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Thread: TWD 8x01 "Mercy" episode discussion... **SPOILERS*

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    TWD 8x01 "Mercy" episode discussion... **SPOILERS*

    Please keep all talk of episode 8x01 "Mercy" specifically inside this thread.

    If you have a theory for a following episode, please use the "spoiler tags" (visit the HPOTD FAQ to find out how to use them if you don't already know).

    Similarly, if you're going to discuss plot points from the comic book, please use "spoiler tags" - not everyone is up-to-date on them, and some people don't read them at all.

    Enjoy!



    Directed by: Greg Nicotero
    Written by: Scott M. Gimple

    TWD is back - and it's time for All Out War!

    Last edited by MinionZombie; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:53 AM.

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    Only 1 person has to die and............they shot out a bunch of windows!!!!!! Classic.

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    **Spoiler Alert!** "Mercy" Episode Review / U.S. Air-date 22 October 2017

    “Mercy” Episode: / *SPOILER WARNING!*
    U.S. Air-date: 22 October 2017:

    Season 8 opens with The King, Maggie and Rick giving the Scooby Gang a pep talk while Dwight receives a love letter via air-mail from Daryl. Later, Daryl, Morgan and Carol sit around and wait for a walker horde while Tara doesn't share some red twizzlers. (How rude! LOL!) This episode is sweet and they waste no time in wading right into the war with some already preconceived plan (...that they must have inspirationally hashed out during their long hiatus!)

    Michonne, Judith, Rosita (Who seems to still be on the mend.) and presumably Coral stay behind to help keep the home fires burning. ...and easy-peesy-lemon-squeezy, nearly the whole damn team rolls off in their vehicles, lovingly provided by Mad Max & Tina Turner! But before Maggie can return to the Hilltop to aid and help defend the people that have stayed there, she hangs back with team Rick and they all roll up to Negan's front door!

    Negan informs Rick that he has a larger member and that he is fully prepared and ready to prove just that very thing, but Rick ain't takin' the bait! Suddenly, Negan whips out Gregory instead, like he's got some kind of ace in the hole! But no one seems impressed or is intimidated, and Simon is forced to dismiss Gregory on grounds. Later, the Carol / Daryl team attack Negan hard, but in the end, Rick and a wounded Negan are denied what looks like could have been their final battle! Meanwhile, Father Gabriel's fate now seems in question as he gets left behind when his ride gets jacked by Gregory!

    ...and that's all she wrote!

    Please view and comment on my living-dead tribute, “The Walker”!
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EIsv6QmEHk

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    Weak episode. Tons of gun shots and explosions but very little happened. I wish they would just tell the damn story in the order it is supposed to happen instead of flash backs, flash forwards, thoughts, dreams etc. Also, it seemed like there were more commercials than ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by facestabber View Post
    Only 1 person has to die and............they shot out a bunch of windows!!!!!! Classic.
    Sounds very unrealistic. They know very well who is it they are facing against. These are not easily intimidated boy scouts but rough cold-blooded thugs who don't hesitate to murder people just to get what they want. IMHO, they wasted a golden opportunity to kill Negan and his main henchmen (all of them neatly assembled within range of their guns), and thus have a very good chance of defeating the Saviors before any real fight had even begun.

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    I really enjoyed that.

    I suppose being the "100th Episode" a lot of people were expecting some big single moment (like the 100th issue of the comic book had), but kind of like what Rick & Gabriel were saying in the episode ("it's not about me"), the 100th episode wasn't about it being the 100th, but rather it was about being the opening of the new season.

    Plus, if you did have a major death, you'd have to spend a good amount of screentime justifying it - which all takes away from the initial pacing of the beginning of All Out War - and, furthermore, it wouldn't make an awful lot of sense in terms of the overall structure of the story being told. It just wouldn't fit in at this point.

    In terms of the Negan/Rick cover/fire moment I think it worked just fine. Rick was clearly trying to nail the guy, but couldn't get a clean shot - then Negan found a good bit of armour to hide behind from the RV (which was needed anyway to be a battering ram). So there was a clear reason why Rick couldn't shoot Negan (so the moment worked far better than Carl failing to shoot Negan in Season 7).

