We’ve unveiled a lot of surprises here at Zombie Survival Crew moving into our third year and …we’re not done yet!
ZSC Command is very excited to unveil the new Rooker line of gear in honor of our Special Forces commander extraordinaire, the one and only Michael Rooker! There are several new t-shirt designs to choose from and if you’re ready to join the Rooker Army, there’s even a set of official ZSC dog tags!
And in case you missed our earlier reveals here’s a recap of what else is newly available on the site:
Check out the ZSC Reedus line. Inspired by the work of Blue Brigade commander Norman Reedus, a portion of sales of all Reedus line gear is going to development and disaster response charities (primarily Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders, unless there is an immediate disaster response need unfolding when we make our quarterly contributions).
Check out Blindsided by the Walking Dead, Green Brigade Commander IronE Singleton’s autobiography. This harrowing tale of struggle and survival takes you from the street corners of one of Atlanta’s worst public housing projects to alleyways filled with zombies from The Walking Dead. IronE’s autobiography was co-written by our Commander-in-Chief Juliette Terzieff.
From the mobile work unit of Commander-in-Chief Juliette Terzieff:
It’s kind of hard for me to believe the Zombie Survival Crew is heading into its’ third year. What started as a small rag-tag group of would-be survivors two years ago has grown into a force of thousands across North and South America, Europe and Asia working to be ready to face the worst.
To celebrate the ZSC’s formal birthday, December 20, mark the holiday season and clear the storage unit for the new gear we’re bringing in for 2013 we’re offering special discounts on merchandise for the next 12 days!!
From December 19, 2012 through January 1, 2013 simply enter the codes to get your discounted ZSC gear.
HOLIDAYPROMO5 will get you 5% off any order of $50.00 or more
HOLIDAYPROMO10 will get you 10% off any order of $100.00 or more
The discounts WILL apply to EVERYTHING in the ZSC store – including the new ZSC line of Norman Reedus-themed gear we just revealed last week. A portion of the profits from ZSC Reedus line sales go to support development/disaster response organizations Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders (or may be designated to others depending on real world need when we make our quarterly donations).
So grab yourself a hat, a copy of the ZSC’s latest anthology Undead Uncensored, get Rookered, show your Team Dixon support or get bloody with the ZSC’s signature tee!!!
Review of The Walking Dead 308 “Made to Suffer” reviewer: RC Murphy
If the scene inside the homes of our loyal brigadiers was anything like the inside of the Zombie Survival Crew command center before the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead aired…you have my sympathies. We were all on edge—anticipating and dreading the hour to come. Last year’s mid-season finale left even the strongest zombie slayer in tears. It set a very high bar for what we wanted to see from season three. And you know what? It delivered. By forty minutes into the show, it felt like we’d run a marathon right alongside Team Prison and Team Woodbury. But wait; there is a new team in town—Tyrese and his small band of survivors.
This episode in particular had a lot of interesting pairings throughout. We’ll go through a few of them while covering the wild ride of episode 308.
Caution: There may be spoilers below!
Carl, Tyrese, and Sasha
Tyrese hit the screen swinging for the fences. His first moments were strong, gruesome, and showed us exactly the flavor of survivor he is. He is a leader cut from similar cloth as Rick when Rick first joined up with the group at the quarry. The road through the Zombiepocalypse is not an easy one. How on earth is Tyrese capable of still caring at a level Rick abandoned during their time at the farm—when he was trapped in the bar and had to kill to save himself, Glenn, and Hershel? Carl recognized this quality in Tyrese, not when he first found his group in the boiler room of the prison fighting for their lives, but when Tyrese told him they take care of their own dead. Carl has fashioned himself to be the same sort of leader. He does what is necessary to spare the people he’s taken it upon himself to keep safe. Carl is fully prepared to bury his father and take charge—not out of malice, but a sense of duty. Someone has to ensure the safety of the women and Hershel. Whether or not Carl and Tyrese will get along, it is hard to say. Tyrese did step up to Carl’s defense when the very vocal Sasha tore into him. She is a wild card, demanding respect and trust blindly from the people they meet along the way. Obviously she has not run into the sort of vile people Team Prison has.
