The King, The Widow and Rick
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From bumbling goodie to cowardly baddie: Eugene shows his true colours, at last ~ you know, those ones that everyone's been glossing over since he revealed his lies in S5, since he shot a hole in the truck bound for Washington, and sabotaged the church bus. He is, by his own admission, a small man, whose self-interest has kept him vertical. Does he even believe in the myth of the Saviours saving, or doesn't he care, as long as he can eat his pickles and play his video games?
|The smile of secrecy, after he shot up the Washington-bound truck in S4|
At first I wasn't sure about the goodie-to-baddie thing. For instance, do you remember the tunnel, in S4, when he insisted on going back to make sure Glenn and Tara had got through safely, because (he said) even after he saved the world he would have to live with himself? On the other hand, catastrophes like a zombie apocalypse can change a guy, especially a weak one. Negan has taken the place of Abraham; Eugene can't survive without a protector.
So he tells Dwighty-boy he knows he's been creeping and colluding with AHK (Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom ~ not KHA, which would have made his accusation a hair too onomatopoeic). He now says they were just his travelling companions (yes, all those people who saved his life), and what cranks his shaft is being safe. Does he know, deep inside, that 'once you do those things, you become those things', like Dwight says? Or that, indeed, this has already begun to happen? Dwight is finding his way back, but Eugene is getting in deep, deep and deeper, to the extent of almost kissing Negan's hand....
Meanwhile, back in the hospital, Dr Carson has run out of meds to give to the ailing Father Gabriel and skips off to find him some 'erbs, in the hope that a sprig of lavender and the odd bayleaf will stop him looking like a potato and shit casserole. Or give it some flavour; who knows. To a background of vaguely hymnal music, Gab tells Mr Mullet to do the right thing. Some chance of that. His crocodile tears at the flashback of a Walker Sasha don't fool us; they dry up as soon as he sees her iPad, which will fit a treat on his model plane to Pied Piper away the cold corpses.
As for the somewhat reckless revenge plan of Daryl, Tara and Morgan, I'd be on Team Rosita and Michonne; Michonne has usually got her head screwed on. And Rosita believes in Rick Grimes, which is nice to hear. Are DTM doing the right thing? Is avenging the deaths of Glenn, Denise and Benjamin worth the risk, or are they crazy? Morgan lost it a few episodes ago, of course, while Tara has been raring for a fight since she returned from her two week okra-eating run with Heath to find that Doc Denise had been Dwighted through the eye. And Daryl? I see in the S8 version the tearaway who once fought Officer Friendly to let him storm the Walker-thronged streets of Atlanta searching for One Hand Merle..... but, to my surprise, the plan works. The doors of the Sanctuary are open, and the Walkers flood in.
.... and wasn't that the best part of the episode? They're back! Wasn't it great to see the fear of the Dead again, instead of gun fights? This is why we watch this thing! It's the first time for ages that we've been reminded how terrifying they are. Thank you, writers ~ can we have more like that, please? And we see the terror on Eugene's face ~ there's no Abraham to save you now, Mr Tennessee Top Hat; your chum Negan saw to that....
Back at the junkyard, I notice that Andrew Lincoln does not go full naked like Daryl did in the Sanctuary cell, but keeps on his shorts; well, he's English! A quick demo of his fighting skills, and he has Ms Take-Don't-Bother in a stranglehold, demands his boots back, and makes possibly his twenty-seventh deal with Jadis. For a 'fourth' of the Sanctuary spoils, and a sculpture of Rick. O-kaaayy... I did wonder at first why the other Scavengers didn't just shoot him, but then remembered that, of course, they are but the robots of Queen Jadis.
The last shot is of Rick seeing that all his snipers have gone from the rooves of the Sanctuary ~ but fear not, Rick. You're surely on the home lap now, unless the weirdo Trash Folk make another deal with Negan. As for Eugene, I await his painful and deserved end with baited breath. It's the last one of the half-season next week; will Dwight finally give Daryl back his waistcoat?
Remember when it was all smart and new? Back on the farm....
Next week then... I'm thinking Eugene will die, possibly Gabriel and Gregory, but it won't be the end of Negan yet ~ my guess is that they will make us wait until the spring, just like we had to when Rick, Glenn, Daryl and Bob were bent over the troughs at Terminus. We will see. I think this was possibly the best episode yet this season ~ what do y'all reckon?