    Good pacing over all. Things gradually escalated and the 'draw the walkers' sequence went faster than I was expecting. Notice the callbacks to the first episode - Carl at the gas station, and the final shot of the episode resembling the tank getting surrounded.

    I enjoyed the flash forwards/dreams of a possible future that Rick was having. I would hope that it is what's in store for us down the line after All Out War has been fought. The clips of Rick with red-rimmed eyes in a less-than-calm state give me pause (are they going in a different direction, is he hurt, what's going on etc) ... but I liked having these glimpses to peel back the layers on rather than simply having a linear story going A,B,C,1,2,3. It's a more interesting way to frame the various strands of plot. I hope to see more of having 'smaller pieces' doled out across multiple episodes rather than, as we've had too much of in previous seasons (to varying effect), an episode dedicated solely to one plot strand, then another for a different strand, then another, and so on as that broke things up way too much. You look at a show like Game of Thrones where you get pieces of most of the main plotlines put into every episode, so there's always this consistent sense of pace - each episode you get a little bit more of various journeys, you know? I hope that TWD will, as Gimple has promised, continue with a new way of structuring its storytelling and only using stand alone episodes very sparingly.

    I see IGN were slagging it off as ... *sigh ... "All Out Bore", but IGN's reviews of non-videogame media are patchy at best and the clickbait was strong with that one. "Not enough happened, waaaaah" - really? Explosions, gun fire, a zombie herd, an ultimatum, Gregory being a weasily shitbag, glimpses of a possible future post-war TWD world, and more - plenty going on, if you ask me, and clearly the first part in an on-going battle that will rage for several episodes.

    It was better for them to not be beholden to the "100th episode" gimmick (more of a marketing ploy pushed by broadcasters) and focus on the story that is actually being told.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    In terms of the Negan/Rick cover/fire moment I think it worked just fine. Rick was clearly trying to nail the guy, but couldn't get a clean shot - then Negan found a good bit of armour to hide behind from the RV (which was needed anyway to be a battering ram). So there was a clear reason why Rick couldn't shoot Negan (so the moment worked far better than Carl failing to shoot Negan in Season 7).
    That's hardly what happened. Negan and all his main henchmen were easy sitting pigeons, standing there in that platform in plain sight of everyone assembled there with their guns aiming at them. All it would take is several of them opening fire in their direction and basically none of them would have escaped alive or unharmed. Plus the alliance also has sharpshooters, they could have easily shot them down at a greater distance using sniper rifles, and they would never see it coming. The sequence was highly unrealistic. As much as these guys hate Negan, it looks like they are not putting a real effort into eliminating him fast, which is what anyone with any common sense would attempt to do before he has a chance to prepare a massive counteroffensive. Cut off the head of the snake first if you want to kill it without it having a chance to strike back at you.

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    It would be just as unlikely in real life that Negan et al. would just walk out there and be targets. Certainly done for dramatics not reality. A real person would communicate from cover or had his 100 soldiers just start blazing Rick's group so in real life none of them would have been killed anyhow.
    Last edited by kpletz; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:22 PM. Reason: Misspelling

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    BTW, at the end of the episode there is a dedication to the late George Romero. Even though it is easy to understand why they did this, it is ironic since Romero was openly critical of the show, dismissing it as "a soap opera with zombies". In reality, though, this show is way better in all aspects than any of Romero's later zombie efforts. As far as I am concerned, the "zombie torch" was passed to Nicotero after Day of the Dead. Romero could never again come up with a truly satisfactory zombie project after that.

