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Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live |SERIES PREMIERE| Years (Reaction, Q&A, and Full Episode)

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We've waited for this moment for the better part of 6 YEARS: about as long as the actual time jump that occurred The Walking Dead episode 9x05. The premiere doesn't waste time answering a myriad of questions we've all had throughout the years and rewards hardcore #TWDUniverse fans multiple times over. BUT WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

(⬆️We highly recommend you watch the Q&A on Spotify, above!⬆️)
We teased a little of this in our featurette: we're reacting to The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live advanced screening and Q&A at the Kaufmann Theater hosted by the 92nd Street Y moderated by Dalton Ross featuring Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, and Scott M. Gimple.

It's late in coming (because of all the wonderful content we've been able to get you this week), but chock full of insights and funny, our full episode breakdown of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is finally here! All in all, we focus more on each character's intentions, real or imagined (on our part). More than anything else, we drew many lines from The Walking Dead: World Beyond and watched how carefully the dots connected between each character and the greater #TWDUniverse.
🎬We cut a whole HOUR from the full episode breakdown recording, with a long pre-show, a hilarious post-show, CHUNKS of funny/informative tangents, and even some factual mistakes not suitable for the final product in the middle. Stream it by either tipping us on Ko-fi or joining a membership tier on either Ko-fi or Patreon.

Thomas O'Mara:
David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:
Sherrandy Swift:
Bridget Mason-Gray:


  • Initial Reactions
  • The Reunion of Rick Grimes and Michonne.

  • Surprises and Substantial Storytelling.
  • The Excitement of Seeing (Lucifer's) Mazikeen, aka Pearl Thorne played by Lesley-Ann Brandt.
    AMC Networks
  • The Impact of Thorne's Character
  • Initial Doubts and Changing Perspectives
  • Hopes for Silas Plaskett' Appearance in the series
  • Speculating on whether The Civic Republic Military has knowledge on our survivors' settlements
  • The Mystery of Timelines
  • The Possibility of Crossover Characters
  • Jadis and Rick's Rescue
  • The Classification of A's and B's

  • The Symbolism of Fire
  • Dream/Hallucination Sequences and Hidden Meanings
  • The CRM's Knowledge of The Commonwealth
  • The Possibility of the Commonwealth Joining the Alliance of Three?
  • The Potential Trade Relationship with (The Walking Dead: Dead City's version of) New York City and The Commonwealth
  • The Reconnaissance of the CRM
  • Lt. Col. Donald Okafor's Intentions and Rick's Choice
    AMC Networks

  • The Reveals in The Walking Dead: World Beyond
  • Upcoming Live Streams and Reactions
  • The Intrigue of Okafor's Character
  • Dissecting the Timeline
  • Hey Rick, You've got Okafor in your Hair (and other audience comments)
  • Sherrandy's Initial Skepticism and Subsequent Enjoyment of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
  • The Grease Sing-Along
  • Terry O'Quinn's Role in the Series as Major General Beale

  • Was Terry's character in Lost, John Locke, playing backgammon or Go/Chinese Checkers?
  • Mention of Michonne as the new Rizzo in an updated Adaptation of Grease
  • Smoke Monsters and Mr. Echo appearing in TOWL
  • Fringe and Lost rewatch?
  • Major General Beale and Rick's leadership
  • Desire to do a Game of Thrones rewatch
  • Impression of Major General Beale's character
  • Discussion about Rick's influence on other characters
  • Comparison of Rick, Okafor, and Shane
  • Discussion about Rick's actions as a leader
  • Comparing Rick's and Alicia's prostheses
  • Rachael's desire to see more of "Mazikeen" in the show
    AMC Networks

  • Tobias and hand prosthetics
  • Discussion about Michonne's absence and obtaining screeners
  • Aaron's arm vs Rick's arm: who wore it better?
  • Professor Arzt and Okafor: who blew up better?
  • Announcement of upcoming Q&A reaction and full episode breakdown


  • The event was moderated by Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross and featured Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, and Scott M. Gimple.

  • Dave & Thomas share their experience of attending the event in-person and the energy from the audience in attendance during the episode screening.
  • Thomas gets sick after waiting outside in the cold for Andrew Lincoln to arrive at the event.
  • Andrew Lincoln signed a Thomas' Gold Rick Grimes FunkoPop figure and was intrigued by it.
  • Bridget couldn't attend the event due to expensive last-minute flight costs. There was no swag given out at the event, to boot.
  • Many #TWDFamily members received a package from AMC with a box of chocolates encased in a box made of chocolate and a small hammer to break it open. Inside was also a free year of AMC+.
  • Danai and Andy are not only stars but also executive producers of the show. Danai directed and wrote episode 4 of the series. The conversation delves into the journey of creating the show, highlighting the long process it took to get to where they are now.

