|The Walking Dead character|
Eugene, as portrayed by Josh McDermitt in the television adaptation and the comic book series.
Robert Kirkman |
|Portrayed by||Josh McDermitt|
Dr. Eugene Porter is a fictional character from the comic book series The Walking Dead and is portrayed by Josh McDermitt beginning in the fourth season of the American television series of the same name. In both mediums he claims to be a scientist who knows the cure to the zombie plague and is being escorted to Washington D.C. by Sgt. Abraham Ford and Rosita Espinosa, and encounter Rick Grimes and his group and recruit them to assist their mission. Eugene is overweight, possesses virtually no survival skills of his own and is extremely dependent on the group, but is highly intelligent and resourceful in using technology to ensure the group's survival. Eventually it is revealed that Eugene is not a scientist, but a high school science teacher, and that he doesn't know how to cure the virus but lied to manipulate the other survivors into taking him to Washington D.C. believing it to be the best chance for survival. This proves true as the group eventually finds the Alexandria Safe-Zone where Eugene becomes its primary engineer. Though his lie puts a strain on their friendship, Abraham eventually forgives him and they resume being friends.
In the comics, Eugene is an overweight high school science teacher prior to the apocalypse. Post-apocalypse, he utilizes his intelligence to pretend to be a scientist in order to gain the protection of others.[volume & issue needed] He has no survival skills of his own. His TV counterpart also claimed to be a scientist before revealing his deception. He rarely shows emotion, has a vast knowledge of subjects through reading, is an avid reader and speaks in a pedantic, clinical fashion. He sports a mullet, which he is proud of. He is somewhat of a voyeur, who enjoys watching others play. Eugene is an atheist.
Comic book series
Eugene first appears at Hershel's farm, which is now occupied by the remaining prison survivors.[volume & issue needed] Eugene claims to know what has caused the plague, but will not disclose any information with the remaining survivors, including Abraham and Rosita. He says he will only share information with officials in Washington, D.C.[volume & issue needed] His lie, along with a belief that Washington is the only safezone, prompts the rest of the survivors to head there in hopes of long-term survival.[volume & issue needed]
During the journey, Eugene studies various zombies in order to gain knowledge about them, but is careful to shadow the convoy to protect himself.[volume & issue needed]
Eugene's deception is discovered after the Hunter ordeal.[volume & issue needed] Everyone learns of his true career as a science teacher, and that he is using the radio as an excuse to get to Washington, D.C.[volume & issue needed] He is hated by the group after this but remains a member, travelling with them to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, where he lives alone.[volume & issue needed] After Rosita and Abraham break up, she moves in with Eugene, where he tries to create a relationship between them.[volume & issue needed] Eugene eventually realizes he can begin to manufacture bullets in a repair shop nearby, where Abraham is killed when they scout it out only moments after they make amends.[volume & issue needed] During the war with Negan, the shop is overrun by walkers and Eugene with his crew are captured by Negan.[volume & issue needed] They are tortured for information but eventually escape with the help of Dwight, taking a van with a mix of Alexandrians and defecting Saviours back.[volume & issue needed]
After the two year time jump, Eugene and Rosita have a strained relationship.[volume & issue needed] He works on many projects in the zone and is now a respected member of the community.[volume & issue needed] It turns out Rosita is pregnant by another man but Eugene vows to raise the child like his own.[volume & issue needed]
In the episode "Inmates", Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene meet survivors Tara and an unconscious Glenn on the road as they escape the ruins of the destroyed prison. In the episode "Claimed", Abraham reveals to Glenn and Tara that Eugene is a scientist with classified information of the pandemic and the means to end it. Eugene has told his companions that he had been in contact with government officials located in Washington, D.C. and requires them to escort him there. In the episode "Us", Eugene convinces Abraham to go to Terminus after Glenn reunites with Maggie, Sasha, and Bob, citing that they would gain new recruits and supplies. In the season finale "A", when Rick, his son Carl, and Michonne and Daryl are locked up a shipping container by the residents of Terminus, it is revealed that Eugene and the rest have all been captured and are being held there as well.
In the season premiere "No Sanctuary", the group escapes from Terminus. In the episode "Strangers", Eugene accompanies them to Father Gabriel's church. In the episode "Four Walls and a Roof", they have the final confrontation with the survivors of Terminus. The next day, Tara, Glenn and Maggie depart with Abraham, Rosita and Eugene in a bus, heading for Washington, D.C. In the episode "Self Help", when the bus crashes, the group decide to continue north. While camped in a library, Eugene reveals to Tara that he purposefully sabotaged the bus, fearing his abandonment if he does not succeed in abolishing the epidemic. The following morning, the group continue traveling in a fire truck, but are eventually forced to stop after spotting hordes of walkers. During an argument about how they should proceed, Eugene reveals that he lied about his knowledge of a cure and fabricated the mission in order to convince others to help him stay alive. Abraham beats him unconscious. In the episode "Crossed", Eugene is unconscious as a result of Abraham's beating. At one point, Maggie uses a ladder and a blanket to shield Eugene from the sun.
