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Ryan Stuver

HI

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Adam Carlson

HI

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Jeffrey Kopp

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Walking Dead panel discussion here on Goodtalk. For starters, my name is Jeffrey Kopp, creator of @TWalkingDWorld and Editor-in-Chief of Niner Times. Today, we are joined by a panel of TWD experts to discuss the show and make predictions for Season 9! Beware of spoilers!

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Jeffrey Kopp

First up we have Adam Carlson, Site Expert of UndeadWalking.com, and Contributor at Fansided.com.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Next we have Sarabeth Pollock, Expert at UndeadWalking.com, Expert at HerCape.com, and Contributor at Fansided.com.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Also joining us is Ryan Stuver, Contributor at ShowSnob.

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Adam Carlson

Hello everyone

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Jeffrey Kopp

Finally, Matthew Rudoy, Contributor at Fansided and Screenrant is also joining us.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Weโ€™ll begin with a relatively simple question to kick things off. What is everyone most looking forward to in Season 9 of The Walking Dead?

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Ryan Stuver

Hello to all!

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Matthew Rudoy

Hello!

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Matthew Rudoy

I'm looking forward to seeing more spotlight on the women (Carol, Michonne, Maggie, Jadis, etc.)

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Ryan Stuver

Iโ€™m very excited for this โ€œnew Neganโ€ thatโ€™s been teased, especially how jail life has changed him, if at all, and his interactions with Rick and the others visitors he may have.

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Sarabeth Pollock

Hi everyone!

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Sarabeth Pollock

I'm intrigued by the development of rules and laws within the budding communities.

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Matthew Rudoy

I'm excited for the "new Negan" as well. The Comic-Con trailer almost made it seem like he could become a sort of confidant for Rick. In a way Negan understands Rick's struggles better than anyone.

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Adam Carlson

Im looking forward to seeing how the show adapts the comic book material with so many differences between the two. And how effective that storytelling can be.

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Ryan Stuver

Oh yes, I agree. I think those scenes will be incredibly interesting. That is, until Neganโ€™s eventually getting beyond those bars. We all know thatโ€™s coming.

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Jeffrey Kopp

It seems as though we will definitely be seeing a new side to Negan this season! Iโ€˜ve got a bit of a controversial question for you all based on that. Is there any pathway for Negan to be forgiven by Rick, Maggie, and the rest of the group? And building off of that, was Rick right to spare his life in the Season 8 Finale?

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Ryan Stuver

Completely forgiven? Never. But I think theyโ€™ll eventually allow him to walk free. I donโ€™t know how you could ever trust him, even if he saves one of their lives...

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Matthew Rudoy

Maggie will never forgive Negan for taking Glenn's life. Rick might. I think they connect in a weird way, and that will probably intensify further as they struggle to find a place in this new world AND as they grieve for Carl.

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Ryan Stuver

He bludgeoned Glenn and Abraham right in front of all of them among tons of other horrible things. Iโ€™m glad they spared him for the shows sake, but no, Rick shouldnโ€™t have.

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Ryan Stuver

And to Matthewโ€™s point, Maggie will NEVER forgive him and Iโ€™d be on her side in this little Rick/Michonne vs Maggie/Daryl feud that they teased at the end of Season 8

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Matthew Rudoy

I wonder how much of Rick' s decision was motivated by Carl and his final words.

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Ryan Stuver

@Matthew All of it, Iโ€™d say, what do you think?

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Sarabeth Pollock

One thing that has always struck me (no pun intended) is that no one is totally innocent at this point so why not forgive Negan? He might be useful.

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Matthew Rudoy

@Ryan Yeah probably. And that right there shows the kind of lasting Carl's death has on the show. It wasn't just done for shock value.

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Ryan Stuver

Lol, thatโ€™s a good point, Sarabeth, it would just be very difficult to trust him. At least some of the Saviors would want him back and leading things again and Iโ€™d be afraid of a revolt...

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Matthew Rudoy

@Sarah does Negan's usefulness outweigh his past crimes and devious nature, though?