  • The mythology of  TOWL was emedded in the background of The Walking Dead starting from season 6 or 7. The commitment to this mythology started when Rick began seeing helicopters, particularly in Season 8. Various hints and symbols were scattered throughout the show, such as the borromean rings on a can of peaches Jadis opens after her people are slaughtered and a helipad in the background of her junkyard.

  • The CRM (Civic Republic Military) is seen as a military dictatorship that once you're in, you can't leave. The CRM serves as a way to connect different parts of The Walking Dead Universe franchise but some find the constant focus on CRM to be tiresome. Would John Dorie have been an A or a B? Would June join the CRM? Thoughts on the CRM from various perspectives, including the lack of information in other series and spin-offs.
  • Bridget is reading a book about an EMP hitting North America and how authority rushes to take power in a vacuum in an attempt to compare those actions to the CRM. The realistic aspects of the show's portrayal of a paramilitary organization maintaining civility The Civic Republic drafted a Charter at the start of the fall authorizing the military to take charge of the government for a period of 10 years, which has now expired in the present day. Major General Beale invokes emergency Powers after tragedy befell (orchestrating a terror attack) Omaha
  • Andrew Lincoln shares his reasons for returning, citing unfinished business and the opportunity to work with old friends (cast and crew). Danai's sister encouraged her to bring back Rick and Michonne. Thomas & Dave discuss the original plan for Rick's character to have a storyline spanning three movies before Danai left the show.

  • The decision to create Dead City and other spin-offs was influenced by the realization that waiting for feature films would be too long for viewers, and emulating the success of Disney's TV/Streaming model with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, focusing on one character in each show.
  • Michael Satrazemis had touched on the changing landscape of TV: shorter seasons with higher production value, moving away from traditional 20+ episode seasons. Still, The Walking Dead  Universe formula has always been to start the first season with six episodes.
    Aixa Kendrick, who played "Scavenger Woman" on TWD: Dead City

  • Andy Lincoln's decision to leave the show, ultimately staying on for another season. Reactions to Andy Lincoln's departure from the show and the change of dynamic on set. Danai Gurira's experience taking on a leadership role. Andrew Lincoln set the tone on set, welcoming everyone and giving room for creativity while maintaining respect and love among the cast and crew. The culture of The Walking Dead, influenced by Lincoln, spread to other spin-offs, impacting people he had never even met. James Chen (who played The Hilltop's Kal) talks about this at the New York Comic Con we hosted.

  • The collaborative process of crafting the story involved meetings in hotel conference rooms where ideas were discussed and developed, building on the existing mythology of the show. Danai emphasizes that the heart of the story in TOWL is the love story. She sent scenes from the Netflix series Bridgerton to illustrate the concept of characters in a love story working towards their goals in a clear and impactful way.

  • The cast and crew had a lot of debates and agreements during the production process. There was a sense of momentum and excitement building as they worked together. They shared a close bond and enjoyed creating something together.
  • Danai Gurira teased that viewers would freak out watching Episode 4. The collaborative effort and sharing of workload among the team were highlighted. The director and crew members were praised for their contributions to the show's look and feel. There were humorous moments, such as disagreements over costumes and realizing who the showrunners were, especially on Episode 4.

  • The intense schedule and challenges of production were acknowledged, but overall, it was a rewarding experience for the team. The actors discussed the challenge of maintaining the essence of TWD(U) while keeping it fresh and evolving. Scott M. Gimple received criticism for Season 8 of The Walking Dead, with some feeling that too many characters led to dropped storylines.
  • Shooting in New Jersey in winter versus filming in Georgia in summer, with Danai Gurira expressing her dislike for the winter weather. Despite his preference for cold, Andrew Lincoln struggled. He also jokingly discussed the difficulty of filming subsequent scenes after Rick chops his hand off. Adjustments needed to be made to keep the background actors comfortable and safe during the bitingly cold weather.

  • Andrew Lincoln initially did not watch The Walking Dead to avoid watching himself, pre-production, but eventually had to watch episodes for the sake of his role as an executive producer/showrunner.
  • Challenges faced during post-production and the importance of cohesive storytelling, especially during the SAG/WGA strike. The addictive nature of being involved in the editing process.

  • Transitioning to audience questions: Comparing deranged villains in The Walking Dead to The CRM. The show's baddie is more of an institution than an individual: The pragmatism of possibly having to save a place worth saving. Some of that is reflected in the Shane vs Rick conflict and different approaches to surviving the world.
  • Andrew and Danai talk about the hardest thing about working with each other, mentioning stubbornness and high energy levels.

