The Walking Dead has a Rick-free episode with the long awaited update to Eugene's (Josh McDermitt) fate. Hostiles and Calamities is an in depth exploration of life in the Sanctuary under Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) iron rule. We also find out what happened to Dwight (Austin Amelio) after Daryl (Norman Reedus) escaped. There were a few surprises, including a very bad ending to a minor character.

Hostiles and Calamities opens with Eugene being taken out of a truck at the Sanctuary. He's trembling with fear as a Savior leads him downstairs to a room. Just when you think Eugene is in a bad spot, the room turns out to be a private apartment with a stocked fridge and video games. It seems Negan has realized just how crucial a man who can make bullets is. Meanwhile, Dwight races back to Daryl's cell to find him gone.

Negan informs Dwight that Sherry (Christine Evangelista) has also run away. He has Dwight beaten up and thrown into Daryl's cell. After one day in the hole, Dwight reaffirms his loyalty, "I am Negan". He is released with one purpose, find Sherry or pay the price. Dwight is cleaned up by the Sanctuary doctor, who expresses his remorse for Sherry's escape. She was a nice person. Dwight searches through Daryl's left behind clothes. He finds the note Sherry gave him to escape. Dwight grabs his gear then races away on a motorcycle.

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Eugene's respite is short lived. He's taken by Negan's men and brought to the gate. There, Negan wonders if he's a "smarty pants". He points to a spiked walker, whose body revoltingly splits in half. How can they keep the walkers attached to the wall without them disintegrating? Eugene springs into action. He spouts off his well-rehearsed lie about his multiple degrees and top secret work. He tells Negan they can smelt the walkers to the wall, keeping their bodies intact and armored. Negan is impressed. He has a reward in store for Eugene.

Negan sends down three of his wives to entertain Eugene. The girls are shocked by Eugene's response. He teaches them to play video games. He knows they are there against their will. He entertains them by making explosive balloons and foam bombs in the courtyard. The wives have found a friend in Eugene.

Dwight makes his way to the house he and Sherry shared. He finds a note from her, hoping he would remember to come back there. Dwight follows several clues until he reaches a letter from her. Sherry regrets going back to Negan. Her enslavement and his disfigurement was her fault. They should have run away. She will never come back. Being with Negan was worse than death. Dwight is absolutely distraught.

Eugene's play time with the wives continues. They beg him to make a poison so Amber can commit suicide. Eugene goes to the supply clerk and requests cold meds. She gives him lip service until Eugene pulls rank. He is now the chief engineer of the Sanctuary. He grabs the medication then makes a powerful poison in his apartment.

Dwight returns to Negan with false news. He tells him that he found Sherry, but she ran and was bitten by walkers. He had to kill her for her crimes. Negan buys his story, because Dwight is "Negan". In his room, Eugene tells the wives he will not give them the poison. He knows they will use it against Negan. When they swear to tell Negan it was his idea, Eugene gives them a cold truth, he is more important than they are. The wives leave bitter and disappointed.

Eugene is summoned by a Savior. They walk to the furnace where everyone has gathered. Dwight is heating up the iron. Negan tells Eugene to pay close attention. He takes the bat and beats down the stunned Sanctuary doctor. Dwight had hidden Sherry's notes inside his office. The doctor swears his innocence, but then changes his story when Negan says the truth will provide mercy. Not remotely, Negan takes the doctor and throws him into the furnace. The wives weep. Eugene is horrified. Dwight knows he had to make a sacrifice to hide Sherry's escape.

Later that night, Negan pays Eugene a visit. Who are you? Eugene boldly states that "he is Negan". Negan smiles at his quick subservience. The episode ends with Eugene directing the workers to smelt the walkers to the wall. Dwight joins him. Both are beaten men. Eugene comments that "we are Negan".

Hostiles and Calamities leave the Alexandrians with powerful allies inside Negan's camp. Dwight and Eugene did what they needed to survive. It makes sense that will come together when the rebellion make its move. I can't imagine either character truly swearing fealty to Negan's oppression. Next week on AMC, we get back into Rick mode as the Alexandrians search for more supplies. They still need to pay off the junkyard settlement and bring the Kingdom into the revolt.

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Julian Roman