Hypothetically Speaking: Eugene's Death?

Hidden in all this dust lies the hypothesis of many AIO fans. What do you feel is sure to happen, and what should stay buried? Chris says keep listening, we say speculate.
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Bren
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Hypothetically Speaking: Eugene's Death?

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With the recent passing of Will Ryan, the Odyssey team has some big decisions to make. IF they were to kill the character, how would you do it? I think there could be some great scenes of Whit & others saying goodbye. It would also be interesting to see Katrina have to continue on with Buck. They pulled off Life Expectancy without Maggie Malooly.

Thoughts?
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Monica Stone
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That would be a really poignant and honest way to deal with the character of Eugene in light of Will Ryan's tragic passing. However I do not think the team will opt for this route. I think what's most likely is a hastily explained "Eugene and Katrina went to Africa with Leonard & Everett for an extended visit/missions trip and Buck is staying with the Calhouns for now" type explanation. It's what I can most likely see happening, but it doesn't make too much sense if Eugene and Katrina would be off the show for potentially years. Unless the plan would be to do that, finish all the story/character arcs going on now, and end the show. They aren't going to get rid of Buck's character easily; he's a fan favorite character and there are still many stories left to tell with him.

They aren't going to recast Eugene...that would be an abomination. They tried before for that voicemail at the end of Novacom but realized that it wasn't even an option; Will Ryan makes the character.

Going forward, if the show wants longevity for more than a few years (keeping Buck as a regular), to me it would only make sense to have a Life Expectancy type episode to honor the life of Eugene and explain he died for some reason "off air". But that would be probably the hardest thing the Odyssey team could ever possibly throw at the audience. Even though I'm not in the target demographic, but such an episode would break my heart in a way I didn't think a show ever could and I don't think I could bear to hear it more than once. Eugene is my favorite character.
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PennyBassett
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It's such a hard thing to think about because honestly, I feel like they should kill off the character. I and a lot of other fans hated the way they said goodbye to Tom as a character. It felt so procrastinated and then rushed. It's not fair to a fanbase to leave them with those uncertain explanations of a character's sudden absence. So however they chose to let the character go, it should be clear and dignified. I think Will deserves that and so do we. The main problem with not killing off a character after their actor's death is that it's really unsatisfying for the fanbase. There are honestly some stunning storylines that could come out of a sudden main character death. Yes, Katrina would have to cope, Buck would have to cope, everyone would have to learn how to exist without this piece of their family, but that's the point. Arguably, the actors deserve that storyline. This can't be like when Hal Smith died. Monica is right there's no replacing Will. Let's think about it for a minute. Because I have a little, and I've got a few ideas. Eugene dies suddenly from cancer. It does happen, and I believe that was the cause of Will Ryan's death. I think they could take voice clips from Will and fit in a brief goodbye before moving onto the characters' grief. That's the other thing. This can't really be about Eugene. We have to rely on our other favorite characters now, so seeing the characters forced to rely on each other will be a much more comforting storyline than a lazy dismissal of a forever fan favorite. Another idea is that Eugene dies suddenly, and very soon after Katrina finds out she's pregnant. Then, if they wanted to remove Katrina and Buck for a little bit, they could have them move in with Katrina's mother for a few months (albums). Eugene's death could prompt Buck to become a Christian. I don't like the idea of emotional manipulation or a fear-based committal to faith, but I trust the Odyssey team could make it a believable storyline at least. This one is a little out there, but another idea I actually had a couple of years ago was that Eugene wants to go into the imagination station for the last days of his life. Because the imagination station operates on a different timeline, it would give him the opportunity to dedicate his final days to research, just inside the machine. Like I said, it's a little out there, but I wouldn't put it past AIO.
However they let him go, I hope it's respectful and satisfying to their audience. I would really hate a rushed explanation. And Katrina and Buck are fan favorites that should be kept around. Is that right? I feel like the Odyssey team thinks people don't like Katrina? But she's one of the best characters on the show and deserves more storylines.
"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse
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As I think about this, something keeps coming back to me, Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. it's said that there would be no Mickey without Walt Disney. Walt bought Mickey to life and shaped his him, pointing out mistakes and things that wouldn't be true to the character. the same thing can be said of Hal Simth and Whit, when Hal died, Paul said you could never replace him and didn't try, he simply played Whit based on his character, rather than Hal. the same can be said of Will and Eugene if the AIO team can find the right person, then I don't believe it's impossible for Eugene to continue. (Katrina also had a change when Pamala left, and that didn't seem right, but Audrey worked out great.)
As Will once said (as Eugene) "Change can help you change, and that can be a good thing." in the end though, everything is in God's hands, and while I'll never forget Will's voice, I'm also a little excited to see what joy God brings out of all this sadness.

In terms of the very last nuclear option of Eugene actually being killed off, here's a few that could work:
1, Eugene dies protecting Katrina or maybe Connie. not because it's 'cliche' but because it would be a good 'full circle' moment for him. we got a hint of this in 'the long end', so it could work.
2. the Chairman DOES actually return, forcing Eugene to face his past, where he ends up making a decision that stops the chairman, but at the cost of his life.
3, Eugene dies extremely suddenly and Katrina, Connie (and Buck) try to figure out how to cope (such as the listeners are).
Tarol
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I really appreciate all the comments here. My biggest hesitancy is we've already had a huge death in Life Expantancy. It was three hard, difficult, and powerful episodes. I really can't imagine doing this to Connie again, especially so soon after her Mom and Tom died. Yes, I know in real life tragic deaths aren't magically separated by a few years...but still, I feel like all the mentions of character development from death has already happened in Life Expantancy. But maybe that's just me because album 57 feels recent to me haha.
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