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TV Review: The Walking Dead - Season 8, Episode 7

PostedDecember 4, 12:20 AM 148 Test

Season 8, Episode 7: Time for After

PLOT: Eugene ponders his allegiance to the Saviors while trapped inside their zombie-surrounded Sanctuary.

REVIEW: Time for After is an episode of

The Walking Dead
that I greatly enjoyed despite the fact that it, for the most part, centered on the character I despise more than any other on the show. More than Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who used a baseball bat to bash in the head of a beloved character last season, and more than any other member of his army of douchebag lackeys and cohorts. My most hated character on this show is Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt).

My contempt for Eugene comes from the fact that he is such an infuriating coward. At one time I found the character to be somewhat amusing, but when the going got tough he turned against the heroes of the show and joined with Negan. This wasn't any long con feigned allegiance, either. Eugene went deep with his new dedication to Negan, quickly rising in the ranks to become one of the most important of Negan's Saviors. Something he's quite proud of himself for. Something I've grown to hate him for more and more every time he repeats that "I am Negan" crap.

Time for After begins what could be a redemption arc for Eugene, but of course for this character it's not easy for others to convince him that maybe he shouldn't be subservient to someone who has brutally murdered his former companions and regularly murders or mutilates others. The question of whether or not he should stick with this guy is something Eugene has to wrestle with in his mind as he continues to frustrate and infuriate me. You have to have that drama, though.

Eugene wavers, but there are signs that he might do the right thing at some point. But even if he does, that's not going to be his redemption in my eyes. To me, he can't be redeemed. As long as Eugene is on this show, I'm going to be hoping to see him get removed from it in some horrible way. But that doesn't mean he can't be useful on his way out the door.

Last season, The Walking Dead tended to focus on the story of only one character or pairing of characters at a time, and showrunner Scott M. Gimple and the writers have learned the lesson that viewers weren't too pleased with that approach to storytelling. Last season, this episode would have only been about Eugene, his moral quandary and his interactions with Negan and fellow Savior Dwight (Austin Amelio), who has turned against Negan and is working with the other communities to bring the guy down. But rather than stick with Eugene in the Saviors' zombie-surrounded home base the Sanctuary for every minute of the episode, this one also includes some welcome cutaways to characters outside the Sanctuary.

Some of these characters are Daryl (Norman Reedus), Tara (Alanna Masterson), and Morgan (Lennie James), who work together to advance the assault on the Sanctuary at a quicker pace than planned. These cutaways were good for providing some action and zombie mayhem. While I'm glad this episode features less action some of the previous episodes in season 8, because I like watching the show's characters interact more than I like watching them shoot guns, it's also nice to get some destruction and bloodshed in there.

Speaking of the copious amount of gunfire that has been featured in this season's seven episodes, I was glad that the issue of a bullet shortage was finally brought up in this one.

In this episode we also get a couple scenes with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), in the clutches of the junkyard dwellers the Scavengers (a.k.a. the Garbage Pail Kids), where he's once again forced to face off with one of their art project walkers. This zombie isn't as memorable as the Winston zombie they made him fight

last season
, but it still serves its purpose. Although I can't stand the Scavengers, there were some funny moments with their leader Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh).

Overall, Time for After was a solid 45 minutes that advanced the "all-out war" storyline and got some interesting moments out of a flawed character who has find himself in quite a predicament. Things are really getting intriguing now... just in time for next week's mid-season finale.

BEST ZOMBIE MOMENT: Daryl smashes in a Sanctuary wall, allowing the gathered zombies to flood into the building and start munching on Saviors.

GORY GLORY: Rick tears off the Scavenger zombie's head and brokers a deal with the group while holding a Scavenger's face down near the head's still-chomping jaws.

FAVORITE SCENE: Dwight tells Eugene what has driven him to turn against Negan and their fellow Saviors. This guy is a traitor I can get behind because he has turned against Negan not out of cowardly opportunism but because he has legitimate reasons to.

FINAL VERDICT