I actually really liked last night's new Walking Dead
, "Hostiles and Calamities". Considering I liked Saturday's new Star Wars Rebels
as well I'm starting to wonder if I have a chemical imbalance or something. Though both episodes benefited for contrast with particularly stupid episodes from the week before, the contrast was much sharper for Walking Dead
. I liked "Hostiles and Calamities" even though it was a Negan episode and I still think Negan's a stupid character. There were aspects I didn't like but mostly I really liked what this episode did with Eugene. Now I see that Eugene is the kind of guy who would have said Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally bad or that Clinton is the lesser of two evils.Spoilers after the screenshot.
The old advice for writers to "write what you know" is kind of lame, I've always thought. Can you imagine how boring fiction would be if people only stuck to what they know? But Eugene (Josh McDermitt) has the kind of credibility about him that I suspect at least one of the writers has actually known a guy like him while probably no-one's ever met a Rick or a Carl or a Negan. Eugene, a guy absolutely confident in his intellectual superiority and ability to grasp moral truth, somehow feeling this excuses his honest assessment of himself as a coward, happily selling himself to Negan because doing so gives him a life he can fritter away with video games and pickles.
One minute he doesn't want to take advantage of the wives because they're there against their will, the next he doesn't want to help them kill their rapist because, fair's fair, Negan killed ten of Eugene's friends for the thirty Rick killed. I completely believe in Eugene's character in ways most of the other characters now seem like hapless marionettes jerked around by an illogical plot. The references to some of those plot points in the episode, like Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) magically deducing everything about the custom made bullet or Eugene somehow biting Dwight's genitals through his jeans, I was even happy to overlook that stuff for moments like Eugene thinking he was being magnanimous by letting Negan's sex slaves watch him play video games.
I could've taken or left the Dwight (Austin Amelio) subplot though it was kind of weird seeing him and Eugene talk for the first time since the show had given Dwight an entirely different personality. Twitter Sonnet #967A sky between the white and yolk embossed
Around the summer thirsty fence in March.
A breaking clock beheld the driver tossed
Along a road, or shadow of a larch.
No blue in shade but dusty mauve o'erheats
The stranded hands and eyes 'neath brittle maps.
To nowhere stops from nowhere winds on seats
A gentle sweat unfit for boiling naps.
A sudden candy takes patrols for broad
Detours through Technicolour songs of lint.
The lands, once dry, now soaking wet, the sod
Absorbs a syrup blood for heaven sent.
And then a silent insulation fell
As buildings cast away the walls that tell.