The episode’s opener is downright beautiful, some of the best cinematography on TV this fall. But once the episode’s plot rolls on, it’s pretty clear there’s nothing grounding the action in the overall story line for the season. Forty minutes for what’s essentially a pit stop to grab supplies.
The gang is caught in a forest fire, along with enough zombies to make traveling by foot dangerous. They fight their way through the smoke to a seemingly abandoned hotel. Knowing the show’s history, it’s seriously unlikely the place is empty, but any port in a firestorm. Inside, a group of frightened business people bicker over whether or not to let the strangers inside. One man, Iggy, takes initiative to be a decent human being and unlocks the door.
That’s about the time I realized one of the businessmen is none other than Anthony Michael Hall. A shame they couldn’t do more within the episode while working with such a strong actor as guest star. Hall plays Gideon Gould, a professional hot air blower. Not really, but that may as well be his job. Instead the guy tells business people how to best B.S. each other by talking in circles. He carries a “talking stick” and an ego almost as big as Murphy’s.
Gideon and his gal pal Dana somewhat take over, forcing Roberta and her group to participate in ridiculous trust-building exercises. He goes through the group giving his first impressions. Yes, they’re on the nose, but he ends up planting the seeds for everyone to distrust 10k later in the episode. Dana, Gideon, Addy, and Roberta sit to talk terms to sharing resources. A couple of the guys go with Iggy to check out the kitchen. Vasquez mother hens Murphy while he attempts to nap. Using his psychic zombie weirdness, Murphy distracts Vasquez to wander around the hotel. Addy leaves the meeting with Dana to salvage parts from the satellites on the roof and flirt. A gunshot brings everyone together again.
Murphy has a hole in his chest. Did he have that before? Didn’t think so. Another unlucky sap, Greg, is likewise leaking blood. Vasquez, using his Sherlock-worthy skills determines they were injured by the same bullet. It passed through Murphy and into Greg’s heart. Murphy’s blood is the only reason the guy isn’t a zombie yet. Working on that theory, Doc doses Greg with a hearty helping of Murphy’s blood. Waste not, want not. Murphy won’t miss what’s already outside of his body, right?
Gideon calls yet another group meeting to determine who shot the men. Automatically, they blame 10k. Addy steps up to defend him, but she’s nowhere near as convincing as the man himself. Vasquez, so not on board with Gideon’s methods, returns to the party with a duffle bag overflowing with food which the hotel survivors thought long gone, not squirreled away in a personal stash. Murphy and Greg were nearly killed for candy bars. The hotel survivors turn on Iggy, who by far the sanest, kindest person in residence. They’d assumed he took the food since he has one of two keys and Gideon is beyond reproach. Iggy is unceremoniously flung out into the smoke and encroaching zombies with only a small sledgehammer. Washington is given the pantry key and ordered to lock it down. Shortly after, Gideon finally gets around to offering Roberta food for her people. They hit the kitchen. Zombie Washington hits them. He also kills Sheila before they’re both given Mercy. The remaining food is gone.
Someone shoots at Doc. Everyone arms up and gives chase. Dana gives the shooter a free pass while Addy isn’t looking. The women wind up trapped in a closet—quit snickering—where Dana begs Addy to take her with them when they leave. Nearby zombies hear them. Roberta and Vasquez save their bacon before resuming the search for the shooter. The follow them, but come up empty-handed. While everyone scurries around for mysterious shooters and missing food, Murphy dreams about the zombies outside, subconsciously calling them to the hotel. They break out of the quarantined sections in the hotel. The fire zombies the gang fought through join the fray, eventually breaking the glass on the hotel doors. Everyone holes up in the makeshift sickbay.
Right on time, half-zombie Greg wakes. Doc asks him to identify the shooter. He points to . . . no, not Gideon, as much as we want him to suffer for being obnoxious. Travis is the shooter; Dana his lover. All they want is to get out of the hotel and away from Gideon. There’s a shootout. Greg dies again. So does Travis.
Victorious against the zombies outside, Iggy returns to the hotel. Truly apologetic, Gideon welcomes him back to the fold and offers the sacred talking stick. As thanks, Iggy whacks Gideon with the dang stick. Murphy wakes, confused and suffering the mother of all headaches.
The hotel group thanks Roberta’s crew for their part in overthrowing Gideon’s ridiculous stranglehold on their future by giving them a van and supplies. Will it be sufficient to see them through to the California lab? Do I need to ask? Of course it won’t. Murphy’s Law rules everything which happens to the crew—if it can go wrong, it will. My bet is the van will spontaneously combust when they all go on a pee break or something equally ridiculous.