The Governor, Andrea, and Michonne
This is a pairing we’ve seen before on The Walking Dead. However, the last time these three shared screen time, it was not nearly as intense. The Governor had more time to pour his crazy-laced Flavor-aid down Andrea’s throat before this confrontation. She’s bought into his lies hook, line, and sinker…until she actively catches him trying to keep her out of the firefight by giving her house-call duty. It is hard to tell if Andrea was just being petulant or if she smelled a hint of the real Governor peeking out in his panic to contain the situation. It was very apparent, in the time they’d been set up as a town, the Governor and his men had always been the aggressors in altercations with the living they deemed as enemies. This lack of true defense know-how leads him to react in a way, which has become, unfortunately, typically American. The Governor calls Rick and his group terrorists, using fear to rile his people up enough to give him permission to run them down fox-hunt style. He will eat up Woodbury’s resources, resources gathered to keep them alive and safe from the zombies beating down their doors, trying to get revenge for what has been done to him personally—all in the name of justice. Yee haw! Michonne had the right idea—cut the snake off at the head. Sure, the Governor has lieutenants to take his place, but they don’t have the appeal he does. Something about him always struck her as wrong. Boy did she find out why when she stumbled into his Man Cave and discovered Penny, the biter daughter he’s been keeping locked up like an asylum patient, and the infamous fish tanks o’ heads. The fight between Michonne and the Governor was long anticipated and did not disappoint. At certain points, it seemed as though Michonne would join the heads in the tanks. When Andrea came to see what was going on, the tension between her and Michonne was dang near another body standing between them. How rattled is Andrea’s faith in the Governor now?
Ow, sorry, I need a break. There is something in my eye. Okay, who is next?
Rick and Shane
You’re not reading that wrong. Just when we thought Rick had gotten over his issues with his former best friend, they come roaring back. This time in the form of a visual hallucination—far more startling than the auditory hallucinations he suffered after Lori’s death. It was so out of the blue, so staggering, I did not know how to react. Shane is dead, really dead. Bullet in the brainpan dead. The guy Rick mistook for Shane looked nothing like him. Were we wrong to think Rick was mentally capable of taking the reigns back from Daryl?
Daryl and Merle
Since fans found out Merle was returning to The Walking Dead as more than a hallucination of Daryl’s behalf, they’ve been clamoring for a Dixon Reunion. In my head, I saw it as the brothers sitting down to stew some squirrels and share a couple warm beers, telling of their best walker kills. Unfortunately, the writers for the show aren’t nearly as nice as I am (looking at you, Mr. Kirkman). First off, the Merle Daryl knew back when he left the quarry to grab supplies at the department store is long gone. This is a more refined Merle, clean and given a purpose in life—help the Governor save the human race no matter what. Heavy emphasis on No Matter What. Merle has some sense; he didn’t blindly chase after Michonne and reported her dead, instead. Admittedly, he was distracted by Glenn and Maggie and learning the location of their new safe haven. That distraction became his downfall in Team Woodbury. Unfortunately, his strange fixation on finding Daryl is what leads to their reunion. Both were bound and dragged before the people of the town to pass judgment—are they terrorists or will they be set free? The Governor used them as a scapegoat to cover his backside. That is good leadership.
Now for the really bad news…we have to wait until February 10th 2013 at 9:00 PM e/p to find out what will happen to Merle and Daryl.
If you get The Walking Dead withdrawals, AMC will be running all three seasons, up to episode 308, of the show on New Years Eve and New Years Day. Keep an eye on Twitter, some of your ZSC commanders may live-tweet a few of the episodes.
What do you think will happen to Daryl and Merle? Let us know in the comments below.
Review of The Walking Dead 307 “When The Dead Come Knocking” reviewer: RC Murphy
We’re one episode closer to the dreaded, the unthinkable, the torturous mid-season finale of The Walking Dead season three. Everything so far has been building to the confrontation between Team Prison and Team Woodbury. Which side are you on? Let’s take a look at each team and their actions in episode 307. Maybe that’ll help you make your decision.
Team Prison has gained a very strong ally in Michonne. That is, if Rick decides he can trust her. It honestly looked as though he wanted to leave her standing in the middle of a field of walkers. Not to mention bearing witness to how easily she disposes of the living that prevent her from continuing in her relentless drive to survive the apocalypse. Rick’s distrust of strangers is at an all-time high. That the two prisoners, Oscar and Axel, made it into the “inner sanctum” of the crew’s trust is astounding. So many strangers have attempted to harm the group; Rick has developed serious trust issues. Most of those may actually stem from Lori and Shane working inside the camp to hurt him, even though they thought they were doing it for Rick and the group’s benefit. Look where that got them.
Once Rick watched Michonne work with her sword, he saw potential and stepped in to help her. However, Rick wasn’t the savior of the day.
It was a bullet from Carl’s gun that took out the walker inches from ripping into Michonne. He didn’t hesitate. He lined up a clear shot and took it. Carl has nothing to prove at this point. It was his gun tasked to put his own mother down after her emergency c-section. After, a coldness crept into Carl. He’s been different, slightly distant, but nowhere near as isolated by his grief as his father. Rick took a while to work out his grief, to the point where we didn’t know if he’d come back to the group in one piece. During that time, Carl helped clear the prison of lingering walkers and took care of his newborn sister. Heck, he even named the baby—Judith. At some point, Carl tasked himself with being the man of the family. And you know what? It is a role he fits into well. Carl has done a lot of growing up since season one, back when he wouldn’t still for a haircut and went off with Shane to catch frogs. He’s matured enough to be in charge of the prison while the others are off to Woodbury on a mission to rescue Glenn and Maggie.
