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The Consequences of Eugene’s Actions – The Walking Dead’s Josh McDermitt and The Commonwealth

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The Walking Dead is back, and the 11B premiere of AMC’s post-apocalyptic zombie drama left us all wondering what Eugene would do. When we last saw Eugene (Josh McDermitt), he was punching Sebastian in the face and thrown in a jail, where Lance told him the only way to get out and help his friends was to reveal the name and location of his community. But we all know Eugene would never do that…or would he? He did and now there’s no turning back for him.

The Koalition spoke to McDermitt to learn more about the predicament Eugene finds himself in, if he can right his mistakes and navigating life in the Commonwealth.

“I think Eugene definitely didn’t want to share the location of his group. Otherwise, he would have done that up front [because] that’s a valuable piece of information that potentially puts lives at risk. [He’s in] a pickle and this is not the type of pickle he likes. He loves pickles, but not this kind. [Now there is this] tenuous relationship between the Alexandrians and the Commonwealth.”

Eugene was one of The Walking Dead‘s first survivors to encounter and experience the expansive advanced community and now that he’s discovered Stephanie is also there, he might be staying longer than he expected but he still shoulders the burden of guilt.

“He’s also carrying the guilt of getting his friends captured and he’s riddled with anxiety [and he’s anxious about] his relationship with Stephanie, whom he believes could be his one true love. There are all these things happening, so he’s in this extreme emotional state where he’s questioning whether he’s able to trust what he’s doing. Saving the people around him, to offer up information just touching on some of the things he’s already having anxiety about.”

“[Eugene] did this because [he] had to but [now he wonders] ‘is more bad going to come from this?’ Though Eugene’s romance with Stephanie, being in a relationship is not at the level at which he would prefer, he does find comfort in the Commonwealth.

Eugene returned home with Deputy Governor Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) to invite the Alexandrians to join the Commonwealth: the rebuilt civilization governed by president’s daughter Pamela Milton (Laila Robins). Aaron (Ross Marquand) and others chose to stay behind at the Alexandria Safe-Zone, and others still went with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) to rebuild the Hilltop.

“As we see on this show, any decision has extreme consequences and Eugene just wants to settle into what his life is going to be for the rest of his life. If that’s in the Commonwealth, great, [he] just wants to do that. [He] just wants to leave the game behind, and he finds himself in a spot where [he has] to give out this information. I don’t think he was happy about that but he’s definitely trying to settle into what his life is at the Commonwealth.”

Spanning over several united towns with over 50,000 survivors, the Commonwealth is not so much a singular group but a vast network of communities that’s so advanced they have managed to fall back into the way of life that existed before the zombie apocalypse, and life appears to be good in the Commonwealth.

Running it all is Governor of the Commonwealth, Pamela Milton (Laila Robins), the mother of Sebastian Milton; the man Eugene punched in the face. As the Milton’s begin to reveal themselves throughout the season, it’s easy to see the stronghold they have on their citizens and the political inner workings of the Commonwealth which could affect Eugene.

“I don’t think Eugene has ever thought twice about politics, he couldn’t care less. He has no ambitions in that sense, but at the same time, living in the Commonwealth, you start to become more aware of it just because the Milton family has such a strong presence. If you’re in Alexandria after the fall of Deanna, and Rick took over, I get the sense you would know who Rick is, but his presence isn’t affecting your life. But when you get into the Commonwealth and the Milton family, you’re very aware the Milton family is responsible for creating this community and making it run the way it’s run. I think Eugene will probably have to think about it some more, but I don’t know that he’s necessarily doing this in his free time for fun. It’s just something you will be aware of.” 

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.

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