This week, we find out what became of Eugene after Negan carted him off like some sort of mulleted spoils of war, and we learn more of Dwight and Sherry’s backstory. Also: the return of the evil earworm song, “Easy Street.” It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
This episode’s story is centered at the Saviors’ compound and we open on the body of Fat Joey, who has just been dispatched by Daryl as he makes his escape. The Saviors have an oh-shit moment and Dwight goes tearing off the check Daryl’s cell, which is of course empty. He also finds the note someone slipped Daryl which reads, “Go now.” He discovers that Daryl broke into his room and took his clothes (in addition to riding off on the motorcycle Dwight had stolen from him). And to add insult to that injury, Dwight gets an ass-beating for allowing this to happen on his watch. I’m not sad about it.
Eugene arrives at the compound. He’s terrified. He’s also confused when Laura, one of the Saviors, shows him to some rather cushy digs, complete with books and a beer-stocked fridge. She wants to know if Eugene has any idea where Daryl is and Eugene says no, but he’d tell if he did. Then she takes his lunch order. He can have whatever he wants. For Eugene, this means canned pasta in tomato sauce, the orangey kind, not the red kind. Also, pickles. Maybe Eugene is pregnant?
Negan has locked Dwight up in Daryl’s old cell. It turns out Sherry has run off, too. With Daryl? Did she help him? Dwight says no way. Then Negan wonders if Daryl got to Dwight, maybe turned him around. Negan wants Dwight to find Sherry and bring her back, which is especially Negan-y. He doesn’t just want people to obey him, he wants to totally dominate them. Forcing Dwight to recapture Sherry and bring her back to wifey-dom accomplishes just that. He wants Dwight to know his place.
Laura, meanwhile, gives Eugene the tour of the compound, the same one Carl got. She explains the point system and the whole “take whatever you want” mentality of Savior life. He’s one of them, now. “We eat good, they eat shit.” Eugene is clearly impressed. Later, out by the walker yard, Eugene attempts to impress Negan by listing his academic achievements and helping him figure out how to fix walkers to the fence without having them fall apart (pour metal over them). Negan loves this and decides to reward Eugene with some female company, a la his Robert Palmer-girl wives. No sex, but he will get to hang out and have drinks with them.
Eugene’s idea of being a gentleman with Negan’s wives, who he realizes are there under duress, is to show them a good time by playing video games so they can watch. The wives say they’d settle for intelligent conversation and get Eugene to show them some science-y stuff like how to make explosives from household items. Just for funsies.
Dwight looks for Sherry at their old house, which is where they said they’d meet up if anything ever happened to separate them. Sherry has left him a note. She was the one who forced him into joining up with Negan and she ended up marrying Negan to protect Dwight, but now she’s sorry to see what Dwight has become. She takes the blame for this. She says she let Daryl go because she could see that he reminded Dwight of what he once was. Along with the note, she’s left her wedding rings.
Two of the Negan wives, Tanya and Frankie, ask Eugene if he’ll help them. Amber, the other wife, the one whose former husband was branded by Negan, hates this life. She wants to die, and she’ll do it one way or another. Tanya and Frankie want Eugene to give them some pills to help Amber end it painlessly. They’ll take care of it when she turns. Eugene agrees. He channels some of Laura’s “take what you want” attitude in order to commandeer the medications he needs. He also, inexplicably, takes a bedpan and a weird stuffed doll. Because he can.
Dwight is apparently still human enough to want to protect Sherry, because he tells Dr. Carson that he found her and killed her. During his treatment, he plants a note from Sherry in Dr. Carson’s desk. Later, Negan punishes Dr. Carson for suspected involvement in Sherry’s escape by shoving him face first into the furnace. Eugene, horrified, is forced to watch – Laura literally holds his face, and Dwight is simply stoic. It’s hard to know if Dwight has some kind of plan to escape or if he’s simply in survival mode now. He did keep the wedding rings Sherry left, though.
When Tanya and Frankie come to get the pills from Eugene, he tells them he will not help them. He knows the pills are meant for Negan, not Amber, and he wants no part of it. Tanya says he’s a coward, and Eugene doesn’t disagree.
It seems that Eugene has embraced life as a Savior. “I’m Negan,” he tells Negan. He was Negan long before he met him. Again, is this part of Eugene’s strategy to survive and somehow sabotage the Saviors from within? Or is he just a weasel? Only time will tell. Until then, guess where he’s living?