Eugene looks like he’s in a pickle. It’s a good thing he likes those.
In fact, Eugene is so into pickles that he may have totally missed a subtle but brilliant joke “The Walking Dead” pulled off on Sunday.
At the end of the episode, after Eugene pledges himself to Negan, he apologizes to Dwight for previously biting him in the crotch. It seems like a nice gesture. The only problem is some fans noticed Eugene may have been trolling Dwight at the same time, munching down on a pickle while talking about biting him.
McDermitt confirms that moment was intentional.
“Eugene’s a fan of pickles, but for the rest of us, we understood the symbolism there. It was not lost on us,” Eugene actor Josh McDermitt told The Huffington Post.
McDermitt continued, “We had a fun time shooting that scene because there’s such awkwardness when Eugene interacts with people he doesn’t know. When he interacts with Rosita, she rolls her eyes at him at times, or Tara, because they know him. They get him, but to see someone like Negan or Dwight have to interact with this guy and go, ‘OK, I can’t figure this dude out,’ especially when Eugene’s apologizing for biting him and he’s munching on a pickle.”
The pickle moment and how Eugene continues talking to Dwight made some question Eugene’s actions. Was he purposely trolling Dwight? Was he trying to feel out if Dwight was actually loyal to Negan?
McDermitt said Eugene’s intentions weren’t so complicated.
“The last time Eugene and Dwight were interacting, Eugene was biting him in the dick. He wants him to know we’re on the same team now. Let’s let bygones be bygones and ‘I’m Negan.’”
Even more questions came up about the pickles. Some fans complained that they looked too green to be pickles and were un-pickled cucumbers.
McDermitt addressed that concern.
“This is a world where the pickles are not fully pickled yet,” he said.
The actor lamented the burden of carrying around the pickle jar and said they were “divas” to work with.
“[The pickles] didn’t show up to work on time. They were constantly going back to their trailer and calling their agents,” said the actor.
Though McDermitt reiterated that even he doesn’t know Eugene’s true intentions (if he’s really one of Negan’s followers or not), he says that doesn’t stop his castmates from trying to get it out of him.
“Andrew Lincoln and I golf a lot together, and just about every hole he’s like, ‘So what is Eugene’s story here? What is he doing?’ He’s always wanting to talk about it. And it’s like, ‘Man, I don’t know. Just leave me alone.’”
McDermitt should be prepared for more questions. The topic will likely come up when the cast goes to PaleyFest on March 17.
Despite that possibility, McDermitt looks forward to the event.
“I’m a huge fan and try to go every year and check out the panels. I’ve gone and seen ‘Parks and Rec’ and ‘Modern Family.’ It’s always awesome to go and see that and support the Paley Center. Back before I lived in LA, I’d go in there and spend the day looking at old achieved TV shows. Stuff you can’t find on the internet. It’s an amazing resource,” said McDermitt.
As far as Eugene’s story the rest of the way, the actor said his decisions will have a “ripple effect.”
“He’s changing. He’s adapting in order to be the survivor that he is,” said McDermitt.
At least he’s not going to be hungry.