In ‘The Walking Dead’ recap, Eugene arrives in the Sanctuary but receives a much different welcome than Daryl while Dwight deals with the fallout from an escape…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
This week ‘The Walking Dead’ went back in time as Negan arrived back at the Sanctuary after his visit to Alexandria complete with a hostage in tow as Eugene was brought into the fold after it was discovered that he could manufacture bullets.
Eugene’s unique skills combined with his constant crying made it clear to Negan right away that this wasn’t a man he would have to break like Daryl Dixon so his first day in the Sanctuary was much different than his counterpart at the start of the season.
Rather than being tossed in a room while being tortured by music and fed dog food, Eugene is welcomed into the lap of luxury but that comes with a cost. In other words to receive all these gifts, Eugene has to pledge his undying loyalty to Negan but did he really just turn his back on Alexandria?
The other story this week focuses on Dwight, who has become a reviled character all season long for his treatment of Daryl but when you start to realize that he’s dishing out to the last remaining Dixon brother the same treatment he once received for crossing Negan, you start to sympathize with the pain and suffering he’s endured.
The deep dive into Dwight’s psyche as he goes looking for his wife with one part of him hoping he never finds her and the other half wanting nothing more than to wrap his arms around her again, you can see the true anguish he’s facing as Negan’s foot soldier.
And yes, this week also featured the return of everybody’s favorite song ‘Easy Street’ except this time Eugene heard it for enjoyment rather than pure, unadulterated torture.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ titled ‘Hostiles and Calamities’…
Mr. Smarty Pants
When Negan arrives back in the Sanctuary he unloads his latest haul from Alexandria, which includes a new member of his community as he adds Eugene to the fold after learning that he can manufacture ammunition. But Eugene isn’t going to get a free pass because he has to prove himself to Negan that he’s worth the special treatment that’s about to be laid at his feet.
In a panic, Eugene reverts back to the same story that saved his life when he met Abraham at the start of the zombie outbreak when he claimed he was part of the human genome project while carrying around several degrees including one doctorate. Eugene knows his smarts might be the only way he makes it out of this situation alive but talking about his intelligence isn’t enough for Negan — he has to prove it.
So the first test Negan sets up for Eugene involves a problem they are having with the walkers being chained up against their outer fence because the rotting bodies continue to fall apart as they decompose further and further.
Luckily, Eugene has an easy solution to this problem thanks to the smelter he spotted back in the factory. He proposes that Negan and his people pour molten metal over the walkers around their midsections so they won’t fall apart as easily and for an extra boost, cover the to top of the head as well. Once the liquid metal hardens, the walkers will stay together not to mention the helmet will prevent head shots that could see their wall of the dead defeated rather easily by anybody trying to force their way into the Sanctuary.
That piece of advice not only impresses Negan but it earns Eugene his pass into inner sanctum where he’s given the same bedroom that was once offered to Daryl as well as all the food he can eat — short of the lobster he requests — and he even has video games to play. As an added bonus, Negan even offers up his wives as company to Eugene for the evening although sex is not an option.
Negan will allow them to sit and talk with Eugene for the evening and the company of a beautiful woman in the zombie apocalypse is sometimes more than enough to get your mind off the wasteland living right outside your front door.
Eugene is immediately welcomed into the Sanctuary as one of Negan’s key people, which means the point system doesn’t apply to him much less standing in line or getting portions doled out like the rest of the people in the community. Eugene has proven his worth but to ensure his stay he’s going to have to do a whole lot more.
As the trucks roll into the Sanctuary, Dwight is left in panic mode after realizing that Daryl has escaped, Fat Joe is dead and the note left in the cell looks a lot like his wife’s handwriting. As punishment for his misdeed, Dwight is handed a savage beating from the other Saviors and then tossed in the same room where Daryl slept night after night.
When Negan finally comes to visit him, Dwight is apologetic and wants to right what’s wrong but now there’s an even bigger problem. Not only has Daryl gone missing but now Sherry is gone as well. Negan feels like this is an awfully big coincidence that his favorite wife has disappeared just after Daryl escaped captivity all while under Dwight’s watchful eye.
Dwight promises the rectify the situation by going out to hunt for Sherry because he believes he knows exactly where she’s gone.
The trip leads Dwight to the house he once shared with Sherry on the outskirts of town and after walking inside he finds a photo of the two of them in much happier times. After looking around the house, Dwight finally stumbles upon a note that Sherry left for him that was written as a final goodbye note following her escape from the Sanctuary.
