Another week, another shortsighted decision made by our Negan-hating gang. This time, it was Daryl who made sure to screw things up by cooking up a garbage plan mixed with a garbage truck. Elsewhere, WALL-E’s origin story got weirder by the minute as we once again had the misfortune of returning to the dump. This week, a hella-thirsty Jadis finally came to her senses and has ostensibly agreed to finally join Rick’s group in its fight against Negan. We’ve been down this road once before, though, so only time will tell if the Garbage People can be trusted. And finally, as if sensing that screen time is awarded to whichever character speaks in the most annoying manner, Eugene upped the ante and sent us all running for the nearest bottle of giggle juice.
From displays of dominance to faction elimination, a look at which characters saw their prospects rise this week.
Adam Wagner: Rick
I feel like half of “Time for After” was one of those flashback episodes—except with a little less clothes and a little less spikes coming out of the fighting zombie (we miss you, Winslow).
Rick: “Join us in fighting Negan”
DMJ: No. *Insert creepy, sexually suggestive “sentence”*
Rick: Wait? Is this actually Mad Max? I have to fight this modified battle zombie?
DMJ: *Leers at Rick*
Rick: Ugh, fine. *Beats cyberpunk zombie*
DMJ: “Let’s have sex.”
Rick: “No. Join us.”
Though the end of the episode sees his plan a little off track, Rick is currently 2-0 on the road at the Garbage Grounds.
Joe Brosnan: Fine Art
You would think that in a zombie apocalypse, fine art would go the way of haircuts and rational decision making, but with the Garbage People somehow actually existing, we don’t have to worry. Decades from now, after mankind has been overrun by the dead and aliens arrive on Earth to take it over, they’ll stumble upon a statue seemingly forged by the hand of God. Taut in the all right places, these conquering aliens will stand in awe and marvel at a supreme being long gone. At the base, just five words, but in them lies the answer to all of humankind’s greatest achievements: I Believe in Rick Grimes.
Pritpaul Bains: Michonne
Michonne faced some of the same choices that Eugene grappled with last night, albeit on a relatively smaller scale. Her presence at Daryl's accelerated plan for chasing out the Saviors is a moral quandary: is it right to put the workers at risk? How will that affect their loyalty after the fact? But she, unlike Eugene, is clear on where she stands. It helps that Daryl doesn't pressure her to stay and encourages her to do what she feels is right, but her clarity and ability to make a decision that's right for her are not to be understated in contrast to the other choices made in this episode.
From poor decisions to lost lives, a look at which characters lost ground this week.
TWD's resident pickle-eatin', video game-lovin' nerd featured in what was basically a Eugene-centric episode this week, and viewers got a full sense of his inner conflict and decision-making process—something we haven't seen since our malleable mullet seemingly went full Negan last year. This episode showed a man confused and conflicted about the choices he's made, his sense of self-preservation constantly at odds with a nagging conscience intent on reminding him at every turn that he's abandoning those he once called friends. Dwight's situation is a shot at redemption, but will he take it? So far, the answer is no, but playing both sides of the field here means he's going to have to pay the piper eventually.
AW: Discount Milla Jovovich
I can’t quite put a finger on what the hell the Garbage People’s plan ever is. They claim to take but never bother, but they’ve essentially pissed off everyone in the show and everyone still watching. And they keep losing! Discount Milla Jovovich got beat at her own game again, got all of her sexual advances turned down, and put her people square in the middle of the danger again. I’m not sure how the Garbage People haven’t taken her out with the … haven’t dumped … haven’t removed her from power.
Hey everyone, remember that cool dude Glenn? You know, that level-headed, humanistic father-to-be who served as a rare tether between the increasingly bleak present and the hope for a better tomorrow? And do you remember how his head caved in during one of the worst games of Duck, Duck, Goose ever?
I’m sure you all remember him, but it seems like everyone’s forgetting why Glenn was ever even on the receiving end of Lucille’s wrath. I’ll remind you—it’s because Daryl lost his temper and patience.
Clearly, Daryl hasn’t learned anything from this mistake because here he is, once again, ruining the whole goddamn plan. This is the last straw for me. I’m ready for Daryl to Ride with Norman Reedus into the sunset and never look back.
A tribute to the late, great Hershel Greene, this section searches for the best displays of humanity amidst chaos this week.
Sure, he might be an arrogant, self-serving coward, but Eugene really did seem to be trying to save as many people as possible. I’ve been saying all season how the Saviors don’t actually seem like they’re all that bad of people. Sure, Negan’s lieutenants don’t seem that great, but I honestly believe that the majority of the people living under Negan’s rule are just there trying to survive—an outcome made most likely to succeed by Negan’s cutthroat pragmatism. So I was happy to see Eugene—ever the me-first kind of guy—put his pasty, sun-deprived neck on the line for the people of the compound.
A reformed Dwight continues to play a stealthily pragmatic role here, despite the fact that Eugene's life is a walking liability. He walked in on gizmoboy about to spill his guts to Negan—will that be enough reason for Dwight to change his mind and eliminate Eugene at the next opportunity? Probably not, if his change of heart is sincere (and thus far it seems it is). His shooting down the makeshift drone and actually considering what might be best for the others in the Sanctuary reveal a changed man, though admittedly a dead Eugene might leave him with more problems with Negan than solutions. If he does manage to get out of the Sanctuary alive, he might not like what Tara and Daryl have in store for him…
Negan may be the villain, and he may rule with an iron fist (literally, in some cases), but he does his best to protect his people and keep them safe. He may view people as a resource, but they’re a resource he’s invested in—and he’s out to protect his investment at any cost. When the shit hits the pants, I’d be glad to have someone in charge that I know is looking out for me.
- Rick’s a never nude! (AW)
- I’m enjoying this new, logical Rosita. I guess she can stick around after all. (JB)
- Rosita's actually making sense? What show am I watching? (PB)
- There’s supposed to be a “shocking” scene next week in the midseason finale. Any guesses? Someone big is going to die. (JB)
- Can the Garbage People be the ones to expire in next week's midseason finale? (AW)
- Discount Milla Jovovich still sucks at negotiating. Rick still sucks for trusting literal trash people. (PB)
- Loyalties be damned, Eugene Stuart Mill over here employing his ethical utilitarianism by trying to side with whichever group/plan does the greatest good for the greatest number of people. (AW)
- “Eugene … I was going for a handshake.” I personally wouldn't have pegged Negan as a limp-wrister. (PB)
- 1.5 fluid ounces? That's like a shot of wine. Am I the only one who sees a bottle of wine as an appetizer? (AW)
- Daryl's in a dark, dark place this season and it's clearly affecting his judgment adversely. (PB)
- I am already dreading the long, drawn-out argument between Rick and Daryl over the garbage truck battering ram decision. (PB)
- The scariest thing about tonight's episode was learning that next week's episode is going to be 90 minutes. (PB)