BLOWN ENGINES AND LOST CAUSES
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
“Self Help” abandons the hospital from “Slabtown” and focuses solely on the crew heading for Washington D.C. Some nice character continuations exist between the passengers as they travel on the dirty white church bus. After some light-hearted conversations about mullets, the bus had to blow a tire and flip over a car, attracting the attention of several walkers in the area.
The abilities of Team Eugene are impressive. Post-wreck, the quick organization and implementation of a plan to back up the walkers and kill them was well executed. It’s interesting to see the differences in survivors in Robert Kirkman’s world. While some, like the priest, cower in fear and hide atop boulders praying for survival, others learn to adapt, overcome and own their new environment. My favorite part of the bus fight was seeing Tara’s progression. It wasn’t all that long ago in the prison that Tara froze and couldn’t pull the trigger on either human or walker. Now, we see Eugene freezing the same way, allotting some butt-whoopin’ girl power moments we haven’t seen out of her yet. The scene works because of how Abraham coddles Eugene. Eugene is the first person Abraham asks about after the bus wreck as well as once all the walkers are defeated. With so much protection, Eugene was never given the opportunity to step out and learn to fight on his own, which in this world, is more dangerous than anything else. But when you allegedly hold the key to curing the plague that ended the world, you are the most valuable asset on the planet, and Abraham knows it.
What is the biggest shock of this episode? Eugene is not a scientist. That’s right folks, the savior of the human race is a big fat freaking liar. The fact that he sabotaged the bus all but clinched it for me earlier, but it was primarily how heavy handed all of his dialogue was that has made me so suspicious ever since I met him. The most heartbreaking thing about that honest moment was how it destroyed Abraham.
All throughout the episode we were given brief flashbacks at Abraham’s life prior to his mission, starting with him beating a soldier to death, only to find that the women and two children (presumably his wife and kids) he was protecting were now afraid of him. They were so afraid they ran off while he was asleep and got eaten by walkers. As he sat down in despair placing a gun in his mouth, it was the cries from Eugene that stopped him from taking his own life. Eugene telling him that he had a very important mission was what brought him back from the edge. Now that cause is lost to him he’s just like everyone else in the world: trying to survive.
The Walking Dead bounces back with a very powerful character driven episode that brings to light Eugene and Abraham’s mission. While some of us may have suspected Eugene’s credibility, having that deception take center stage and destroy a principal character was hard to watch in the best way.
So what did you think about “Self Help”? Did you know Eugene was a fake this whole time? What will Abraham do now that he lost his mission? Patch up your bloody hand and sound off in the comment section below.
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