I know I’m smarter than most people, I know I’m a very good liar, and I know I needed to get to DC.
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was an introspective one. It gave us more info to fill in the gaps with some of the newer characters, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt). We see in the episode what happens on the way to DC, what happened to Abraham before, and what seems to be bothering Eugene so much. And of course it had a great shocker ending that seems to be the stamp of season 5 so far this year. So lets start out on the bus to DC.
The episode starts off innocently enough on the bus headed to DC led by Abraham behind the wheel. They have left Rick and the rest of the group to save the world, but you can tell it is being thought about quietly. Even Maggie tries to say something to Glen about how she is sure that Rick and the others are just behind them with the rest of their friends. Eugene seems distant as he stares into nothingness. Eugene tries to evade Glen’s questions about the cure and defends the mullet from ridicule, but he seems to be thinking about other things. An explosion in the bus fuel line, causes Abraham to lose control and flip and crash the bus. No one is badly hurt and they all get out of the bus before they are swarmed by walkers. As everyone take out walkers, Eugene stands by watching in fear. I think the parallels between Eugene and Fr. Gabriel are very noticeable. They are both scared, afraid to fight, and depend on the people around them to help them. Gabriel hid in a church, while Eugene has hid behind Abraham. They both have hidden knowledge that others around them want to know. And just like Gabriel was hiding something from the group, so is Eugene. Eugene does finally attempt to kill a walker, and stabs it in the back as it is trying to attack Tara, giving her enough time to defend herself and finish it off.
This leads to another interesting part of this episode. The friendship between Eugene and Tara. They are sort of an odd pairing, but they seem to be gaining mutual respect of each other. It is only after Tara has a little pep talk with Eugene that he attempts to kill a walker that is attacking her. Then later as Eugene spies on Abraham and Rosita having sex, Tara pulls him aside and talks to him. Eugene’s Self Help
It is obvious that Eugene needs some help, and Tara tries to help. As long as Eugene has been in the company of Abraham, he hasn’t had to worry about protecting himself. He is dependent on Abraham and lives through Abraham. When Abraham kills walkers, Eugene can imagine himself killing walkers. As Abraham sleeps with Rosita, Eugene can imagine himself doing the same. Tara sees this, I think, and given her past with being dependent on the Governor and her dead girlfriend to take care of her, I think she sees Eugene falling into the same codependent situation. But is this what is bothering Eugene? Eugene admits to Tara that he has been sabotaging the vehicles to get to DC. He tells her he is afraid of getting to DC and then not being able to save the world. Tara quickly tells Eugene to not tell anyone else, and to stop being afraid of his destiny. Could this be the trouble with Eugene?
After his motivational talks with Tara, Eugene steps up and shows he is not just the brainy save the world guy, he is also the save the group guy. When Abraham moves a fire truck, he accidentally unblocks a door that was holding back a large group of walkers inside the fire house. It quickly looks like Abraham and the group will be overrun by the pack of hungry walkers when Eugene unleashes the power of the fire hose on the walkers. If one thing can be said about the show, it is that they find creative ways of dispatching the dead. The pressure of the fire hose blows the walkers to pieces leaving a safe group and a victorious Eugene. Later, Eugene is seen sitting reading HG Wells, while Maggie tries to let him know he is appreciated and seen as an important part of the team. Something is still bothering him, he tries to explain that he feels like he doesn’t deserve any credit, that anyone would have done it. This is the guy with the cure for the virus?
Throughout the episode, we are fed flashbacks to Abraham’s story. We learn that Abraham had a family at the beginning of the ZA, and that he lost them. We see Abraham beating down a group of people clenching a soup can in his hand. His hands bloodied and with a dazed look in his eyes, he looks around calling out to his wife and children. The biggest question is why did he kill those people? According to the comics, Abraham and his family were with a group of neighbors hiding out in a supermarket. One day when Abraham was out getting more supplies, the guys in his group raped his wife and daughter while making his son watch. When Abraham returns to find this out, he brutally attacks and kills the neighbors involved. After seeing this anger, Abraham’s wife runs away in fear with the children. She leaves him a note telling him to not follow her. One can only feel sorry for Abraham in this situation. He has one of the saddest back stories that we have seen. He trusted a group of neighbors with his family and he was dealt a serious blow to his trust. His reaction to what happened was extreme yet justified, but apparently his wife and children hadn’t seen the new world after walkers and how this new world has changed people and made them more dangerous than the dead. Could this explain why Abraham needed his mission? Is this why he didn’t want to keep being in Rick’s group? We are shown later in the episode that Abraham eventually finds his wife and children dead, attacked by walkers and torn to pieces. He had lost everything he had cared about trusted. He is about to kill himself when he sees Eugene running away from walkers screaming for help that stops him from doing it. After saving Eugene, he is once again given an important mission and a reason to keep going on. But is that enough?
The final act of the episode finally answers the question of what is the trouble with Eugene. After they get the fire truck moving again, they run into another road block. This time they see in the horizon a herd of walkers as far as the eye can see just down the highway to DC. Abraham stubbornly seeing only the mission, says lets go through the herd. Everyone argues with him. It is foolish to drive into a walker herd. Abraham refuses to give up and stop again.The wound on Abraham’s hand is a reoccurring image. It points to how he is not letting anything heal. He’s been on his mission with Eugene since his family died and has not stopped long enough to let the hand that he first cut open when killing his neighbors heal up. The physical nature of the bleeding hand symbolizes the damaged emotions of Abraham. He has not healed emotionally from losing his family, and has only replaced one pain with the mission of getting to DC.As Eugene sees that Abraham will force the group into a death march with the herd, Eugene confesses that it is all a lie. He admits that he is not a scientist, that he doesn’t have the cure, and that he can’t save the world. Eugene tells the group he is just a guy smart enough to lie to get people to protect him. All he had was his intelligence and he used the one thing he had to get others to protect him that otherwise would have left him behind. Everyone stood speechless except for Abraham. Abraham, being a man of action, attacks Eugene beating him close to death. The episode ends with Abraham on his knees, crying, remembering first meeting Eugene.So what will happen next? Is Eugene dead? Will Abraham just give up? Will they head back to the church to find Rick or are they still heading to DC? This episode left many questions, and it looks like we won’t get our answers next week. So what do you think will happen to the DC group? How about Daryl and Carol’s episode next week? Here is a preview for next week, until then remember, there is NO SANCTUARY.
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