The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 11 ‘Hostiles and Calamities’ Review: This Ain’t Shangri-La

The first two episodes of the second half of this season of The Walking Dead have focused entirely on Rick’s mission to recruit people to join them in their war against the Saviors, and while it’s great that they managed to take off the focus from Negan for a while, we can’t help but wonder how everyone is at the Sanctuary, especially Eugene.

The last time we saw Eugene was at the mid-season finale of this season where he was taken to the Sanctuary when Negan found out about his bullet making skills (Thanks to Rosita). Another character we haven’t seen in a while is Dwight who drove off in ‘Sing Me a Song’ after locking up Daryl in his cell.

Eugene and Dwight are two very different characters, and this episode is going to give us the an idea as to what their motivations and how these motivations would change when they see the events in the episode unfold. It’s going to focus on two different people changing: the first one is Eugene and how he’s going to cope with life inside the walls of Sanctuary; the second one is Dwight and whether the disappearance of someone really important to him is going to help him or make things worse for him.

Who Helped Daryl?

Daryl reunited with the group at the end of ‘Hearts Still Beating’ after he got help from a mystery person in ‘Sing Me a Song’ where he found the note that says “Go Now.” There where speculations that it was Jesus, Dwight, or Sherry.

In this episode, when Dwight found the note, it was clear that he wasn’t the one who did it, but based on his reaction, he seemed to have recognized the handwriting. We assume that it belongs to his ex-wife Sherry, who is nowhere to be found.

Why would Sherry do such thing? Is it because she’s in love with Daryl? Is it because she’s tired of the Saviors treating people like the way they treated Daryl? As revealed in the note she left later on in the episode, she had to “let Daryl go” because Daryl reminded her of what Dwight “used to be.”

In the first half of the season, Sherry has been trying to talk Dwight out of the Savior mindset, but he just won’t budge, so the question now is whether this event will change the way he looks at things and maybe start following his comic arc.

Sherry’s presence in the episode could have helped a lot more to show the emotional side of Dwight and what kind of decision he would make, but this could be the way of the writers to give her a more triumphant return in later episodes or seasons.

Beer and Pretzels

After Dwight gets punished for his failure to change Daryl, and possibly for him escaping under his watch, there’s a sweet and emotionally subtle moment in the episode that involves showed us a different side of Dwight and his relationship with Sherry. The two of them promised each other that if they ever get separated, they would meet at an old house. Dwight did go to the old house, but Sherry was nowhere to be found.

The heartbreaking moment of the episode is the note that Sherry left explaining why she had to let Daryl go, why she left, her uncertainty, and that she’s sorry that she made Dwight the way he is. The note revealed a lot about their relationship, and it basically explains that Sherry was the one who decided that they should go back to the Sanctuary because she didn’t want Dwight to die, although it wasn’t the kind of life he wanted, and this decision she made was the reason why he changed into the person that he is now.

Sherry’s note also explains that she couldn’t wait for Dwight because she was not sure if Dwight would come with her or take her back to the Sanctuary or kill her. She also tells him that being at the sanctuary is worse than being dead, and that Dwight should realize that and get away.

In the note, Sherry also mentioned how they talked about Dwight showing up with beer and pretzels, and he probably won’t remember because he has a “shitty memory,” but guess what? Dwight brought the beer and pretzels. I know, heartbreaking, you can all cry for Dwight now.

I feel like this is a really smart way for the writers to play with the viewers’ and Dwight’s emotions after reading that note because we’re going to watch his every move now, and see the realization slap him in the face.

The Doctor is Out

I don’t know what Dr. Carson did to Dwight for him to throw him under the bus like he did in this episode. Dr. Carson was just talking about Sherry being a good person when he was patching Dwight up, and I guess this infuriated the latter?

Cutting out the “Goodbye, Honey” part of Sherry’s letter, Dwight planted it in Dr. Carson’s office. Dr. Carson was, of course, killed by Negan by throwing him into the furnace, burning him to death.

If I’m going to analyze Dwight’s decision, I would have to say that this is his way of retaliating against the Saviors for the things made him do. I don’t think he has any personal issues with the doctor at all, he could have thrown someone else under the bus, but he picked Dr. Carson because he’s one of the Sanctuary’s doctors as a way of sabotaging them, but then, there are still other doctors out there.

In case some of you aren’t paying attention, there are two Dr. Carsons on the show. Dr. Emmett Carson of the Sanctuary, and Dr. Harlan Carson of the Hilltop Colony. We should be a little worried for Hilltop’s resident doctor, Dr. Harlan, because if the sanctuary loses any sort of resource, they’re going to take a new one from the community that works for them.

The Popularity of Eugene Porter…

The Sanctuary just found its resident Chief Engineer by the name of Eugene Porter – which will change later on, of course. With an apartment that has a gaming system, Eugene is very pleased with his current position in the Zombie Apocalypse.

As you may have all known based on the previous seasons, Eugene is very inept when it comes to fighting, add the fact that he lied about the cure, and this makes him an underappreciated member of the group. In fact, it seems like almost everyone is very dismissive towards him. With a simple sign of respect towards him, Eugene would give in.

The main factor that made Eugene feel like he belongs at the Sanctuary is the way he feels that his abilities are respected by Negan. With everyone in Alexandria being passive towards him, this made Eugene, of course, love the kind of attention he’s getting, not only from Negan, but also from the Harem girls.

He got a request from one of the Harem girls named Amber to make some pills so she can commit suicide, but when he finds out that they were for Negan, he decided not to do it anymore.

It’s a little annoying from a viewer’s perspective, but with the appreciation that Eugene gets from Negan, he seemed to have grown – yes, in a short period of time – to appreciate Negan and the Sanctuary as well.

Eugene is still a very fun character no matter what, although there are a couple of moments where he could be really annoying. In this episode, he also gives the girls a demonstration on making a couple of small bombs out of some household products just to impress them. Yes, the way to Eugene’s heart is through his head. If he’s not smart enough, however, he will be used and misused.

Except Eugene Porter Isn’t His Name Anymore

Knowing Eugene, and how he is in the previous season, you would automatically know that he would love the place because Negan knows the right words, and Negan has a system that seems fair for the people who contribute to the Saviors’ gain.

With the kind of respect that Eugene feels he gets from Negan, of course he’s going to reciprocate it by officially becoming one of them. At the end of the episode, Negan asks Eugene “Who are you?” and Eugene answers “Negan” before the head of the Saviors can even finish the question. Eugene, or should I say “Negan,” you just dug yourself a hole there.

Episode Rating

At first, you would think ‘Hostiles and Calamities’ would be a terrible episode for focusing only on the Sanctuary, Eugene, Dwight, and a bit of Negan, but as you watch the episode, you will realize that it’s the best episode of the second half of this season so far. The show is definitely changing, and I feel like Josh McDermitt managed to carry this one on his own like Alanna Masterson did in her Oceanside episode.

We were provided with funny moments by Eugene, sad moments from Dwight, and terrifying moments from Negan making the best episodes to not focus on our main group (i.e. Rick, Daryl, or Carol). With that, I would give ‘Hostiles and Calamities’ an 8.25 out of 10.

Scavenging for the Parasites

On the next episode of The Walking Dead, “the group scavenges for supplies” for the Garbage Pail Kids, and “back in Alexandria, someone must make a morally challenging decision.” Based on the promo, we can assume that someone is Rosita.

You can watch the promo The Walking Dead season 7, episode 12, “Say Yes” below:

What do you think about this week’s episode of The Walking Dead? Sound in the comments below!

Header Image: Gene Page/AMC

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