Merle, Merle, Merle…you are a tiger, fully incapable of changing your stripes, no matter how hard you try. We are finally seeing the old Merle, the one Rick and the others left handcuffed on the rooftop. He is a master at warping the truth to suit his needs. In his world, he needs to be the perpetual victim. He uses the pity his twisted stories garners to sucker people into trusting him. His attempt to do the same with Glenn fails miserably. Glenn will not give up the location of the others. Why does Merle want to get to Daryl so bad? He doesn’t strike me as a sentimental man. He was the one who left Daryl to fend for himself for most of his childhood. Caring now raises too many questions. Namely, is he trying to recruit Daryl to the Governor’s army? The Governor seems concerned that once Merle sees his brother, he’ll switch sides. Guess we’ll find out soon, huh?
Andrea thinks she has seen the darker side of Woodbury and the Governor, Phillip, after the undead WWE match from before and the scientific endeavors in this episode. She couldn’t be more wrong. He used the experiment with the dying man to keep her out of the way so she wouldn’t find out about Glenn and Maggie. Was it overly important? No. She knew full well what would happen once the subject was reanimated. Any of the other soldiers could have stood by and dispatched the biter just as easily. It is the same thing Phillip has been doing with her all along—keep Andrea distracted and complacent. How will her opinion of him change once Team Prison comes into Woodbury? Will Andrea jump ship and go with Michonne and Rick? She trusted both of them at one point. Throwing her lot in with a guy who lies as well as he breaths is seriously stupid.
The Tough Guy of the Week Award goes to: Glenn. Obviously.
Glenn remained utterly calm in the face of Merle’s storm. Somehow he managed not to die (with a few too many close calls for Team Glenn to be comfortable, to be honest). And despite the condition he was in, he wasn’t the one to break. His faith in Rick kept him rock solid through the interrogation. Hopefully that faith is founded.
Next week is the mid-season finale. What do you hope will happen when Team Prison and Team Woodbury clash at last? Let us know in the comments.
Talk about an action-packed episode. A lot happened in Woodbury and at the prison. To make things easier, I’m going to start with the Woodbury crew.
There is no love lost between Merle and Michonne. This week we’ve seen what happens when they attempt to hunt each other. They are equal in their abilities to fight and think like the purest of predators. Michonne is stealthier, able to use the wilderness to her advantage. She is also a very quick learner, collecting information about the walkers to use to her advantage. Merle isn’t that savvy. He’s all hack-and-slash. Anything that gets in his way ends up with a bullet in their head or that wicked arm-baronet he’s rigged.
Merle also has a very distinct disadvantage—he is a believer. This is a side of him we never saw until the Governor took him in, cleaned his system of drugs, and set him on a path to a specific purpose. Unlike Hershel when we first met him, Merle is not crippled by his belief in God. He knows during the end days, one has to look closer to earth to find someone to follow. His ten commandments came straight from the Governor’s mouth. Merle is happy to be a disciple in this strange cult that’s formed in Woodbury. He will go to any lengths to spread the word, even cutting down unbelievers like Michonne. Despite the fact that she could be one of their strongest allies in the fight to survive.
Andrea doesn’t see the cultish side of Woodbury. She thinks the darkest secret behind those tall walls is the undead MMA match we witnessed in last week’s episode. Oh honey, it gets a lot worse. No matter how much you dig, they’ll keep deflecting your questions; convince you there’s nothing amiss. For all of her time fighting, scraping by during the winter, Andrea is still very naïve. She wants to believe in the good in people—so long as that good goes toward making her life more comfortable. There’s an internal struggle she’s fighting. The need to have a place to call her own that is safe and the thrill of the kill, taking down walkers to earn her keep. The last time we saw Andrea fight this hard to prove herself, Daryl nearly had his head blown off. The Governor keeps a tight leash on his little army. She is too wild, too unpredictable. Will he tame her to suit his purpose?
It seems like he fully plans to tame her through…softer means. We all saw it happening long before it did. But I will admit, seeing both of them let their guard down long enough to have a private moment was surprising. Then again, how low were the Governor’s, I mean Phillip’s, mental walls? If he’s playing a game with Andrea, he is winning. She is utterly clueless and falling for each and every smooth line he feeds her. Someone needs to shake some sense into Andrea before it is too late.
Now let’s see what is going on in the prison with Rick and his crew.
Warning! There may be spoilers below. If you have not watched episode 306 of The Walking Dead, turn around and go watch it.
The sound of grief is different for everyone—a sob escaping as you walk past a spot that triggers memories of the one you lost, the roar of anger at your inability to keep a loved one from harm. It could be the deafening quiet filled with everything left unsaid before they left this world, or the sound of a kiss to remind yourself that you’re still alive.
