(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
The Walking Dead’s Season 5, Episode 5, “Self Help” begins with a shot of the white church shortbus from Father Gabriel’s church, chugging noisily (and somewhat unevenly) down a quiet country road. The sound of gospel music pours out the bus windows.
Seems like, these days, a vehicle with a working CD player, and some CD’s, would be one of the few opportunities to rock out to some tunes…sad times, these!
We see Abraham’s hands on the steering wheel.
It’s pretty clear who’s driving this bus…
Abraham practically purrs while Rosita plays with his hair…she remarks, “It’s getting a little messy, for you.” Abraham smiles, says, “I’m getting ready for retirement, relaxing the grooming standards,” while Eugene looks on, seeming very ill at ease, from the back of the bus.
Abraham continues that maybe he’ll become a “plumber, sheep herder, something like that,” causing Rosita to chime in, “We ain’t herding sheep now, Abraham, eyes on the prize.” This sweet affirmation of their lasting union, a brighter future for Rosita and Abraham, together, makes Abraham’s smile deepen and his eyes twinkle.
He nods, “Damn right…that’s my girl.” Abraham smiles a moment at the road, then adds, to Rosita, “Maybe I’ll let you shave me down, all over…dolphin smooth!”
This hilarious Abrahamism had #dolphinsmooth trending worldwide by the time Talking Dead ended. Rosita laughs, tells Abraham she’ll “cut it for you tonight.” “Yes ma’am!” Abraham replies, with a knowing smile.
Tara turns to Eugene, quips, “Hey, uh, maybe Rosita can give you a trim while she’s at it…party’s getting a little long in the back.”
Ha! There is definitely some fun banter bouncing around in that short bus, already; and then, Tara goes and ups the funny by officially calling Open Season on Eugene’s Mullet.
When Eugene doesn’t respond, Tara adds, “Unless it’s your source of power!”
the Source of Power
Now, before we go further into this recap, I would like to take a moment to address this whole Eugene Mullet situation. Eugene’s mullet has taken pop culture by storm, and attention must be paid.
I, like all of you, am obsessed with Eugene’s mullet, have been ever since I first laid eyes on it, and as many of you know, I have made several mentions of it in my posts. I even named it “The Eugene.” I contemplated writing sonnets in its honor, but honestly, who has time?
Last night, after watching “Self Help,” I dreamed about Eugene and his mullet. No lie. I really did. Fleeting moments and recurring images of Eugene and his mullet were interwoven throughout my entire night’s sleep. By the time I woke up, I felt kind of haunted by Eugene and his mullet…and it all felt so weird, and so right, somehow.
In my first-ever post for barnfullawalkers, my “Introduction” post, I took readers back 10 years, to 2004, when I walked into a comic book store, and walked out with the first two issues of “The Walking Dead” comic series, which had just hit the shelves and was taking the comic book/graphic novel world by storm. On that fateful day,10 years ago, “The Walking Dead” came into my life, and my life has never been the same since.
Now, let us rewind 10 years before that, to 1994, to the day when the mullet came into my life…and my life has never been the same, since.
The story goes something like this: I was hanging out with my then-boyfriend at his apartment, sharing a laugh over a hilarious article in his latest issue of Grand Royal, the Beastie Boys’ brief and brilliant foray into the magazine world. This particular issue, I believe, boasted a cover photo of Lee Perry, smoking a big ol’ j, against a bright orange background::
I think this was the issue…I can’t believe that was 20 years ago! Grand Royal was awesome.
The Grand Royal article we were laughing at featured the many different examples and incarnations of the “mullet,” Grand Royal’s name for the hairstyle that was shorter on the top, longer in the back, and strangely ubiquitous in all corners of the United States, and probably the world (although I do not profess to be an expert on overseas mullets, aside from a good British Invasion/ Eastern European punk, mod, or techno Euromull …if anyone is knowledgeable about International Mullets, send pictures, won’t you? Enlighten me, please. This inquiring mind wants to know!).
