The Walking Dead: Eugene Porter and Denise Cloyd

jss-eugene-tells-denise-that-she-doesnt-want-to-be-a-coward /

Eugene Porter and Denise Cloyd on The Walking Dead are two peas in different pods. Eugene found safety within a lie. Denise found safety within walls.

Both Eugene and Denise are socially awkward, smart, afraid people. At the beginning of the apocalypse they found safety in the protection of others. As things progressed and they saw they had to face it, they tried to become brave, but their own fears and personalities and their own friends sometimes get in the way.

Eugene and Denise are self-aware and self-confident in some ways, yet very self-conscious in other ways. Like many introverts, they are awkward when the are being watched and they can stand up for themselves and speak with confidence at inopportune times.

Denise spoke up with the Wolf in the midst of a panic attack, even digging at him about his friends being dead. Eugene told Abraham he was smarter than him right after confessing his huge lie. He told him his services were no longer required immediately after Abraham saved him from the metal head walker because dibs are dibs.

Denise and Eugene were just trying to become brave in their own way and instead of having people help them, they either get babied or yelled at by their friends. Nobody really teaches them. They call it tough love, but it’s really just lazy love. They had Tara in common, but Tara wasn’t enough. They both had Rosita. Eugene had Abraham and Denise had Daryl.

They both could have used Carl. Carl is a good teacher. He doesn’t belittle and he shows you. He doesn’t let you off the hook. He tells you what you have to do and why. He once told Gabriel he had to do something different with the machete because the skulls aren’t always soft and you have to drive it down. But he wasn’t condescending.

More from Undead Walking

Last week we saw parallel situations with Denise and Eugene. They both wanted to be brave and become survivors like the people they admired. But the people they admired were too stuck in their own all or nothing thinking, in their own ways to see how they could help their awkward friends.

They dismissed them. They didn’t see that these awkward people looked up to them. That the scaredy cats were tired of being praised for their out-of-the-box thinking of making bullets or finding an apothecary shop. They wanted to be superheroes, too.

Why didn’t the superheroes see that maybe they could help them somehow to feel empowered. Abraham could have held that metal head walker’s arms back and talked Eugene through the kill. Daryl and Rosita could have let Denise tell them which drugs were the important ones.

They could have walked side by side with her instead of yards ahead. They could have said that they were sorry she had to see that awful scene. That they thought it was terrible, too. They could have helped her kill that lone walker by holding it down for her. Give her some experience.

Denise’s speech and Eugene’s speech telling Abraham his services were no longer required may have seemed like rants or ungrateful whining.  But Eugene and Denise were hurt. They were ordinary people saying, damn it, you’re the superheroes, act like it. Superheroes are supposed to help the regular people.

Next: Top 10 Denise moments

We’re the regular people. Help us. Don’t patronize us or feel sorry for us or do everything for us. Teach us. We’re the reason you are who you are. Don’t make us feel small. We already feel small. You’re supposed to make us feel big. We’re trying to make ourselves feel big and strong, Why don’t you see that?

Hopefully, Daryl, Rosita and Abraham learned a lesson from the regular people last week.