Oh c’mon Walking Dead! You were doing so well! The first half of season 7 was downright boring, but hope was renewed during the second half as the main group of survivors got back together and began making their plans to take down the big bad Negan. War is coming and we can’t wait!….So you give us an episode about Eugene and Dwight?!?! Fear has returned as the audience braces for more long and drawn out story lines that we really don’t care about.
The saddest part about this weeks episode of The Walking Dead, is that it could have easily been edited down and shown within another, better episode. Instead, we get a full hour of Eugene crying and Dwight doing some crap that absolutely no one cares about.
SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD, although there isn’t much to spoil anyway.
The main survivors of Rick and company are currently out on a quest to recruit soldiers and guns in order to fight Negan and his forces. Really wish we could be talking more about what they are doing, but instead we are talking about Eugene’s day as a guest of Negan. At the very least, this would be a great way to showcase the character and add depth, but in classic Walking Dead fashion, the show gives us another uninteresting look at what Eugene is doing while the rest of the group is undoubtedly doing something much more entertaining.
For starters, Eugene is given a luxurious room with all the furnishings you can get in a post apocalyptic world. There is even a moment of sheer terror as Eugene turns on the radio and the audience is treated to “Easy Street”, the same song that haunted Darryl while he stayed at Casa de Negan. When you think about it, this shows that Negan had more respect for Darryl than he does for Eugene. Darryl was immediately thrown in the hole in a campaign to mentally and emotionally break him. In contrast, Eugene is given a nice room and some clout with Negan. Why? Well, Negan undoubtedly realizes what a coward Eugene is, so he does not fear that Eugene will try to escape. Another factor could be that Negan knows that he will have Eugene make bullets at some point and it would be better to have Eugene as a willing participant than a simple hostage.
Then we are treated to half of the episode being focused on Dwight. Insert sarcastic enthusiasm. It turns out that Dwight’s wife, Cheri, is the person who let Darryl out of the hole. Shortly after, Cheri made a run for it too. While openly denying it, Dwight instantly knew it was his ex-wife Cheri who let Darryl go. After beating up on Dwight, Negan let him go look for the wife, Cheri. Dwight goes to their old house and has fond memories of Cheri as the letter she left for Dwight is narrated to the audience. The prolonged scene establishes that Dwight and Cheri once loved each other but JEEZ, can’t you just give that to the audience in a montage or something?
Moving on, we cut back to Eugene. As some sort of bizarre reward, Negan sends 3 of his wives to spend the evening with Eugene. However, Negan specifically states that there is to be no sex between Eugene and Negan’s wives. As if there was going to be anyways. After impressing the ladies with his scientific knowledge, two of them ask them to make some poison for a wife that wants to end it all while she is asleep. Eugene realizes that the pills they are requesting are for Negan himself ad promptly wants nothing to do with it.
Back to Dwight going back to the home he shared with his ex-wife Cheri. There he found a letter written and narrated by Cheri, explaining that she was responsible for them going back to Negan after they had escaped. She also said that because of that decision, she also felt responsible for changing Dwight from the man she had loved to the man he had become. Dwight mourns the loss of his ex-wife and still, nobody cares.
Upon returning to Sanctuary, the group gathers for another face burning ceremony. This time its the doctor. Dwight planted the “goodbye honey” portion of the letter from Cheri into the doctor’s desk so that Negan could link the doctor to Cheri’s leaving and helping Darryl escape. Negan explained that the doctor released Darryl in order to impress Cheri and that Cheri ran simply because Negan would have thought that she was the one who released him. The poor doctor ended up confessing with the iron inches away from his face. Naturally, Negan threw the doctor into the furnace.
The episode ended with Negan visiting Eugene to ask him who he is. Eugene said he was Negan before Negan could finished the question. Eugene admittedly has gone over and become a Negan. This will present a huge problem to our heroes once they launch their attacks. Eugene will have helped Negan increase the defenses of Sanctuary and possibly have helped them make their own bullets.
Overall, the episode showed that the boring format of the first half of the season will continue during the second half as well. Many of us were hoping against hope that the show had mad the turn and would focus on the main group of survivors, but sadly this doesn’t appear to be the case. The episode focused on Dwight. Dwight. Granted, he does play a pivotal role in the war against Negan in the comic book version of the Walking Dead. However, he has a very long way to go if he is going to get there.
But seriously, who cares what happens to Dwight? He tried to kill everyone’s favorite survivor, Darryl. When he couldn’t, he took his signature weapon and car. The only real interest in Dwight would be to see if Darryl gets a chance to finish him off, as he so rightly deserves. It’s almost surprising that he show would go back to using full episodes to focus on secondary characters. A lot of these subplots do not have any impact on the worked. Eugene? He hasn’t done anything major except stand around and cry when the walkers show up.
This show needs to focus on the entertaining things that make it incredible. We need to see the group together and linking arms in solidarity. War is coming and the survivors will be a the frontlines. Episode 11 showed that boring exposition is the rule, not the exception.