Okay, so those weren’t zombies we saw him battling alongside friends and influential high school teachers in the instant-classic hit film Starship Troopers. They were bugs. Big bugs. Big fast bugs. Big, fast deadly, angry extraterrestrial badass bugs. They’re hard to kill, but you only have to do it once – Nobody ever said “the only good zombie is a dead zombie,” not only because it’s a dumb thing to say, but because it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Few others understand the importance of perfecting the patented flip six three hole, and even fewer can say they have traveled as far and walked as many roads as this seasoned actor, writer and producer.
Coming from a strong military background, Casper Van Dien was raised in New Jersey, on a street named after his great-great-grandfather … you guessed it…. Van Dien Avenue. After moving to Florida, he attended Admiral Farragut Academy where he graduated as Operations Officer, obviously setting the stage for the future and preparing for what lies ahead. While waiting for the zombie apocalypse to begin, Casper moved to Los Angeles and landed many TV roles, including television commercials and roles in Beverly Hills 90210 and One Life to Live before stepping onto the bigger screen.
Soon afterwards, he landed the lead role in James Dean: Race with Destiny before jumping into the part that even now remains one of the most recognizable to science fiction fandom, Johnny Rico in the ultra-violent action adventure,Starship Troopers. In 2009, the Lt once again donned Johnny Rico’s uniform and jumped to the front lines in the war against child abuse, appearing in several PSAs by ChildHelp.org. Many films and television appearances later, he appeared in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, earning himself some experience in dealing with the undead. Casper also became the 20th on-screen Lord of the Jungle when he took the starring role in Warner Brothers’ Tarzan and the Lost City. In 2008 he reprised his role as Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, and more recently he brought us Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat: Legacy
Coming soon: Watch for for Casper in Sharktopus vs. Mermantula… yes, you read that correctly. And after watching the trailer below, we simply CANNOT WAIT to see it.
In a world where the old ways are far too often overwhelmed by the new, Green Brigade Second Lieutenant Elizabeth Schiable combines classic beauty, brawn and brains with flawless grace and style. With her special ops training in traditional Chinese martial arts, specifically the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu style Bak Sil Lum, Lieutenant Schiable brings wisdom, balance and a good old-fashioned can of whoop-ass to the front lines of the Zombie Survival Crew’s ranks.
Known for her roles in Angel of Death, Beyond the Ropes and False Prophets, Elizabeth has also appeared in several television series, including The Protector and Hollywood Inc. Her talents are many, and she is also experienced in the goings-on behind the scenes, having carved a place for herself in every aspect of the business from makeup artist and production assistant to associate producer and assistant director. Elizabeth recently completed work on the films Crossroads and Don’t Pass Me By.
As one of the Zombie Survival Crew’s most valuable covert operatives, Elizabeth is a master (or mistress) of disguise. She is currently operating out of an undisclosed location, and Command is eagerly awaiting word on her next mission.
If you’re just joining us for this series, please be sure to check out our previous Commander Monday reports!
Green Brigade’s 2nd Lieutenant Casper Van Dien may not have as much experience battling the undead as those previously mentioned, but he brings to the Zombie Survival Crew skills and strengths that make him the perfect candidate for Z-pocalypse leadership. Okay, so those weren’t zombies we saw him battling alongside friends and influential high school teachers. They were bugs. Big bugs. Big fast bugs. Big, fast deadly, angry extraterrestrial badass bugs. They’re hard to kill, but you only have to do it once. Nobody ever said “the only good zombie is a dead zombie,” not only because it’s a brain-numbingly dumb thing to say, but because it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Few others understand the importance of perfecting the patented flip six three hole, and even fewer can say they have traveled as far and walked as many roads as this seasoned actor, writer and producer.
Coming from a strong military background, Casper Van Dien was raised in New Jersey, on a street named after his great-great-grandfather … you guessed it…. Van Dien Avenue. After moving to Florida, he attended Admiral Farragut Academy where he graduated as Operations Officer, obviously setting the stage for the future and preparing for what lies ahead. While waiting for the zombie apocalypse to begin, Casper moved to Los Angeles and landed many TV roles, including television commercials and roles in Beverly Hills 90210 and One Life to Live before stepping onto the bigger screen.Soon afterwards, he landed the lead role in James Dean: Race with Destiny before jumping into the part that even now remains one of the most recognizable to science fiction fandom, Johnny Rico in the ultra-violent action adventure,Starship Troopers.
