Eugene Porter is in a pickle.
Another clip shows Negan reminding the Sanctuary’s resident genius what’s at stake should he fail to come up with a way to free the compound from the horde of walkers pinning everyone inside — a situation made worse as Rick Grimes and the alliance use the opportunity to attack Savior outposts while their biggest numbers are indisposed.
"He's with Saviors, he's on team Negan, he's looking out for himself," McDermitt says. "He's thinking about self preservation, just trying to continue to live in this apocalypse."
Negan is already suspicious of Eugene’s loyalty — he was plucked out of Rick Grimes' Alexandria and hosted at the Sanctuary, where he’s since become one of Negan’s five lieutenants — and with the Saviors closer to sniffing out a mole, Eugene’s survival is threatened.
If he doesn’t solve the walker flood dilemma, he dies. If he allows a saboteur to keep throwing a wrench in the gears — and worse, if Negan finds out he knew Dwight was the mole and didn’t rat him out — he dies. Eugene prizes his continued survival above all else, making Dwight a threat.
Selling out Dwight makes Eugene a hero in Negan’s eyes. If Eugene keeps his mouth shut, Rick and Dwight’s plan continues — and should they succeed, the Saviors fall. Eugene losing his value and his cushy position as one of Negan's lieutenants puts his ass on the chopping block, so he's clinging onto Negan and the Sanctuary like a life vest.
Tonight's episode, "Time for After," sees Eugene grapple with his new discovery — and the way Eugene responds to this new information could affect the entire war.
The Walking Dead airs at 9/8c on AMC.