  • Question about taking props from the set, with Danai mentioning having her sword before shooting.
  • Question about the level of craziness to expect in the last five episodes, referencing the unexpected reunion of Rick and Michonne in episode one, which was a hard fought decision.

  • Danai's stubbornness as a producer and problem-solving skills. Andy's desire to take risks and be bold in his return to the show. Humorous conversation about accents and filming locations. Mention of a possible graphic sex scene in an upcoming episode and reactions to it.
  • Gimple wanted to film a live episode of The Walking Dead.

  • Andrew Lincoln's process of getting back into character and accent for the show.
  • The moment when Michonne fell in love with Rick and vice versa. Danai asked for a line to be added in TWD Episode 9x05 that highlighted Michonne's love for Rick. She also jokes that Rick tearing out Claimer Joe's throat was when Michonne fell in love with Rick.

  • Writing Episode 4. Danai Gurira explains the challenges of stepping into the characters' voices and emotions. Crafting dialogue for screenplays is difficult for most writers: it has to contain relevance and maintain impact, as well as ensuring the delivery matches the intended tone of the character.
  • Adjustments during production and discovering things on the fly, allows us to mention how the movie Die Hard is a perfect example of this, with its script arriving just during filming each scene. Production of movies and TV shows can involve changes on the fly, such as adjusting dialogue or storylines for better continuity.

  • Collaboration between showrunners and writers can vary based on individual preferences and backgrounds. The episode discussed involved intense collaboration and efforts to challenge Andrew Lincoln with a lot of material, especially dialogue.
  • New York vs New Jersey pizza is an argument, for some reason, and why driving in Queens is stupid.
    Katie Harden (Lorette Magazine), Aixa Kendrick, and a fan from Maryland
    (whose name I didn't catch)

  • The cast dine in New Jersey: Andy chows on fried chicken at The Tik Tock and Montclair Diners and Danai found some great East African food.
    Arlene Sheen (the ultimate Rick Grimes fan)


  • Watching The Walking Dead with Friends and Why We started Podcasting.
  • The Importance of Watching The Walking Dead: World Beyond

  • We Made It (we received our screeners invitation from AMC)
  • Bridget's First Impressions and (🤫WHISPERERS Tier Member) Aidan Atkin's blog:
  • The Visuals and Music of the Title Sequence

  • Okofor's foreknowledge
  • CRM Embedded Spies in our Survivors' Communities on TWD
  • The child hiding in The Grasshopper Statue

  • CRP? The Civic Republic of Philadelphia

  • The Wind Turbines, Rick being Stuck in a Loop, and The Theme of Being Watched
  • The CRM's Strategy of Observation: World Beyond, Okafor, and Beale
  • The CRM's Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering
  • The CRM's Power of Manipulation
    At least some of the payload are chemicals meant to destroy Omaha,
    as explained near the end of TWD: World Beyond

  • Okafor's Belief in Reforming the CRM: The Echelon Program
  • Beale's Knowledge and Manipulation
  • The Civic Republic Tribune and the The CR's 10-Year Plan of The CRM's Governance

  • The CRM Manufactured a Crisis to Maintain Power
  • The Role of the Press and Transparency

  • Esteban's Understanding and Support for Rick

  • Rick's Blinders Hamper Alternative Opportunities to Escape
    AMC Networks

  • Okafor's Belief in Rick's Role in Reforming the CRM
  • The Mystery of the Boat and the Rick's Letter to Michonne
  • The Possibility of Okafor's Plan for Rick and Michonne
  • The Theory of Multiple Letters and Phones
  • The Significance of the Big Blue Building

  • The Delts (Delta/Dead)
  • The Story of Rick's Dad and Possible Immediate Family
  • The Possibility of an Alliance with The Commonwealth
  • Okafor Has Leverage Against Rick

  • Okafor's Plan for Rick and Michonne?
  • Okafor's Motivations: To Save the CRM
  • Rick's Choice: Sacrifice and Responsibility
    AMC Networks

  • The Symbolism of the Fist and Knife
  • Enamel Pins and Bolo Ties
  • The Meaning Behind Character Names

  • Bezoars are Stummy Stones
  • Decoding Numbers
  • The Pennsylvania National Guard Squares off against the military
  • Military Structure of the CRM? Or The Echelon Program vs The CRM?

  • Endless Fascination over Number Combinations

  • Millet and its Potential Benefits
  • Okofor's Alignment: Good or Bad?
  • The Infinite Abyss of Lunacy

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