This week in The Walking Dead “Hostiles and Calamities,” Eugene undergoes a dark change, almost like Carol’s. And by the end of this hour, however, any path to redemption for our man is effectively cut off. He’s not gone to the darkside.
After the past two weeks of action, fast-paced location-hopping and glimmers of actual hope, The Walking Dead slows down and decides to go small and sad once more. We arrive this time at the Sanctuary in the days immediately following Daryl’s escape; Eugene is now living under the protection and demands of Negan, slowly acclimating to his new home. And then there is Dwight, who’s in trouble for losing track of both his prisoner and the woman who sneakily set their former prisoner free: Negan’s wife (and Dwight’s ex), Sherry. Forced to atone, he hits the road, to track down the woman he still loves.
Meanwhile, Dwight is undoubtedly a major player in this show’s larger story; in the abstract, he serves a purpose as the ultimate cautionary tale. He tried to escape the bat-wielding boss man, and ended up losing his spouse and getting half his face burned off. Now, he’s forced to pretend every day that he’s willingly choosing to serve his master. But so far, nearly every one of his appearances in the series has just reinforced what we already know. He pines for his wife and it leads him to dangerous moves.
It’s not all that plausible that Negan would believe Dwight’s story of his wife being killed, but that means trouble ahead when she finally shows up. That said, Dwight seems like he may be turning tables on Negan going forward.
The key moment in the episode, though, comes when this new resident discovers just what it means to be in Negan’s inner circle. Early on, he’s almost ashamed to ask for anything that the community’s peons have had to work to produce, such as homemade kettle-cooked potato chips. But after spending so long being treated as one of Alexandria’s special projects – a pitiable liar who could maybe someday prove himself worthy – he’s jazzed at being able to take whatever he wants. When he’s ultimately asked to declare his allegiance, he doesn’t even wait for the entire question before he blurts out that he is “Negan stone-cold, utterly Negan … I was Negan before I even met you.”
There’s trouble ahead, and I fear Eugene may be turning against Rick and the Alexandrians. He’s finally living the Life of Riley.
Next week’s Preview below, also a scene from next week, and the chilling scene when Negan convinced Eugene to turn at the end of the episode. Follow “The Walking Dead AfterWord” on Facebook for all breaking news. “The Walking Dead” Season 7 airs on AMC on Sundays.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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