In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Eugene struggles to pick a side, Rick faces off with Jadis and Daryl enacts his plans to end the Saviors once and for all…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
As ‘The Walking Dead’ speeds towards the mid-season finale next week, the threat from Negan and the Saviors just got that much greater after Rick’s plan to bombard the Sanctuary with zombies didn’t starve them out as planned.
Of course, Rick was busy this week dealing with Jadis and her group of trash-dwelling dumpster people because for some reason he’s convinced they are the difference between winning and losing during this all out war.
Meanwhile, Daryl decides to enact his plan this week to put an end to Negan and the Saviors no matter how many innocent people have to die because he’s not convinced Rick’s plan was going to work either. Sadly it looks like Daryl’s strategy didn’t go as planned either but we’re left wondering if he might have given the Saviors the escape round they needed to get away from the horde of the undead.
And finally the biggest story this week centered around Eugene — the mullet wearing brain, who can’t quite decide which side of the fence he’s sitting on — as he’s hammered with moral conundrums from every direction as he tries to decide if it’s better to risk his own life to return home to Alexandria or if he’s safer standing next to the devil he knows in Negan.
By the end of the episode, it appears Eugene has at least somewhat made up his mind about those matters.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘Time For After’…
Survival of the Illest
Eugene is a thinker not a fighter, which is why he’s been so quick to cozy up next to Negan after he displayed so much power when first meeting our mullet-headed friend back during ‘The Walking Dead’ season 6 finale. Ever since that time, Eugene has been one of the people most willing to bow and scrape for Negan but when offered the chance to stand next to him, he welcomed the warm embrace of safety.
Since that time, Eugene has been living the high life at the Sanctuary where he’s regarded as one of Negan’s top lieutenants — a privilege he never had while serving under Rick Grimes at the Alexandria Safe Zone. Unfortunately as much as Eugene wants to serve Negan, he’s still conflicted by his own morality because he knows the barbed-wired wrapped baseball bat swinging sociopath is just as liable to take his head off as shake his hand.
So this week Eugene faces the morality head on while trying to decide what’s best for the Sanctuary while also making sure that he’s covered so that no matter what else happens, he’s going to survive.
First things first, Eugene decides to confront Dwight after figuring out that he’s the one feeding tactical information to Rick and the other groups while also aiming to cause an insurgency inside the Sanctuary so Negan will be overthrown. Rather than turn him in, however, Eugene asks that Dwight just stop what he’s doing now and his secret is safe. Of course, Dwight offers a better solution — Eugene does nothing and he allows this war to end with Negan finally being defeated.
Eugene then finds himself encountering a sick Father Gabriel, who apparently has some sort of internal infection that’s melting down his organs and without proper medication he will die. Father Gabriel attempts to show his faith in Eugene, believing that he will ultimately do the right thing and help them win this war while also extracting Dr. Carson so he can tend to Maggie when her pregnancy is coming close to a conclusion.
Finally, Eugene faces off with one of Negan’s wives named Tanya, who offered him two bottles of liquor in exchange for him fixing her boom box. It seems Eugene has been drinking at night to help him sleep yet he still hasn’t fixed her stereo because he’s had other things on his mind — namely the thousands of walkers clawing at the Sanctuary walls and doors trying to get in.
Of course, Negan knows exactly how to play Eugene like a fiddle because while he may be sadistic and cruel, he’s definitely not stupid. While Negan uses the stick to keep some people in line, he prefers to use the carrot with Eugene.
He showers Eugene with compliments and makes him feel needed and necessary to the Sanctuary — qualities that he hasn’t seem from any of the leadership at Alexandria previously. Tasked with being at Negan’s right hand, Eugene feels a sense of importance although he’s still not ready to feed Dwight to the wolves just yet.
Instead, Eugene decides to hatch a scheme that will save everybody living inside of the Sanctuary by luring the walkers away from the walls with a flying glider rigged with the iPod he gave to Sasha on her road trip towards death last season. Of course, Eugene is still haunted by what happened to Sasha, but it’s not enough to deter him from enacting his plan, which he believes will ultimately save lives.
Just as Eugene is about to launch his self-made drone, Dwight shows up and tells him to stop this now or die. Dwight is doing his best to convince Eugene that no one else has to die — just Negan — and this war can be over already. Those words come back to bite Dwight, however, because deep down Eugene knows he’s not a killer so he flies his drone off the side of the wall with music blaring overhead as he attempts to pull the walkers away.
Rather than shooting Eugene, Dwight puts down the glider and then disappears back into the Sanctuary. Dwight can’t trust Eugene but killing him cause more problems than it solves. Eugene obviously understood that, but still his plan has been stopped and he has to come up with a brand new course of action.
Kill Em All
It seems Morgan has been planted in one of the buildings outside the Sanctuary to act as a sniper in case anyone escapes or perhaps if a supply truck makes it through the various blockades. The one vehicle that does arrive is the one driven by Daryl with Tara, Michonne, and Rosita with plans of crashing the garbage truck into the Sanctuary, allowing the walkers to pour in like cockroaches and put an end to this war already.
