If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Eugene unwillingly begins to work for Negan and the Saviors at the Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Dwight pays a visit to a place from his past. (IMDB)
Writer: David Leslie Johnson
Director: Kari Skogland
Running Time: 44mins
We haven’t seen Negan for a little while and the Sanctuary for even longer so this episode kind of helped to tie up some loose ends. We know that Daryl escaped but Negan and the others are now figuring that out for themselves. Seeing that Dwight was the one watching him, suspicion was on him and he was then punished accordingly. Luckily for him Sherry also managed to leave around the time that Daryl did, Negan didn’t think it was a coincidence so he tasked Dwight to find her.
The revelation that Sherry may have been responsible for freeing Daryl forced Dwight to take a look at himself and his relationship with her. He didn’t think she could ever do that but he was starting to think otherwise. He then set out to the place they agreed to meet if they were ever split up. There he finds a note where Sherry regrets making Dwight into the person he had become. She didn’t want to live in the Sanctuary and thought Dwight wouldn’t want to either. She wanted him to remember the good times, even though he had a bad memory. She was in love with the person he was. She saw similarities between Daryl and Dwight so she thought she could save Daryl to make up for not saving Dwight.
Eugene was taken from Alexandria a few episodes ago and we also catch up with him here. He has never been the most courageous character and that was still the case here as he was basically scared of his new environment and the people in it. He only knew them by reputation so these feelings were understandable. Negan took him because he saw the bullet he had made when Rosita tried to shoot him and thought he may be useful. Once he arrived, instead of getting a cell, he got an apartment like the other Saviors.
Perhaps it was his instinct for self-preservation kicking in but he began to show Negan his usefulness. Negan’s reward for this usefulness was an evening with a few of his wives, Amber, Tanya (Chloe Aktas), and Frankie (Elyse Dufour) . Of course it didn’t go the way you would think with Eugene being who he was. Negan forbade him to have sex with them but that was never going to be a problem. Eugene’s idea of a good time was retro video games (because that’s what they had) and intelligent conversation. Over time, the wives saw how scientifically-inclined he was after he performed a few experiments in front of them.
They also learn that Eugene was a nice guy so Tanya and Frankie tried to appeal to his humanity in asking him for help. They were willing to submit themselves to Negan to save themselves but Amber had no choice as she depended on their relationship to help her mother. Now she has become so detached that she wanted to end her life. Wanting to protect Amber, they asked Eugene if he could prepare something to help her take her own life without hurting anyone else. This led to a great moment where Eugene asserted himself in front of lesser Sanctuary residents and just took what he wanted since he didn’t have to work for points.
Because Dwight still loved Sherry, he was still protecting her by telling Negan that he had killed her which absolved him. Seeing that he still needed to pin Daryl’s escape on someone, he set up the doctor by planting a note suggesting that he was involved in letting Daryl escape for Sherry. Negan thought that Sherry left because he would have blamed her for it which he admitted that he would have. Negan sets up the doctor for the iron to the face. You would think the doctor was safe after apologizing but in typical Negan fashion, he just threw him into the furnace. He thought that since he had Eugene (who is apparently a doctor), he believed the doctor to be expendable.
Eugene made some pills but he suddenly realized that they were not really for Amber but rather for Negan. He then refused to give them the pills for those very reasons. He probably should have but maybe realized that this plan would be risky. When they threaten to tell Negan, Eugene is confident in his usefulness and sort of grows a backbone, thinking that he would believe him over them.
The episode ended with Negan visiting Eugene’s room and assessing his well-being. He understood that Eugene needed time to adjust to his new surroundings. Negan gives him an invitation to not be scared anymore as long as he pledges his loyalty to Negan. Of course he does, saying that he’s undoubtedly Negan before he even asks the question which is probably just more self-preservation. Dwight runs into him later where he checks Eugene’s loyalty while Eugene apologizes for the whole crotch-biting incident.
Overall, this was a good episode, giving Josh McDermitt the opportunity to shine as Eugene. He was great here as we got a fuller experience of the Sanctuary through his terrified eyes. His scenes with the wives were fun to watch and so were the emotional scenes with Dwight. I especially liked Negan not being over the top (but he still threw someone in a furnace). It was a nice change of pace.