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What Eugene's Big Moment In The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 19 Means For The Survivors' Futures

Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) makes what could be his final sacrifice in "The Walking Dead" Season 11, Episode 19, "Variant," with the character even receiving a montage of past moments at the start of the episode. After Eugene and Max Mercer (Margot Bingham), previously known as Stephanie, set up Sebastian Milton (Teo Rapp-Olsson) by playing a recording of him explaining how twisted and corrupt the Commonwealth is in front of the townspeople, zombies break in and Sebastian is killed.

Eugene and Max are separated while trying to escape, and Eugene struggles with hiding out and relying on his friends to find Max before Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) does. Max is eventually taken into custody and questioned by her own brother, Michael Mercer (Michael James Shaw), leading Eugene to turn himself in and take sole responsibility. With Sebastian dead, Eugene could very well be giving up his own life in exchange for Max's.

It marked a major moment for Eugene, who has not always been so honorable or brave in the past. Here is what his big moment means for the other survivors on "The Walking Dead."

Mercer needs to choose a side

Mercer is a character we've seen go from the flag-waving hero of the Commonwealth to a man struggling to balance conflicting loyalties. He has previously expressed doubts about the city's leadership to Carol (Melissa McBride), and a relationship has blossomed between the stoic West Point graduate and Juanita "Princess" Sanchez (Paola Lázaro).

Eugene being arrested and possibly facing death is a perfect setup for Mercer's breaking point. He's reached a fork in the road where it's become impossible to be loyal to both Princess and her friends and the Commonwealth at the same time. Mercer has already crossed a line once — when he lets Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) into the Commonwealth, something very unexpected from someone who previously seemed like the city's most loyal citizen.

The two most important people in Mercer's life, Max and Princess, both have strong connections to Eugene. When Princess confronts Mercer in "Variant," he says he's doing everything he can to save Eugene's life, but it's not enough for Princess to believe in him or the city, and she leaves, meaning Mercer is perhaps at the most complex of crossroads out of any character on "The Walking Dead" right now.

Ezekiel is done with the group

Ezekiel Sutton (Khary Payton) has found a surprising home in the Commonwealth. Not only does he receive medical treatment for a tumor that once looked like it could be his eventual doom but also gets the opportunity to work with animals, reconnecting with the person he was before the dead started coming back from the grave hungry. He previously told Carol of his intention to stay in the Commonwealth and promoted changing it from the inside, something his friends aren't as convinced can be done.

In "Variant," Ezekiel shares his feelings about staying in the Commonwealth with Princess, who is shocked to hear he's even considering it when the town's leaders could very well be putting Eugene to death for Sebastian's death at the hands of walkers. However, this new development is not enough to change Ezekiel's mind, a good indicator that he's serious about staying in the Commonwealth, despite its deep flaws.

While Ezekiel's future is still up in the air, since every character with ties to Eugene is now in danger, he is at peace with moving forward on his own, with a new group of people. It's quite a character leap from the man we were introduced to, a "king" with a tiger for a pet.

Yumiko and her brother are in more danger now

Like Ezekiel, Yumiko Okumura (Eleanor Matsuura) has actually flourished in the Commonwealth. She's become a lawyer for Pamela Milton and has been reunited with her brother, Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale). However, Yumiko is also as untrusting of her surroundings as Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol, and other survivors who are gearing up for yet another war.

With Eugene turning himself in, many characters' fates can quickly change, but Yumiko is in the most vulnerable position. She works directly with Pamela Milton, who has already grown suspicious of her, and knows the Commonwealth won't hesitate to punish her brother if she steps out of line. However, she presently stands as Eugene's best hope, considering her background as a lawyer and her position in the Commonwealth. If Eugene is facing a possible death sentence, Yumiko's hand will be forced with Milton if she wants to save her friend.