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    Piss poor episode especially for a premiere. If you can't write a show without rehashing old scenes then you're doomed.
    The body is the instrument on which imagination plays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidgloves View Post
    Piss poor episode especially for a premiere. If you can't write a show without rehashing old scenes then you're doomed.
    Also, for such a hyped 100th episode (AMC had been promoting it like crazy all this month), it should have been longer, like a two-hour special episode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    That's hardly what happened. Negan and all his main henchmen were easy sitting pigeons, standing there in that platform in plain sight of everyone assembled there with their guns aiming at them. All it would take is several of them opening fire in their direction and basically none of them would have escaped alive or unharmed. Plus the alliance also has sharpshooters, they could have easily shot them down at a greater distance using sniper rifles, and they would never see it coming. The sequence was highly unrealistic. As much as these guys hate Negan, it looks like they are not putting a real effort into eliminating him fast, which is what anyone with any common sense would attempt to do before he has a chance to prepare a massive counteroffensive. Cut off the head of the snake first if you want to kill it without it having a chance to strike back at you.
    Rick, being a former law enforcer, would be trained to try and de-escalate a situation before firing. He's also not got the same mentality as Negan - Negan's the sort of dude who'll smash someone's brains in with a baseball bat. Rick, on the other hand and for the most part, would rather give someone a fair shake to begin with - but if they try and screw him over, he'll go hell for leather to take them down. It was exemplified in the gas station scene - he fired three warning shots to scare off the dude. His justification was clear - the dude might be a Saviour, but he has no intel on that whatsoever, so the guy could be entirely innocent (and therefore it wouldn't be fair to kill someone just trying to survive like anyone else).

    So - rather than charge into a confrontation/gun battle, he offers them the option to surrender and pack it in. Naturally, they weren't going to take that deal, but it's fair on Rick's part. They also don't know what the Saviour's numbers are like in full. They know far more now than they did in Season 6 when they attacked that outpost (that has since been surrounded by walker-defended fencing), but they don't know the full picture. Negan likely does have a large army of people backing him. The alliance between the three communities is new and there's an element of reluctance or weakness - Ezekiel had to be dragged into it (but is now committed), while the Hilltop leadership is all up in the air (Gregory vs Maggie).

    Yes, he could have tried to shoot down Negan right there (but who knows how many gunners might have been in those windows - and giving the chance of surrender shows a level of reason and fairness on Rick's part). However, the main problem for Rick is the danger of a power vacuum. Sure, you could take down Negan, perhaps Simon as well, but then what? There's a whole army of people waiting for leadership and you could end up with an utter savage in charge. Besides, one of Negan's lieutenants (the more reasonable one to camera right) was up for taking a moment to cool things off - so right there Rick has a chance at winning over some of the Saviours in due course. The Saviours are Rick & Co's very own rogue state guided by a tyrant that they have to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    BTW, at the end of the episode there is a dedication to the late George Romero. Even though it is easy to understand why they did this, it is ironic since Romero was openly critical of the show, dismissing it as "a soap opera with zombies". In reality, though, this show is way better in all aspects than any of Romero's later zombie efforts. As far as I am concerned, the "zombie torch" was passed to Nicotero after Day of the Dead. Romero could never again come up with a truly satisfactory zombie project after that.
    I'd argue that Land of the Dead sits quite well next to the original three flicks to form a four-piece quite comfortably. It's the weakest of the four, but I think that film is going to age quite well in general. It's certainly not without faults, but it's a solid flick all-round. Diary and Survival are in a different league entirely, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Also, for such a hyped 100th episode (AMC had been promoting it like crazy all this month), it should have been longer, like a two-hour special episode.
    Well that's AMC's fault, not the showmakers', and getting too hyped up is as much the fault of the viewer as it is the advertiser. We should all be well versed in that dynamic by now.

    ...

    TWD 8x01 Memes:
     








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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    Rick, being a former law enforcer, would be trained to try and de-escalate a situation before firing. He's also not got the same mentality as Negan - Negan's the sort of dude who'll smash someone's brains in with a baseball bat. Rick, on the other hand and for the most part, would rather give someone a fair shake to begin with - but if they try and screw him over, he'll go hell for leather to take them down. It was exemplified in the gas station scene - he fired three warning shots to scare off the dude. His justification was clear - the dude might be a Saviour, but he has no intel on that whatsoever, so the guy could be entirely innocent (and therefore it wouldn't be fair to kill someone just trying to survive like anyone else).

