A Look at The Walking Dead- Season 7, Episode 11: “Hostilities and Calamities”

After Rosita’s spectacular blunder from a few feet away, Eugene must now pay the price as the so-called scientist is brought to the Sanctuary and put to work for Negan.  This is “Hostilities and Calamities.”


The episode begins with Dwight and several Saviors finding Fat Joey’s body, as well as a missing motorcycle.  As vehicles approach, Dwight checks Daryl’s cell and finds it empty.  In addition, he finds another room overturned and in shambles.


The other Saviors have returned from Alexandria.  Laura brings Eugene into a room and welcomes him to his new home.  Eugene is drawn to the amount of books, so luckily, there are plenty of those in the library, which Daryl never got to see.  She asks if Eugene knows where Daryl is, but if he did, he’d admit it.  Laura offers to get Eugene some food- as in anything– but lobster is off the table.

Eugene is very picky with his food.  He checks the refrigerator and gets a taste of Easy Street when he turns on the radio.  Well, at least he likes it more than Daryl.


Dwight, meanwhile, gets a surprise when Saviors enter the room and beat the hell out of him.  He’s later tossed into a cell when Negan later pays him a visit to talk about Daryl and Sherry’s disappearances.  How coincidental that Sherry is gone just after Daryl vanished.  And someone must’ve opened the door for Daryl.  Dwight doesn’t believe Sherry would have done that, so Negan asks if Dwight himself betrayed him.

After all, Dwight was supposed to break Daryl, but Dwight has legitimate reasons to switch, so Negan wonders if Dwight might be turning on him.  Dwight maintains that, like the other Saviors, he is Negan.  At last, Negan opens the cell and admits that Daryl isn’t like Dwight because Daryl is emotional.  In addition, Daryl is probably going home or coming back to kill more Saviors.  Either way, Negan is confident that they’ll catch him.

But there’s still the question of Sherry, but Dwight may know where she is.  So he’s ordered to find her and fix this mess.


As Dwight gets stitched up, Dr. Carson tells him that he believes Sherry freed Daryl.  And Dwight was beaten, but is going back out to do Negan’s work anyway.  Carson doesn’t sound too fond of Sherry, saying that a person who would marry Negan is someone that probably wouldn’t be expected to stick around for long.


After getting fixed up, Dwight fishes a cigarette out of a…well, fish mounted on the wall and soon leaves the Sanctuary.


Laura gives Eugene a walkthrough of the Sanctuary and explains the point system, telling him that a Savior of his rank doesn’t have to concern himself with points- he can just take what he wants.  She does foresee a haircut in Eugene’s future, though.  While Eugene’s attention is drawn to one woman in particular, Laura soon presents him with a jar of pickles.  Nice welcoming committee, this Laura.


She then brings him outside to Negan, where Negan shows off Lucille’s new bullet hole.  Under normal circumstances, Eugene would probably be a dead man now, but Negan wants to take advantage of Eugene’s smarts, as Eugene is apparently a smartypants that could use a machine to create bullets.


Plus, Eugene is a doctor- sort of- and has worked with the best.  Negan tells Eugene that there’s a lot of free labor at the Sanctuary, living and dead, but there’s a problem.  We see this over on the fence when a walker melts- Negan needs to know how to keep them from rotting.  Eugene suggests using a smelter to melt down scrap metal and then pouring said liquid metal onto the walkers.

The liquid metal will harden and keep the walkers in place, thus fixing them to the fence.  Negan is impressed with this cool-ass, badass, and quite practical idea.

Eugene’s smarts are Negan’s advantage and Rick’s loss.  Negan wants to give Eugene a gift- and more than pickles- so he’ll send a few of his wives over to show Eugene a good time.  However, no sex.  But drinks and laughs are fair game.  Eugene is stick on the wives part instead of singular, but he soon thanks Negan for the offer anyway.

Negan’s not gonna be happy when he learns that Eugene isn’t really a scientist.


Later, Eugene plays Yars’ Revenge in the presence of three of Negan’s wives: Tanya, played by Chloe Aktas, Frankie, played by Elyse DuFour, and Amber, who you may remember from “Sing Me a Song.”  Well, in the presence of Tanya and Frankie.  Amber is too busy getting drunk off to the side.

