Reviewbr> "You should go before you find out how dangerous we are" - Carl Grimes
Alexandria is still grieving the loss of their people to Negan, and Rick's core group are still fragmented. Into the mix Negan and his possie arrive a week early to take their payment for providing "protection". Top of the list is all beds, all guns and ammunition, and whatever medicine and food is available. Rick is still reeling from events in the recent past and is hell bent on keeping his people alive, regardless of what Negan demands, this is put to the test when one of Negan's goons discovers there are two guns missing from the armoury, Olivier could pay the ultimate price here.
Meanwhile Michonne is out practicing her rifle skills, nowhere near her sword swinging feats, and Rosita is hell bent on building a secret stash of guns. Carl faces off against two Saviours and is pretty much on the knife's edge; Rick talks him down from the ledge. Adding to Rick's woes Daryl is now something of an intern with the Saviours and differing Alexandrians are ready to rebel. What is it with Aaron keeping supplies hidden? Rick does get to carry Lucille around all episode as Negan seeks to prove he has the former lawman well under the thumb.
Mortecai back for another helping of The Walking Dead, and this time I have proof positive that the trolls are lying through their teeth about the show. Now we haven't seen Judith for some episodes, she probably isn't the most interesting character right now, but the news from this episode is Judith is now a toddler, that's right kids she is aging as the seasons go down. This would be as opposed to the haters who were harping on about her never aging, I would suggest getting your facts somewhere in the ballpark of reality before laying down absolute garbage about the failings of this show. Guess haters are going to hate, and they sure are doing so after every episode of season seven, clearly it's now the cool thing to do, and most of them have zero happening in their lives.
Not sure how much more of this Rick is going to take before he cracks
Back to the show and my oh my the Writers this season really have the bit between their teeth when it comes to wringing every ounce of drama out of the story they are gradually unravelling through the first half of the season. Rick is a shell, Andrew Lincoln is nailing a character that is going through deep shock and trauma, with the only point on his agenda being to keep his people alive and safe from the murderous Negan. You can see the pain registering on Lincoln's face after each demand from Negan, and his sheer desperation in saving Olivia from a visit with Lucille. Rick Grimes is broken and will need something seriously to happen in order to get back in the saddle.
Not surprisingly three other characters are chaffing at the notion of kowtowing to Negan but surprisingly one or two others who we wouldn't expect to show resistance are going their own way completely off the Negan and Rick script. Michonne is always ready for a breakout, she tried to hang up her sword some time ago but events keep conspiring to have it back in her hands. Our Amazonian warrior is already preparing, even if she doesn't realise it, to take on the Saviours in open conflict. Rosita is simply fired up and isn't going to take much more; she is already working out ways to tool up and not go meekly into that black night. Carl is simply more of a bad ass with each passing season and isn't taking a backward step when it comes to confronting Negan's guys. Put it down to youthful exuberance or simply more of an awareness of how close to the edge Alexandria is, Carl has a streak of survivor in him that doesn't leave room for compromise.
Surprisingly however Father Gabriel is defying Negan in his own really creepy way, even the big Psycho was taken back I think with Gabriel's shit eating grin this episode. I wouldn't want to end up in a dark confessional with this dude to be honest. Is Gabriel another character who is going to rise to the occasion or is he being setup as yet another major death this season. For sure we have had a couple already, is Gabriel going to be added to the death toll this season?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) is rocking the role though I have a feeling that he might be overplaying it, in the process turning one of the true psychos of the graphic novels into an almost cartoonish superhero villain. While I'm not totally for or against this concept it could quickly descend into high farce if not kept under relative control. We all know that eventually there is going to be a confrontation between Rick and Negan, the job of the Writers is to build this up to something massive, something for us long suffering fans to really dig the most. Thus far they are doing a pretty good job, Negan is manically unpredictable and Morgan has it rocking if slightly over the top.
Seems there's a lot of people ready to run the show down while time is taken out of the busy zombie killing schedule to develop a bunch of new characters, but guess what, don't listen to the haters, over 10 million people dial into each episode in North America alone and a whole bunch more are streaming on various services. The show has a clear audience who will remain with it and who get the whole drama going down. If you fit into that category then you are going to enjoy episodes like Service, otherwise you are probably no longer reading this review. So in the wash up, and summing up, the episode is directly for fans of the show and isn't likely to promote additional viewers amongst a viewing public increasingly unable to follow simply things like plot, sub plot, and I'm going to say it, themes.
I've been catching up on the graphic novels recently, can't get me enough of The Walking Dead, but the novels and television show have certainly deviated from each other. Overall the novels are a lot darker and apt to throw a lot more gore at us. The strange thing is even though the television episodes can be brutal there is a feeling that there is some restraint involved that could at any stage be dropped to unleash a torrent of blood and gore. So my advice for those enmeshed in the show is not to get too comfortable, favourite characters will die and at any stage there could be bucket loads of gore ladled onto the screen. You have to love a show that goes its own way, gets out of any familiar zone, and dares to confront its viewers with dramatic developments and simply quiet moments of introspection.
Guess I'm at the end of the review and once again have delved into why the show is excellent viewing without spending a lot time reviewing the actual episode itself. A lot happened during Service but mainly in terms of character and overall story development at the expense of action and mindless zombie slaughter. Our crew are still shattered, as a unit and as individuals, Negan is pushing harder, Rick is eventually going to decide this is no way to continue the new world order. I'm digging the whole intense character studies going down and will be across this for however many episodes they throw at me. Mortecai out, yes I'm still solo on this one but I'm still grooving to what The Walking Dead universe can throw at me.