Actor, director, writer, motivational speaker and singer…. Green brigade’s commander IronE Singleton brings to the table an invaluable combination of strength, determination and passion possessed by some but unmatched by none. IronE hails from Atlanta, Georgia and has already faced the shambling horde, looked it right in the eye and refused to give up the good fight for even a moment. Outgoing, gregarious and quick to smile, Irone’s laughter is more infectious than any zombie plague and his endless determination is a shining example to all.
IronE recently got his feet wet in the convention scene by attending Monster Mania 21 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. While a seemingly endless horde of adoring fans and admirers might have caused some to tremble in abject fear, IronE faced them all with his trademark disarming smile and made each one feel as welcome as if they were stepping into his home rather than standing in line at a noisy, crowded convention.
IronE’s many varied talents have taken him from the University of Georgia to television, theatre and film. He has appeared on the big screen in several films, including The Blind Side, Lottery Ticket, Seeking Justice. And the upcoming film A Box For Rob. Television appearances include pilots for ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7, VH1’s Single Ladies, and TNT’s Franklin & Bash, and he has also appeared in CW’s One Tree Hill and BET’s Somebodies… but most notably he is the one and only Theodore Douglas, a.k.a. T-Dog on AMC’s The Walking Dead. On the theatre side, be sure to check out his inspiring one-man show: IronE . . . The Resurrected. This inspiring story of survival, heartbreak, transformation and healing is a must-see for all.
Under IronE’s experienced leadership, Green Brigade is best equipped to keep up the morale as the battle for survival wages on and we would surely find ourselves in one fine mess without him.
Here’s what Culture Mob had to say: Another character who has been there from day one (or in the real world, episode 2) is T-Dog. Best known in the show as the guy who drops the keys to the handcuffs that led to Merle Dixon cutting his hand off to escape the cuffs. I had a very cool opportunity to speak exclusively with T-Dog, actor IronE Singleton. Now that the show has been picked up again (there will be a season 3 already announced) the writers are going to have the time to explore and develop all of the main cast including T-Dog.
Green Brigade Commander, IronE Singleton, took some time out of his busy schedule to bare his feelings (and his chest???) about his beloved brigade. So Green Brigade members are you going to answer his call? Show your pride and leave your commander a message to let him know that YOU are on your toes and READY to face the Zombiepocalypse with him.
Disclaimer: The Zombie Survival Crew is not responsible for the whereabouts of Commander IronE’s shirt and cannot be held accountable for its absence. No shirts were harmed in the filming of this public service announcement.
The gauntlet of bright lights made it hard to keep track of the action, but I managed to catch some shots of Laurie Holden, Steve Yeun, Jeffrey DeMunn and other cast members before settling in for the much anticipated opening episode.
Now you’re not going to get any spoilers from me, so don’t even try…unless you happen to have a million bucks lying around and then maybe we can talk.
But I will say it was not what I was expecting – which is a good thing – and I almost tossed my complimentary popcorn onto the poor souls in front of me a couple of times – which is a great thing. And every time I thought “oh, there’s the ‘gotcha’ moment, thanks, let’s move on,” another one was around the corner, and it just got better and better. That’s not to say there aren’t some extremely telling character development moments that will shake viewers and touch their greatest fears, because…oof, The Walking Dead isn’t pulling any punches.
The opening episode will keep fans guessing and off-balance, confused and screaming (literally) for more. I could have sat there all night watching the entire season.
If you want to hear more than I’m willing to divulge, take a look at some of the production and cast interviews on the red carpet here.
Instead, I stumbled off, still nauseous from the viewing, to the after event where IronE snapped this picture with Steve Yeun that is just too cute for words. Him, not me. What a sweet, articulate, engaging young man he is….kind of reminds of Glen, actually.
ZSC Command not only survived the night, but came away from it having discussed future missions and creating updated strategies. Green brigade Commander IronE Singleton prepped a special mission for the Green Brigade and has the undying gratitude of ZSC Command in its entirety for his commitment to helping us all prepare for the onset of a zombiepocalypse.
Your Green Brigade Commander IronE Singleton has done something wonderful for the premiere of The Walking Dead. That’s right, not only is there a countdown on his website to the premiere of season 2 that will air on October 16th, but he’s given the fans of TWD a song!
We in the Command Center encourage you to head on over to IronE’s website and have a listen, and then become our ZSC Street Crew that we love so much by telling everyone you know about it!