The Walking Dead Awards: When Negan comes knocking

Season 7, Episode 4: Thank you
The Walking Dead 7x04
Photograph by Gene Page/AMC

(Spoilers ahead)

Each week, we comb through the guts of The Walking Dead, much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: Half of your stuff belongs to Negan, half of your baby belongs to Shane, and half of your people don’t get item No. 1.

Season 7, Episode 4: “Service”

Too close for comfort: Like it or not, for about half of the country, this episode hit a little close to home post-election.

Real reason for a 90-minute episode: Gotta buy time to find those guns, amiright?

Best planning: Rick and the Alexandrians didn’t know that Negan would show up early, but man are we glad they thought to dig a grave for Maggie, considering that Negan wanted to take her back to his compound. After watching Glenn’s eyes pop out of his skull a few weeks ago, we don’t think we (or Maggie) could have handled any more torture.

Biggest plot hole: Of all the colonies the Saviors have subjugated, with all the deadly weapons needed on hand during the zombie apocalypse, how has no one killed Negan yet? We don’t expect that assassin to have survived, mind you, but still.

Oddest ethics: Negan didn’t give Daryl a pass for his outburst in the premiere, but Carl got one heck of a blind eye (pun very much intended) from Negan. Clearly there are some ethics at play when it comes to women (whom he admitted to not enjoying killing) and children.

Worst imagination: Burning the mattresses was a low blow and a colossal waste. Way to torpedo the most amazing mattress fort: Fort Awesome.

Best side-eye: Rosita is going to get herself killed, but her annoyed (rightfully so) facial expressions stole the show.

You’re not wrong, but: Negan’s advice about keeping track of the guns is really, really good advice in the post-apocalyptic world. Threatening to kill Olivia because of it, though, that’s not right. I mean, when it comes to the guns, you’re not wrong, but . . .

Best silent conversation: We have no idea what Daryl and Rick were saying to each other with their constant gazes, but they were certainly communicating something.

Best limit-pushing: In the season four finale, Rick ended the episode saying, “They’re screwing with the wrong people,” during the broadcast version, rather than the upgraded profanity of the original comic book line. (That version later appeared in the DVD release.) So we wondered how AMC would handle Negan’s infamous comic book line, “I just slid my dick down your throat, and you thanked me for it.” Turns out, the show stayed true to its source material and left his one completely untouched.

Best line: “Ho-lee crap! You are creepy as shit sneaking up on me wearing that collar with that freaky-ass smile.” —Negan to Gabriel

Best kill: Michonne couldn’t hit the walker with the sniper rifle to save her own life, but she did, improbably, manage to bullseye a deer, which of course was promptly turned over to the Saviors.

Most disturbing image: The Savior who just would not give Enid back her green balloons (which, if you remember, were what she and Glenn used last season to signal he was alive post dumpster-gate) unless she pleaded, then creepily grazed his finger across her cheek. She is a child, seriously, leave her alone.

Episode MVP: Rick, purely for his moving speech about baby Judith. He knows that she is biologically Shane’s child, and he had to accept that in order to protect her. Similarly, he has to accept that Negan will continue harassing him in order to keep Alexandria safe. This caution gives him time to plan, so even if he isn’t ready to plan how to take down Negan right now, he can at least keep his children and his friends alive in the interim.

And once again, where exactly does Rick fall this week on the calm/crazy scale?

The Walking Dead
Illustration by Matt Walljasper; photographs courtesy of AMC