After catching up with Carol and Morgan, and following Daryl’s treatment at the hands of the Saviors, The Walking Dead‘s next episode will return to Rick.

Watching The Walking Dead can be an intense experience. Fortunately, it’s over after an hour. When it comes to this season’s fourth episode, however, that won’t be the case.

It has just been revealed that The Walking Dead episode 7×04 will be a special extended episode. It will premiere in its normal timeslot at 9/8 central but will run for 85 minutes. That’s almost 50% longer than a typical episode.


According to a DirecTV guide, the episode will be titled “Service.” Here’s the official synopsis:

The remaining members of the group try to keep it together in Alexandria; they receive a sobering visit.

That explains why the episode is going to be so long. This will be our first visit with Rick and the Alexandrians after the brutal season premiere. In the second episode, we followed Carol and Morgan as they discovered The Kingdom and King Ezekiel. The third episode focuses on Daryl as a prisoner of Negan and the Saviors. He’s being held at their compound, called the Sanctuary.

It’s likely that the episode will feature Negan and the Saviors coming to Alexandria for their first offering. After all, the episode is titled “Service.” If nothing else, Rick and the group are now “in the service” of Negan. The synopsis also refers to “a sobering visit.” The arrival of Negan and the Saviors would definitely explain that description.

From Page to Screen

In The Walking Dead comic book, Negan and his men do indeed come to Alexandria soon after Glenn’s death. They’re held up at the gate, which angers Negan. He directs the Saviors to begin clearing out the walkers surrounding Alexandria.

Negan's bloody bat, Lucille, on The Walking DeadImage Credit: AMC

Eventually, Rick comes to the gate and allows Negan and his men inside. Negan forces Rick to hold onto Lucille while he and the Saviors go house-to-house looking for supplies. Negan makes a lot of rude, off-color comments about Glenn’s death. He also taunts Carl and several other Alexandrians.

Denise quarrels with a Savior that is trying to take her medical supplies. Rick pleads with Negan, but he insists the walls surrounding their town are the only medicine they need. As he takes Lucille back from Rick, Negan whispers, “I just slid my dick down your throat and you thanked me for it.”

Unbeknownst to Negan or the Saviors, though, Carl has snuck onto one of their trucks with an assault rifle. It’s the beginning of a long and complicated relationship between Carl and Negan.

A Familiar Timeframe

“Service” won’t be the first episode of The Walking Dead to go over its normal running time. It’s a tradition that goes back several seasons on the show. The Season 6 finale, featuring the first appearance of Negan, ran for approximately 90 minutes. Many fans complained that the extra time was just used to insert more ads. The Season 7 premiere also ran long, but only by six minutes.

The Walking Dead episode 7×04 “Service” will air on Sunday, October 13 at 9/8 central on AMC.

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