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The Walking Dead: Time for After

"All you have to do is nothing."


It's not that I don't like Eugene. His original Washington D.C. deception was simply a clever man's way of trying to stay alive in a world determined to kill him, and he has often been the source of truly enjoyable comic relief. Josh McDermitt is an excellent actor and does justice to the part.

But giving Eugene an entire episode might have been a mistake. Especially since we got to the end of the episode, and he still hadn't chosen a freaking direction. What was the point? To show us that Eugene was in a pickle, when we already knew that?

(I didn't come up with "pickle," the perfect term for Eugene's dilemma; it was Chris Hardwick on Talking Dead.)

Eugene's interactions with the Saviors in this episode were all about aspects of this particular pickle. Tanya dropped by to ask for her repaired boombox in order to remind Eugene that he could have poisoned Negan and saved them all, but he didn't. Negan met privately with Eugene to encourage him to use his smarty-pants brain to get them out of the siege situation, and I thought the handshake/kiss my ring thing was pretty funny. But nothing much happened there, either, except that Negan seemed to enjoy buttering Eugene up to the point of ridiculousness, and that all of that butter pushed Eugene to think seriously about a solution.

I did like the glider idea, and how Eugene pulled it literally out of Sasha's coffin. But, pun intended, it was the last nail in the coffin for me. During the scene on the roof, I realized that my feelings about Eugene and Dwight have fully reversed, and I actually, actively wanted Dwight to kill Eugene. I think the only reason Dwight held his fire was that he knew he couldn't risk it. How could Dwight have explained killing Eugene to Negan? Later, I was pretty sure Eugene was about to give Dwight up to Negan until Dwight actually came into the room and Eugene couldn't say it to his face. Dwight knew his number was up at that moment, too.

Loyalty has never been more important, and I liked that Michonne and Rosita refused to go along with Daryl's garbage truck plan. But it wasn't enough. Daryl just killed a lot of innocent workers on the first floor of the Sanctuary. Honestly, as much as I've always loved Daryl, I'm feeling pretty frustrated with him this season. Tara and Morgan, too. Yes, they're dealing with a lot of anger, but why choose a leader and then outright disobey him at the worst possible moment? Did it all just go to shit because of Daryl? By giving the Saviors a way to end the siege, Daryl and Eugene, unwittingly working in concert, may very well have lost the war for AHK.

Honestly, the best thing about this episode was Jadis' obsession with getting Rick to pose for her. She really does have a thing for Rick; she wasn't kidding when she asked Michonne if she could take him to bed. The thing is, Rick is our hero and I liked him getting the drop on the Scavengers while tied up and wearing nothing but his blue boxers, but come on. They had guns. Why didn't they just shoot him? Maybe a complete damsel-in-distress reversal, with Michonne rescuing Rick from Jadis, would have worked better for me.

And how can Rick possibly trust them to back up the AHK when they betrayed him the first time? At least, it would be easy to add an S for Scavengers at the end of AHK, so there's that.


-- Rosita has really changed. Losing Sasha the way she did finally made her realize that impulsiveness wasn't the smart way to go.

-- During the initial Eugene/Dwight confrontation where the truth came out, Dwight's chess set was positioned directly between them.

-- Eugene demoted his friends at Alexandria to "traveling companions." Not good, Eugene.

-- I liked the way the red-striped glider looked, soaring over the hideous walkers. Fun visual.

-- It's totally not surprising that Eugene can't sleep at night. I have trouble sleeping at night these days, and I'm not living with a murderous dictator while surrounded by zombies.

-- Gabriel, the first person on this show to pick up an infection from zombie blood and guts, is near death but still determined to get Dr. Carson out of the Sanctuary. How did the Sanctuary run out of drugs so quickly? Just not enough supplies within the walls?

-- I always notice that at the beginning of every Negan scene, they rarely show his face and mostly focus on Lucille.

-- Rick's final move was supposed to be asking the Savior lieutenants to surrender, and then killing Negan himself. I'm sure that's off the table now. I bet we're going to get nine more episodes of this war.


Eugene: "Doesn't require Turing-grade decryption to grok the truth that you're the traitor, creeping and colluding with AHK. It's an acronym I've concocted: Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom. I considered going with KAH, but it remains a hair too onomatopoeic."

Eugene: "...so I need you to cease and desist all betrayals and backstabbery, fronting and Judas-ness ASAP."

Father Gabriel: "Sit. You look worse than me."
Eugene: "I don't appreciate that, because you look like a potato and shit casserole."

Negan: "That spongy organ between your eyes and your spectacular mullet is strong, and I just want to make sure that you know that I know that."

Negan: "Eugene, I was going for a handshake."
Laugh out loud.

Jadis: "Fourth, and I sculpt you after. Stand for me, those off."
(looking at Rick's boxers)
Rick: "These off. (gesturing to the rope around his wrists) No sculpting. My boots and my clothes, now."

Well, it is nice that art might still have a place in society after the apocalypse.

Next week is the ninety-minute midseason finale, and what I'm mostly feeling is dread. Will it all go wrong? Will another character I care about die terribly? If the episode isn't a winner, am I reaching the end of my love affair with this series?

Two out of four well-positioned chess sets,

Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.

1 comment:

  1. Of course someone will die in the finale and of course it will go wrong. My money is on Eugene and on Gabriel because he's already sick.

    Daryl screwed everyone over with revenge, wonder if he will still be the fan favorite after this.


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