman says they are two guns short and Negan says this shows someone isn’t on board. “I don’t enjoy killing women…but Olivia…this was your job and you screwed up.”
They cut to the church, where everyone is gathered. Rick tells everyone that he had thought about hiding some guns, but decided it wouldn’t work. “It doesn’t matter how many bullets we have, they win.” He says that whoever has the guns needs to turn them over or Negan will kill Olivia.
Some of the Alexandrites ask why they care and suggest they keep the weapons. Rick finally says, “Let me put it to you clearly, I’m not in charge anymore. Negan is. Now who has the guns?” Eugene points out there are people missing.
Rosita finds several walkers in the woods. Spencer calls for her and they hear, but she manages to kill them all. She picks up a gun. It appears to be one of the missing guns, but it’s empty. She knows Negan took all the guns and she says to Spencer, “This is not our life.”
Rick is in Deanna’s house. Negan is sitting out on the porch with Olivia. He searches for the guns and Father Gabriel shows up and tells Rick, “I know this is going to work out.” Aren’t we the optimist. He continues, “I have faith in us. I have faith in you.” And then he tells Rick they’re friends and asks to sing Kumbaya. Okay, not really that last part, but basically. He asks where Michonne is and Rick says she doesn’t have anything they’re looking for and then thanks him for his quick thinking with the graves. Gabriel says, “It was nice digging a grave I knew would stay empty.” Maggie’s alive!
Aaron comes in and reports they still haven’t found anything. He says he’s going to check the garage and Gabriel heads for the office. Rick opens a vent in the floor and pulls out a bunch of canned food and a bottle of booze. He reaches in a little further and finds the missing guns.
Outside, one of the Saviors is bugging Enid (who apparently DID get out of that closet). He has her balloons and she asks for them back and he keeps calling her Little Girl, and I want to use Lucille on his face if he says it again.
Negan asks Rick who had the guns that almost got Olivia killed. Rick says it doesn’t matter and Negan tells him to get EVERYBODY on board.
The trucks with all the Alexandria supplies leave just as Spencer and Rosita come back.
Negan compliments Rick again on their community, but Rick spots Michonne and asks for a second. Negan says no, but Rick begs him. He says fine and Rick goes to Michonne and demands the rifle. She says no, but Rick tells her, “I’m not losing anyone else.”
He brings Michonne (who is carrying the dead deer) and the rifle and explains that Michonne was out hunting with a gun they never kept inside the town. Negan commends him for his honesty. Rick asks if Daryl can stay and Negan says no. Then he says, “Well, maybe Daryl can persuade me.”
Daryl says nothing.
Negan asks for something special next time, or someone will die.
Dwight gives Rosita back her hat, which he had taken when she left. He thanks her for Daryl’s motorcycle and asks if she found anything else out there. She says, “Just your dead friends.”
He tells Daryl he can have the bike back if he says the word. Daryl says nothing.
Negan points out to Rick that no one died today and tells Rick to say those “two magical words.” Rick says, “Thank you.” Negan says, “Don’t be ridiculous! Thank YOU.”
A walker stumbles toward them and Negan goes after it, chopping it’s face off. Rick, still holding Lucille, clutches it again and looks like he’s thinking about it. But then he doesn’t and Negan takes the bat back. “After what she did, why would you want her?”
Daryl is in the back of the truck and watches Rick as they drive away.
Rick looks up at the sign that says, “Safe Zone: Mercy for the Lost, Vengeance for the Plunderers.” He smirks at the irony.
He closes the gate and tells Spencer, “I took the guns you had in your house.” Spencer is upset they went into his house, but Rick explains they were going to kill Olivia. Spencer says they should have made a deal when they could have. He says, “I guess Glenn and Abraham were lucky, too?”
Rick tells him, “If you say anything like that again to me, I’ll break your jaw, knock your teeth out.” And he walks away. Spencer walks back to the van and Rosita is angry he had the guns after what she just went through to get one. He explains he was worried about Rick being in charge.
She walks back over to the car and pulls a gun from the tire well.
Inside his house, Rick rolls out comforters since the beds are all gone. Michonne comes in. She says the Saviors didn’t have a list of guns and that rifle was one of theirs. “We could have hidden more.” He asks if she did, but she says no.
She wants an alliance with the Hilltop, but Rick just says they need to play by the rules to have some kind of life. And then, for the first time in five years, he talks about Shane. He says, “I know Judith isn’t mine. I know it. I love her. She’s my daughter. But I know she isn’t mine.” He talks about how he wants to raise her and protect her and teach her how to survive.
Michonne tells him it’s not his fault when people die, but he just says they all have to accept this or it won’t work.
She grabs another comforter and helps make the bed and says, “I’m gonna try.”
The same day, the next day, it’s not really clear, Michonne goes back out to the rusted car in the field. She sits and waits. She seems to hear something and goes down the road to find a pile of burned up mattresses.
Rosita knocks on Eugene’s door at night. He answers and she asks him, “Make me a bullet.”