Last night's 90-minute tour through Alexandria with Negan and the Saviors on The Walking Dead marks the midpoint of the first half of the seventh season. It was every bit as tense a violation as you'd imagine it to be. These uninvited "guests," walking through your home, taking everything they deem valuable enough to take. At least they didn't take any more people. Darryl may have been a rare instance, or at least unique. I was worried everybody, as well as everything, was subject to forfeiture.
My biggest takeaway from "Service" is that dissent is brewing among the ranks, mainly because Rick has gone "full rollover." You never go full rollover. Rick is so concerned with preserving the lives of who's left that he doesn't realize being under Negan's fickle thumb is just as precarious as being on bended knee waiting for Lucille to strike. Looking for proof in the pudding? Negan told Carl, "Half is whatever we say it is." That means that no matter how much the group produces, if they say you're short, you're short. That happens - BOOM! The vampire bat strikes again. As a leader, I would look at this as a matter of when - not if - it happens again. I would probably be looking to take some drastic measures. If not now, then right now.
Everybody in Alexandria is not on board with the "full rollover," that is undisputable. Some have already reached their limit; I included, after last night's pillage of Alexandria's armory. I'm tapping out. I'm done; deal breaker. They took every gun. I'm sorry but as an American, I have a problem with that. I'm no longer willing to yield and wait for Rick to get his gumption back. Then we get our guns back! And that's how we make Alexandria great again! Rosita and Michonne have the right idea – show passive resistance, at the very least. If life has taught me anything it is to get ahead where you can, when you can. Squirreling away Michonne's rifle and her doe would have been step one in the right direction.
I understand Rick is thinking about the safety of his children and all the other families under his charge. But how many more times can you watch Negan prance around your place, smiling smugly in your face because you are powerless in his presence? Taking whatever he wants from you? Embarrassing you, belittling you? There is a limit to what one man will take. I hope it doesn't take Rick too long to reach his threshold, lest he lose something else irreplaceable. Y'know, like his sons' respect.
This episode was 90-minutes of unadulterated knife twisting. I think the only reason they extended it was to actually give the crowd more Negan than they could stand. The man was enjoying himself just way too much. It's all orchestrated to ensure that we - the audience - are sick of him and understand how quickly he must be moved against. The producers are igniting our fires, while Rick smolders over the loss of Abraham, Glenn and Darryl. One positive I can say: The Walking Dead giveth as The Walking Dead taketh away. With the introduction of Negan, we are at no loss of colorful metaphors; once provided by Abraham.