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Adam Carlson

I don't think it was completely Carl. Rick was so hardened by his previous meetings with people that he may have forgotten there is good in people. Carl just helped bring that out in him.

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Sarabeth Pollock

Matthew I do believe that. Rick has quite a bit of Savior blood on his hands too. Especially from that raid.

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Sarabeth Pollock

I think Negan knows things that would make life better for the communities...if someone listens to him.

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Jeffrey Kopp

I agree with Adam. I do think Carl played a huge role, but I also believe Rick started to see some of the good in people during Season 8, specifically in Siddiq.

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Ryan Stuver

Yes, Rick has done some pretty awful things, too.

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Ryan Stuver

@Jeffrey Rick did start to see the good in people, it just took a long time. Remember when he and Morgan killed about eight Saviors after they let them go? Ruthless.

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Matthew Rudoy

Like when he and Morgan slaughtered those Saviors after saying they could come back to the Hilltop and be forgiven

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Matthew Rudoy

That was tough to watch because I tended to think of Rick and Morgan as some of the more honorable characters.

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Adam Carlson

Absolutely. Rick made an interesting transformation from a protector to aggressively attacking over the seasons. Moving away from what separated him and Shane early on.

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Ryan Stuver

Same. I donโ€™t think it was necessary or why they had to do it.

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Matthew Rudoy

How might that transformation affect Rick's departure this season?

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Jeffrey Kopp

Totally! Rick and Morgan slaughtering the Saviors that helped them was a gamechanger. I think it forced Rick and the viewers to ponder what is good and what is bad. That was a heavy heavy scene.

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Ryan Stuver

What if he ends up dying because of his newfound trust in people? Thatโ€™d be dark, but just a thought.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Thatโ€™s a excellent question, Matthew. Season 9 is being billed as โ€œRick Grimesโ€™ Final Episodesโ€, but what side of him we will see in those final episodes?

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Jeffrey Kopp

We also know that Lauren Cohan will be departing in Season 9. Do you think the teased conflict between Rick and Maggie will play into their exits?

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Sarabeth Pollock

Rick hinted at being ready to retire during his "date" with Michonne. I don't think that meant die, of course, but I think he is tired.

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Matthew Rudoy

I want Carl to have a positive lasting impact so it would suck if Rick died because of his newfound trust in people as it would tie back to Carl's dying wishes for his father. It's certainly possible, though. I hope Rick has a lot of ownership in however he exits the show.

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Sarabeth Pollock

I'm hoping that their ends are both open ended. That would be a nice change.

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Sarabeth Pollock

Just wander off like Heath.

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Sarabeth Pollock

Wishful thinking, of course.

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Ryan Stuver

While a Walking Dead civil war-type idea is exciting (to me), I donโ€™t think theyโ€™ll end things that way. Iโ€™d bet they donโ€™t kill off Maggie.

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Matthew Rudoy

I'm glad Maggie voiced her frustration in the trailer about Rick not following through on his promise to follow her lead. That being said I don't think she'll be the cause of his death or exit.

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Ryan Stuver

Yes, I donโ€™t think they want fans to turn on Maggie by causing or having to do anything with Rickโ€™s death or exit.

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Matthew Rudoy

Fans would go crazy if they handled Rick's exit that way. So many people still obsess over what happened to Heath. I don't know if people could handle that ambiguous an ending for Rick.

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Ryan Stuver

@Matthew No--no way haha. Itโ€™d drive people insane

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Ryan Stuver

With no Carl, who do you think fills Rick Grimesโ€™s shoes? Daryl? Michonne?

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Jeffrey Kopp

Heath, Morales, Sherry...adding Rick to the list of perpetually missing characters would probably cause chaos among fans.

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Ryan Stuver

@Jeffrey Yeah, I think theyโ€™re going to pull that with Dwight for at least a while, too

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Question from Kyle "Lights Out" Stuver

Hey Dead Heads! If you had to make one shocking death prediction for season 9 who would you say? And just for fun, how will it happen?