Tanya and Frankie offer Eugene more than games, but Eugene knows that the women didn’t choose to be here.  So they then want to talk about the Human Genome Project, but Eugene won’t give up certain information.  But he does tell the women what objects he would need to make a bomb.


Indeed, later that night, Eugene has prepared a concoction that, when set, causes a pretty damn cool explosion, I must admit.  Though Tanya and Frankie are impressed, Amber is more preoccupied with drinking as much as she can.  More on that later.


Elsewhere, Dwight searches for Sherry.  He enters their old and now ruined home and finds a note from Sherry: we learn that when the two started dating, Dwight’s shitty memory often frustrated him.  Sherry felt bad.  Dwight wanted to hold onto so much, but then it would be gone.  At least Dwight is lucky that he doesn’t remember things.

Sherry wishes that she could’ve waited for Dwight, but she doesn’t know if Dwight would leave with her, take her back to the Sanctuary, or kill her.  She became one of Negan’s wives because she didn’t want Daryl to die, but now Dwight has killed and become a different man.  Sherry calls Dwight better than her and admits that she freed Daryl because he reminded Dwight of who he used to be, but Sherry wanted him to forget.

She doesn’t know if she’ll make it on her own, but being at the Sanctuary is worse.  As such, she hopes that Dwight leaves and remembers the good days.  She apologizes for what she’s helped Dwight become.  Dwight unpacks and leaves some pretzels and beer at the house.


Eugene gets a visit from just Tanya and Frankie, as they need to discuss Amber: all she does is drink and cry.  Unlike Tanya and Frankie, Amber didn’t want to be one of Negan’s wives.  She had no choice because her mother needed meds and is unable to work.  Amber thought that she could live with this, but she can’t and needs help.  She’d rather sleep and never wake up.

Eugene is unsure of what services she can offer.  More than that, he knows that if Amber turns in her sleep, she could endanger others at the Sanctuary.  Tanya and Frankie, though, are desperate for Eugene’s help, but he tells them that he’s not a good man.  It’s not his lack of ability that could hinder him.  He could prepare a lethal toxin in no time.  But first, he’ll need Amber’s weight.  After he learns that, he can concoct something.


Following this, Eugene cuts in line and demands a cold capsule, but the woman giving out supplies won’t cut him a break.  However, Eugene asserts his authority as a new, top-ranked Savior and Chief Engineer.  He tells the woman that since he reports to Negan, she, in turn, must report to his ass.  Eugene, don’t tell this poor woman to report to your ass.  Anyway, he helps himself to several supplies and everything is right again.


Eugene then gets to work while Dwight tells Carson that he killed Sherry.  Given what Sherry did, Carson doesn’t see anyone getting over what she did.  Though they have all done wrong, Carson believes that they don’t get to have big hearts anymore.  Keep that in mind for a future scene, folks.


The next one, in fact.  Laura brings Eugene to the furnace as the Saviors have gathered for a burning.  Negan beats on Carson for a bit after finding a note in his quarters that reads “Go Now.”  He blames him for letting Daryl go on Sherry’s behalf, and then Sherry had to have run because she didn’t like Daryl being at the Sanctuary, and if Negan found out she ran, he would blame her.

And after Sherry told Dwight before she apparently died, Negan has no reason to think Dwight is lying.  Now if Dwight is lying, then he’s a dead man.  He has nothing to get out of this.  All Dwight needed was a night in the hole to get his head screwed on straight.  Negan grabs the iron and offers Carson a chance to admit what he did, and then he’ll be fine.  Carson soon admits that he did free Daryl, and that’s that.


But then Negan throws Carson right into the furnace.  Good thing there’s another doctor Carson on hand.  Dwight isn’t sorry for what’s happened, though.


Eugene’s time with Yars’ Revenge is again interrupted by Frankie and Tanya.  He tells them that he made the pills, but they can’t use them because he sees through their bullshit.  These pills aren’t for Amber, they’re for Negan.  And even though Negan killed several of Eugene’s friends, they did kill many of his first, so it evens out.

