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Recaps

The Walking Dead “Self Help” 

The Walking Dead “Self Help”
Gene Page/AMC

Is it possible to survive in the zombie apocalypse if you have no purpose? This question was addressed during a major reveal in the final ten minutes of the episode. Unfortunately, the lead up to the big reveal was drawn out and uneventful.

Gene Page/AMC
Gene Page/AMC

Don’t get me wrong: It was great seeing more from Eugene, Abraham and (thankfully she’s more than set accessory) Rosita. However, the hour felt far slower than the other episodes this season.

I love me some character development, but the delivery should still be as engaging as possible. Abraham’s flashbacks were sad to see, but unless you’re a fan of the comics, you would have no context for what had happened with his family or those people they had been with. The story in the comics is not pretty! In my opinion, the flashbacks were not edited well in this episode. They felt too disconnected.

I was thrilled Rosita got to develop some agency. She’s remained mostly silent until this point, so it was fascinating to watch her dynamic with Abraham. It also brings up the interesting point that sex in the apocalypse is not private. I laughed out loud when Eugene was caught watching Rosita and Abraham.

Even though it was Abraham’s flashbacks we witnessed, this was definitely Eugene’s episode to shine. He admitted to sabotaging the bus, he took down the walkers with the fire hose and then finally admitted he wasn’t a scientist.

The big reveal that Eugene wasn’t a scientist was both shocking and extremely needed. There was no way they were going to go to D.C. and stop this virus. There would be no show then! This season has also been moving at a much more rapid pace, so there had to be a major plot development that would stop the trip to the capitol.

The look on everyone’s faces at Eugene’s reveal was perfect. With Abraham, Eugene provided him with a purpose to live. As we saw in the flashbacks, Abraham was ready to take his own life. Eugene’s mission was what kept Abraham going. Unfortunately, a lot of people died along the way to protect Eugene.

Gene Page/AMC
Gene Page/AMC

Once Eugene saw all those walkers in the field ahead, he knew there was not only the strong possibility that another person would die for him, but that he would probably die as well. He saw how out of control Abraham was acting. There was no other option but to confess.

Eugene lying about being a scientist with knowledge of the cure was another way of having purpose. He figured out long ago that he didn’t have the skill-set or physicality to make it on his own. By having a “mission,” he would have protection around him. He would be valuable. Without a purpose, he’s just another ordinary guy trying to survive.

I couldn’t tell how badly Abraham hurt Eugene, but the sound of his face hitting the ground was brutal! I hope he’s okay, because there’s still a lot of back-story I would like to see with Eugene. The group will also need to determine where they should go now. Should they head on to D.C. anyways? Should they try to reconnect with Rick and co.?

Again, this was an incredibly slow episode that was saved by the ending. I’m thrilled this nonsense about the cure has ended. Did anyone really believe that the guy with the mullet had the cure to save humanity? Okay, maybe I did for a minute…

Questions to Ponder:

– If Eugene survives, how will the others treat him now that they know he’s a liar?

– How will Rick and the others react to Eugene’s lies?

– Will Abraham change now that he has no purpose?

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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