    So - rather than charge into a confrontation/gun battle, he offers them the option to surrender and pack it in. Naturally, they weren't going to take that deal, but it's fair on Rick's part. They also don't know what the Saviour's numbers are like in full. They know far more now than they did in Season 6 when they attacked that outpost (that has since been surrounded by walker-defended fencing), but they don't know the full picture. Negan likely does have a large army of people backing him. The alliance between the three communities is new and there's an element of reluctance or weakness - Ezekiel had to be dragged into it (but is now committed), while the Hilltop leadership is all up in the air (Gregory vs Maggie).

    Yes, he could have tried to shoot down Negan right there (but who knows how many gunners might have been in those windows - and giving the chance of surrender shows a level of reason and fairness on Rick's part). However, the main problem for Rick is the danger of a power vacuum. Sure, you could take down Negan, perhaps Simon as well, but then what? There's a whole army of people waiting for leadership and you could end up with an utter savage in charge. Besides, one of Negan's lieutenants (the more reasonable one to camera right) was up for taking a moment to cool things off - so right there Rick has a chance at winning over some of the Saviours in due course. The Saviours are Rick & Co's very own rogue state guided by a tyrant that they have to deal with.


    I'd argue that Land of the Dead sits quite well next to the original three flicks to form a four-piece quite comfortably. It's the weakest of the four, but I think that film is going to age quite well in general. It's certainly not without faults, but it's a solid flick all-round. Diary and Survival are in a different league entirely, though.



    Well that's AMC's fault, not the showmakers', and getting too hyped up is as much the fault of the viewer as it is the advertiser. We should all be well versed in that dynamic by now.

    ...

    TWD 8x01 Memes:
     







    Couple issues I'd like to discuss. I agree that Ricks law enforcement still plays a roll. I'd argue its impact is very minimal though. That way of life and order is long gone and Rick has adapted. Additionally I don't believe Ricks goal was a de-escalation as much as it was more a reach for showing a better leadership model. The move was calculated for Rick. It set clear boundaries. Had they given up Negan voluntarily, the war could have ended before it started and a good chance at peace. Both sides may have shook hands and said hey that dude was an out of control asshole, lets not go that route anymore. He gave the sanctuary an out. Its an honorable move, though I believe not the right move. I have echoed much of what you said so we arent far off.

    Rick and co have seen enough examples of Negan's henchman repeating "I am Negan" to know that truly oppressed in his camp arent getting a listen to that interaction. And considering they are trusting Dwight enough to tell him "tomorrow", I'd say they would trust him enough to know exactly how many Saviours there are and which ones are truly blind followers. End of the day Negan needed to die. Sad reality is Negan has been given plot armor so thick that he can fearlessly step out into the open with a wall of machine guns 30 yards away? Its not survivable except with Gimple. A vacuum could happen. So offer the peace and at the first sign of them ignoring the deal 10 guns should have opened up on Negan.

    And an off the topic rant. Considering this episode was titled "mercy" and it was littered with throwbacks to the early seasons, how in the hell is Bear Mcrearys Mercy of the Living not played at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    Rick, being a former law enforcer, would be trained to try and de-escalate a situation before firing. He's also not got the same mentality as Negan - Negan's the sort of dude who'll smash someone's brains in with a baseball bat. Rick, on the other hand and for the most part, would rather give someone a fair shake to begin with - but if they try and screw him over, he'll go hell for leather to take them down. It was exemplified in the gas station scene - he fired three warning shots to scare off the dude. His justification was clear - the dude might be a Saviour, but he has no intel on that whatsoever, so the guy could be entirely innocent (and therefore it wouldn't be fair to kill someone just trying to survive like anyone else).

