‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Daryl Gives the Plot Some Gas and Eugene Kisses the Ring

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on ‘The Walking Dead‘
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on ‘The Walking Dead‘ Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

A show can only box its baddies in for so long before it gets boring, so during the December 3 episode of The Walking Dead, it was time to break down some walls — literally. While the leader of Alexandria’s militia sat imprisoned by pervy junkyward-dwellers, some of the seconds-in-command decided to go off script.

Here’s everything that happened on “Time for After”:

Eugene, You Jerk
Ever since Eugene (Josh McDermitt) joined ranks with the Saviors, debate has raged as to whether he’s really as morally bankrupt as all that, or if he’s hiding a long-term secret plan underneath that mullet. Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) was definitely banking on the latter, laying down a guilt trip extraordinaire as he was dying of an infection in the Sanctuary hospital. (Side note: He’s not gone yet, but if Gabe is your fave, we regret to inform you that it’s not looking good.)

R. Keith Harris as Dr. Carson and Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter on ‘The Walking Dead‘
R. Keith Harris as Dr. Carson and Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter on ‘The Walking Dead‘ Gene Page/AMC

“All I want is for you to do the right thing,” Gabriel urged while clutching Eugene’s hand. But Eugene, who is literally the worst and whose alliterative rhyming-style speech patterns are officially not cute anymore, proved himself to be exactly as self-interested and mercenary as fans have long feared. Having thrown in his lot with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and figured out that Dwight (Austin Amelio) was the traitor in their ranks, Eugene put together a plan for the Saviors to escape the besieged sanctuary — nevermind Negan’s explicit promise to murder Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and every one of his former friends thereafter.

The best things that can be said for Eugene at this point is that A) he didn’t betray Dwight, at least not yet, and B) his body seemed to be trying to reject his bad choices. When we last saw him, he was sweating, shaking, crying, drinking, puking, and then drinking some more.

Daryl Goes Rogue
If your first thought upon seeing Daryl (Norman Reedus) in a garbage truck during the previous episode was to pray he’d ram the thing into the Sanctuary and bring this boring siege plotline to an end, then hit your hallelujah: He did it.

After being abandoned by Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), who made a last-minute decision to keep faith with Rick and stick to the script, Daryl and Tara (Alanna Masterson) moved forward with their own plan: to breach the walls, let the zombies pour in, and force a surrender by the Saviors. But like all the best-laid plans on The Walking Dead, this one worked only halfway. The truck breached the wall to the anticipated effect, but something must have gone wrong, because … well …

Garbage Galore
After sitting captive under a trash heap just long enough for his lieutenant to go fully rogue, Rick was released from his prison by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), who wanted to photograph him, kill him, and sculpt him — in that order. First, she took polaroids of her subject/victim (including a stunning shot in which every single one of Andrew Lincoln’s multitudinous back hairs were lit up against the noonday sun); then, she brought out the junkyard’s armored zombie to finish him off.

But Rick turned the tables on her, yanking the zombie’s head off and putting Jadis in killing position — at which point she agreed to join him after all, but also, hilariously, still tried to negotiate for half the Saviors’ resources. Or barring that, at least a little celebratory nude modeling session with Rick.

Weary of being manipulated and objectified by a lunatic, Rick refused on both counts, and Jadis agreed to his terms. But will their alliance hold? For now, all we know is that when Rick and his new army rolled up to the Sanctuary, they found only an empty yard where the walker horde had been — and silence from the snipers who were supposed to be keeping watch.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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