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Did ‘Walking Dead’ Just Change Everything?

Did 'Walking Dead' Just Change Everything?

Why a new character is kind of a big deal

Two years ago, the showrunner of “The Walking Dead” said the show's writers didn't know what caused the zombie apocalypse — and didn't much care. But now there's a new showrunner, and Sunday's episode suggests he may have another approach.

A new character named Eugene Porter (played by Josh McDermitt) suggests that he knows what created zombies, and how to stop them. That could create an ultimate goal for the show, or even point toward an endgame. It could be a major shift for TV's top-rated drama, which has often felt aimless this season.

Also read: Review: ‘Walking Dead’ Comes Back Strong, Thanks to Robert Kirkman

Or it could all be a big fake.

Glen Mazzara, who led the show for its second and third season, told TheWrap in January 2012 that it didn't really matter, to him, what created walkers. “Internally, we don't know where the zombie outbreak started, how to cure it, anything like that,” he said. “We haven't really discussed it. We're more interested in the continuing storylines.”

Also read: ‘Walking Dead’ Is in ‘Lost’ Mode

But Sunday's episode, the 11th in the show's fourth season, gave us the first real introduction to Porter, a mulleted fellow who claims to be a scientist who has been in touch with other scientists about how to bring the end of the world to an end.

Is new showrunner Scott Gimple planning to solve the mystery of what created walkers?

Also read: ‘Walking Dead’ Writers: We Don't Know What Created Walkers

Not necessarily. As the Newark Star-Ledger's recap suggested, Porter's haircut alone raises questions about his credibility. (Kind-of spoiler warning: Fans of the comics know how the Porter storyline resolves — not that the show will stick to the comics’ approach.)

I'd love it if Eugene truly has the cure to zombie-ism. As I wrote at the midpoint in the season, “The Walking Dead” is starting to resemble “Lost” in the way it keeps splitting up and reuniting its characters, to no apparent end.

The second half of the season has been better as its focused more on character. But a common sense of mission might make us more invested in the show.

  • Eugene Is a Science Teacher

    I just wanted to pop in and say that Eugene isn't actually a scientist, he's actually a science teacher who only claims to be a scientist so people won't kill him. His appearance does not in any way reveal the origin of the zombies.

    • Kim

      The article did a great job avoiding spoilers, but your comment just ruined it. As the writer mentioned, the TV show doesn't always follow the comics, so this may be wrong.

      • Dalton Crook

        Why the heck would you reveal a spoiler like that? Total jerk move

    • Abby

      At least you could have warned readers of your comment that it was a spoiler! Not thinking were you dumb ass!

    • tsol

      Did that feel good? I knew it already but didn't tell my girlfriend on Sunday.

    • Jack

      You ‘just wanted to pop in'? Oh well gee thanks a lot for ‘popping in’ you ASSHOLE. I'm so glad you decided to pop in and TELL ME WHAT FUCKING HAPPENS. In what fucking universe could you ever think that's a good idea? Yeah, people LOVE having important plot points which haven't yet surfaced RUINED FOR THEM. THANKS FOR POPPING IN YOUR FUCKING JERK!

  • Really… mtf

    Wow … what a shitty move!!
    I will like to come back in time just to avoid reading the first comment.
    Such an a**hole… Eugene is n…
    Go get a life and don't spoiled other people's shows.

  • Chuck Griffiths

    Rain man, with a mullet, says he has all the answers–and they believe him???

    Suspension of disbelief in jeopardy….

    • Alana Vitale

      “Rain man, with a mullet”, I laughed out loud Chuck! Love witty humor! Take care!

  • johncoryat

    I'm going with the fake cure. Eugene may think he knows how to stop the plague but whatever he tries is doomed to failure or he'll be killed by a zombie right before he tells anyone.

  • Alana Vitale

    Who here thinks the show is going the way of “Lost”? I think what they do on TWD, helps evolve those characters to a whole new level than they could as a group. GREAT writers & actors & actresses! Separate note, if any of my fav characters die, I think I will have to quit watching. Somethings just wouldn't be right. Any1 else agree?

    ♡Team, Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Carl & Judith, oh! & Machonne! :)

    • Deku-Johnny

      Let's just hope TWD doesn't end the same way.

  • Rich Monk

    First and last time I will ever read this column. I detest spoilers, and I detest the people who ruin shows by “popping in” spoilers, as well as columnists who do the same. Thanks a lot, spoiler jerk.

  • Deku-Johnny

    Just read the comics.

  • Ben

    You know the show follows a comic book right? All the story is right there all ready and you think it's the show writers that make it up?

    • Jack

      They can do whatever they FUCKING want, you JERK. They don't HAVE to follow the plot of the comic book, so if there's stuff in there which is goofy or doesn't work well on screen, they'd better FUCKING CHANGE IT, or they're just lazy PRICKS. Sorry for the swearing and shouting, I'm just so motherpissing MAD that a poster above posted a SPOILER without any warning. AAAAAAAARGH!

      • Dan

        The comics are actually better then the tv show, and the tv show veers enough from them that it doesn't hurt to have read them. It actually makes it better, like I was waiting and excited to see Michonne, the Governor, and Abraham make their debut

  • Icradeus

    Really? So much anger over this? I too love WD, but get real.

  • Marlee

    In the comic book Eugene was a science teacher, Kirkman isn't really going by the comic book to a t, so we don't know what Eugene knows.