Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Walking Dead Season 7.
The seventh season of The Walking Dead became the most anticipated TV event of the year following the show's controversial Season 6 finale that introduced us to Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan. After that huge cliffhanger that saw the death of an unidentified main character, fans began theorizing about who would fall victim to Negan's bat Lucille. When Season 7 finally began airing, the extremely violent premiere episode saw not one but two beloved characters breathe their last breath. The world wept with horror as we lost both Abraham and Glenn, leaving many of us wondering how the show could go on without these two pivotal characters.
But just like in real life, the show must go on. In subsequent episodes of #TheWalkingDeadSeason7, we caught up with Carol and Morgan at the Kingdom and elsewhere we saw Negan's new prisoner Daryl, who is isolated from society while being tortured in a lonely decrepit cell.
Tonight's extended episode is the one that everybody was anticipating and it most certainly didn't disappoint — Negan arrived at Alexandria for the first time and Rick and the gang realized that their suffering has only just begun. Let's take a look back at the most heart-racing moments from Season 7, Episode 4, "Service."
1. Negan Arrives At Alexandria
The fourth episode of the season saw us reunited with the Alexandrians who have been struggling to cope following Glenn and Abraham's gruesome deaths. Rosita and Spencer planned to head out to get supplies for when Negan arrives — clearly they understand that he is in charge now. However, before they could make it past the gate, they heard a vehicle pull up outside.
Rosita and Spencer remained silent, waiting to see who was on the other side. The pair then heard that signature whistling as Negan approached the gate. With three loud bangs, Negan made his presence felt. The Alexandrians knew that the moment they let this tyrant over the entrance, their lives would never be the same again. Upon Negan's unexpected arrival, Rick approached the gate.
Negan took the opportunity to joke with Rick but after several moments passed, he grew tired of the waiting game and intimidated Rick into letting him in. It was certainly an intense scene and it really set up the dynamic between the two characters — Rick is a shell of his former self ever since his first encounter with the villainous tyrant and Negan is fully aware of this.
A walker approached from nearby and Negan took this opportunity to show Rick — again — what he's capable of, hitting the walker across the face with Lucille. Negan told his crew to enter and Rick took a good look at all of the Saviors; it was then he spotted Daryl who also looked like a shell of his former self, almost hiding behind Dwight.
2. Negan Refuses To Let Rick Speak To Daryl
After the Saviors entered the premises, Negan advised them to take a look around. Rick attempted to address Daryl — his former right hand man and best friend — but Negan refused to let this interaction take place, stopping Rick in his tracks.
Negan then reiterated that command to all of the Alexandrians telling them that they are, under no circumstances, allowed to speak to Daryl — he was there to serve Negan and only Negan.
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3. Carl Threatens Negan
Most people at Alexandria were rather cooperative with Negan and his people but there was one exception: Carl. Negan heard a gunshot and decided to find out what was going on. The Saviors were taking all of the Alexandria medicine and Carl wasn't going to let them away with it, threatening them with a gun.
Negan entered and tried to calm things down, but Carl decided to try his luck at threatening Negan — something that the tyrant didn't take too kindly to, reminding him of what happened to Glenn and Abraham. Eventually Carl caved, but our hearts were in our mouths the entire time.
4. Rick Addresses The Alexandrians
Rick has always been the leader of the group, ever since the show began. Although many have died and more have joined since, Rick has always managed to remain the leader and it was his leadership qualities that got the group through some of the toughest times, including the heinous Governor back in Seasons 3 and 4.
That's what made this scene all the more difficult to watch. While trying to get the Alexandrians to give up the last remaining guns — Negan was going to kill Olivia if he didn't get them — Rick decided to tell them all about the new world order: he is no longer their leader.
After threatening Carl, murdering Abraham and mutliating Glenn, Rick got the message that Negan is in charge — this he now understood, but the harder part was going to be delivering this message to the Alexandrians. The deliverance speech was a passing of the torch moment as he made the others accept that his day is done; Negan runs the show now.
5. Negan Enforces The New World Order
Negan and his Saviors had bled Alexandria dry and all Rick could do was watch them take his belongings. However, instead of opposing, he was accommodating — and even gave Negan Michonne's beloved rifle and a deer that Michonne had killed.
As Negan decided to take out another walker before departing, Rick considered ending the tyrant right there and then, using Negan's signature bat Lucille as a weapon. However, he came to his senses before he made that devastating decision that would have affected everyone else. Negan then forced Rick to thank him before telling the former leader that he now owns everything.
The Walking Dead definitely delivered this week with a super extended episode but with Negan now in control of the Alexandrians, what will Rick do next? There is still so many possibilities for Season 7. Could Carol help the gang out with the support from King Ezekiel and the Kingdom? Let's not forget that we still have to be reacquainted with Jesus and the Hilltop colony too, something which we will see in next week's episode.
There is little we can do but speculate, but for now everything still belongs to Negan.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. What do you think will happen next in Season 7? Tell me in the comment section below.