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Jeffrey Kopp

We have a question from John Wick: what shocking death predictions do you have for Season 9?

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Ryan Stuver

Great question John Wick, weโ€™re already losing Rick and possibly Maggie. For that reason, I think the deaths will be kept to minimal. But my best bet is someone minor such as Tara, Rosita, Father G... Take your pick

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Matthew Rudoy

With everyone knowing Rick is on his way out I don't think anyone's death will carry as much emotional weight as his. Father Gabriel is possible. I was pretty surprised he made it out of season 8.

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Jeffrey Kopp

This has been such a great conversation, but itโ€™s time for us to wrap things up for today! Thanks to our panelists for joining in! TWD fans should be sure to come back here and follow along with our thoughts as Season 9 nears and as the season progresses. Stay tuned for additional discussion prompts in the coming weeks. Until then, the countdown Sunday, October 8th is underway! Cheers to TWD Season 9!

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Matthew Rudoy

Better that they stay missing than be brought back how Morales was, though. That was such a waste.

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Matthew Rudoy

If they killed Michonne along with Rick that would be incredibly devastating. I don't think they'll be quite that cruel, though.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Whoops! Small correction to make. The Walking Dead returns on Sunday, October 7th!

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello, friends! We are just a little over a week from the Season 9 Premiere of The Walking Dead! What predictions do you have for the first episode of the season?

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Ryan Stuver

My prediction is we get a good long look at this new world provided by the time jump. The first ep will check in on all of the communities, rick will talk with Negan, and at the very end there will be a conflict (looks like an unnamed character, probably a Savior, is causing problems with Daryl and Carol)

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Question from Hillary

What do you guys think about the season 8 ratings dip? Were there certain plot points you think contributed to it?

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Ryan Stuver

As for the ratings dip, I think fans were just growing restless of the war plot line. This shake up is exactly what the show needs in my opinion

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Ryan Stuver

Except for the losing Rick part ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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Matthew Rudoy

I hope we learn more about the helicopter mystery but that probably won't come in the premiere.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Fear the Walking Dead concluded its fourth season last night. Would anyone like to share their thoughts on the finale and the season as a whole? What does the future hold for the series?

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Sarabeth Pollock

I'm very hopeful for season 5. I'm a big fan of season 4 and I am excited to see what the future holds.

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Adam Carlson

I'm still struggling a little bit to adjust to the massive changes that happened in season 4, but I'm interested in what could be a fun premise going forward.

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Ryan Stuver

overall, I felt like it was a lackluster finale and season. โ€œFearโ€ has a great group of characters and wrapped up S4 fairly nicely to give Season 5 a fresh start. Hoping for improvements bc I enjoyed โ€œFearโ€ quite a bit before S4 changed the show so drastically

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Jeffrey Kopp

Weโ€™ve now followed Morganโ€™s journey on FearTWD for one whole season. Do you think it was worth it for him to cross over? Are you interested in seeing more from him on Fear or would you like for him to return to The Walking Dead?

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Adam Carlson

I don't think it's time for him to head back, but it would be nice for him to step back a little and allow the other characters to shine. I'm hoping for more balance, including Morgan, in season 5.

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Ryan Stuver

I like the crossover. They should definitely keep him away from the other show for a while and I agree with Adams point. Time to give Alicia Clark a much bigger role.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Last night was the Season 9 Premiere of The Walking Dead! We saw a whole new beginning as Rick Grimesโ€™ final episodes officially begin! What was your favorite moment from the premiere?

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Ryan Stuver

Iโ€™m going to have to go with the end. Gregory had run out of lives and Maggie delivered out some hardcore justice

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Adam Carlson

It was really fun seeing Rick and Michonne in bed... especially when she was teasing him about being "the famous" Rick Grimes. That relationship is established so well that everything they do together seems adorable.

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Jeffrey Kopp

The leadership styles of Rick and Maggie were both highlighted this episode as they dIdnโ€™t exactly see eye-to-eye on a few key decisions. Are you able to see both of their sides? Will they be able to co-lead or is their friendship about to crumble?