    So - rather than charge into a confrontation/gun battle, he offers them the option to surrender and pack it in. Naturally, they weren't going to take that deal, but it's fair on Rick's part. They also don't know what the Saviour's numbers are like in full. They know far more now than they did in Season 6 when they attacked that outpost (that has since been surrounded by walker-defended fencing), but they don't know the full picture. Negan likely does have a large army of people backing him. The alliance between the three communities is new and there's an element of reluctance or weakness - Ezekiel had to be dragged into it (but is now committed), while the Hilltop leadership is all up in the air (Gregory vs Maggie).

    Yes, he could have tried to shoot down Negan right there (but who knows how many gunners might have been in those windows - and giving the chance of surrender shows a level of reason and fairness on Rick's part). However, the main problem for Rick is the danger of a power vacuum. Sure, you could take down Negan, perhaps Simon as well, but then what? There's a whole army of people waiting for leadership and you could end up with an utter savage in charge. Besides, one of Negan's lieutenants (the more reasonable one to camera right) was up for taking a moment to cool things off - so right there Rick has a chance at winning over some of the Saviours in due course. The Saviours are Rick & Co's very own rogue state guided by a tyrant that they have to deal with.
    The only valid argument I can think of is that the alliance doesn't want to kill Dwight and/or Eugene, despite the rotten things both of them have done (Dwight is now cooperating with the alliance, and Eugene might be doing what he is doing because he has no other choice; but we have seen that Rick was willing to sacrifice him before, so Eugene's safety is likely not an issue anymore, at least as far as Rick is concerned), and therefore refrained from liberally opening fire on Negan & company as soon as they rejected their deal. Other than that, the most logical course of action in such a situation would have been to eliminate Negan as soon as possible, before he has had more time to prepare and launch a counteroffensive, which will obviously end up costing a lot of people their lives.

    I'd argue that Land of the Dead sits quite well next to the original three flicks to form a four-piece quite comfortably. It's the weakest of the four, but I think that film is going to age quite well in general. It's certainly not without faults, but it's a solid flick all-round. Diary and Survival are in a different league entirely, though.
    Land was better than that train wreck called Survival, for sure, but it still was not as good as most episodes of The Walking Dead. Romero must have felt a bit frustrated that a TV show was getting the whole thing way better than his own more recent zombie efforts.

    Well that's AMC's fault, not the showmakers', and getting too hyped up is as much the fault of the viewer as it is the advertiser. We should all be well versed in that dynamic by now.
    They are "partners in crime", one goes with the other. And the "dynamic" makes no sense whatsoever when they seem to think that episodes revolving around such comparative trivialities as, for example, Morgan learning how to handle a stick from a post-apocalyptic wannabe cheese-maker, deserve the status of an extended episode, but yet the show's landmark 100th episode doesn't!
    Last edited by JDP; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:46 PM. Reason: ;

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    Quote Originally Posted by facestabber View Post
    Couple issues I'd like to discuss. I agree that Ricks law enforcement still plays a roll. I'd argue its impact is very minimal though. That way of life and order is long gone and Rick has adapted. Additionally I don't believe Ricks goal was a de-escalation as much as it was more a reach for showing a better leadership model. The move was calculated for Rick. It set clear boundaries. Had they given up Negan voluntarily, the war could have ended before it started and a good chance at peace. Both sides may have shook hands and said hey that dude was an out of control asshole, lets not go that route anymore. He gave the sanctuary an out. Its an honorable move, though I believe not the right move. I have echoed much of what you said so we arent far off.

    Rick and co have seen enough examples of Negan's henchman repeating "I am Negan" to know that truly oppressed in his camp arent getting a listen to that interaction. And considering they are trusting Dwight enough to tell him "tomorrow", I'd say they would trust him enough to know exactly how many Saviours there are and which ones are truly blind followers. End of the day Negan needed to die. Sad reality is Negan has been given plot armor so thick that he can fearlessly step out into the open with a wall of machine guns 30 yards away? Its not survivable except with Gimple. A vacuum could happen. So offer the peace and at the first sign of them ignoring the deal 10 guns should have opened up on Negan.

