Warning: General spoilers ahead
For the past couple of weeks, we have been gifted with 2 fantastic “feel-good” episodes of The Walking Dead with Rick pretty much back to his old self and everyone starting to come together to take out a common enemy — the Saviors and their charismatic leader, Negan (Jeffrey Dean-Morgan). Unfortunately, that little honeymoon is over as we return this week to the darker side of the series, with Negan showing a newbie the ropes of life at The Sanctuary but also demonstrating the harsh consequences of betrayal to those responsible for Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) escape.
One of the main storylines in the episode is the fallout resulting from Daryl’s escape, with it beginning with the discovery of Fat Joey’s brutally-beaten body in the courtyard of the Sanctuary. As we also find out, Dwight’s (Austin Amelio) ex-wife, Sherry, is missing as well, and needless to say, Negan is beyond livid. Because Daryl was essentially Dwight’s responsibility, Negan’s first action is to have the living daylights beaten out of him by a half-dozen Saviors and then, have him locked in Daryl’s old cell. Negan eventually lets Dwight out but gives him the task of locating Sherry. However, Dwight isn’t stupid and knows full well that unless he acts, the blame will likely come down on him. So, Dwighty-boy saves his own ass, points the finger at someone completely innocent, resulting in that person getting perhaps the harshest punishment Negan has handed down to date. It’s a very disturbing scene, so be warned.
Also picking up from the mid-season finale when Eugene (Josh McDermitt) was taken after Rosita’s (Christian Serratos) half-baked attempt at taking out Negan, a good deal of the episode depicts Eugene adjusting to life at the Sanctuary — and, I must say he’s doing quite well. When he first arrives, he’s, of course, terrified, crying, and about to piss his pants, but instead of being beaten, tortured or whatever other horrific act he expected to happen, he is instead taken to his nice, spacious apartment. The fridge is stocked with beer, wine, and fresh vegetables, there’s plenty of books, and there’s even a videogaming system. Even better, he’s told he can have anything he wants to eat every night for dinner. Well, not exactly **anything**. He asks for lobster, but after getting the evil eye from his Savior tour guide, he settles for spaghetti and tomato sauce. Oh, yes, it’s Spaghetti Day everyday for Eugene going forward!
After a tour of the Sanctuary, the next stop is meeting Negan for an impromptu “job interview.” Negan talks about how he’s got this really cool fence of walkers protecting the compound, but the problem is after a while, the walkers eventually disintegrate, with the lower half breaking away leaving only the torsos and a big pile of disgusting walker goo below. So, here is Eugene’s first “test” — come up with a solution for fixing this problem. Does Eugene pass? Oh, yes, Eugene comes up with a brilliant idea, leaving Negan thoroughly impressed and dubbing Eugene “Mr. Smartie Pants” AKA the “Chief Engineer” of the Sanctuary. Heck, Eugene even comes up with a way to protect the walkers’ heads from “hostiles and calamities” (thus the title of the episode), which impresses Negan even more. Eugene definitely seems to enjoy his elevated status at the Sanctuary (and takes advantage of it perhaps a little too much) and especially likes how Negan actually seems to respect him, The big question that will be asked in this episode and going forward is will Eugene sell out and go to the dark side for a really cool job and the respect of the mad-men who brutally murdered perhaps his only friend?
Episode 7.11 of The Walking Dead is titled ‘Hostiles & Calamities’ and airs Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com