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Ryan Stuver

I can see both viewpoints and I think theyโ€™ll be able to co-exist. Thereโ€™s too many friends among the groups and theyโ€™ve fought too hard to let it fail. Rick, after all, has done way crueler things than Maggie in the past

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Adam Carlson

Maggie hasn't had to make a lot of the tough decisions like Rick has in the past. That could be why she reacts so emotionally to things. But when you make decisions to prove points, that's where things go bad. And if these two can't work together to be on the same page, there is bound to be serious problems within the communities.

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Matthew Rudoy

I can see both their sides but Maggie was in the right at the end of the episode. Gregory stuck around for way too long and had way too many chances.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Sundayโ€™s new episode of The Walking Dead featured a significant number of developments for each of the characters and for the story as a whole. What moment stood out to you the most?

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Ryan Stuver

The best character of the early episodes is Maggie. im really enjoying how sheโ€™s leading the Hilltop and agreed with her decision to release the blacksmith. Iโ€™m also loving this disappearing Saviors storyline weโ€™re getting. Its throwIng In some good mystery. Wonder whoโ€™s behind all of this?

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Matthew Rudoy

The moment where Negan said what Rick is doing is nothing more than a monument to the dead. It made me reevaluate the purpose of everything Rick is trying to achieve. Is it more for the future and the people still around, or a desperate attempt to keep Carl's memory alive?

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Matthew Rudoy

I think the Saviors are disappearing because of the Whisperers. This is the beginning of introducing them as a new threat into the show.

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Ryan Stuver

Thatโ€™s a cool idea. Justin (the Savior who got attacked at the end of the episode) recognized whoever took him out. He dropped his guard.

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Jeffrey Kopp

The disappearing Saviors is just one of many mysteries currently in play. The other major mystery revolves around the helicopter that Anne seems to be connected with in some way. What do you think we will learn about this helicopter over the next few episodes?

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Matthew Rudoy

First we need to know exactly what Jadis/Anne knows about the helicopter. I'm guessing it's a link to a new community (one that's more advanced and well-off) but we shall see.

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Adam Carlson

There is seriously so much going on in the first two episodes of season 9. However, the most interesting thing so far is that Maggie has an offer to go live with Georgie. If she loses her grip on The Hilltop due to helping The Sanctuary and backlash from hanging Gregory, she may HAVE to go...

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Matthew Rudoy

That might've been the show's way of setting up how Lauren Cohan will exit the show.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hey everyone! Sundayโ€™s episode of The Walking Dead featured the stunning reveal of who was responsible for the missing Saviors. Were you shocked by this revelation? Do you think the Oceanside women will be punished?

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Adam Carlson

I thought it was a great curveball and an excellent payoff for Oceanside, who had been bit players during all out war. But if Maggie or Daryl don't tell, nobody will ever know. And it sounds like their lips are sealed.

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Ryan Stuver

Yeah I didnโ€™t see that twist coming until near the end of the episode. Im glad they didnt drag it out. Rick surely wouldnโ€™t approve but I donโ€™t think itโ€™s going to get out, either.

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Ryan Stuver

Curious what you guys think about how theyโ€™ll handle Ricks looming exit. Killed by a person? A walker? Traded to the helicopter people?

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Jeffrey Kopp

Ryan raises an interesting question. AMC has made it a point to remind viewers that Rick only has two episodes left, so how will he exit?

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Jeffrey Kopp

Will Rickโ€™s exit be left open ended or will we see his actual death play out? If I had to guess, I would say that we will see him actually die in a last ditch effort to save the bridge.

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Ryan Stuver

Yeah I think theyโ€™ll kill him, too. In a heroic way like you said. With the rumors that Shane and other characters are making cameos it makes sense that heโ€™s dying and not just vanishing

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Matthew Rudoy

It's a shame because I feel like I'm more invested in Rick this season compared to recent ones.

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Matthew Rudoy

I wish we had more time with him and got to see more of this current character arc for him.

