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Saturday, December 9, 2017

[RECAP] Season 8, Episode 7 of The Walking Dead, "Time for After"

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Here we are, believe it or not, Walking Dead Fans.  We have arrived at the penultimate episode leading to the mid-season finale, aptly titled "Time for After" (or what should've been called, Time for What Happens Next, in my humble opinion).  This episode largely focused on the players on both the Saviors side and Team Grimes side, and the choices made on both sides that'll likely set in motion the firestorm (literally) that we'll soon see.  Unfortunately there was a lot of Eugene talk and Garbage people talk so we hope you had your Closed Captions settings on.  But we'll walk you through all that, since that's what we're here for.

While we have the comic relief side show of Rick and Garbage People (let's be honest now) the real depth of the episode lays on the Savior side, specifically with Eugene.  The evolution of his character has been pretty incredible to watch this season and this episode is no different.  We see how the Saviors are still trapped within their walls by the overwhelming mass of walkers still banging at their doors.  Negan is still looking to his lieutenants to come up with a way out of this mess and Eugene is taking that responsibility very seriously.  Negan and Eugene even have a one on one conversation where Negan looks Eugene eye to eye and gives him a handshake, a sign of mutual respect, something that most people don't get from him he says.  This is right after Eugene tries to kiss Negan's hand (come on Eugene, he's not a mob boss), but I digress.

He's not a mob boss, Eugene...geez.

After this interaction, Dr. Carson flags him down in the hall and informs him that Father Gabriel's health is going downhill fast.  He asks if Eugene could spend some time with his "friend" (or as Eugene prefers to refer to him as "traveling companion") so that he could see what medicinal herbs he can use to TRY and tend to Father Gabriel, as best he can.

It's during this time together that Father Gabriel asks Eugene to help him get Dr. Carson back to the Hilltop to tend to Maggie.  It's clear that Father Gabriel is still holding fast to trying to ensure that even if he dies (and it's looking more and more likely) that he at least doesn't die without a purpose (a fruitless death).  While Father Gabriel continues to calmly preach to Eugene about doing the right thing, when the time comes, Eugene makes it abundantly clear at this point (and throughout the episode) that in a world where morals and values are so ambiguous, self-preservation is his sole purpose.  Oh, and he also has a few funny one liners about looking like a potato in a s&*t casserole.  HA.

Moving on though, we see that Eugene downright confronts Dwight, which is rather bold for a guy like Eugene, in my opinion.  Eugene levels with Dwight that he KNOWS that the's the mole and that he is asking for him to stop any espionage work that he was doing (although I'm not quite sure how much more Dwight could do since it seems that if events had run their course, the Sanctuary would've fallen).  It's at that point that Dwight sits Eugene down and tells him just that, that the Sanctuary WILL fall and that all he has to do to remain quiet and be on the right side, when the time comes.  Eugene tells Dwight that this is unlikely since Negan is not the "dying type" (FORESHADOWING COMIC FANS) and he insists that he IS Negan, they are Saviors and they need to SAVE people.  Dwight then goes into an excellent monologue telling Eugene that he believes that NOW because he hasn't had to involuntarily kill for Negan.  He tells him that the time will come and he will have blood on hands and there is NO going back at that point.  EXCELLENT POINT DWIGHT.  But unfortunately it all falls on deaf, hair covered ears.

We then see Eugene's life in The Sanctuary, still trying to determine how to fix the problem of the walkers outside.  One of Negan's wives (I believe her name is Tanya) arrives to pick up her fixed boom box (hey, I mean, if you're going to die anyway, might as well listen to some music on your way out).  Eugene, incredulous that she's even focused on her boom box right now, tells her that he'll work on it but he would still like to have the bottle of wine that she was going to give him in exchange.  Tanya informs him that no amount of alcohol is going to help him sleep at night and that he HAD his chance to help her and wives poison Negan and he chose to look out for himself.  OUCH.  But, she's right.  In any case, she leaves him the wine and leaves Eugene to chug his wine, in consolation.

