The Feb. 27 episode of "The Walking Dead," "Hostiles and Calamities," left Eugene (Josh McDermitt) in a perilous situation. Fans were led to believe he had succumbed to Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) ways, becoming a Savior. But is this all part of a greater plan for the character?
That's something viewers will have to contend with over coming episodes -- and something even McDermitt's not sure about at this point. Speaking to Screener after the Eugene-centric episode, he reveals, "I told Scott Gimple, our showrunner, I don't want to know what Eugene is up to. I think that makes it a little more fun."
However, he knows anything's possible -- even if that means Eugene has turned to the dark(er) side.
"I think the thing to remember with Eugene is there are several reasons for everything he does. It's not just one motivation," the actor says. "I think there's a part of every character on the show that is holding onto hope -- of life getting back to some version of what it was before the apocalypse."
Besides, could you actually blame Eugene if he did fall in with the Saviors for his own safety? If he didn't at least appear to side with them, he would end up dead or worse -- Negan is great at the "worse" part. Additionally, the life he's experiencing with them might be hard to let go of. He's got his own place, video games, an endless supply of pickles and women paying attention to him.
"I think he enjoys seeing that this is what life could be, moving forward -- instead of being out in the woods bring confronted with these zombies, being confronted with evil people," McDermitt admits. Of course, that's not all that's on his mind: He also knows what kind of man Negan is -- and what it's already cost him.
"He lost his best friend, and this is still hitting him really hard. And it's not just Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) -- he lost Glenn (Steven Yeun), who was his introduction to Rick's group," the actor says. "Obviously losing Abraham, his closest friend, is hitting him the hardest. But this becomes a game of survival. Are you going to do what you need to do to survive? He talked about that in Season 6, the people that survive are the ones that change and adapt. That's what he feels like he's done. To get to the next level, speaking in video game terms."
Will Eugene level up? More importantly, what game is he even playing? One way or another, this is going to be a huge moment for Eugene -- and one that could and likely will redefine the character for the rest of the series.
Call us suckers, but we still really hope it's all part of a larger plan to take Negan out...
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.