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Ryan Stuver

True, Matthew. I feel the same way about Maggie. Theyโ€™re both such focal points on this season, itโ€™ll be so weird to lose them both essentially back to back

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Sundayโ€™s episode of The Walking Dead featured the beginning of Rickโ€™s exit from the series. Things arenโ€™t looking good for him right now as we head into his final episode. What was your initial reaction to that game-changing cliffhanger?

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Adam Carlson

Knowing that 904 wasn't the last episode for Rick took a lot of the stress out of the situation. But right now it's feeling a bit familiar to what happened with Madison on Fear The Walking Dead. I just hope the story can be more unique.

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Ryan Stuver

B

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Sarabeth Pollock

I'm convinced that AMC knows what they're doing when it comes to giving out information. They don't dish out spoilers so I think we are all in for a huge surprise.

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Ryan Stuver

At first I thought, really, this is how youโ€™re going to kill Rick? Have him fall off a horse onto rebar. But next episode looks incredible so Iโ€™m cool with the game-changing cliffhanger

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Jeffrey Kopp

A huge part of the episode was the conversation between Michonne & Negan. Are they the same? Was Negan being legitimate or was he just trying to get under her skin?

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Ryan Stuver

I donโ€™t really think theyโ€™re the same. Yes they are both strong in this new world, but Michonne is kind hearted and Negans pretty awful. I think he was just being his usual self

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Matthew Rudoy

There are parallels between them but I think it was more so Negan's emotionally manipulative attempt to get Lucille back.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Last nightโ€™s episode of The Walking Dead shook things up forever by concluding the story of Rick Grimes on the main show...and by teasing his future elsewhere. Are you satisfied by how those final moments played out?

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Sarabeth Pollock

I think Andrew Lincoln told us this was how it would happen back at SDCC when he said he wasn't done with Rick Grimes. And he and Lennie James have always said that they would see each other again.

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Ryan Stuver

Iโ€™m satisfied, yes. I think it was a smart move to keep Rick alive. Imagine a return in the shows finale. Plus, these movies sound pretty interesting

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Ryan Stuver

The scenes for next week look great, too. Havenโ€™t been this excited for an episode in a long time

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Jeffrey Kopp

The episode concluded with a six year time jump and the debut of an older version of Judith as she came to the rescue of Magnaโ€™s group. Now that sheโ€™s no longer a baby/toddler do you think Judith will have a larger role moving forward? What do you expect to see from her in the remainder of the season?

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Matthew Rudoy

I think she'll be badass and wise beyond her years. She'll be resourceful. Despite her young age people will look to her for help.

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Ryan Stuver

Yes I think Judith has a big part to play this season and for the foreseeable future. Obviously sheโ€™s a kid so theyโ€™ll probably treat her as such. She can shoot and sheโ€™s tough but donโ€™t bring her on dangerous missions.

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Sarabeth Pollock

If Judith is anything like Charlie on Fear TWD she can handle anything. She has a lot more support than Charlie had, too.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Last nightโ€™s episode of The Walking Dead gave us our first look at the show without Rick & Maggie. We also saw what life is like six years after we last saw the characters. What is the most significant change or development that occurred during the time jump?

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Adam Carlson

Well, the most significant thing is being without Rick, Maggie, and Anne. But these new characters are interesting and the (somewhat) reveal of The Whisperers is exciting. But Carol's hair...that was a big change!

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Sarabeth Pollock

It was great being able to see so many characters having a chance to really shine.

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Jeffrey Kopp

This episode introduced us to Magnaโ€™s group and immediately provided us with some backstory for them. Was there a particular member of that crew that had you most intrigued?

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Ryan Stuver

Definitely Magna for me. I think sheโ€™ll be a pretty awesome addition to the group. Iโ€™m also intrigued by Luke. Not sure if thereโ€™s more to him than what meets the eye or not, weโ€™ll find out

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Adam Carlson

Each of the new characters offers something interesting and they seem like a tight group. I'm interested to get to know them all more.

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Sarabeth Pollock

I really liked Luke but Connie and Kelly are awesome. I can't wait to know more about Connie's story.

