Spoilers for Season 7 of The Walking Dead follow.
Negan made his debut on The Walking Dead in a very brutal display of dominance, but he isn't done showing what he's all about. In this week's episode, "Service," we get to see Negan making a visit to Alexandria.
Last week's episode "The Cell" depicted Negan in the Sanctuary, his base of operations. Daryl, being held captive there, glimpsed into the world of the Saviors and realized there's two sides to what he can see.
Dwight, at the heart of it, is trying to persuade Daryl into going along with Negan's plans (even though Negan savagely burned Dwight's face with a hot iron), but Daryl continues to resist. For all the convincing Dwight is trying to do, it seems like he might be trying to actually help Daryl. Who knows, maybe Dwight can redeem himself if he helps Daryl escape?
Regardless, Negan's dominion has been made transparent by the level of obedience and respect shown to him whenever he appears in front of the Saviors; they even bow to Negan when he walks by. In a limited amount of time, Negan proved that everyone fears/respects him for the things he does, and no one is willing to protest his rule.
That being said, it's quite obvious that Negan really has a knack for manipulation and coercion with the Saviors following his rules to a fine point. However, no one can say how long their obedience will last while they remain under the lash of a whip. That degree of loyalty will only go so far when it originates from a place of fear and hatred.
'Service' Sees Negan Take Charge Of Alexandria
Tonight we saw the Alexandrians' reaction to Negan (and his Saviors) ransacking the compound. They didn't necessarily invade, but their approach was practically an invasion.
Now that we've seen the episode, we know that Negan isn't kidding around when he says he wants half of everything, or rather his interpretation of "half of everything." And with Rick out of commission, the rest of Alexandria is going to have to step up until Rick gets back on his feet.
Negan's Visit To Alexandria Won't Go Over Well With Its Residents
After tonight's episode made it clear that Negan is trying to make another statement to Rick and his group by obnoxiously barging into Alexandria, something else has been made clear: the Alexandrians aren't processing Negan's arrival very well.
Out of all the residents, Rick is the one survivor we'd expect to keep a strong resolve for the wellbeing of the entire group, but he's broken and it's become obvious to everyone.
What Will The Alexandrians Do About Negan?
From Rick and Co. having to give up all their guns to watching Negan nearly kill Olivia, the episode was hard to watch. Negan already has the Alexandrians under the heel of his boot; anything else he does is simply adding insult to injury.
Now that Negan has enforced his rule, the residents of Alexandria are going to have to come to an agreement about how to respond to Negan's demands. There are plenty of options on the table, the most viable being to submit. But in doing so, Alexandria would be opening up their gates to Negan's band of Saviors and whatever outrageous demand they might request of the community.
Either way, Alexandria is going to have to respond to Negan sooner or later. Their next confrontation with Negan could even see several members of the community executed or taken captive. Should they pack up and find a new place to live? Give in to Negan's demands, regardless of how ridiculous they are? Or should the Alexandrians fight alongside the Kingdom and the Hilltop to get rid of the Saviors?
The conflict is coming to a massive confrontation between all of these separate survivor communities. If the comics tell us anything, the final confrontation will come down to Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom banding together.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 P.M. on AMC.