Gene Page/AMC
Josh McDermitt
December 04, 2017 AT 02:12 PM EST

Every week, The Walking Dead’s very own Josh McDermitt, who plays Dr. Eugene Porter, is taking EW behind the scenes of the hit AMC horror series. For each episode, McDermitt will share his thoughts on what went down and what’s coming up, plus walk us through the ins and outs of the show. This week, McDermitt dives into “Time for After.”

Any time you get to see a shirtless Rick, I feel like it can go down as one of the better The Walking Dead episodes. And that’s exactly what went down in Sunday night’s episode, “Time for After,” written by Matthew Negrete and Corey Reed and directed by Larry Teng.

This was my first time working with Larry, and what an awesome guy he is. He has been a fan of TWD for a long time, and this was his first episode directing our show.  He told me he was excited that Rick was in the episode because he had heard so many great things about working with Andrew Lincoln; I think it was that he wanted to make sure he didn’t get shortchanged on his first outing with us.

And he wasn’t shortchanged at all! Rick battled it out with the Garbage Pail Kids, Heapsters, Trash People, etc. in another epic walker fight. I don’t know that there is anyone more fun to watch do a physically intense fight scene than Andrew Lincoln. I told him and Greg Nicotero (resident badass) that IF Eugene were to die, I want to be choked out by Rick. Most actors have a “thing” — a look they can shoot to the camera, and that’s how they make their money throughout their career. For instance, Jack Nicholson flashes his smile and they hand him a giant bag of money. I think Andrew Lincoln’s “thing” is choking people in a scene. It’s so intense you think he’s really trying to choke the guy. And maybe that’s the secret? I don’t know.

But the thing I do know is that he fully commits to any scene we are shooting that involves anything physical. And so we got to see him fight the trash people once again, this time in his underwear, and rip the head off of a walker. That poor walker probably won’t be able to get another job in Hollywood for a while now since Andy literally tore his head off. I hope he has union insurance.

A few last tidbits from Sunday’s show:

-Austin Amelio has wonderful breath.

-Jeffrey Dean Morgan had guacamole on his fingers when Eugene had to kiss Negan’s hand.

-The scene where Eugene yells at Father Gabriel was shot as a series of continuous takes where I would enter the room, yell at Seth Gilliam, then storm out, turn around, and do it all over again.  I lost my voice by the end of that scene.

-There’s a ping-pong table in the Sanctuary marketplace, and Austin Amelio and I have tournaments in between scenes.  He’s really good. Steven Ogg is not. He should never hold a paddle. Norman Reedus is really good. Andrew Lincoln I don’t think is good, but he’s so competitive that he somehow figures out a way to beat you.

Next week is the midseason finale, and I can’t believe how quickly this has flown by. I hope you love it.

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