(Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead”)
After a stressful presidential election, what better way to lift your spirits than “The Walking Dead,” right?
Just kidding. This episode was the most depressing one yet this season. It all centers around Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) arriving at the gates of Alexandria with a large number of Saviors, and Daryl (Norman Reedus), in tow.
He enters with his trademark sociopathic swagger, going so far as to make Rick (Andrew Lincoln) carry around his barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille, while he walks through the community inspecting everything he plans to take.
Rick must summon all his restraint to keep from killing Negan then and there. Things only get worse when Negan begins asking about Maggie (Lauren Cohan). Negan says that despite the fact he killed her husband, she would still be susceptible to his charms.
Before Rick can answer Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) appears and lies to Negan, saying that Maggie died from her illness. He then shows Negan and Rick to a freshly dug grave that he claims is Maggie’s. Suddenly, a gunshot rings out.
Rick rushes to investigate and finds Carl (Chandler Riggs) holding a gun on two saviors in the infirmary. They are taking all of the medicine in Alexandria. Carl is furious as they say they would only take half. Negan tells Carl, “Half is what I say it is.” Carl eventually relents and lowers his gun.
The incident leads Negan to a damaging realization: He cannot possibly trust Rick and the others with all of the guns they have stockpiled. So, he orders The Saviors to confiscate every gun in Alexandria.
They head to the armory, where Olivia (Ann Mahoney) keeps inventory. But things again get deadly tense when they find two pistols are unaccounted for. Negan demands Rick find the guns or he will kill Olivia.
Rick gathers everyone in the chapel and begs that whoever has the guns turn them over now, that Negan is in complete control. No one steps forward, so Rick and a few others begin systematically searching houses.
Rick eventually finds the guns stashed in a hidden compartment in Spencer’s (Austin Nichols) house. He turns them over to Negan just as Spencer and Rosita (Christian Serratos) return from retrieving Daryl’s motorcycle for Dwight (Austin Amelio).
Dwight taunts Daryl, telling him that all he has to do is give in to Negan and he can have the bike back. Daryl remains silent. Rick then sees Michonne (Danai Gurira) returning from target practice in the woods and convinces her to hand over the rifle she was using, even though there was no record of it in Alexandria’s arsenal.
Negan has to get in one final shot before leaving, telling Rick, “I just slid my dick down your throat and you thanked me for it.”
Back at home, Michonne walks in on Rick laying out some sheets and pillows on the floor, as The Saviors took most of the mattresses in Alexandria. Michonne tells him they must fight back.
Rick then launches into a haunting monologue in which he tells Michonne about Shane, his former best friend and partner whom he killed. He then says he knows that Judith is not his biological daughter, but he must do everything he can to make sure that she grows up safely.
Later, Michonne goes out into the woods once more, only to find that The Saviors piled all of the mattresses on the side of the road and lit them on fire.
The episode closes with Rosita going to Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) door. She recovered a pistol on her run with Spencer and wants Eugene to forge her a bullet.