Season 8 of “The Walking Dead” is hurtling toward its halfway mark. Episode 7, “Time for After,” threatens to push Eugene (Josh McDermitt) to the breaking point as he deals with threats both inside The Sanctuary and out. The events at the embattled Savior base will leave Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in a dangerous position. Dive into our recap of “Time for After” below.
Captive – Rick is still a prisoner of The Scavengers. His shipping container-turned-prison is opened he stands before Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) in nothing but his underwear, and again implores her to “join us or you can die.” She ignores him, snapping pictures of his body. What are they for? “Sculpture. After.” Jadis isn’t a mentally sound woman, but at least someone is keeping art alive in the apocalypse.
Eugene’s Loyalty – Eugene nervously debates what to do with his knowledge that Dwight (Austin Amelio) is the mole, and decides to confront the double agent. Eugene promises that if Dwight ceases his aid to Alexandria, he will not inform Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) of the betrayal. But Dwight snarls that The Saviors are finished, and that there will be a place for Eugene after Negan dies, if only he can wait and let the plan play out. Complicating Eugene’s dilemma is a private meeting with Negan, who praises the science nerd as one of his strongest lieutenants and offers him a handshake. “It’s a sign of mutual respect,” says Negan. “Not many people get that from me.”
Science vs Faith – Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) is getting worse, and Dr. Carson doesn’t have the medicine or tools needed to stop his infection. When Eugene finds himself alone with Gabe, the priest begs Eugene to do the right thing, hoping the doctor can be whisked away to the Hilltop. “I’m a small person,” Eugene admits, unconvinced he is capable of being courageous or that God has any grand plan for him. But Gabriel asks him to have faith, “You’ll know what’s right when the time comes.”
Risky Business – Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) aren’t content with letting Rick’s strategy play out. Backed by Morgan (Lennie James) and his team of snipers, they plan on driving the garbage truck through a wall in The Sanctuary to allow the dead to pour inside. Rosita (Christian Serratos), still haunted by her deadly mission with Sasha last season, thinks the tactic is too risky and heads home. Michonne (Danai Gurira) initially stays to be a part of the action, but senses something is not right. “Maybe we need to trust that things are going to keep working,” she tells him. “It’s not worth risking us.” She departs for Alexandria, but there is no stopping Daryl and Tara from launching their attack.
Audio Glider – After discovering the IPod he gave to Sasha discarded inside her coffin, Eugene constructs an “audio glider” by attaching the music player to a remote controlled toy plane. He can pilot the device over the zombies, with the music drawing the horde away from the building. Before he can initiate take off, Dwight appears and holds him at gunpoint. Dwight orders Eugene to stop, but Eugene’s loyalty is now firm. He launches the glider assuming that he will be killed. Dwight can’t bring himself to murder Eugene and instead shoots the glider out of the sky.
Sanctuary Breached – At this same moment, Daryl and Tara launch their attack. Tara and Morgan provide cover fire as Daryl speeds by in the truck. Placing a brick on the gas pedal, he dives out of the driver seat as the truck punches a hole in the side of The Sanctuary. The undead swarm inside, sinking teeth into the nearest humans they can find, many of them Sanctuary workers. The Saviors do their best to hold off the horde, but Regina orders a retreat to the upper levels when they become overwhelmed.
A Small Person – Eugene is seething after witnessing the carnage he tried to prevent. He rages at Gabriel, refusing to ever aide him. “I will survive,” he screams, “It’s in my biological imperative.” He meets with Negan, telling the leader that he can create bullets to battle the walkers as long as he can be escorted to his machines. He is about to top that good news by giving up Dwight, but Dwight and the other lieutenants enter the room before he can speak. With the culprit staring him down, Eugene buckles and instead mentions that he could fix the intercom system.
Gladiator Rick – Rick is again trotted out in his underwear as Jadis emerges with some men, one of them controlling a collared gladiator-esque zombie with a pole that acts as a leash. “Time for after,” she coos as the creature lunges towards Rick. Rick quickly overpowers the men holding him and grabs the pole, flinging the zombie around to take out Jadis’ guards. Rick knocks her to the ground, holding her face close to the walker’s gnashing teeth, and proclaims that he is walking out of here alive. Jadis orders her men to stand down and Rick once more offers an alliance. He argues that The Saviors are surrounded and soon he will kill Negan, giving The Scavengers a quarter of the resources in The Sanctuary. Jadis unsuccessfully tries to include a session with Rick as a nude life model as part of the deal, but ultimately agrees to the terms and heads to The Sanctuary with Rick.
Change of Plans – Unfortunately, Rick had no idea Daryl and Tara would attack Negan in his absence. When Rick arrives at the first lookout point with the Scavengers, he can’t get any of his people on the radio. He climbs up the sniper tower to spot any problems, but as he looks through the sniper scope his face drops in horror. The yard at The Sanctuary is completely empty, the zombies having made their way inside. Something tells me Jadis isn’t going to take kindly to this deviation.