Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
First things freakin’ first: How awful is Eugene now?
I mean, he’s always been a chore, and the show’s constant teasing of him possibly being on a crawl to redemption, which has lasted two seasons now, has only worked to make him more of a menace. Not just because we spent so much tedious time with him teetering back and forth, in and out of a cloud of ethics, but because we’ve spent so much tedious time with him period. Just a lot of time. Eugene can certainly chew up a scene and eat up a lot of air time and Season 8 has been more than willing to use him to pad things out.
But this week? In Season 8’s penultimate chapter, “Worth,” he not only fully back-flopped into heel territory, but he goddamn barfed all over Rosita. Just to add a gross cowardly insult to injury. Was there a specific reason he did that? Was the garlic in his special mac and cheese supposed to attract walkers or was it just a way to distract her for a few crucial seconds so he could split? And why have Daryl and Rosita nab him just so he could get away and return back to the bullet factory five minutes later? Is it because they’re saving his final redemptive act for the finale? Something involving the Saviors bullets backfiring? Ugh. That’s certainly possible. But do we care at this point?
I guess it’s possible to not care about Eugene or whatever happens to him while sort of caring about how Rick’s going to weasel his way out of the impending pickle he’s walking into. A trap courtesy of Negan, delivered by Gregory, inadvertently sent out into the ether by Dwight. Gabriel’s faulty bullets and the Oceanside women are, ostensibly, what’s going to save everyone’s bacon.
Before I skip along here – I think purposefully vomiting all over someone is the worst thing I’ve eve seen someone do on this show. In this universe. Yes, I’m counting all murders. I’m counting Negan bashing Glenn’s face in with a bat. This is already an awful, humid and stinky world with not much in the line of clothing or showers. Upchucking all over someone’s shirt is just rotten. Eugene can never be redeemed in my eyes.
“Worth” was – well – fine. I suppose. Once again, it was Walking Dead putting a five pound story in a ten pound bag while also taking us back into the Sanctuary for a look at a bunch of people who we don’t know, doing things that don’t ultimately matter. This Negan AWOL story took up two episodes and just wound up dropping him right back off where he started.
There is a slight difference though. Now Negan’s done playing games. He no longer sees the Hilltoppers as people to spare. All of this, this whole two-episode run, was just to get him to where Simon was to begin with. Of course, Negan was blaming Simon, and Simon’s actions again Hilltop and the junk people, for his new cruel spin on life. He HAS to kill everyone because Simon came at them with such malice and abandon that they’ll never fall in line.
Look, it’ll all get worked out next week. Carl’s letter to Negan may have fallen on deaf ears, but Rick’s changed. He read the letter, knowing what it would contain, and he’s going to heed the message. Yup, more people swapping alignments. Now Rick’s the reasonable one and Negan’s on a warpath.
It was pretty obvious, from the get-go, that Negan was setting Simon up. So we had to sit through all that until Negan speechified his way though the charade and strangled Simon to death. One interesting thing to pop up here was a brief mention of Simon’s pre-Saviors past. Something about another camp and him being a “demented goddamn ghoul” to keep an eye on. Even if it was spare and vague, it helped give Simon a little texture.
The Dwight twist at the end though was nice. At first I thought he’d die but his final act would be tipping Rick off, but Negan was too smart for that. Actually, the biggest surprise here, overall, was that it took that Savior chick ratting Dwight out for Negan to suspect anything.
Hell, I just figured Negan was onto Dwight because Dwight is the worst and most obvious mole ever. How about looking someone, anyone, in the eyes, Dwight? You’re the mopiest shuffle-foot ever. Who’s betraying us? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the guy who’s constantly Eeyore’ing around, mumbling, and showing absolutely no sign of wanting to be here. Oh, and who’d have a pretty good reason for wanting to betray everyone. This was definitely a case of Negan buying into his own bulls*** a bit too much. But you gotta live it if you expect others too, I guess.
Man, now what will Rick, Daryl and the rest think of Dwight after they waltz into that trap? I guess the show conveniently left Dwight alive so that he could explain himself, if that’d do any good somehow. More than likely, the trap is Rick leading all his good fighters out and leaving the Hilltop vulnerable. Enid better still be pissed enough about Carl to go into full murder mode.