I’d rather write about Romney vs. Trump in Alabama, the GOP’s own, far more compelling version of Rick Grimes vs. Negan, but oh well. Duty calls.
I’m a sucker for the Eugene-centric episodes but consensus online seems to be that last night’s hour was a snoozer. Fair enough. Eugene and Dwight not being able to pull the trigger on each other was interesting for 20 minutes, but not 40. Even so, I think what makes Eugene’s character development interesting is that he’s inscrutable in a way few other core cast members are. It’s easy on this show to tell who the good guys and bad guys are — which is a major deficiency, since you would think surviving the zompocalypse would blur that line like nothing else — but Eugene’s motivations are hard to be sure of. He’s a coward whose priority is survival above all things, but he doesn’t lack compassion. He could have ratted out Dwight; he didn’t need to give Sasha those earbuds in last season’s finale; the depth of his affection for his old comrades in the Grimes gang is uncertain; he seems surprisingly loyal to Negan, but is that on the level? And if it is, is it only because Negan seems to respect him in a way the Alexandrians never did?
He may be the one character on the show who seems equally capable of selling out Rick or Negan — or neither. Impressive depth for a guy who used to be mainly comic relief.
Now, a few logistical questions:
1. What the hell is Daryl thinking by busting open a hole in the Sanctuary so that the walkers can get in? The fact that the walkers were congregated outside made escape impossible. Now that they’re all inside, milling about on the first floor, the Saviors are free and clear to exit down the side of the building from a higher floor. No wonder Rick looked like he was about to shart when he saw the yard outside the Sanctuary empty. The Saviors couldn’t have devised a more ingenious way of solving their problem than Daryl’s solution.
Rick’s gonna kick his ass! That’s the “Walking Dead” equivalent of a Romney/McCain brawl.
2. What’s going on with Gabriel’s infection? There’s no evidence of a bite or a scratch from a walker yet he appears to be at death’s door. I read an interesting theory somewhere this morning that Gabriel may be having a reaction to the walker innards he covered himself with when he and Negan escaped from the trailer. That would be fascinating if so insofar as it would extend the idea of walker viscera as a sort of vaccine. Like a vaccine, they provide protection from hostile agents; and now, apparently, like a vaccine they’re capable of generating a bad reaction in some unlucky recipients. This would be the first time on either “Walking Dead” or “Fear the Walking Dead,” though, that anyone’s gotten sick from touching zombie guts.
Or maybe Gabriel just has the flu? Infectious diseases are still possible in zombieworld, one would think.
3. The battle scene in the junkyard between Rick and the masked walker (see below) was one of the most ridiculous the show’s ever uncorked. First, it’s been done. Rick already proved his mettle by defeating a masked zombie in the junkyard after he was taken captive during his first visit a season or two ago. Second, if the idea was to sacrifice Rick to the zombie, why not just tie him up and set the zombie loose on him in an enclosure? The sheer stupidity of doing it this way had the stench of a contrived too-cute-by-half Bond villain trap for 007 that appears designed precisely to maximize his chances of escape. Coming soon: Walkers with frickin’ laser beams on their heads. Third, why the hell didn’t Jadis just shoot him during the 20 seconds or so that he was kicking ass? She goes for her gun only when Rick’s finally past her henchmen and ready to fight her? Sheesh. And fourth, why did the Scavengers agree to form an alliance with Rick once he finally let Jadis up off the ground? They’d already imprisoned him once before. They could have killed him right then and there, as soon as she was out of harm’s way. Instead they’re super-impressed with his badassery and decide to join him in a highly dangerous war against Negan and the Saviors. For fark’s sake.
I keep thinking we’re going to find out the Scavengers don’t really exist, that Rick suffered some sort of head injury and has hallucinated all of his interactions with them. Or maybe they’re part of the Tommy Westphall Universe and suddenly Howie Mandel’s character from “St. Elsewhere” is going to show up at the final battle at the Sanctuary.
Exit question: Mitt “Rick” Romney is going to primary Donald “Negan” Trump in 2020, isn’t he?