TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 7, Episode 11: Hostiles & Calamities [AMC]

Austin Amelio The Walking Dead Hostiles & Calamities

The Walking Dead: Hostiles & Calamities Review

The Walking Dead, season 7, episode 11, ‘Hostiles & Calamities,’ started out with some bad tidings, that would eventually grow into a real pickle for two residents of Sanctuary – one new, one renewed.

By bad tidings, I don’t mean Dwight (Austin Amelio) finding out that Daryl had escaped – killing Fat Joey in the process – just as Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) returned. What was really ominous was the initial fate of the returning Negan’s new prized Alexandrian hostage: Eugene (Josh McDermitt).

Of course, that depends on what you’d consider an ominous opening to look like like. To me, it was Mr. Mullet getting the carrot, while Mr. Iron (to the) Side (of the face) was faced with the stick; so neither prospect looked good.

Of course, I also say this in Eugene’s stead, since it didn’t seem like he got the bit about carrot’s being as good for you as the ones supplying them. That, and carrots make for pointy sticks, depending on their condition, and where they’re applied. The poor guy also came in too late to know that nothing good comes from blasting that ‘Easy Street’ earworm song. That was Dwight’s torment tune, this time around; and he knew that irony was coming, even without actually hearing the tune.

Dwight got knocked down, a peg; but it turned out to be nothing a little Greek pledging couldn’t address. He had to make up for the Daryl loss; but his stick-turned-pickle turned out be resolving the issue of runaway bride, Sherry.

That mission told us something very useful about Dwight, and informed on Sherry’s decision. What Dwight decided to do, however, would count as a reckless gamble; but some of the risk might be mitigated by having Eugene on hand.

Eugene’s carrot became a pickle the moment he became a platonic support pillar, for Negan’s remaining wives.

Despite my initial assessment, Eugene knows the benefits of being seen as both indispensable & non-threatening – that’s what a Eugene post-interview grin said to me. Being quick, on knowing when & how to be threatening, even earned him a pickle stash of the edible variety. His discomfort around Negan’s welcoming committee, and their interest in his smarts, however, said that geeks should still be wary of Greeks during pledge week.

I mean, seriously, what would be the point of actually being the brain that impresses beauty, knowing you can only take it so far? How smart do you have to be to question how it takes a “good man” to facilitate suicide? A better question would be the one about taking drastic actions based on second hand information/ consent. You don’t have to be that smart to ask these; but you do have to be somewhat clever to recognize how High School rules of attraction apply to Walker World conditions.

Big brains & beautiful bods still amount to leveraged commodities. You just gotta clue into where you are, on the trading floor.

Well, Eugene clues pretty well. More than that, he picked up on Sanctuary rules of engagement pretty quick. Most importantly, I think, he picked up on Dwight’s use of a logical conundrum in influencing a life-or-death decision by Negan. Saying that he recognized the advantages to himself, at the time, would be a stretch; but suffice to say, they both ultimately got the better of being played.

This slow build episode lacked the scale of previous efforts, and anyone with a grasp for Eugene’s character (or even Dwight’s, for that matter) might’ve likely seen through some of its more suspenseful/ hopeful bits. It did open the door to some source material developments, however, that could prove pivotal to the coming conflict.

That might take some proving, for viewers. Eugene & Dwight seemed to acknowledge being in the same pickle, now; and their bonding, over the whole better to rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven thing, paints a less flattering picture of either, at the moment.

Still, cowardly or not, this pickle ended in preservation.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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