Why The Walking Dead's Eugene Needs To Go Away Now

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't caught up with The Walking Dead through the episode titled "Time for After."

Of all the Walking Dead characters that would be sensible choices for a "moral turncoat" reversal, Eugene is one of the most logical picks. His entry into Team Family was built on dishonesty, his cowardice has been a detriment to the group's survival, and he instantly adapted to Negan's lifestyle instead of holding onto his sense of loyalty and working the situation from the inside, like Dwight is doing. Eugene's intentions have been murky on the whole, but tonight's episode showed all his true colors, which ran between chicken-yellow and bullshit-brown. This was all the last straw, and Eugene has to go now.

Sure, if Eugene would get rescued by Rick (or whoever), he'd probably go back to his old semi-heroic ways while back in Alexandria or Hilltop, but he doesn't deserve to get to that point. Negan has tasked him with figuring out a way to keep the Sanctuary's remaining residents alive, and the trust level is high enough that Negan actually shook Eugene's hand in a genial way, which is not one of the tyrant's noteworthy traits. And Eugene made it abundantly clear during the episode that all of his forward momentum is with his own best interests in mind, as opposed to what others might want or expect from him. Well, except for Negan's desires, of course, since those are pretty hard to ignore.

In some cases, Eugene's interests in keeping himself alive are crafted with others' safety in mind, which is amiable enough, and we've seen that he's been having some major struggles with sticking to the Saviors' way of life. Eugene definitely has his plusses, since he craftily used a dead woman's iPod in an attempt to cause a walker distraction, which would have worked if it wasn't for that meddling Dwight and his talking dog. Scratch that last part. In any case, Eugene has been given ample chances to show his allegiance to Rick's crew, and all he's done is get offended and get pissy about what he thinks doing the right thing is, which usually results in him defending his selfishness. It's his biological imperative to survive, after all. (Anybody else want to see Josh McDermitt's karaoke version of "I Will Survive" after that scene?)

As seen by his wide eyes and his sweating and his drinking, Eugene is not a man in the best position to be responsible for anyone's safety. And if his concerns are clearly not being made with the good guys' interests in mind, then his presence is no longer welcome for the long term.

Eugene's big masterplan -- beyond just getting more booze as a sleep aid -- could be one in which he isn't sharing his overall motivations with anyone, either the Saviors or Team Family. He could be crafting a plan to take out all of the most monstrous Saviors in a way that keeps others alive, but isn't able to trust anyone else with the information. It's not like Dwight is interested in trading secrets anyway. But even if that is the case, I'm at the "too little, too late" point with Eugene. And he got all harsh on the ill Father Gabriel, further making that seem unlikely. I want to see him get taken out in a situation where he would need Dr. Carson's help, but isn't able to make that happen.

This is all a shame for many fans of the source material, since Comic Eugene hits upon a very interesting plotline involving another mystery survivor, in addition to the character's other interesting stories. Those storylines can easily get ported to someone else, but so much pleasant dialogue would go unheard if Eugene is kept on the Saviors' side. It's a sacrifice we're willing to make, though.

What will happen to Eugene next? Find out during The Walking Dead's midseason finale, which will air on AMC on Sunday, December 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out one crazy theory we have about this season, and then head to our fall TV premiere schedule and our 2018 midseason premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.