Will The Walking Dead Actually Kill Off Eugene?

eugene bullet maker the walking dead
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of AMC)

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's latest episode, "Still Gotta Mean Something."

Throughout the course of Season 8, The Walking Dead has killed off quite a few big characters, while putting many others directly in the line of fire. But one character who has (rather undeservedly) escaped the crosshairs for the most part has been Eugene, who has grown quite comfortable and pampered within his leadership role inside the Sanctuary. But Eugene's time in Negan's lap of luxury may soon come to an end if Rosita and Daryl go through with the hinted-at plan to take Eugene down. But will The Walking Dead actually kill Eugene before Season 8 wraps? Let's break down the arguments.

Eugene Should Die

In the episode's penultimate moment, Rosita and Daryl spied on the Sanctuary, confirming Rosita's suspicions that Eugene's bullet-making tactics were behind the Saviors' lack of ammo frugality. Daryl's first instinct was to rush in and destroy the workshop, but Rosita had the more intriguing plan to just take Eugene out by his lonesome. That would assumedly keep the rest of the process intact, so that Team Family might have a straightforward shot at creating their own ammunition in the future. After all, there are plenty of malleable Saviors involved that could explain the operation without the need to keep Eugene's turncoat ass breathing. Because at this point, the articulate redneck and his slightly less articulate mullet have worn out their welcomes.

It's been made clear in the back half of this season that although he is still vaguely concerned about his safety and well-being whenever Negan is right in his face, Eugene is almost disgustingly comfortable with his role as the brains within the Saviors' ranks. It's great that he's not just a sniveling hostage anymore, but it's not at all great that he has so willingly embraced and expanded upon his leadership duties, and in such a snide manner. His new sense of pride and confidence were most readily apparent in the gruff treatment of his workshop assistant Frankie, with whom he'd formerly been cordial. (Granted, that was before he realized she and other wives were using him in an assassination plot.)

Even though Eugene's verbal bursts will always be a pleasure, including the one seen in the sneak preview clip that AMC released, those bursts are now coming from the perspective of Negan's Saviors, and we just can't have that much longer. Eugene has somewhat justified his continued survival by helping out Sasha and aiding in Gabriel's botched escape, but he's certainly not doing enough good deeds to stick around for the long haul. Possibly the best thing The Walking Dead could do is have Eugene selflessly sacrifice himself to save Rosita, Daryl or any of the other protagonists whose lives were worsened because of his shifting allegiances.

Eugene Should Live

For all his backstabbing and disrespectful ways, Eugene's hesitance to ever get his hands dirty has at least kept him from committing any truly irreversible sins against his former friends. Had he been holding the weapon that killed anyone within Team Family, his chances of atonement would have been slimmer than 90% of the walkers shambling around. And since it's still technically only been a short while since he was inducted into the Saviors, Eugene has not lost the ability to care for those he left behind, so he's not a full 180-degree reversal of his former self.

Eugene may be on his high steed right now, with a squad of bullet-makers working beneath him, but it would take only the slightest of reality checks to bring him back around to big-picture thinking. And as a higher-up who isn't on the top of Negan's shit list, Eugene is in a perfect position to clandestinely cause even more chaos within the Sanctuary, regardless of whatever happens to Dwight. But instead of killing him, Rosita and Daryl need to convince Eugene of a foolproof escape plan that is in his very best wishes to follow along with.

To be at my most frank, I really want Eugene to survive on the TV show so that he can get to experience whatever versions of the character's comic book arcs get adapted for live-action. Obviously, The Walking Dead's creative team has found multitudes of ways to port comic moments and stories onto the TV characters, but Eugene is the only right call for the two plots I'm thinking about. One of them involves a search for outside communication, which may have been teased in a recent episode, and the other specifically involves Rosita, though with far less hatred than what the small screen version is currently projecting. So if there's one main reason Eugene should survive to see Season 9, it's to bring his two-dimensional counterpart's stories to TV audiences.

Things are about to get crazy-hectic for the Saviors, so let us know below what you lovely folks think about Eugene's future, and head to the next page to see AMC's Eugene-centric sneak preview from the next episode. And as always, tune into The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows will be popping up in the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule.

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Even with a mouthful of food, Josh McDermitt waxes poetic as Eugene in the clip below, which comes from the next episode, titled "Worth."

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.