REVIEW: The Walking Dead S8 E7 ‘Time for After’ is the best episode of the season
For years, Eugene Porter has been a firm fan favourite on The Walking Dead. He’s never been the most exciting character. He’s never been the most loyal character. He’s never arrived last minute to a battle to save the day, armed with a missile launcher. His trademark? His remarkable intelligence and instinct for self-preservation. Despite all this, Eugene is the most relatable character on The Walking Dead.
Most people would like to think they’d respond to crisis like Daryl – a born survivalist with a knack for looking incredibly cool while doing anything. Eugene’s path to survival however, one born out of self-preservation and necessity, feels a lot closer to home than suddenly becoming a zombie killing machine. Eugene’s selfish nature somehow made him the most human character on the Walking Dead – and because of this, one of the most interesting characters.
‘Time for After’ centres on Eugene. It’s fair to say the character has had his ups and downs. He’s lied to his friends to survive. He’s learnt to fight for himself. He’s learnt the value of friendship, only to turn around and stab it in the face because his survival was more important to him. Eugene has gone full circle, but every moment with him is a pleasure to watch. Every moment spent on this character is interesting – maybe because it speaks to the dark part of one’s self that is sure they would react to – even want to react to – a zombie apocalypse like Eugene. Eugene can carry an episode. For this reason, ‘Time for After’ is the best episode of season eight so far.
‘Time for After’ is the argument of doing what is right for yourself versus doing what is right for others that we didn’t realise the show needed to discuss further. There is the right thing, and then there is the right thing for you. What do you do when your morals and your survival don’t reconcile in your head? What do you do when death is knocking on your doorstep and every escape route is blocked with a person you did wrong in your scramble to be inside in the first place? This struggle is painful, complex – and yet surprisingly human.