The Walking Dead 7×11 Review: Hostiles and Calamities

The Walking Dead‘s ‘Hostiles and Calamities’ tells the story of two men, one having the best day ever and the other…not so much. And while last week’s episode covered multiple storylines, across various territories, it look’s like we’re back to covering one group of people per episode. This week, it’s the Savior compound’s turn!

After being kidnapped by Negan and his Saviors, Eugene was two steps shy of having a panic attack before being introduced to his fancy pampered way of life. And despite his acceptance of the new digs (grunts of acknowledgement included) Eugene is setting up for the long haul, and doing what he must to survive.

Opposite Eugene having the best day ever, is Dwight. His wife got the hell out of dodge and it’s his job to get her back before the other side of his face becomes friends with that hot iron. Not so surprisingly, we get a look at the kind of man Dwight is and might still be inside.

Let’s dive in and talk about ‘Hostiles and Calamities’!

Porter. Eugene, Porter.

Underestimating Eugene just might be the key to taking down Negan and the rest of the Saviors. One look at Eugene and you’re ready to label him. Shy, introvert, malleable, and not a threat. They don’t see what the rest of us do.

Eugene is a skilled liar.

He knows what he has to do and who he has to become to survive. He watches, he waits, and lets you think you have an understanding of the kind of man he is. Negan thinks he has Eugene all figured out and tucked away in a little box where he can bend him to his will with company and food. Even Negan’s wives thought they had him figured out, and we saw how that ended.

Eugene’s acceptance of Negan is our pickle loving, mullet wearing, survivor’s way of adapting to the circumstances around him. He’ll wait, patiently gathering information, until Rick & Co. need him. Negan isn’t his family. The people who cared for him, protected him, and helped him survive even after admitting he lied, are his family.

Welcome to the life of being a double agent, Eugene.

The Kind of Man Dwight Is

For too long we’ve suspected that Dwight wasn’t as vicious and cold as he made himself out to be. Even when he played mind games with Daryl, he was trying to convince himself more than our archer, that the life he was leading, was the right one.

Hunting down Sherry at Negan’s command, framing the good Doctor, and even taking all those lollipops, tells the story of a man trying desperately to grasp at whatever he can in hopes of surviving, despite knowing that it’s wrong.

Dwight isn’t really living and he can’t hide behind the need to protect his wife anymore. She’s gone and he’ll bear the burden of his own actions now. As things get more desperate and the war against Negan really starts going, I think he’ll begin to crumble. He’s already becoming more self aware of the kind of man he’s become because of Negan.

If given the chance, maybe Dwight can change into something new. He’ll never be the man he was before, but maybe he can grasp at a piece of it and leave the man Negan made him, behind. The apocalypse is a never ending cycle of transformations for the people living in it. Maybe it’s Dwight’s time for a change, once more.

Savior Life is Kind of Basic, But Brilliant

Despite the burning of the doctor, life in the Savior compound is pretty basic. Yes, it’s bleak, holds no charm, and could use a little bit more color, but it’s not as horrifying as you would think. That right there is what makes the Savior compound a thing of brilliance.

Negan is tricking these people by giving them a semblance of normalcy. He gives them work numbers, a designated place to sleep, a job, and lines to wait in, like they used to do pre-apocalypse. It’s a ruse to keep them complacent and stop a revolt.

It’s working.

These worker bees know how bad things are out there. They remember how they starved, fought to survive, and couldn’t find a safe place to sleep. What Negan is providing them is better than what they were getting out there and they’re willing to overlook deaths like the Doctor’s or Negan having multiple wives, if they’re safe from the undead.

It doesn’t matter to them what Alexandria, Hilltop, or those junkyard survivors are doing because they are safe and provided for, inside Negan’s walls. On top of that, they only receive the information that Negan wants them too. He controls the narrative and right now Rick & Co. are a bigger threat than the man wielding the bat.

Additional Notes:

1. Christine Evangelista, who plays Dwight’s wife Sherry, is starring in a new show titled ‘The Arrangement’ on E! Her departure was a quick and easy way to write off her character with the possibility of a return in the future.

2. Our favorite (it’s really not) song is back! Listen to Easy Street by the Collapsable Hearts Club HERE. May you spiral on Easy Street as much as we are!

3. Red head who stole something in Eugene’s site will come into play ahead, just you wait and see.

Favorite Scene from The Walking Dead’s ‘Hostiles and Calamities’:

Any scene with Eugene and his jar of pickles, was a scene stealer! Forget the wives, the sweet music, or his brand new game. It’s all about the pickles.

Check out the trailer for next week’s The Walking Dead, titled ‘Say Yes’:

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

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