[Warning: This story contains spoilers from The Walking Dead episode 704, “Service.”]
Still reeling from Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham’s (Michael Cudlitz) deaths, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the residents of Alexandria were forced to contend with an unexpected guest during Sunday’s The Walking Dead: Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
The murderer showed up at the community early, Lucille and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in tow, and effectively cleaned house. With Saviors including Dwight (Austin Amelio) raiding the community, the group took all of Alexandria’s guns — and mattresses. What’s more, Dwight sent a defiant Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Spencer (Austin Nichols) out to fetch Daryl’s motorcycle.
Michonne (Danai Gurira), meanwhile, escaped the community to take target practice, with revenge in her sights. What she came home to, however, was Rick demanding she give up her gun to Negan as he leads the community to follow Negan’s marching orders. The only problem was that two guns were missing from the count and Negan wasn’t having any of it. Instead, Rick implores the residents to turn over the missing guns and eventually finds them stashed in Spencer’s floorboards, along with booze and food. Upset that Rick has put the community that Spencer’s family built at risk, he questions the former sheriff — setting the stage for big storyline from the comics.
For her part, Rosita knows what’s coming and puts herself at risk in order to strip a walker of its gun. After successfully sneaking it into Alexandria, she turns to Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and demands he make her a bullet.
For more on Rosita’s plan, as well as her relationships with Spencer and Eugene, THR spoke with Serratos to break it all down.
Negan has some very Donald Trump-like qualities in this episode. What do you think of that comparison?
I don’t know if I want to get political so I think I’ll avoid any comparisons [between] our show and the president-elect.
Negan has taken an interest in Rosita both times that they’ve come in contact. Is he trying to break her or does he have a romantic interest in her?
He just likes to toy with people and he’s toying with her the same way he’s toying with Rick. You’re definitely right when you say he might be trying to break her; he’s trying to break all of them. That’s the point and what we got from him in the season premiere.
Dwight is toying with her at the same time — taking her hat, guns and sending her out to get Daryl’s bike. What’s going through her mind at that point given that she’s also still mourning Abraham and Glenn’s deaths?
They’re all still going through a lot of emotions. At this point, Rosita has kicked in to overdrive. She’s lost two people very dear to her and she’s already back on another mission, which is something that you’ve seen this character needs a lot. We originally saw her and her mission was to get Eugene to Washington. Rosita always needs something — a mission that drives her — and this is her current one. We see that when she watches Dwight take her weapons. She realizes then what their plan is and that can’t happen and that’s why put herself in harm’s way to acquire a gun off a walker in the forest. She’s already planning to take their lives back.
Right! And that brings her to Eugene, whom she takes a shell casing to and asks him to make her a bullet. Is that marked for Negan?
The only logical explanation is that she wants to go after Negan. Right now, she needs and wants to eliminate the person who is causing such risk in their lives that they worked so hard for. These people have been through a lot and they worked hard to have the stability they thought they had. And to have it ripped out from under them is something that she, as a warrior, doesn’t want to allow to happen. So if it means putting herself in harm’s way to save the people she cares about and to eliminate the threats, then that’s something she’s willing to do.
Does Rosita blame herself for Glenn’s death? Daryl is blaming himself for that. But where is Rosita with that given Daryl’s outburst — which led to Glenn’s death — was his way of defending her.
All of these characters have a sense of guilt because they’re all very strong and powerful people who have always done as much as they could to protect the ones that they love. Regardless of fault, these people feel responsible for each other. So when they lose someone, everyone feels a sense of guilt; like, “What could I have done?” That’s just the way of the show and how it’s going to be with every death. It’s also a really interesting and beautiful thing. They’ve become a family and we’ve watched that happen.
Spencer lied to Rosita. How does this change their dynamic?
I don’t think it does at all. They have an interesting dynamic and we’re learning more about what it is. It’s not like Rosita has Spencer on this pedestal and when she found out he was lying, he dropped off it. Spencer is somebody she goes back and forth with; I don’t think he’s someone she holds to high standards that she would ever allow herself to be disappointed by him.
Spencer is already questioning Rick, the key member of Rosita’s family. How will that sit with Rosita?
Not well. Rick has taken care of a lot of us and given us a lot of opportunities. So when anybody questions him, it really hits home with everyone. But Spencer will figure it out in his own time and like everyone else, he goes through different emotions and motivations.
Spencer is the loudest objector to what Rick is doing and has done. Will he try to grow his ranks? How might Rosita respond if he were to do that?
I don’t know! We haven’t seen that in a long time. If that did happen, that would an interesting choice for Spencer. I can’t expect that anyone would take that well.
Given what happens to Spencer in the comics and that the show is already planting seeds that he may become loyal to Negan, is there hope for Spencer? Can Rosita help him?
I have never read the comics so I don’t know what happens to Spencer. That said, I don’t think her focus is helping him and I don’t even think he needs help. He’s his own character who will figure it out on his own. Rosita is now in military mode; she’s about survival, revenge and she is on a warpath right now. That’s what she’s thinking about right now. I don’t think anyone else teaching anybody else anything is her concern; her concern is keeping her loved ones safe and revenge.
Rosita and Michonne both seem to be planning revenge as the latter went out for target practice during this episode. Given their shared path and goals right now, might we see them work together in the future?
We saw them work together in the past at the end of season five when they went out to look for Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). It’ll be fascinating to see during the rest of the season who inverts and who wants revenge and who goes into warrior mode. We’re starting to see the first bits of that right now with Michonne and Rosita. I can’t wait to see more.
Rosita and Michonne are two of the strongest people in Alexandria right now, given Maggie is at the Hilltop and Carol is at the Kingdom. This is a big moment for Rosita.
I suppose so! It’s going to be interesting to see where this journey leads her and if she does get in fact get a bullet and what she will do with it.
Will Rosita and Eugene’s relationship grow as she leans on him for ammunition and in their shared grief over Abraham’s death?
Their relationship is constantly growing; that’s one of strongest relationships on the show right now. They have been together since the start — we have not seen them without each other; Abraham’s Army came in together. Their relationship is always growing and evolving and we’ll see now how they work together and what happens from here. Eugene and Rosita definitely have an unspoken bond.
It seems like Eugene could be the first member of Rosita and Michonne’s army.
Eugene is a really powerful character and he’s a lot smoother than he seems. We’ve seen him over the past few seasons save all of us a couple times in his very Eugene way, but save us nonetheless.
What did you think of Rosita’s journey? Sound off in the comments below. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. For more Walking Dead coverage, bookmark THR.com/WalkingDead.