In the letter, Sherry apologizes to Dwight for her seemingly selfless act when she offered herself up to Negan in exchange for saving his life after they returned to the Sanctuary following an attempt to escape. Sherry couldn’t bear seeing Dwight die so she gave herself over to Negan but then soon realized that living with him was worse than death.
She also didn’t realize at the time that she gave herself over to Negan that Dwight would be forced to transform into a person he would grow to hate. A person who killed for Negan. A person who bowed down to Negan. And a person who was loyal to Negan.
In her dreams, Sherry hoped that Dwight would show up to the house they shared with a six pack of beer and a bag of pretzels just like they always talked about but now she couldn’t be sure if he’d appear and leave with her, kill her or just take her back to Negan. That uncertainty was enough for Sherry to leave him the letter and then escape out on her own. Whether she makes it or not wasn’t of consequence to Sherry — she just wanted out.
Dwight breaks down after reading the letter because he’s becoming a person he hates staring at in the mirror and it has nothing to do with the constant reminder of the charred flesh on the side of his face that he paid with after crossing Negan the first time. The fact that his own wife — the woman he loved more than anything — was scared to see his reaction was more than he could handle.
In the end, Dwight puts down a six pack of beer and a bag of pretzels because he was clearly going there to find his wife so the two of them could escape together. Now she’s gone and he’s left with nobody but Negan and the choices he’s made.
Eugene’s night with Negan’s wives takes a turn for the strange when they start quizzing him on his skills as a chemist, which ends with him boasting that he could build a bomb out of several everyday household items. It results in Eugene taking the three of them out to the yard and showing off the chemistry skills he has — as a high school teacher in reality — by making some fancy explosions and parlor tricks that make the eyes bulge and jaws drop but do no real damage.
The display of knowledge doesn’t get Eugene any closer to Negan’s wives, but it does give them the idea to ask him to make a suicide pill that Amber — the wife who watched her real husband get his face burned off earlier this season — take her own life because she can’t take this situation any longer. The wives explain to Eugene that she’s going to kill herself either way but with his assistance at least she can go peacefully.
So Eugene decides to start compiling the ingredients to make his suicide pill and that includes a stop by the medicine line where he finally shows off the power that Negan has handed him as the newest member of his inner circle. Eugene barks orders, takes all the medicine and even grabs a stuffed animal to keep him company in his room.
Eugene goes to work making the pill but he’s soon called away when Negan gathers his troops in the main production hall where the smelter is located.
It seems Dr. Carson has been accused of helping Sherry escape after they discovered part of a note that says ‘goodbye honey’ hidden away inside his office. Dwight had visited the doctor earlier in the day and had a conversation about what they were both willing to do to survive and it’s clear he was ready to go one step further to protect himself from Negan’s wrath.
With the note in hand, Negan tells Dr. Carson to admit his wrong doing and all will be forgiven because otherwise he’s going to get the iron on his face. The doctor confesses because he believes that will save his life and Negan drops the iron and says that’s all he wanted to hear. A moment later, Negan tosses the doctor into the molten fire as he burns alive to the horror of everybody watching in the audience — including Eugene just a few feet away.
Negan pats Dwight on the shoulder afterwards and apologizes for doubting his loyalty while Eugene slinks back to his room with a new attitude about his latest endeavor to assist the boss’s wives with a deadly poison.
When the wives come to collect the pill, Eugene calls them on their plan to use the poison to kill Negan, which is why they asked for two of them instead of just one. The problem is a failed attempt to take his life will result in the wives all being murdered and eventually one of them is going to point the finger back at him. So Eugene refuses the request and sends them packing.
Later that day, Negan comes calling on Eugene to see how he’s settling into life inside the Sanctuary. It’s a brief but very telling conversation that ends with Negan asking a very important question that he can barely finish before Eugene is giving him the answer.
“I am Negan”
Eugene has pledged his undying loyalty to Negan in quick order and the barbed wire baseball bat wielding dictator is quick to accept him into the fold. Eugene is such a trembling mess of nerves and cowardice that Negan couldn’t possibly believe he would ever betray him.
The next day, Eugene stands on top of the platform outside the main hall as he instructs the workers on how to use the molten metal to secure the walkers to the fence and give them structure so they won’t fall apart. As he munches on a pickle taken from inside, Eugune stands with Dwight who has joined him outside.
The two of them have gone to great lengths — even excruciating you might say — to prove their loyalty to Negan but it seems rather evident that both Dwight and Eugene are just biding their time until the can find a way out.
‘The Walking Dead’ returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC as Rick and the others go searching for guns to fulfill their promise to the Scavengers…