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Sunday, April 3, 2022

[Episode 184] Season 11, Episode 14 of The Walking Dead, "The Rotten Core"

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The Rotten Core isn't just about the rot inside #TheCommonwealth (namely, and for the sake of brevity, #LanceHornsby), but the surprisingly emotional exploration of what it must've been like for #MaggieRhee & #Negan to live inside their grief for so long: how it manifests, (re)visiting specific scenes from this perspective.
You have access to a whole HOUR of unedited footage, filled to the brim with hilarious outtakes and and behind the scenes gossip: available only to supporters of the BEST #TWDUniverse #podcast! Head here to grab that AND join the family:

David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:



  • The Rotten Core is also the name of The Walking Dead comic book's 31st volume.
  • Story-wise, the comic volume would start around the time of TWD 11x12 The Lucky Ones.
  • Rachael: Loving savage Aaron, but still isn't on board with his parenting!
  • Did Aaron have to kill Toby Carlson?
  • What is The Commonwealth armor made out of (that don't produce bullet holes when Carlson was hit, center mass)?
  • Bridget: Felt that this episode didn't hold up to the previous episode, Warlords: it was a little too slow for her.
  • Jasmine: Liked the scenes with Hershel Rhee & Negan, but not a fan of Negan's nuptials with Annie, citing a callback to another (possibly?) ill-fated romance between Daryl Dixon & Leah Shaw (TWD 11x18 Find Me).
  • Was the Negan & Annie dynamic too much for fans to accept/handle in one episode?
  • Does the Isle of the Dead spin-off series (with Negan & Maggie Rhee) signal Annie's death sentence?
  • If the foretold clash between Lance Hornsby & Maggie occurs next episode, what does TWD 11x16 look like?
  • Is a revolution within the walls of The Commonwealth around the corner?
  • Are the writers trying to lure the fans into a false sense of security based on what the know from the graphic novels?


  • The Lance we experience on the TV series is a far different (and more interesting) character from his comic book counterpart!
  • Sherrandy's take: Lance seems less like Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul) and more like Petyr Baelish (Game of Thrones)
  • Lance lets slip to Carol Peletier things only work if people play their part (rather than do their part).
  • Is there a connection between he and Primrose (the post-credits scene during the season finale to The Walking Dead: World Beyond)?
  • Bridget mentions The Walking Dead's companion graphic novel The Alien which portrays the brother of Rick Grimes, Jeffrey Grimes, surviving the zombie apocalypse in Spain.
  • Dave recommends watching The Night Eats World, a zombie film that takes place in France (in English) on Amazon Prime.
  • Do we even have enough information to produce theories on Primrose?


  • Who are the names on the list slipped under Connie & Kelly's door in TWD 11x11 Rogue Element?
  • Who gave them the list?
  • April Martens is one of those names and might be the April we meet in this episode.
  • What was the intention of giving Connie this list and what role will having it ultimately play?
  • Could Lance have given them the list to stir the pot?
  • Do the events of this episode end up ruling out Mercer as a possibility?
  • What about Shira or Roman Calhoun?
  • Could Lance could be attempting to indict Pamela Milton by way of shining a light on Sebastian Milton’s crimes?
  • Could Lance and Pamela be related (cousins)?
  • Could Lance have sent out Carlson to get rid of a future threat?
  • Might Lance have been attempting to rope-in Carol much in the way he did Carlson?
  • In our coverage of Fear The Walking Dead 6x04 The Key, we discovered that the color green represents poison or rot: Lance has a bright green apple paperweight on the desk in his office.
  • According to Semiotics & stuff (blog), the green apple represents the mind, red apples represent the heart.
  • Is Lance (what he previously describes to Carol in Rogue Element as) a true believer? Does Lance feel he is doing the right thing?
  • How similar is Lance to The Governor (Phillip Blake)?

  • Aliza’s comparison of Lance and Simon (of The Saviors) is starting to seem more accurate.
  • Why does Lance need Carol, really?
  • Could Carol have become a villain had she joined the wrong people?
  • Was Lance genuinely upset that Sebastian put Daryl and Rosita Espinosa in harm's way?
  • Do both Lance & Sebastian consider people like Daryl, Rosita, and Toby Carlson as expendable losses?
  • What if Lance is just setting up our survivors as scapegoats or a common enemy of the people of The Commonwealth?
  • It seems like Mercer been on the edge for a while: Is this a turning point for him?


  • How satisfying was it to see Mercer take out his own men?
  • Does Lance have a higher ranking position than Mercer?
  • Isn't General Mercer just under Pamela?
  • Tyler Davis is on the list given to Connie and Sebastian was the one to apprehend him.
  • Does rank and file even matter of Sebastian can do as he pleases?
  • With Castle & Alves taken out by Mercer, will Daryl & Rosita take over as Sebastian's goon-squad?
  • Could Mercer's extrajudicial execution of Castle & Alves have consequences?


  • What does Toby Carlson realize at this moment?
  • Could it be that Toby realized Lance might've been sending him to slaughter?
  • Just like the Stanley Milgram experiment, how often do we all cater to authority?
  • Is it possible that Mercer, himself, might've done horrific things, similar to Toby Carlson, under orders?
  • Considering our lack of notes, was as straight-forward an episode as it seemed?


  • Will Hershel tell Maggie what happened between he and Negan?
  • Rachael wants to know why Maggie didn't immediately hug Hershel. Dave explains why Maggie might've made the right call.
  • Will Hershel, Annie, and Annie's (unborn) child be a part of the Maggie/Negan spin-off series Isle of the Dead?
  • Could all the TWDU spin-offs be an homage to Robert Kirkman scheduling comic book release dates and creating cover art for fictitious issues (then stopping at issue 193)? In other words, are they are a red-herring/non-existent?
  • Does Negan feel intense remorse over killing Glenn Rhee?
  • Had he known Glenn was about to become a father, would Negan have killed someone else during the line-up (TWD 6x16/7x01)?
  • Can Negan be truly redeemed? Does he even want to be?
  • Maggie's feelings toward Negan remind us of Alicia Clark's & Charlie's interactions in FearTWD 4x10 Close Your Eyes.


  • Do Daryl & Rosita see themselves in April?
  • Why did they even take this job?
  • The way Mercer, April, Daryl, and Rosita exit the panic room feels like a callback to Jessie Anderson's and Sam Anderson’s deaths in TWD 6x09 No Way Out.
  • What happens to orphans in the Commonwealth? Is there an adoption agency?
  • Are there incentives for taking in orphans?
  • Behavioral statistics with Dave on procreation rates among the upper and lower class (and why only the upper class can afford to adopt)


  • On whose side will Leah Shaw end up?
  • What are Leah’s aims?
  • What is the likelihood that she returned to her cabin and found Daryl's note/map to find him?
  • Will we ever find out why did Pope "marked" Maggie?
  • Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
  • Is Leah channeling her inner clear Morgan Jones?
  • Is Leah operating alone or has she teamed-up with others?
  • Jasmine dares to ask: What if Leah killed Connie or Carol?
  • Where are Virgil, Cyndie, and Luke?
  • Caryl and Donnie and Darleah! Oh my!

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