Anyway, back to “94, and the Grand Royal article..the mullet was a hairstyle I recognized, of course, and had definitely seen, many times, on many different kinds of people…kids, rednecks, older ladies (a “femullet” is what Grand Royal termed a mullet on a woman), younger ladies, aging hipsters, young hipsters. The mullet took on many forms, transcended social and economic barriers, but all in all, a mullet was defined by its sheer dimensions…if a hairstyle was shorter in the front, and longer in the back, it was a mullet. Period.
And that, to me, was the strange beauty of it.
That day, and that article, opened up a whole new chapter in my life. From that day on, from that issue of Grand Royal on, I, and many others, became obsessed with mullets. It started out, for me, at first, as mullet-watching (much like people-watching, except you are watching people with mullets).
My friends and I were keeping an endless tally of them. If we were standing in line in the grocery store, or waiting to buy movie tickets, and if the person in front of us, or behind us, had a mullet, we’d nudge each other, surreptitiously point, nod, or make some other gesture indicating a mullet sighting, and we’d exchange knowing looks, nods, faces, giggles. Sometimes, you’d see an entire family, and they all would have mullets. That was like a triple thousand bonus score…the endorphin rush from a family mullet sighting could last for hours.
(Remember, darlings, this was the mid-90’s…we didn’t have internet, or social media, yet…We had to amuse ourselves somehow!)
Anyhow, our mullet-watching antics expanded into the naming and classification of mullets, a practice shared by only a few…you had to be pretty obsessed with mullets to take it to this level. You would sight a mullet, either in real life, or in a picture, or in a music video, TV show, or movie…and as quickly as you were able, you would name it. I think I loved naming and classifying mullets more than just about anyone. If I could have gotten a doctorate in the study and classification of mullets, I probably would have. I found them endlessly fascinating.
And talk about an endorphin rush…to me, finding the perfect name for a mullet, or a mullet-moment, was a rush like none other. When I would nail it, that was like, the total tits. The El Dorado, Ladies’ Choice, the Skywalker, the Han Molo, the Darth Mullinator, the ABBA, Salt & Pepper are examples of some of my more memorable mullet monikers (except maybe the Han Molo …my friend may have come up with that one).. My naming and classification of mullets was a source of great personal pleasure, and a practice that carried over into the new millennium. At some point, I stopped, probably because nobody cared that much anymore. Nobody except me, that is!
Through it all, however, mullets have endured, as omnipresent as they ever were, and 20 years later after that now-classic Grand Royal article gave the “business in the front, party in the back” hairstyle its official title, the term “mullet” is a household name. Nowadays, everyone knows what a mullet is…we just haven’t been talking about them much, to my quiet and constant inner dismay.
Earlier this year, in the glow and blossom of new spring, we WD fans got our first glimpse of Eugene Porter, in all his mulltastic glory, flanking his protector, Abraham Ford, on one side, with the lovely Rosita on the other, and with that moment, Kirkman, Gimple & Co., and their poster boy, Eugene Porter, singlehandedly brought mullets back to the forefront of pop culture.
To celebrate Eugene, and his mullet, I am going to spice up this post for WD’s Season 5, Episode 5, “Self Help” by inserting pictures of Eugene, in various iconic poses, moods, and mullet moments, and I will come up with the best name for the mullet in each picture that I can think of, as the caption.
Many of the mullet names will come straight from the Mouth of Eugene.
And if you like,dear readers, please play along..send me your Eugene pictures, and your names for the different Eugene mullet moments...I will probably be playing this game on my Twitter account as well:
Eugene’s mullet…it’s bigger than all of us, people.
So, thanks for going along with that, and now, back to our story: as the Team Eugene short bus chugs down the lonely road, Tara has just openly and hilariously mocked Eugene’s mullet, but Eugene does not respond to her jibes right away..he looks ahead, troubled, pensive.
Mullin’ It Over
At Tara’s good-natured “source of power” dig, Eugene spouts off some incomprehensible response….I usually try to pay attention to this stuff, but this time, after a couple of playbacks, I just couldn’t do it…something about “the jawbone of an ass.” Whatever. What I was hearing loud and clear was that Eugene’s story was starting to play itself out…I thought, “This line of Eugene’s is sounding weaker and weaker.”
It felt like when you’re listening to someone you know is a big liar overtell an elaborate story full of way too many details…it’s too many words that don’t mean anything. I have been smelling bullshit with Eugene lately, especially after he seemed way too concerned for his own safety, back in train car “A,” and less and less convincing in his concern to “get to D.C. and save the world.”
Tara, though, is humoring Eugene…she’s really sweet, and she is trying to connect with this odd but likeable dude with an egregious mullet. “Oh, so you’ll just settle on saving the world, right?”
Without looking at her, still looking ahead, Eugene replies, “Yeahhh…”
Tara notices Eugene’s Mullet of Discontent, leans forward a bit towards him, asks him, “What’s up…last night?” (Referring, of course, to the church massacre of Gareth and the other Terms, just the night before.)
“Nope…yes, that, and tomorrow…and I’m thinkin’ about that preacher, what he did.”
Thinkin’ About That Preacher
Me No Likey
Tara purses her lips, unsure of how to respond to this. In the seat in front of Eugene, Maggie seems pretty troubled herself, looking out the window, watching the miles blur past as the bus carries them further and further away from their people. Glenn watches Maggie, concerned for her, and surely, feeling the same worry as she is about Rick and their gang.
Maggie turns to Glenn, says, “Maybe they’re just behind us…maybe Daryl and Carol came back…maybe they took the map, found some cars, and they’re just down the road.” Glenn plays along, says, “Yeah…they’ll catch us…we’re clearing the way for them.” Maggie smiles at Glenn, a little smile like, “That’s why I love you.”
From his seat behind them, Eugene watches this sweet exchange with a sad look…..
After sharing a moment with Glenn, Maggie turns to Eugene, asks him, “How long will it be, after you get on that terminal and do what you have to do?” meaning, of course, how long will it take to get the world back to normal, or semi-normal…or just a little bit better than how it is now?
Eugene replies that “de-pends” on a lot of factors, like what the density of the infected undead would be around each of the world’s target sites. This response prompts Glenn to ask, “Target sites…you talking about missles?”
And to this, Eugene replies…
“I thought we were over that,” Glenn says, exasperated. “What if we all live?” Eugene asks. “Secrets won’t matter then?” suggests Glenn. “They might,” Eugene replies, and then goes off on another long spiel on the factors that may dictate the rate which things begin to “normalize,” like weather patterns, hydrocarbons in the air, blah, blah, blah, causing Glenn to abruptly change the subject, asking Eugene, point-blank, “Why the hair?”
Because I Like It
“And nobody’s taking scissor or clipper to it anytime soon..you hear me, Miss Espinoza?” “Yes,” Rosita laughs, “loud and clear.” As the young people, excepting Eugene (and how old is Eugene, anyway?) share a laugh, Abraham peers out at the road ahead…
…all looks clear, then Abraham sees something up ahead…figures moving towards the road from the woods…
Meanwhile, in the back of the bus, Eugene is telling the giggling others to “talk and laugh all you want to…the smartest man I ever met happened to love my hair.. my boss, T. Brooks Ellis, the director of the Human Genome Project. He said my hair made me look like, and I quote, ‘A fun guy’…which I am.”
The T. Brooks Ellis mullet is about confidence…it’s about believing in yourself.
As Eugene recites this story, and self-affirmation, Abraham looks towards the side of the road at a group of about 12-15+ walkers they are passing…
Abraham watches the Hitchiker Walkers as he passes them, until they begin to disappear, one by one, from the rear view mirror…
…and as Eugene concludes his speech with something about “Samson”...
…there is a loud “BANG!” as the bus veers out of control…
…then, the front driver’s side wheel flips up over an abandoned car in the road, sending the bus flying and landing hard, screeching, sparks flying, on its right side…
…and here come the walkers.
As the Bear McCreary title sequence began, and the opening credits unfolded, my WD buddy and I texted simultaneously, Dang it!! Holy Fuck! Did they blow a tire? We agreed that the tire scenario was the most likely reason the bus crashed…little did we know!
This is sad, my WD buddy texted. It really is, isn’t it? Every time the gang starts to relax, let their guard down, share a laugh, something like this crazy shit happens to fuck it all up. Every time.
After the commercial break, we see a flashback of a man straddling another man who is lying, almost unconscious, on the floor…we see a massively muscled arm, that we recognize as Abraham’s, clutching a soup can, punching it mercilessly, again and again, into somebody’s face…
Abraham stands, drops the bloodied can to the floor by the man’s twitching, rasping body…
…then steps his boot down on the man’s throat to finish him off…
The camera focuses on Abraham’s face as he twists his foot hard on the man’s neck, breaking it, finishing the job, brutally and methodically. Survival at its most primal.
Then, Abraham turns, spent and exhausted, and numbly look over the bodies of the men he just killed with his bare hands, bootshod feet, and canned goods…berzerker-style.
Abraham stops, realizing something, then calls for someone named Ellen. ” Ellen…Ellen!” he rasps out as he lurches off, leaving the scattered bodies of the slain men in his wake.
Abraham wakes up in the crashed bus, on its side, calling for, “Eugene…Eugene!“
Abraham wakes up in the crashed, smoking bus, on its side…and begins calling for Eugene…
Abraham doesn’t check on Rosita, or ask after anybody else…
“Eugene!” Rosita joins in, calling for Eugene, who is unable to answer…
I Think It’s Broken…
Glenn and Abraham hear Eugene mumbling about the “preacher.” Seems like Eugene is really identifying with Father Gabriel, who did harm to people who were counting on him…
Our gang has more problems mounting…walkers are outside the back bus windows, not having found the busted windows on the side, yet… Rosita tells them they need to get out of the bus, quick….the engine’s on fire.
Glenn, as always, thinks quickly and makes a plan. Abraham and he will rush the walkers, kicking open the rear emergency exit door and shoving them back, creating an opening for the rest to get out of the bus. Abraham agrees, instructing Tara to cover Eugene. Then, Abraham swings and kicks the rear exit door open with both feet, pushing it into the walkers.
Damn! They just got banged up bad in a bus crash, and now they have to leap out and battle walkers!
Maggie ain’t skeerd.
Eugene is, though. Tara turns to see him cowering in a back corner as a lone walker, speared on the jagged glass of a broken side window, paws helplessly, hissing at them. Tara beckons him out, telling she knows it sucks, and it’s scary, but it’s time to be brave…
It’s Not Voluntary
Tara hands him a knife, basically tells him it’s time to Walk Like A Man…
Wield The Blade Of Glory!
Tara urges Eugene forward, telling him, “I’m right behind you.”
As Eugene steps uncertainly out of the bus, knife held in front of him…
Ready As I’ll Ever Be
…he sees the others battling walkers, each with his or her own unique rekilling style.
Maggie goes it bayonet-style…
Rosita goes for the throat.
Abraham is on to number next…
…while Glenn does a smash-n-stab upside the temple.
Tara rekills two or three walkers, including one that Eugene can’t bring himself to take care of, and is finishing one off when a stray woman walker almost gets one up on her, almost catching Tara from behind, but then, a surprising save…
Sharing & Caring
After the gang is done battling the walkers, Abraham orders someone to go check Eugene over, despite Eugene’s protests that he’s fine.
As Rosita stalks over to do Abraham’s bidding, Eugene asks Abraham, “Is that your blood?” when he spies a bleeding cut on Abraham’s left hand that has opened again. Abraham looks down at his hand, covered in blood, replies it is his, that the cuts on his hand, while small, are “big bleeders” and keep opening up. Maggie turns towards the bus to get the first aid kit, just as…
…the bus, and all their stuff in it, explode into flames.
As the gang watches in silent horror as all their meager earthly possessions, and their ride, go up in flames, Abraham seems to be grappling with his own shellshock, looking at the disaster in front of him.
It was all going so well, and in the blink of an eye, it wasn’t.
Abraham collects himself, and his pack, after a brief moment, telling the gang that they’re going to keep moving, find another vehicle down the road, that the mission is still on. Eugene ventures an alternate option…
Devil’s Advocate, Nothin’ More
…but, you know, the church is 15 miles back, that way. Abraham shouts this down, saying that this is war, and going back means retreat, and retreat means lose.
“We’ll get through this because we have to! Every direction is a question!” Abraham yells in Eugene’s face.
“We don’t go back!”
Glenn steps up, and checks in with Abraham…
“Hey, are you ok?” asks Glenn. “I am fit as a damn fiddle,” replies Abraham stoutly.
“We are going with you,” Glenn assures Abraham. “You are calling this thing…I just need to make sure you’re ok.”
This calm, reasonable manner of Glenn’s, which has been so invaluable to Rick and the core group, time and time again, works its magic on Abraham, who begins to settle…Abraham says that “This is how things stop, and I can’t afford that right now…the world can’t afford it.”
And the camera pans to a shot of Eugene, looking seriously bummed right about now…
In classic Abraham style, he then tells Glenn:
“I took a pretty hard shot to the sac with that crash…I am stressed and depressed to see that ride die, but if you say we’re rolling on, I’m good.”
Glenn, taken aback at this role-reversal, looks to Maggie, then back to Abraham. He nods, says, “We’re rolling on.” Abraham looks relieved at this, says in that case, he’s gonna “rub some dirt on it and walk it off.” Rosita chimes in that they’ll find more supplies on the way, “like we always have.” Maggie agrees, smiling, but says she’s not “rubbing dirt on anything.”
Tara dryly suggests that maybe they can get some bikes, as “bikes don’t burn.”
Abraham takes all this in, this sweet, unconditional support from the nice young people…Rick, Michonne, Sasha would certainly have a different take on things. Carol would have been scanning the horizon on the DL for the nearest getaway car, planning her Plan B escape (even if only in her head), while Daryl would have hung back and observed all this, without saying anything, until asked…or until the time to speak presented itself.
Eugene, looking a little Stressed and Depressed himself, turns and sees the dead walker he helped take down with Tara. He walks over to it and crouches down, studying it a moment. “Eugene,” calls Rosita behind him, “what are you doing?”
“Nothing,” replies Eugene, not taking his eyes off the dead walker’s still form.
Eugene forms a gob of spit in his mouth, and unleashes his spit upon his first ever walker kill.
I Spit On Your Grave
“Well, then, come on!” bosses Rosita, and Eugene stands up, and follows the line of Team Eugene as they trudge down the side of the road on foot, leaving the burning wreckage of the bus, and the slew of dead walkers, in their wake.
In the next scene, we are taken back to the Abraham dream sequence, as Abraham, splattered with blood, is striding towards what looks like the back offices of the store where he killed those men…as he calls for “Ellen,”: he gets no response, until…
Silently, fearfully, Abraham’s wife, Ellen, and their son (who looks like a mini Abraham), and daughter come out from under the desk where they were crouched, hiding…they turn to face Abraham, look at him as if they are terrified of him.
The scene switches abruptly to present day, with the gang clearing an abandoned book store that looks like pretty solid quarters. The gang begins to set up camp, with Tara collecting water from the back tank of a toilet, Glenn and Abraham covering windows, rolling tall, wheeled bookshelves around to block the windows, barricade and reinforce their temporary living quarters, Eugene quickly gets a small flame burning on a piece of paper and tosses it into a small metal trashcan, getting a small fire going.
There are plenty of pages to tear out of books for burning, and Maggie does this while Tara crisscrosses two metal hangers over the rim of the trashcan fire pit, then places a large can of soup, or perhaps the water from the toilet, to cook on top of the makeshift cooking rack.
Maggie gently pulls a string from the binding of a book, handing it to Rosita, who pulls it taut, testing it…strong, and good. Rosita uses this to stitch up Abraham’s hand wound, smiling a sweet smile at him as she does so. When the wound is stitched up, Abraham touches Rosita tenderly on the cheek, in a gesture of thanks, tells her that he’s going to “take a sweep.”
As Abraham looks out from the solid bookstore window into the moonlit dark, Glenn approaches. Abraham holds a hand up, silently motioning Glenn to be still, quiet. A walker walks right up to the glass, leading with its mouth, and bangs against the glass two or three times, testing it, before shuffling along with the other Moonlight Walkers.
After the men exchange greetings, Abraham turns and thanks Glenn. “For what?” asks Glenn. “For showing up,” replies Abraham. He tells Glenn that he sees, “plain as potatoes, you get it,” and that he knows that Glenn could have made a case to turn back after the bus crashed & burned, but he didn’t… Glenn replies that he made a deal, and Abraham says quickly that Glenn could have backed out of that deal, but didn’t.
Glenn motions to the knife Abraham is holding, asks him if he’s “gonna put that thing away” for the night. Abraham looks down at it, as if he hadn’t really considered that possibility…
Abraham looks at the knife, turning it idly, before sheathing it.
Glenn then asks Abraham if he’s gong to wrap the wound on his hand, and Abraham tells him no, he’s going to let it air out…he adds that he cut it “pretty ugly last night, at the church.” Glenn nods, says “Yup,” looks away as the indirect reference to the previous night’s massacre at the church hangs heavily in the darkness.
Abraham looks at Glenn, then out the window as he quietly addresses the bloody elephant in the room…he tells Glenn that by now, anybody alive in these times is strong…if they are strong and can help you, you help them…or, they’re strong, and they can kill you, so then you have to kill them…
Abraham repeats, “You have to kill them, and…” then falters, leaning his head into his forearm, pressed against the window. Glenn waits, looks down towards a point on the window, takes the message in. After a brief moment, Abraham continues, telling Glenn that he wishes that he could say that killing others wasn’t ever easy, but, “that’s not the truth.”
Killing, these days…
“It’s the easiest thing in the world now.”
The men look at each other a moment, then look out the window. Glenn asks Abraham, “World’s gonna change, right?”
“Damn right it’s gonna,” Abraham replies. Glenn tells Abraham that he better turn in then, as he’s got late watch. Abraham nods, gathers up his things, and as he turns to go, he looks at Glenn, says, “I really need some ass first.”
Glenn looks after him, then turns back to the window, saying, to himself, “Didn’t need to know that, but…cool.”
So, Abraham goes and gets him some…
But while they’re at it, Rosita tells Abraham, “He’s watching again.”
Abraham and Rosita turn to look, and Rosita says, “There, in the self-help section.” They burst into giggles before resuming their tussle.
Catching An Eyeful
“Dude…” Eugene, the Self Help Lurker, whirls around and sees Tara, who has stone-cold busted him peeping at Rosita and Abraham’s loveplay.
Cards On The Table
Eugene offers a ready explanation, and rationalization, for his peeping antics, but Tara really just wanted to come and thank him for saving her life earlier that day, flustering Eugene a bit. Tara tells Eugene that while he may not have before, he’s got the goods now, and she believes that she believes in him, that he’s “got this.”
When she gets no response from Eugene, Tara prods him, “Hey, did you hear what I just said?” Looking down, Eugene replies hoarsely that, “The bus crashed because of me.”
Tara laughs this off at first, saying, “No you didn’t,” but Eugene tells her that he put crushed glass in the fuel line, with some light bulbs he found at the church. Tara, dumbfounded, says that he could have killed them, but Eugene insists that things weren’t supposed to go down like that…
Not Hardly, Not Half
…that the bus wasn’t even supposed to get as far as the road.
“What the hell?” Tara asks. When Eugene tries to walk past Tara without answering when she asks him why he did that, she grabs his arm, asks again. “Eugene, why did you do that?” Eugene replies that he cannot survive alone in these times, and if he doesn’t save the world, if he can’t, then he has no value, and the others in the group would not have him, would not share resources or protect him if he had no worth.
“So you killed the bus?” Tara asks, incredulous. After telling Eugene that she would keep his secret, and to never do anything like that again, Tara tells him that they are all stuck with each other, and they look out for each other, because they are friends, and that’s what friends do.
Eugene, looking pretty shellshocked, says, “I don’t know why I told you.” “I do,” Tara replies, shrugging. She holds out her fist to Eugene, who has probably never done a fist bump with anyone before.
Welcome To The Human Race, Asshole
After Tara urges Eugene to go get some rest, she cannot help but sneak a little peek at Rosita and Abraham going at it. Tara sighs, turns away, and heads to bed herself.
Things aren’t as hot and heavy with Maggie and Glenn. Her face looks troubled, and Glenn seems to know that this isn’t really the best time to ask for some sex. He asks her, instead, if she’s thinking of “them,” meaning Rick and the others. She is, of course.
Glenn jokes gently that maybe, sometimes, they get to have little “vacations on book store floors,” with no car, drinking toilet water. They share a smile, and Maggie says that it does feel good to have this, and have it be about the future, and not about what it has been, like “last night.”
Maggie frowns as she says this, remembers the savagery from the night before. Glenn tells her not to feel guilty for heading towards something new. Maggie’s face softens, and she smiles as she burrows a little deeper into Glenn, savoring this safe, quiet time together.
Back at the window stands Abraham, leaning against the pane with a crooked arm, holding his knife, watching as a lone walker shuffles by.
After the break, we are taken back to Abraham’s nightmarish flashback sequence.
Covered in blood splatter, Abraham finds, and faces, his wife, Ellen, and their children…”You’re safe now,” he tells them.
Ellen and the children stare at Abraham, covered in blood, like they don’t know who he is.
Abraham looks down at his bloody hands, whispers, “It’s ok…it’s gonna be ok.”
The next shot shifts us back to the present, with Abraham’s hand being tended to by Rosita.
Rosita suggests they stay another day. “No, “ Abraham says, quickly, then adds, “You got some readin’ you need to catch up on?”
“We got lucky yesterday,” Rosita points out. She is right, they should stay, rest, restock, recharge, but Abraham is being rigid, unyielding…unreasonable.
It is an argument that they have had countless times before, and despite the gang chiming in the good idea to stay, sweep, rest, restock, Rosita echoes Abraham’s wishes, “We’ll sweep as we go…we’ve been doing it since Houston.” Abraham looks at the others. “You heard the lady…we’re takin’ it North.”
Besides, Abraham has seen their new ride across the street…a hose truck parked at the fire station.
The fire truck starts, and moves about 10 feet before it dies, releasing the door to the fire station to swing open…
Cursing, Abraham gets out of the truck…
…a tire rolls out of the open fire station doorway, followed by a stream of walkers. The gang must get to rekilling…
Suddenly, a strong spray of water takes down the walker horde…
Eugene is The Supreme Hoser
Just a Lone Hose Wrangler, Is All
When Glenn suggests they hit the nearby Goodwill for dry clothes, and supplies, Abraham nixes this sensible idea, saying that once he pulls the guts out of the air intake, the truck, and they, will get to air out…they move onward.
Then Abraham spies a message spraypainted on the ground, starts laughing.
Abraham looks back at the gang, as they watch him laugh at this…”What? The shit’s just screwed up!“
Still giggling, Abraham begins to pull the zombie innards out of the air intake.
A little while later, down the road a bit…
Fire truck’s dead again…while Abraham tries to fix it, the gang is either on lookout, or finding other ways to pass the time…
The Shape Of Things To Come
Maggie approaches Eugene, tells him she knows why he has the mullet hairstyle…
“You’re Not Like Everyone Else”
Maggie basically tells Eugene her own version of what Tara was trying to tell him, that he is stronger than he thinks, that he didn’t give up, that he started this, inspiring people to try to make the world better. She also tells him that he is not like Samson, who was “kind of a mess.”
Glenn interrupts her story by exclaiming, “What is that?” After a moment, the rest of the gang smell it too…a foul smell being carried in the wind. Abraham replies that whatever is causing that smell, it can’t be good.
the gang walks down the road a ways, see what looks like a huge cattle ranch, with probably a slaughterhouse, which, judging from the sounds of it, has attracted thousands of walkers. Trying to go through that would be a suicide mission.
Welcome to Slaughterhouse Ranch.
As the others turn away, and beckon Abraham, he mutters to himself, cannot seem to turn back, or even consider taking another route.
When Rosita backs up the gang, telling Abraham, “They’re right,” Abraham turns, snatches up Eugene by the arm…I am not sure what he is doing, but I think he is really trying to get the fire engine started, and push through. The gang protests, leading to a shoving match between Glenn and Abraham, knocking even Rosita down, until Eugene starts yelling something that stops Abraham, and the rest, in their tracks…
I’m Not A Scientist! (I Just Play One On TV)
As the gang stares at him, stupefied, Eugene admits in his Big Reveal that he is not a scientist, he doesn’t have the cure…while he knows that he is smarter than other people, he is not a scientist, and does not possess the cure. He knew he was a good liar, and he needed to get to D.C. He just…knows things.
The gang reacts to this pronouncement with a mixture of tears…
Voice shaking, Rosita tells Eugene that people died for him, believing he had the cure…sorrowfully, Eugene acknowledges this, beginning to recite the long list of names of the people who died between Houston and Georgia…
Say My Name
And, in an ill-advised move, Eugene turns to Abraham, who is crouching, digesting all this, and tells him that he, Eugene, is smarter than him, Abraham…and that’s All She Wrote, as Abraham leaps up and begins pounding on Eugene, as the others frantically try to pull him off.
Out For The Count…
As Abraham steps to Eugene’s fallen form, Rosita steps in between him and Eugene, her hand on her gun, if needed. Abraham looks down a this bloody hand…
Dead Or Alive?
Abraham walks away, down the road a bit, sinks to his knees…
…as the horrible rest of the flashback, the story of what happened to Abraham’s family, plays out to its entirety…after Abraham massacred the dangerous men at the store, he had come back to find his family gone, with only a note from Ellen, telling him not to follow them…Abraham does, of course, and finds the bodies of Ellen, and the children, who have been attacked and killed by walkers…
Unable to bear his grief, Abraham tears his dog tags from his neck, pulls out his pistor and puts it in his mouth, ready to end it all…
…until he hears a cry for help…Eugene is mincing away from a small gang of three walkers, a Man-Damsel In Distress
After easily dispatching the Sorry Walker Trio, Abraham turns to go…Eugene calls him back, yells for him to “Stop!” Abraham, without stopping, or turning, asks, “Why?”
“I Have A Very Important Mission”
At these words, Abraham turns, regards Eugene…he now has a mission, a reason to go on. A reason to live.
Well, people, there you have it. The Comic Book Set, being so much smarter than us Prime Time Pollyanna tv-series-only WD fans, knew for a long time that Eugene didn’t really have the cure…but he does have the mullet, boy howdy, does he ever.
Let’s go back to a classic shot, in better days, when Eugene, after sabotaging yet another working, running vehicle in his stunted effort to buy himself, and his lie, a little more time, shot up the gas tank of Abraham’s truck, earning himself one of the best mullet names, ever…
“Son Of A Dick!”
Of course, I once again have multiple Deadies to award: Deadie #1 goes to Abraham Ford, and Michael Cudlitz…for being a total beast, but so sweet in the inside, and loyal, and funny, and fun. And for being a soldier, a true soldier, and for believing, and for trying so hard, and for losing so much…and for having the hottest girlfriend, Rosita (who, btw, gets Deadie #2, for all the obvious reasons).
And, now, Deadie #3...a No-Brainer (which is an incredible name for a mullet, and I can pretty much guarantee that each and every person who reads this will come across some unfortunate, and highly comedic, someone who will bear the mullet, and the name, No Brainer. And if you do, darling readers, be compassionate, be kind…because No Brainer cannot help it, for whatever reason.)
Deadie #3 goes to Eugene Porter, for being brave, finally, and for coming clean, finally…and of course, to Josh McDermitt, the talented actor, and comic genius, who plays Eugene. I do hope you survived The Big Punchout That Was Coming To You, Eugene, because I think I may just believe in you, after all. If anybody can figure out a way to cure this walker cure epidemic thing by fighting fire with Righteous Mullet Fire, it’s you…especially if the cure is such that can be deployed by gamer-style handsets, or fire hose. You rock at those, Eugene!
Let’s give it up for our man, Dr. Mull, aka Eugene Porter, a man, who, in his own words, is a. “a son of the South, who has successfully negotiated the travails and vagaries of journeys, both real and virtual.”
To Eugene! (if there were a heart icon with a mullet on top, I would totally put it right here.)
They call me Dr. Mull.
I dedicate this playlist, in its entirety, to Abraham Ford, first and foremost, and to the gang. Don’t stop believin’, guys!
Just one more, for the road:
Fire With Fire ❤
Iron Maiden, “The Trooper”
Goat, “Run to Your Mama”
Alice In Chains, “Rotten Apple”
Melvins, “Honey Bucket”
Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin'” (featuring one of my favorite rock mullets of all time, the Steve Perry) ❤