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The Eugene Scene In The Walking Dead That's Sadder Than You Think

Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) is certainly one of the more unique characters on AMC's "The Walking Dead." First introduced in Season 4 alongside Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), Eugene originally describes himself as a scientist with the ability to end the apocalypse via a simple trip to the nation's capital. Armed with a strong vocabulary and a unique tone about his voice, it's fairly easy to see how Eugene manages to fool the two for so long. 

Of course, longtime "Walking Dead" fans will surely remember that Eugene's tales of grandeur are revealed as an elaborate ruse in Season 5, devastating his relationship with his only set of friends. Eugene is eventually able to patch things up with Abraham and Rosita, but the entire incident is a major showcase for Eugene's lack of genuine comfort in social situations. Notably, Eugene is also shown to have little to no experience in romantic relationships. 

However, this all changes in Season 11 when Eugene begins dating a woman from the Commonwealth named Stephanie (Chelle Ramos). Though he truly believes that he has finally found a partner for the apocalypse, the relationship is eventually proven to be something else entirely. Many urge Eugene to move on from Stephanie, but he insists on pushing forward in his search for her, resulting in one of the saddest scenes in the entire series.

Eugene has never been more hurt

Eugene's investigation into Stephanie's abrupt disappearance quickly makes him appear to others like a crazed stalker. Despite all indications, Eugene continues his search for Stephanie right up until a bitter truth is revealed. "Stephanie" was a honeypot from the very beginning and her relationship with Eugene has been fake the entire time. 

During a recent post-episode interview with Entertainment Weekly Executive Editor Dalton Ross, "The Walking Dead" showrunner Angela Kang talked about how this major reveal developed during the production process. "Josh McDermitt is just the fieriest we've ever seen him," Kang said, referring to the scene in which Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) admits the ruse. "We left that to him and Cudlitz to figure out how big to tone it. And I really loved how he played it."

Kang further described her surprise at "how big" McDermitt played the scene. Though Eugene has certainly found himself in emotionally vulnerable positions before, this scene goes beyond anything we've ever seen. "It was really cool to see him just lose his s— like that in anger," Kang said (via EW). "Because I think that Eugene, if anything, he can go to tears and he can go to fear, but we really haven't seen him in that kind of a rage before."

Kang also added that the exact source of Eugene's fiery response comes from the fact that his literal worst nightmare has been proven true. Kang said, "I think a lot of times on the show, horror is sometimes zombies and sometimes horror is what is your worst nightmare psychologically?" In a show already set in a zombie walker apocalypse, what could possibly be scarier than that? 

New episodes of "The Walking Dead" air on AMC on Sunday nights at 9/8c (via AMC). Check out AMC+ for early access to each episode.