In the last season of The Walking Dead, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) became one of the Saviours, to pretty much protect himself and to stay alive. There was that hope though that he would still have some connection to his friends. This week, The Walking Dead looks at Eugene now, and just what he is willing to do to survive.
With Rick (Andrew Lincoln) still in the hands of the junkyard dwelling “Heapsters”, a group of his close friends look to take action of their own on the Saviours. Eugene makes it known to Dwight (Austin Amelio) that he knows the truth, and makes it clear that it has to end, and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) makes it clear to Eugene just how much he means to him.
Josh McDermitt has the power to make you feel for Eugene, but he is also able to play that other less likable side, which is selfishness. In this episode we see just how much “Negan” the character is, and this is the point where it becomes hard to justify his actions. The fact is, he is a coward who is willing to lie and betray friends just to protect his own survival.
It is interesting that we do see just why he comes to the decisions that he makes, we see the zombies invade the Saviours building, and the cost of life that it brings. Eugene sees this and fully comprehends what it means to him as a person within that building. The fact he finds Negan to be his best chance of survival is a hard pill to swallow, even if others are willing to die to save him.
One question that should be asked is if he had made the right choice? Negan is good at convincing people that he is in the right, and if that doesn’t work then Lucille can deal with them instead. I do get the feeling that Eugene may end up feeling that bat when some of his past transgressions are revealed. The same can be said of Dwight too, though at least we hope that he will be a success.
The other selfish people this week are of course Daryl and Tara (Alanna Masterson) who impatiently act to speed things up at the Saviours compound this week. Breaking the siege and killing the “workers” is a move that may seem to dwindle down the numbers of the Saviours, but in the end, it will help Negan survive. It also risks the plans of Rick with the so called “Heapsters”.
The problem with Daryl and Tara’s actions is that is shows the conflicting sides that are forming in Rick’s group. Morgan (Lennie James) sides with them, but Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) see the dangers of failure. If anything, it shows the difference between characters like Rick and even Eugene against people like Daryl and Tara. On Rick’s side we see a need to protect the workers, who are just cannon fodder for Negan, while the other side they just want to slaughter anybody connected to him. Just who are the bad guys in this scenario? Because they are starting to act like Negan in the way they are acting.
One problem with this week’s episode of The Walking Dead is that the attack on the Saviours feels slightly forced, so as to give a chance to get Negan out of the building for the mid-season finale. It messes up well laid plans that could have worked. Will it be entertaining? Of course, it will, but making some of the characters act annoying and stupid to force an explosive next episode isn’t always the best thing to do.
The Walking Dead airs at 9pm on Fox in the UK on Mondays.