In the episode "Them", Eugene is with the group on their long trek. When 'a friend' leaves them water and the others do not want to risk it being poison, Eugene tries to drink some but Abraham swats it away. He later helps keep the barn doors closed when walkers attack. In the episode "The Distance", Eugene watches as the group deal with Aaron, then goes out to guard the perimeter. He rides the RV on both legs of the journey to Alexandria, playing cards on the table. In the episode "Remember", Eugene enters Alexandria with the rest of his group. He can be seen residing in the house with everyone during the first few nights of their stay in Alexandria. In the episode "Spend", Glenn, Noah, Tara, Eugene, Aiden, and Nicholas head to a warehouse to scavenge parts to repair Alexandria's solar power system. Eugene is reluctant to go, but he is needed to identify the parts they need. As the group enters, they encounter a zombified soldier wearing body armor and grenades and Aiden shoots it, causing an explosion. Tara is critically wounded, and walkers enter the warehouse. Eugene carries Tara out of the warehouse. Eugene arrives in the van and lures the walkers on the outside away. Nicholas goes to the van and tells Eugene they must leave immediately. When Eugene refuses, Nicholas pulls him out of the van and tries to leave without him. Glenn arrives and knocks Nicholas out. In the season finale "Conquer", Abraham visits Tara and talks with Eugene. Eugene credits Abraham for getting them to Alexandria, and apologizes for lying to him about Washington, D.C.; Abraham also apologizes for nearly beating Eugene to death.
In the season premiere, "First Time Again", Eugene is in the food pantry gathering food for himself when he overhears one Alexandrian, Carter, trying to convince Deanna's son Spencer, Tobin, Francine, and Olivia to help kill Rick and take back Alexandria from Rick as he believes they are becoming dangerous and power-hungry. Eugene drops a glass jar which alerts Carter of his presence. Carter approaches Eugene and says that he heard the plan before aiming his gun at Eugene. Eugene states that he didn't hear anything. He is almost killed by Carter, but is saved as Rick, Michonne, and newcomer Morgan Jones walk in on them and disarm Carter. In "JSS", Eugene meets Dr. Denise Cloyd, who is the new doctor after Pete's death. In "Heads Up", Eugene is seen attending Rosita's lesson on how to use a machete, but seems very distracted by the noise of the walkers outside. He admits that he's scared of dying; Rosita tells him that dying is easy and that watching friends die is much harder to bear. In the mid-season finale, "Start to Finish", Eugene is rescued by Tara and Rosita from the herd of walkers, seconds after hearing Daryl on the radio and letting out a cry of help. The three seek refuge and get trapped in a nearby garage. Later, Eugene uses his lock-picking skills to escape the room. They stumble into the same room where Owen is holding Denise captive, with Carol and Morgan unconscious on the floor. He forces them to surrender their weapons and Eugene watches as the Wolf leaves the house, taking Denise with him. In the mid-season premiere "No Way Out", Eugene helps kill the remaining herd, showing his growing acts of bravery.
In the episode "Twice as Far", Eugene now goes on patrols with Abraham. He calls himself a survivor now. Eugene is furious after Abraham does not allow him to kill a walker and tells Abraham he no longer needs his protection and has outlived his usefulness to him. Abraham leaves and tells Eugene to find his own way home. After Denise is killed by Dwight, it is revealed that he and his men have captured Eugene. Dwight demands that he, Daryl and Rosita take them back to Alexandria and if they do not oblige, he will kill them. Eugene spots Abraham hiding behind oil barrels nearby and insists that they should kill him first. Dwight orders one of his men to investigate, and while he is distracted Eugene turns and bites his crotch. Abraham uses the distraction to shoot two Saviors, and Daryl and Rosita are able to retrieve their guns. Dwight manages to break free from Eugene, who is hit during the shootout. As Dwight and the remaining Saviors flee, Abraham, Rosita and Daryl carry Eugene back to Alexandria. Abraham reconciles with Eugene at home. In the season finale "Last Day on Earth", Eugene accompanies a small group to bring an ill Maggie to the Hilltop. The Saviors trap the group and Negan kills one of them after a twisted variation of the game, Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