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Matthew Rudoy

Luke seemed very likable, not to mention reasonable as well. On this show I don't fully trust someone like that, though.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hey everyone! The latest episode of The Walking Dead featured several different storylines that all seem to be converging as we near the Mid-Season Finale. Which individual storyline did you enjoy most this episode and which do you think had the most significant impact on the overall plot?

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Matthew Rudoy

I particularly enjoyed seeing Jesus in a new position at Hilltop and the close bond he's formed with Aaron. As teased in the promo, I look forward to them putting their skills to use against the Whisperers in the next episode.

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Ryan Stuver

I enjoyed the newcomers plot on their journey to Hilltop. Iโ€™m still interested in the new group. I think Michonnes starting to trust them. I like how important side characters have and will become such as Jesus, Aaron, Siddiq, etc., now that rick and Maggie are gone.

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Jeffrey Kopp

With Maggie having left the Hilltop to join Georgie in creating a new community, is Jesus the best fit to lead? Should someone else be in charge of the Hilltop?

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Sarabeth Pollock

I think Tara should be in charge.

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Matthew Rudoy

I agree. Jesus was a much better right-hand than leader. Tara is already largely running Hilltop. Plus she's one of the most experienced characters in the show at this point.

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Ryan Stuver

Jesus has been at Hilltop forever, but I donโ€™t want a leader who doesnโ€™t want the responsibility

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Adam Carlson

Jesus is just the familiar face to The Hilltop. In time, I do believe that control will go to Tara in the future...but for now having a leader by example and a long-time Hilltopper in charge is for the best.

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Last nightโ€™s creepy Mid-Season Finale of The Walking Dead really shook things up as the Whisperers were officially introduced. Sadly, their introduction marked the end of one of our beloved characters. What was your reaction to that huge death and cliffhanger?

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Ryan Stuver

Loved it. Itโ€™s hard to surprise me these days with comic knowledge/spoilers at every turn. Jesus was a cool character with not much going on before they killed him, which is kind of a bummer. The way the whisperer ducked the blade and stabbed him was creepy, too. Felt like some good horror thatโ€™s been rare on TWD for a while

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Matthew Rudoy

I would've liked to have seen more of the relationship form between Aaron and Jesus. At least Jesus went out in epic fashion that also cemented the Whisperers as a formidable threat.

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Adam Carlson

The death was perfect. It was a great reveal during a chilling episode. I'll miss Jesus, but i can understand the decision and the impact made from the reveal

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Jeffrey Kopp

We also saw more of the great divide among the communities that has formed during the time jump. What do you think has caused all of this tension between the characters, specifically Michonne?

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Ryan Stuver

This one I really have no good guesses. Maybe they trusted someone they shouldnโ€™t have and it backfired. As for the tension between communities, I donโ€™t know. Interested to see what others think.

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Matthew Rudoy

I'm thinking they let someone or maybe even a small group in that they shouldn't have. This person or group did horrific things, resulting in the X brands we saw on the backs of Michonne and Daryl. This is why Michonne was so wary of letting Magna's group in as it reminded her of the people she shouldn't have let in before. I think Maggie partly left Hilltop with her child because she didn't want to risk him being endangered by people like this and she no longer trusted the judgement of community leaders like Michonne. There is still a lot left unexplained with this idea but it fills in some of the holes. Maybe the people Michonne let in that she shouldn't have will somehow end up connecting to the Whisperers?

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Jeffrey Kopp

Hello everyone! Weโ€™ve officially made it through the first week of The Walking Deadโ€™s Mid-Season hiatus. The show will return for the second half of Season 9 on February 10th. What are you most looking forward to seeing when the show returns?

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Adam Carlson

There is a lot waiting for fans when TWD returns. Over on Undead Walking, I already did a list of ten things to look for in season 9B...but I really need to know about those X markings on people.

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Matthew Rudoy

I'm most looking forward to seeing more of the Whisperers.

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Ryan Stuver

The character โ€œBetaโ€ looks really cool. Canโ€™t wait for him and Daryl to brawl

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