The wives threaten to tell Negan what Eugene did, but there’s a problem: the wives are replaceable.  Negan will believe him over them the same way that he believed Dwight over Carson.  Eugene at least has skills that will prove beneficial to Negan. The two call him a coward, but Eugene accepts that this much is true.


Later, as Eugene snacks on his pickles, Negan checks in on him.  He knows how hard it is for Eugene to accept this change of life, but Negan doesn’t make this invitation to everyone.  More than that, he doesn’t make it lightly.  Negan tells Eugene that he doesn’t need to be scared.  He just has to answer one question: who are you?

Eugene quickly answers that he’s Negan.  He was Negan even before this, but he just needed to know.


Next morning, Eugene takes his new post as chief engineer when Dwight joins him.  And they are both Negan.

We’re back at the Sanctuary in this episode and like Daryl and Carl’s visits, we got a walkthrough of how things work.  But unlike Daryl, Eugene seems to be acclimating quite well and in no time at all in the name of survival.


Of course I doubt Eugene has turned on the survivors.  The man may be a coward, but he’s still crafty and can use what smarts he has to his advantage.  His plan of using liquid metal to keep the walkers in place did sound cool as shit and I have to wonder if any of Eugene’s plans could be used to sabotage the Saviors from within.  I mean, why not? Few would understand his science talk, so he may as well try to ruin Negan’s plans.


And despite Eugene’s cowardice, he’s no fool.  I was hoping he wouldn’t get himself into trouble with Negan’s wives, and he saw through their ruse of them trying to kill Negan. First off, it’s interesting to see more defections within the Saviors’ ranks, even among the wives.  Not all of them accept this miserable lifestyle, but the wives in particular have a better chance at survival by throwing themselves at Negan.


But as Eugene pointed out, these women are expendable.  You can find a new woman anywhere, but a scientist is hard to come across in this world.  He’s already in deep shit for making the bullet that pierced Lucille.  No way is he about to get himself in trouble again by making a pill used to kill Negan.


It was nice to see Eugene flex his newfound authority as he found himself as part of Negan’s inner circle.  Like Dwight, he can go to the front of the line, take what he wants, and even gets to play Yars’ Revenge in his spare time.  By the way, I love that the Saviors just happen to have an Atari 2600 at the Sanctuary.  I mean, that’s a pretty antiquated console, but hey, you take what you can get.


And for Sherry and maybe Dwight down the line, they’re taking the hard way out to get away from Negan.  Sherry’s note to Dwight was a great moment and I liked how regretful she now is, given how she’s part to blame for what Dwight has become.  Like Sherry told Daryl, whatever Negan does to you, there’s always more.  For Sherry, enough was enough, not just because of what this did to Dwight, but her as well.


Right now, Dwight is biding his time, and while showing us his troubled relationship with Sherry does help make him sympathetic, he still got Carson killed!  Whether it was out of spite for Carson thinking Sherry freed Daryl or saying that they don’t get to have big hearts, I don’t know.  Hell, I’m not sure why Dwight pinned the disappearances on Carson at all, but he still sentenced the man to death.

If Dwight wants to redeem himself, then fine, but I don’t see why Carson had to die in the process.  Hell, who even knows if he’s being honest when he’s not bothered by it.  I don’t see why he couldn’t have left it at saying he killed Sherry.  And between Denise and Carson, Dwight looks to have a habit of killing doctors.


While I’m sure none of us expected Carson to go unscathed when confronted by Negan, that was a damn gruesome sight for Negan to just launch him headfirst into the furnace. Just a reminder that as fun as Negan can be, he’ll turn and become vicious in an instant. That’s part of the fun that comes from watching this guy: seeing what will make him flip and lose his shit, or whether he’s just fucking with you.

“Hostilities and Calamities” was a good episode.  Eugene is feeling pretty comfortable at the Sanctuary as he comes to terms with his position in Negan’s ranks, we expanded on Dwight’s history with Sherry, and now we’re left to wonder if the two come together to either escape or ruin the Saviors from the inside.  It had its fair share of brutal moments balanced out with fun scenes like Eugene cutting in line or bonding with Negan’s wives.

Though the episode seemed to be over pretty fast, it was a fun watch.  Looking forward to seeing what Negan has in store for his new scientist.

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