In the season premiere "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", Eugene witnessed Abraham die after Negan picked him to be beaten with Lucille. Because Daryl attacked Negan as he was intimidating Rosita, Negan also killed Glenn without mercy. Eugene later picked up Abraham's remains with Sasha and Rosita, after Negan and the Saviors left. In the episode "Sing Me a Song", Eugene makes a bullet from a used casing, after Rosita berates him for being a coward. In the mid-season finale "Hearts Still Beating", when Negan and his people visit the Alexandria Safe-Zone while Rick and several others are not there due to heading off to either gather supplies or seek revenge, Negan kills Spencer after he tried to convince Negan to have Rick killed and him promoted as the community's leader, due to Spencer blaming Rick for why his family ended up dead. Rosita tries to shoot Negan after he guts Spencer with a knife, but fails by making her only bullet damage Negan's bat "Lucille" instead. Enraged, Negan demands to know how Rosita got a hold of the bullet due to the guns being taken away by the Saviors during their previous visit. Eugene knows Negan will kill more people, after witnessing Arat (a female Savior) murder Olivia. Eugene admits he was the one who made the bullet, so Negan has his people take him away since he would be capable of making more bullets. "Hostiles and Calamities" show Eugene brought to the Sanctuary. After impressing Negan with claims of being a scientist and giving him advice to preserve his walkers, Negan takes a liking to Eugene due to his intellect and his ability to make things. This results in Eugene being given authority in The Sanctuary and he seemingly submits to Negan's will (no doubt enjoying the comforts and respect he receives). Interrupting Negan when he asks "who are you?", by declaring "I am Negan," Eugene joins the Saviors and seemingly has Negan's trust. In "Something They Need", Sasha and Rosita try to rescue Eugene during their attempt to kill Negan, but he refuses to leave. In "Something They Need", Sasha is shown to have been caught and she is visited by Eugene. He attempts to explain why she should join Negan as this way they'll never have to experience the same fear as when Abraham died. Sasha refuses and later asks Eugene to bring her a means to which she plans to use against Negan. Eugene, thinking that she truly wants, slips a poison pill in a bag under her cell door. In the finalie "The First Day of the Rest of Your Lives," Eugene takes part in the assault on Alexandria, but provides Sasha with a music player to help her pass the time. Eugene is shocked to discover that Sasha has died and reanimated as a walker. He later lies about how Sasha died to Negan.
Eugene appears as one of Negan's lieutenants in "Mercy," but is essentially ignored by Rick beyond a brief acknowledgment when Rick tries to negotiate with the lieutenants. Along with the rest of the Saviors, he is trapped in the Sanctuary by the herd the Militia lures there.
In "The Big Scary U," Eugene acts as part of the council trying to decide how to deal with the siege. Eugene disagrees with Simon's amoral plans for escape, backed up by Dwight. As a result, Eugene thanks Dwight for his help privately. Eugene later realizes that Dwight is the traitor in the Sanctuary helping Rick's group. After Gabriel is brought in as a prisoner, Eugene attempts to bring him food and discovers that Gabriel is deathly ill. Gabriel asks for Eugene's help in rescuing Doctor Harlan Carson from the Sanctuary so that Doctor Carson can aid Maggie in her pregnancy.
In "Time for After," Eugene confronts Dwight about his betrayal. Though Dwight admits to it, he insists that all Eugene needs to do is let things play out as Rick only wishes Negan dead and is trying to force everyone else to surrender. Eugene is shown to have conflicted loyalties, drinking heavily and contemplating the seriously ill Gabriel's request to help rescue Doctor Carson. Eugene eventually comes up with a plan to lure the walkers away using the music player he gave Sasha, but is foiled by Dwight. Shortly afterwards, Daryl and Tara crash a garbage truck into the Sanctuary flooding it with walkers. Eugene refuses to help Gabriel, stating that he is now out only for himself. Eugene presents a plan to defeat the herd to Negan, but stops short of exposing Dwight's treachery.
In "How It's Gotta Be," its revealed that Eugene successfully found a way to clear the Sanctuary of walkers, allowing the Saviors to retaliate against Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom. Eugene continues to struggle with his conscience, resulting in Eugene drinking heavily and not sleeping. Finally, Eugene decides to help Gabriel and Doctor Carson escape despite the likelihood that it will result in Gabriel's death due to his condition. Eugene discreetly disables one of the gate guards and leaves a vehicle for Gabriel and Doctor Carson to use that he "accidentally" drops the keys to before leaving the two. Though Gabriel requests that Eugene return with them where he will be welcomed back, Eugene refuses.
The Eugene character was announced in a casting call for Episode 10 back in July, under code-name "Wayne Kasey". The character's real name and the actor who would play the role (McDermitt) were confirmed during the show's panel at New York Comic Con 2013. The Hollywood Reporter and other media publicized the confirmation afterwards.
- Goldberg, Lesley (12 October 2013). "'Walking Dead' Casts Two Pivotal Comic Book Characters". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- DarkUFO (22 July 2013). "The Walking Dead - Episode 4.10 - 3 Recurring Roles being cast". SpoilerTV. Retrieved 1 April 2015.