    And an off the topic rant. Considering this episode was titled "mercy" and it was littered with throwbacks to the early seasons, how in the hell is Bear Mcrearys Mercy of the Living not played at all?
    A few little tweaks here or there could have tidied it up a bit for the critics, sure.

    I think with The Saviours there's an element of fear-driven loyalty. Some are really signed up to the cause, but there'll be plenty of grunts and underlings who are just stuck and that's all they know (like the general citizenry - who could also be prone to in-house propaganda - Team Rick aren't exactly saints in their actions, to be fair).

    I loved the bit where Rick released that walker to finish off the mouthy Saviour who was dying on the ground. He's fair to the fair, and savage to the savage.

    There was some good music in the episode, though (perhaps Mercy of the Living will make a callback somewhere later in the season?) - some of the music had a sort of John Carpenter-esque vibe at times. Pretty cool.

    Dug the flashes to the future, too, as it shows what they're fighting for, the whole purpose of it. It's far more than survival at this point - it's a whole way of a life - the chance to regain an organised society.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ooh - another detail I chuckled at - Daryl shooting Dwight's tyre when sending the message.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    The only valid argument I can think of is that the alliance doesn't want to kill Dwight and/or Eugene, despite the rotten things both of them have done (Dwight is now cooperating with the alliance, and Eugene might be doing what he is doing because he has no other choice; but we have seen that Rick was willing to sacrifice him before, so Eugene's safety is likely not an issue anymore, at least as far as Rick is concerned), and therefore refrained from liberally opening fire on Negan & company as soon as they rejected their deal. Other than that, the most logical course of action in such a situation would have been to eliminate Negan as soon as possible, before he has had more time to prepare and launch a counteroffensive, which will obviously end up costing a lot of people their lives.

    Land was better than that train wreck called Survival, for sure, but it still was not as good as most episodes of The Walking Dead. Romero must have felt a bit frustrated that a TV show was getting the whole thing way better than his own more recent zombie efforts.

    They are "partners in crime", one goes with the other. And the "dynamic" makes no sense whatsoever when they seem to think that episodes revolving around such comparative trivialities as, for example, Morgan learning how to handle a stick from a post-apocalyptic wannabe cheese-maker deserves the status of an extended episode, but yet the show's landmark 100th episode doesn't!
    Of course, the thing is that TV and Film are two very different ways of telling a story. A film has to get in and out and tell a complete story in a couple of hours. A TV show has many hours across many years to peel back layers that a film can only dream of peeling back. It seemed to be that perhaps Romero was a bit sore over how the genre had been voraciously consumed by all around him ... but, having never had the chance to mee the man (let alone get into a deep & meaningful), we've only got a few quotes elaborated upon by perpetrators of clickbait.

    I'll agree that I was a bit surprised the 100th didn't get an extended episode ... but I'd also argue that just because that happened, doesn't mean that 6x04 shouldn't have been. I thought that was one of the very best episodes of TWD (and a well-placed change of pace after three relentless episodes of zombie carnage and chaos that opened Season 6). There was a big journey to go on there for Morgan - from batshit crazy, to relatively well adjusted, with a total about-face in terms of his approach to life and survival in the ZA. It wouldn't have been possible to get that across convincingly inside 43 minutes. That added 20 minutes (I'm discounting the advert breaks) gave it enough room to breathe, and afforded the writers the chance to write a fantastic guest character. That episode showed how standalones can work brilliantly, if used sparingly and are well written ... conversely, 7x06 (Oceanside) displayed exactly how such an episode could be poorly placed within the season and negatively contribute to pacing issues across several episodes, with guest characters you didn't give much of a stuff about.

    **updated**

    Here's a funky extra - a 360 experience of Negan getting swarmed by walkers (kind of like a 'meanwhile' scene before the "I hope you got your shittin' pants on" bit). - N.B. AMC have their stupid region locking on this video, so you'll have to use a proxy plug-in or something to get around that, or find an upload elsewhere for viewing outside the USA.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1_27fwyRZU
    Last edited by MinionZombie; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:58 PM.

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