After much tinkering and visiting Sasha's old coffin (did anyone else jump at that Sasha Walker flashback?  I did), Eugene uses components from the boombox, from Sasha's old iPod and other elements to create a musical drone, in an apparent plan to launch it off the roof and over the walker herd, to try and lead them away from the Sanctuary.  Right as he's recording his steps but before he hits the launch button, we see Dwight come out on the roof and confront Eugene, putting a gun to the back of his head.  He tells him to stop and that his actions will lead to the death of Rick, Rosita and all his friends (again, Eugene insists, traveling companions) and that he's working WITH them to save people and preserve the greater good.  Eugene says that no matter what he's screwed: Either he does nothing to improve the situation at the Sanctuary and Negan kills him OR he takes his chances trying to save the Sanctuary and he gets POSSIBLY killed by a sometime ally/sometime foe in Dwight.  Ultimately, Eugene launches the drone over the Walkers, only to be shot down by Dwight...but not before Eugene records the whole conversation on his tape recorder that was documenting the launch?

Which brings us to Daryl, Tara and Morgan.  After Michonne and Rosita came to their senses and decided that Daryl's plan was way too risky and left, the remaining members of the group decided to continue to follow through.  Although I will say that Daryl at least seemed SLIGHTLY conflicted, whereas impulsive Tara and suicidal Morgan were fully on board.  Upon hearing the gunshots from Dwight on the roof (SIDE NOTE: Why didn't Morgan and his snipers pick off Dwight and Eugene when they were on that roof having their confrontation?), Tara opens fire on the windows of The Sanctuary and Daryl puts the pedal to the metal and crashes the truck into the building, jumping out of the truck in time to run off with Tara and leaving a gaping hole for the walkers to start flooding in.  And flood in they do.

What we see next is utter chaos on the main floor of the Sanctuary, which we learned from earlier episodes, is where the "workers" primarily reside, including men, women and children.  The lieutenants do their best to get as many of the walkers as possible and we see Eugene frozen on the steps in shock, fear and anger over the situation.  He is literally shaking.  He then lets out all of his frustrations on Father Gabriel, informing him that he has NO intention of helping him at ALL with Dr. Carson and that he is fully Negan and will do everything he can to save these people.  He then storms off and goes to Negan.

In Negan's conference room (that's what it is right?), a determined Eugene informs Negan that he has a plan on how to escape this precarious situation, but he would need him to help him get to the abandoned metal shop (remember?  The one that Eugene and Abraham were at when Eugene said he use this place to make bullets? God, I miss Abraham).  Negan TOTALLY strokes Eugene's ego, calling him "magnificent" and Eugene offers more Intel to top that.  Negan is all ears, but it's at that point that the rest of lieutenants show up and Eugene cowers at the idea of ratting out Dwight right in front of him (clearly that's what he was going to do).  Instead, Eugene mentions that he can fix the intercom system too.  Fabulous.

So let's now visit Rick and the Garbage People (as much as I don't want to).  After some bizarre pseudo-naked photos, Rick is held down and Jadis brings out essentially Winslow, Version 2, being maneuvered by a metal helmet attached to a stick.  Rick immediately reacts and fights off a couple of Jadis' people and eventually pulls the Walker's head off , fights off Jadis, and eventually (finally) pinning her down.  It's at this point that she instructs her people to surrender and after some hard bargaining (what is with this chick and the strange deals?), she agrees to help him.

A fully dressed Rick and the Garbage people then arrive at the Sanctuary, with Rick trying to radio in the cavalry, to no avail.  He then sees a sniper hanging down from his post, being eaten by walkers, with his face missing (FORESHADOWING COMIC BOOK FANS).  He kills the walkers and climbs the post and is shocked to see the truck crashed into the Sanctuary and it being completely clear of walkers...and people.

So we're now left with the following questions:

  • What was Eugene's plan that got rid of the walkers and got the remaining Saviors out?  Where did they all go?
  • How much time has passed since Rick was held by the Garbage People?
  • How will the Saviors now retaliate, since Negan informed Eugene that he fully intends to?
  • What will be the ultimate repercussions of Daryl, Tara and Morgan's actions?
  • And finally, who's dying in the mid-season finale??  Because we all know that's going to happen.

To help with these burning questions, we'll be posting possible predictions tomorrow morning to see just how good we are.  Stay tuned...

The Walking Dead's mid-season finale will air on Sunday, 12/9 at 9:00PM EST and will be an extended 88 minute episode.

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