Spoilers for Season 7 of The Walking Dead follow.
This week's episode of The Walking Dead, "Go Getters," wasn't as eventful as last week's episode, but there's still a good amount of new content to go over. Between Maggie and Jesus unofficially taking control of the Hilltop and Carl taking a solo trip to the Saviors' compound, it was still a pretty good episode. Still, it was last week's episode that was much more important to the rest of Season 7.
As you'll likely remember, last week's ep, "Service," brought Negan to the doorstep of Alexandria, leaving the once-strong survivors' community in shambles. The episode hinted at a possible resolution for the Negan problem in the final moments, with Rick debating whether to use Lucille against him — but ultimately deciding against it.
As it sits, Negan is in full control of Alexandria, Hilltop and the Kingdom. There is no opposition strong enough to overthrow his rule; he continues to press his dominance over each group of survivors, despite leaving them battered in defeat. Negan has already killed two members of Rick's group, taken the group's guns and burned their beds, but Negan still wants to make sure no one is capable of revolting against him. He sure isn't counting on Rick planning a revolt.
Rick And Company Are Taking Very Careful Steps
All the pieces are aligning for Rick to remove Negan from his throne — and it was last week's episode that more than hinted at what Rick's group has in store for Negan when they finally take their revenge on him. During the final scene, in which Rosita can be seen picking up an empty bullet casing and taking it over to Eugene, she says something very pivotal to what's to come next:
"Make me a bullet."
Why Does Rosita Ask Eugene For A Bullet?
The prospect of Eugene making bullets has already come up a few times. During the Season 6 finale, Eugene gave Rick a layout on how to make bullets in the scenario of his early demise. And then there was the refinery, which Eugene and Abraham came across during Season 6.
In the comics, after Negan asserted his dominion over Alexandria, its residents were left to grieve over the loss of Abraham and Glenn. During Abraham's funeral, Eugene approached Rick about making bullets to take the Saviors down. After a thorough discussion, the two were able to come to an accord, and Eugene began mass-producing cases of ammunition for the group to use against the Saviors. The bullets made by Eugene were then used in the war against Negan.
In other words, Eugene is the guy who makes bullets to use against Negan in the comics — and Rosita just asked him to make the bullets — so the next step is for Rick's group to use the bullets against Negan for the "All Out War" event, which we can expect to take place in the coming months (possibly during the mid-season finale).
Is Daryl The Inside Man?
There was something else in "Service" that fans picked up on: Daryl and Rick may be communicating by morse code (though showrunner Scott Gimple was somewhere between dismissive and coy about this theory).
It wasn't Rick's intention for Daryl to be taken by Negan, but it has come with its advantage since Daryl now knows where the Saviors are based. Daryl wasn't able to speak with Rick, but — if the fan theory is true — he may have relayed the message "I- E-A-S-T," leading Rick to Negan's sanctuary, and Daryl could keep conducting recon.
Even if the morse code theory doesn't pan out, Carl is headed to the sanctuary on the back of a truck, so he may be able to fill in this knowledge gap — if he's able to escape with his life.
As previously mentioned, the pieces are all being fit into place. With more than one party searching for the Saviors' location, someone is going to come across where they're really holed up. Once Rick finds out where Negan is located, his true intentions will become clear.
Rick Hasn't Changed At All — And You'll Find Out Soon Enough
Despite Rick appearing to be defeated by Negan, he's not. Most have assumed that Rick would remain in a submissive state for some time after being dominated by Negan in the Season 7 premiere, but that's not so; Rick was completely and utterly broken by Negan, but he hasn't lost that madman mindset which has kept him and his group alive, evident by one subtle scene in "Service."
During the last sequence of the episode, when Rosita and Spencer return from their trip, Spencer berates Rick for making the wrong decisions, which have led them to work under Negan's rule. Spencer accuses Rick of being responsible for the deaths of Glenn and Abraham — until Rick shows what he's hiding under his submissive state. Once Spencer says one too many inappropriate comments, Rick has enough and threatens Spencer with the same ferocity we've seen of him in previous seasons.
Spencer backs down shortly thereafter, and it's Rick's change in demeanor that proves he's presenting a facade to everyone around him.
Rick needs to be as convincing as possible to make sure no one has any idea what he has in mind. He may not even be able to tell the people closest to him, for fear of word spilling out accidentally, so he's avidly presenting himself in a submissive manner. By presenting himself this way, Rick's people will follow him in a similar manner when Negan visits. Rick understands how Negan operates, so he's making sure that the people of Alexandria respond to Negan the way he wants them to — for the time being.
When Will Rick Let Everyone Know What He Has Planned?
When Rick is ready to make his move against Negan, he'll likely inform the Alexandrians of his plan and move forward with waging his war. Negan won't expect a revolt to take place, especially after successfully dominating three separate survivors' communities. Negan just stepped into his own downfall by leaving Rick alive. Negan assumes that he's completely broken Rick to the point of no return, but Negan has never come across a bad motherf***er like Rick Grimes before.
Rick is going to be the one who sets everything in place, but Eugene and Rosita's roles are now more integral to the mission of taking Negan down, since they will be providing the bullets that ultimately put an end to Negan and his Saviors.
What do you think? Are Rick, Rosita, and Eugune in cahoots on a plan to exact their revenge on Negan — or is Rick really broken? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC