Right off the bat (pun intended) in this week’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ we see fat Joey laid out after being killed by Daryl who then fled from the Saviors. Coincidentally and shortly thereafter, Eugene involuntarily moves into the neighborhood which had me wondering if Negan was going to take out his Daryl frustrations on the skittish survivor. There’s no real way of knowing Negan’s plans, after all, because most of them are nothing short of spontaneous.

Josh McDermitt gave an exceptional performance portraying Dr. Eugene Porter in his most entertaining light yet. From the dialect to that hair, Eugene continues to make me smile, something that happens all too rarely in ‘The Walking Dead’.

Next thing you know, Dwight’s getting jumped in his bedroom and Negan’s accusing him of aiding Daryl in his escape. None of this lasts very long and ultimately Negan has a change of heart instead sending Dwight off to find Sherry who also snuck away. Before he leaves to find her, though, Dwight gets patched up by the local doc due to the beating he just endured. As he’s leaving the office he grabs a handful of lollipops from a glass container. Is this a head nod to our beloved Beth who was sadly shot in the face in the final moments of ‘Coda’, the midseason finale of the fifth season? I sure think so.

As Dwight set off to find Sherry, Eugene was learning all about the Saviors compound. Shortly after taking a tour around the facilities, Eugene reluctantly came face to face with his worst nightmare, Negan. Essentially all Negan wanted to know was if Eugene was a ‘smartypants’, so in typical Eugene fashion, he immediately begins to describe his efforts with the human genome project.

Impressed, Negan presents Eugene with an existing problem, walkers disintegrating and piling up on the fence instead of warding off attackers. Without hesitation, Eugene delivers a killer solution. By melting scrap metal and pouring it over the walkers at the base of the fence, not only do they reinforce the fence, but they affix the walkers to it at the same time. Negan was so impressed this time, that he decided to send three of his wives to Eugene’s room later that night. I know what you’re thinking, but sex was strictly prohibited, conversations only!

The wives chummed up to Dr. Smartypants rather quickly and seemed to really enjoy his company. Not a stretch considering their current spouse is a barbed wire wrapped bat wielding maniac. Before you know it, they’re asking Eugene to conjure up a hearty mixture of death syrup which, of course, is for ‘a friend’. Ultimately Eugene realizes that these women only want to kill Negan, so he gracefully declines their request. Dr. Smartypants, you see, ain’t trying to die today. He literally had just watched the local doc get chunked, yes that’s right, chunked, into a roaring furnace by a distraught Negan.

All the while Dwight is discovering that Sherry has left him. When he arrives at their house, he finds a note with her wedding rings. Needless to say, it wasn’t a love note. Sherry blamed herself for all of the things that Dwight has had to do, and for who he’s become. The scene, at least in my opinion, was fantastic. It was a bit slow for sure, but not every scene has to be the lower half of a walker body slipping from its torso. If the comic is any indication, Dwight’s character just got a whole lot more interesting.

Upon returning, Dwight lies to Negan, telling him that he killed Sherry. That she fell into a herd of walkers when he was trying to catch her. Surely this lie is going to come back to haunt him, but for now, Negan’s buying it.

The final shots show Dwight walking up to Eugene who’s standing on a catwalk. The interaction seems to elude to a blossoming relationship between the two, here’s hoping.

‘Say Yes’ to the next episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ airing on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at 8 pm central. You bring the pretzels. I’ll bring the beer. Pickles.