There’s no relief in sight on The Walking Dead. The latest episode, “Service,” continues the dreadful march of Season 7, with Negan knocking on the gates of Alexandria. It’s time for Negan’s newest tributary to pay up and show their submission. The dead make post-apocalyptic life difficult, but it’s the living who really push the boundaries.
After last week’s momentary reprieve, The Walking Dead plunges their recently traumatized audience into the horror of the Sanctuary. In “The Cell,” we learn that the Sanctuary is no haven, except to those who agree to be a part of the torture and violence demanded by Negan. And even among those chosen few, the tasks required of them provide them no peace. As we saw in the season premiere, to be a part of Negan’s crew they must be prepared to participate in persecution and murder. The Walking Dead may be overestimating viewers’ tolerance for watching beloved characters be brutalized.