Hearing the plan, Morgan is on board immediately — he just wants this fight to be done and this seems like the path of least resistance.
Unfortunately, Rosita and Michonne both bow out for shared reasons about not upsetting the apple cart when the plan that Rick enacted is still working, it’s just going to take more time for the Sanctuary to fall.
Still, Daryl is convinced this is the best plan for action and with Morgan and Tara laying down cover fire, he drives the truck through the front gates at the Sanctuary, bails out at the last second and allows it to crash through the walls. Walkers immediately start climbing over the wreckage to get inside where all those people have been hiding.
Daryl and Tara make their escape while the people inside the Sanctuary are forced to fight for their very lives. Eugene watches as Regina, Dwight and the other Saviors fight back the horde of the undead while trying to get people upstairs and away from the attack.
With a distressed look on his face, Eugene sees the horror of this war first hand and that’s when he makes his decision on what to do next.
Eugene first visits Father Gabriel where he denounces his grand standing about doing the right thing and declares that first and foremost, his responsibility is surviving and he’s going to that by any means necessary. Eugene promises to keep Dr. Carson right where he’s at because otherwise if he needs medical help, he has a physician on standby. Eugene is making it clear that staying alive is his No. 1 priority and it doesn’t matter who has to die to ensure his own safety.
Eugene then goes to Negan where he explains a plan that will allow them to clear the walkers away from the walls so the Saviors can escape. While we don’t get to learn the exact plan, Negan says it involves a shit load of bullets, which he hopes Eugene can then resupply thanks to his ability to make ammunition.
Eugene then says that he has one more piece of information to share with Negan with Dwight and the other lieutenants burst in the room to tell their leader that the walker problem has been slowed down but not solved. Thankfully, Eugene has a plan for that but when Negan asks him about the other secret he’s been keeping, the former science teacher buttons up and says that he can finally fix the intercom system in the building.
See, Eugene is all about self-preservation but he’s also a coward. Alone with Negan, Eugene may have ratted out Dwight but with the accused standing directly next to him, he’s not willing to sell him out just yet.
Still, Eugene has a plan to free the Saviors from captivity and that may be the more important matter at hand right now than handing over the traitor selling him out to Rick Grimes and the other communities.
Eugene then retires to his room where he attempts to pour that alcohol down his throat while constantly throwing up some of it because he’s sick to his stomach with the decisions he’s been making. As much as Eugene is resolved to survive ahead of anything else, he’s starting to see the impact of the decisions he makes on the people around him.
Will it be enough for him to turn on Negan or finally reveal Dwight is the traitor? Only time will tell.
Gone Baby Gone
Back at the Dumpster Kingdom, Jadis is taking half naked photos of Rick and having one of her people sketch pictures of him for a sculpture she plans to make ‘after’ it’s all over.
When Rick is finally let out of captivity, he finds out what she has planned for him as Jadis has built another crazy walker, complete with spikes on his head and a metal mask covering his head, which makes it impossibly tough to kill. The walker is attached to the end of a stick, which is being led around by one of the Scavengers as he brings the creature towards Rick, who is being held by one of the other dumpster dwellers.
Rather than being eaten alive, Rick revolts, gets the better of all three of the men guarding him while using the walker on a stick as a weapon of his own. Finally, Rick disarms Jadis and puts her face next to the walker’s decapitated head — it’s not dead yet, still chomping away just waiting for some human flesh.
Rick then offers one last time — join us or die.
This time, Jadis concedes and opts to join Rick’s fight against Negan. Of course she still tries to negotiate for everything the Saviors owned as well as asking Rick to pose nude for her to sculpt some art of him. Rick declines on all counts and says when the war is over, Jadis and her people will get one fourth of whatever is left, just like the other communities.
Jadis finally agrees as she gives Rick back his pants and boots and they set out for the Sanctuary where he plans to meet with Maggie and Ezekiel to put an end to this ongoing war.
Unfortunately when Rick arrives at the final staging outpost, his lookout and sniper are dead and there are a few walkers just lingering around the area. He climbs to the top of the tower where the sniper was stationed to keep an eye on the Saviors but when he looks out with the rifle scope, Rick is stunned at what he sees.
The walkers are gone — the entire horde has disappeared, the Sanctuary doors are up and the Saviors have left the building. Rick’s entire plan hinged on keeping the Saviors trapped because ultimately they had greater numbers with more weapons, but if he could starve them out, they’d have no choice but to surrender.
Now Rick has been confronted with a threat he never thought he’d have to face again — Negan knocking at his front door asking to be let inside or kicking that fucker down.
‘The Walking Dead’ midseason finale takes place next Sunday night in a special 90-minute episode starting at 9pm ET on AMC.https://youtu.be/RHGXrJ-gpSY