The Walking Dead “Hostiles and Calamities” gave us a lot of shocking moments. Let’s see if we can break them all down.
There was so much packed into The Walking Dead “Hostiles and Calamities.” From the discovery of Daryl’s escape and its aftermath to Eugene’s arrival and subsequent settling in at the Sanctuary, a lot was going on that requires discussion.
Dwight’s Beat Down
It all looked like a set up in the beginning. Little did we know, it was a different set up that would spell doom for someone later on.
As soon as Dwight discovered that Daryl was gone, he knew he was in trouble. He knew he only had a few moments to process what was going on, including the note Sherry left for Daryl, before Negan got back. And when Negan got back, it was like Dwight knew the knock on the door was him.
The beat down he got from Negan’s men was expected. Negan watched impassively and then sent Dwight to Dr. Carson to get stitched up. But the message was clear: Negan believed that Dwight had a role in Daryl’s escape, and the clock was ticking for Dwight to clear his name.
Eugene Impressing Negan with Molten Walkers
Negan had a feeling that Eugene was more than just a scaredy cat. Once Eugene confirmed that he was not only a Smarty Pants but that he was in fact Doctor Smarty Pants, he blew Negan’s mind with his solution to Negan’s rotting Walker problem.
In that moment Eugene managed to not only impress Negan, but he confirmed Negan’s suspicions that this is a guy that Negan wanted on his team. The molten Walker idea was a nod to finding the metal Walker in the machine shop with Abraham, which came at a moment when Eugene told Abraham that he was able to survive on his own. Now Eugene is surviving by working along with the man who killed his mentor. As Enid might say, Eugene is Just Surviving Somehow.
Sherry Leaving Dwight
Dwight goes out to find Sherry. He likely doesn’t expect to find her, but he’s clearly hopeful that he will. After all, he came prepared with beer and pretzels in case he did find her.
Sherry’s letter to Dwight was touching. It sounds as though she loved him a lot and worked hard to keep him safe, but ultimately she knows that they won’t be able to be together anymore, and that the risk that comes with trying to survive away from the Sanctuary is better than facing life inside its walls.
Frankie and Tanya’s Quest for Pills
The three wives that Negan sends to Eugene’s room as his “signing bonus” are very different from each other. Frankie and Tanya are attentive to Eugene and seem genuinely interested in his gaming and his past career while Amber drinks the entire time. It was Amber’s affair that led to her boyfriend meeting the iron back in “Sing Me a Song.”
The girls return to Eugene and tell him that they need him to create a pill that Amber can take so that she will fall asleep and die. They’ll take care of what happens when she turns, but she’s self-destructing and it would be better to help her than let her die on her own.
Eugene asks how much Amber weighs, promising to make something that will end her life. He even gets the supplies and manufactures something.
Firing Doctor Carson
Upon Dwight’s return to the Sanctuary, he knew he only had a short time to figure out a way to save his own life. He pins Daryl’s escape on Dr. Carson and Negan falls for it hook, line and sinker. Negan tells the doctor that he can be absolved if only he confesses to releasing Daryl, and Carson frantically admits to everything.
His fate is sealed, however, because Negan shoves him into the furnace.
Getting rid of the Sanctuary’s doctor is a risky move given that doctors are a valuable commodity, but Negan knows he has a spare doctor at the Hilltop, and it happens to be the “spare” Dr. Carson because they are brothers. It’s hard to imagine the Hilltop’s doctor agreeing to work at the Sanctuary after learning about his brother’s fate, but he probably won’t have much of a choice.
Eugene Denying the Wives
It isn’t often that Eugene takes a stand for himself. He’s generally assumed to be a nice guy and a pushover, so Negan’s wives are shocked to discover that Eugene won’t give them the pills. He knows that they intend to give one of the pills to Negan, and the other is an escape route should something go awry. He also knows, after witnessing what happened to Dr. Carson, that being involved in a murder plot will not be looked upon favorably.
The wives are shocked that Eugene denied them their request, but this is part of Eugene’s transformation. He is trying to establish that he’s not a pushover anymore, and he certainly isn’t going to risk his own life to save their lives.
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“I’ve Always Been Negan”
Negan doesn’t even have a chance to ask Eugene the question. He barely gets out two words from the “Who are you” question when Eugene blurts “I’m Negan.”
I don’t believe for a moment that Eugene is joining the Saviors. He’s accepting his place in the fold and he knows that this is what he has to do to survive. He has no idea what Negan did to try to break Daryl because Daryl escaped as Eugene arrived. All he knows is that Negan values his contributions, and the only way he can stay alive long enough for a rescue mission is to do just that–stay alive.
Negan probably knew what Eugene was going to say before he said it. Negan knows how utterly terrified Eugene has been the entire time, so it’s not surprising that Eugene “caved” so quickly. However, Negan was able to see what the promise of safety was worth to Eugene, who visibly relaxed when Negan said he was safe. Negan knows which strings to pull with Eugene, and he knows that if he pulls the right ones he’ll have a good little Doctor Smarty Pants soldier in his arsenal.