Walking Dead - Service | Review
The Walking Dead - Service (S07E04)
Tonight's episode of the Walking Dead has me thinking about the time I visited the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam. Stick with me. The Museum exhibits are based around three common choices the Dutch people had to make after Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands.
Those choices were:
- Adapt i.e get on with life as best you can by adapting to the new rules.
- Collaborate i.e. work with the invaders, build trust, become part of their team.
- Resist i.e. fight back by forming a resistance.
And that's kinda where things are at for every character in The Walking Dead. They all have a choice to make; do they get on board with the Negan way of life? do they build trust and try to become part of Negan's gang? or do they fight back?
Here's where a couple of people are sitting:
- Dwight - Collaborate as he can't beat Negan, so he's working for him
- King Ezekiel - Adapt with a shift towards Resist e.g. the poisoned meat he's supplying as part of his offering
- Rick - Adapt although we all know it will be Resist at the end of the day
- Daryl - Adapt (same as Rick)
- Rosita - Resist as she already has a rogue gun and bullets under commission
Ultimately I think it's all heading towards resist for the settlements of Hilltop, Alexandria and The Kingdom with Rick leading the charge in a war against The Saviors. If that war happens this season it will be in the second half of next year's season. Yup, this is probably a good time to remind everyone that The Walking Dead has a split season with eight episodes now followed by a further eight starting in February 2017.
While 'Service' focused heavily on Negan's arrival at Alexandria. What this episode was mostly about was reinforcing that Negan is the new overlord / Trump that everyone must 'bend the knee' too. Going forward, things are never really going to the same for Rick and Co.
Unfortunately as new subscribers this didn't go well for Alexandria. Negan not only stripped Alexandria of every last gun and most of the beds, but made Rick carry around the baseball bat 'Lucille' that he had used a few days earlier to kill Abraham and Glenn. And to make matters worse, he brought Daryl along to help load the trucks. That's what the kids these days call 'Savage AF'.
I really enjoyed the overall episode. They've done a great job at villainizing Negan. My only hope is they don't over play this card going forward. I think he should be the character that gets rolled out to deal with the big compliance issues. I also don't want to get tired of his character too soon. He's a big personality that you don't want at every party.
So even though I think we had maybe to much Negan, if that's such a thing, he had lots of incredible dialogue tonight - With my favourite scene being with my most loathed character Father Gabriel:
Couldn't have said it better. Creepy.
It was also interesting to see Carl try and stand up to the Saviors. Not that it did him much good. And the genuine look of terror on Rick's face was exactly what Negan wanted to see. Compliance.
With all of the 'officially recorded' guns loaded in Negan's trucks. Michhonne returned from a scavenging hunt with a rifle that she'd kept hidden in Alexandria. Unfortunately Buzz Kill-Rick-ing-ton made her surrender it to Negan. Which at first was a pretty annoying thought. Though on deeper reflection, I understand why he did it. He loves her. He doesn't want anyone else to get hurt. Unfortunately for Rick, I think he lost a few credibility points with Michonne for that move.
Creating communities we care about
This isn't so much a negative point for this episode, though more The Walking Dead in general. I'm starting to feel a little concerned that we have too many story lines and locations in play. Normally that wouldn't be a problem. But because our main cast is so spread out and quite large, we only get limited air time with each character. Which means, when we do see that character, it's all about them, not about the community they're now a part of, and what makes it special, or needed for the bigger story line.
Don't get me wrong, I don't need to know about every Tom, Dick and Harry in a community. Though if you want me to invest as a viewer about why I should care about Alexandria, Hilltop or the Kingdom. I need to believe in the people that live there. At the moment you could almost kill any non main actor / actress and I wouldn't budge an eyelash. Collateral damage.
I'm not quite sure what the solution is, though I think it's going to be an issue The Walking Dead writers room needs to address.
Next week on The Walking Dead
Next week's episode 'Go Getters' takes us to Hill Top where Maggie and Sasha were headed for medical treatment. Though what's interesting now is we truly have that Game of Thrones type vibe going on where each episode focuses on one main story. Full credit to @ObiWanKnauer who called this approach back at episode two of the season.
'Service' is going to polarize the fans, you're either going to love it or hate it. And that's probably going to come down to your thoughts on Rick and Negan as characters.
- Broken Rick - Particularly when compared to grizzled Rick from his arrival video at Alexandria.
- Broken Daryl - The payback will eventually be worth it.
- Rick carrying Lucille around for the entire the episode.
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) has some incredible lines - My particular favourite was his comments to Gabriel "You are creepy as shit" - Correct. He is.
- Confirmation that baby Judith belongs to Shane.
- I felt like Negan was a little over played this episode - Everyone gets that he's the boss. I was almost a little fatigued with the character by the end of the episode.
- The empathy we built for Dwight in the last episode was quickly lost this episode - He's a real jerk.