While the main focus of last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Service,” was on the dynamic between Rick and Negan as the latter essentially put on his best Grinch impression and pillaged everything that wasn’t nailed down in Alexandria, the episode also took a moment to address a longstanding question that has gone unanswered for multiple seasons.
In a heartfelt confession to Michonne, Rick set the record straight on Judith’s parentage, revealing that he knows that Shane was the real father. According to Rick, once he accepted this, he was able to love and raise Judith as his own daughter and sees this is a parallel for what the Alexandrians need to do in order to accept Negan’s rule (basically, there’s nothing they can do to change it, so they might as well accept it). While this was a bit of an awkward comparison for the episode to make, it is interesting to find out that Rick has never actually believed himself to be Judith’s real father.
Of course, without any sort of way to do a conclusive paternity test (Negan probably pillaged any of those supplies from the infirmary), we don’t actually know for sure that Rick isn’t the father, but then again, he’s really the only opinion that matters in all of this so it’s about as close to a confirmation as we’re likely to get.
On that note, is anyone else surprised that we didn’t get a scene of Negan threatening Judith’s life in front of Rick? It felt like this scene was being set up right from the beginning and the fact that it never came may have been the most shocking moment of the entire 90 minute episode.