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As #TheWalkingDead Season 7 waved goodbye to some of its best-known faces, we lost one of the show's biggest personalities, Big Red, a.k.a. Abraham Ford. With a defiant "suck my nuts," we cowered as Ford became the first casualty of the series and bowed out in a shower of blood and brain matter. Although the mustachioed marvel returned posthumously for the season finale, the loss of Abraham has been felt on the show — if only in lack of well-groomed facial hair.
However, although Abe has shuffled off to pastures new, actor #MichaelCudlitz is still a fan of #AMC's zombie apocalypse and more than happy to pass judgement on the time after his tenure. Speaking out on his blossoming bromance with #JoshMcDermitt's Eugene Porter, it looks like Cudlitz isn't too impressed (or shocked) with his compadre's turn to the dark side by embracing the Negan way.
Bros Before Hoes
Speaking at Walker Stalker Con, both the man behind the mullet and the man with the 'tash opened up about Eugene's betrayal and what could happen next. McDermitt was the first to speak, blaming Abraham's departure on his newfound allegiances:
"I think Abraham would not be surprised by it but honestly, if Abraham was still there, Eugene would still be with Abraham. That's the dynamic and the relationship that the two of them had, that Abraham protected Eugene, and now Eugene is seeking protection elsewhere."
Cudlitz himself was quick to chime in with "let's ask Abraham":
"I think he's being very, very true to character. This is exactly the guy I punched in the face at the fire truck. He's staying alive. Especially if somebody he's looking for me in protection, and he sees the person that he felt could protect him from anything gets killed ,what the hell kind of chance does he think he stands in his own head? He's gonna say no? He's gonna defy them? He's gonna somehow beat Negan? He may ultimately poison their entire food supply and kill them all but not today! He's staying alive!"
Abraham and Eugene had a notoriously strained relationship, with Abraham being the de facto protector of the cowardly lion. When we met the duo back in Season 4, Abraham's sole mission was to get Eugene to Washington under claims that he knew what started the outbreak and could engineer a cure. In classic TWD style, it never was that easy, and the big reveal that Eugene had lied about his job pushed Abraham to breaking point as he K.O.'ed Eugene with a solid punch. Although they rekindled their friendship somewhat as the show continued, things would never be the same.
In A Pickle
Eugene's only M.O. is clearly survival, something he seems to putting to practical use alongside Negan at the Sanctuary. He seems to be having a whale of a time eating pickles and collecting cuddly toys. However, many are hoping for a redemptive story arc where Eugene pulls the rug from beneath Negan. The show is excellent at crafting a shock twist like this, but is it a little too late for our faux scientist from Texas?
Interestingly, neither McDermitt nor Cudlitz seems terribly shocked by Eugene's current predicament, so does this also suggest that it is all a ruse by Eugene and Season 8 will see him turn a corner? We already saw him inadvertently help Sasha, and anyone who can create their bullets certainly isn't lacking in the brainpower department. As Negan's suspicions rise toward both Eugene and Dwight, it is safe to assume that his right and left-hand men won't both be making it out of Season 8 alive. Could it be time for Eugene to head to the big barber's shop in the sky and get a trim from Lucille?