The sound of grief may even be a phone ringing in an empty room.
Daryl’s way to cope is to jump into action. He can’t sit still and do nothing while the group stews in their grief. The show of emotion makes him uncomfortable. However, he doesn’t run from it, he acknowledges it. Daryl took Carl aside and showed him a glimpse of his past, just enough for Carl to know he has someone he can relate to. He is not alone, despite the loss of his mother. He will survive and grow to be a stronger person. Of all the people for Carl to look up to, Daryl is the first I actually want him to be like. He’s capable, smart (but not book smart), a quick thinker. Daryl also cares on a level no one else is capable of. How else would he be able to know at a glance that it is Carol’s knife in the walker? He does have a breaking point, but it is handled in private. His anger over failing Carol almost cost him the chance to find her again.
You have to look outside of your grief or you’ll be blind to important things.
Rick is beyond blind. He’s put himself into total isolation. That he remembered to clean up and speak complete sentences is a small miracle at this point. His gourd is cracked. No, it isn’t just cracked; he stuck that sucker in a blender and hit frappe. Rick’s behavior is causing some serious concerns. The minute Rick admitted to talking to someone on the phone, the warning bells went off in Hershel’s mind. We saw the thought on his face, “If Rick has snapped, what will happen to us? How will I tell everyone that the man we’ve relied on to keep us alive will no longer be able to help?” To be honest, I don’t think Rick can any more. When one begins to hear the voices of the dead calling, there’s no going back. You’ve passed Go, gone straight to the asylum—forget about the two hundred dollars.
The group will have to deal with a new face at the prison in next week’s episode. This arrival is what ties the two groups of survivors together and brings us one step closer to a face-off with Rick and the Governor. Can Rick handle it, though? His people need him to rally and save the day.
What do you think? Will Rick rise to occasion and help his people? Let us know in the comments below.
Review of The Walking Dead episode 305 “Say the Word”
reviewer: RC Murphy
Be honest, how many of our brave Zombie Survival Crew brigadiers tuned into the newest episode of The Walking Dead and sent up a wish similar to this? “Please don’t kill off anyone I love on the show this week.” Oddly enough, that has been the mantra in the ZSC Command Center since last season. Yet, we keep coming back to see what our favorite group of Zombiepocalypse survivors is doing, no matter how heart breaking it gets.
Does this sort of behavior ring a bell with anyone else?
Speaking of familiar things, who else yelled after seeing captive walkers (or biters) in Woodbury? Yes, that always works so well. Ask Hershel and his family if it is a good idea to pen up a bunch of zombies and feed them like livestock. Oh wait, you can’t ask part of his family because they were eaten. Not by the captive zombies, true, but the sentiment is the same. They are dangerous, even with “modifications”. It hardly surprised me to see what the Governor had planned for the walkers in his care—even though it gave Merle a chance to show off his fighting skills. Who needs two hands to be a hardcore killer? Not that guy! Merle is the star of Woodbury’s twisted professional wrestling company. It fits too well.
The more we see of the Governor, the harder it is to stomach his interactions with Andrea. It took her seeing the seriously extreme lengths he goes to in order to entertain the people in his city for the first real thread of doubt to creep into her mind. She’s forsaken Michonne’s advice, pushed away the only person who really, truly had her back. What are the Governor’s intentions with Andrea? He’s not as obvious as Merle. Nor is he as loyal as Michonne when it comes to watching someone’s back. We can’t believe he wants a romantic relationship with her…can we? Fish tanks, guys. Fish. Tanks. Andrea could very easily end up in the Governor’s screwed-up man cave if she isn’t careful.
Grief is a very, very solitary thing. It stuffs your head with so many emotions; it is like having a brain transplant with a tub of cotton balls. You can’t see past it. You can’t acknowledge the pain others are in from their grief. All you feel is the hole in your chest getting bigger and bigger until it feels as though a truck could drive through it and not touch the sides. That is where Rick is. He can’t comfort his son—the son who was forced to “put down” his mother in order to save her from a more horrific existence than they were already living in. Rick hasn’t even acknowledged his newborn daughter. The only thing separating him from the things he’s killing is a heartbeat and if he keeps going down the path he is on, he will join Lori in the gut of a walker.
While Rick is isolated from the rest of the group—a group he swore he’d lead and protect with everything he had—there are still problems that need addressing. Daryl stepped up to the plate without so much as a second thought. He leapt into action to make sure they had everything they needed to care for the baby, with Maggie helping. Heck, Daryl even killed dinner during their trip out for supplies. How’s that for multitasking?
There’s been talk about who would make a better leader, Daryl or Rick. Rick is a great leader normally. He is a quick thinker. Is trained in paramilitary techniques. His heart is large enough to encompass everyone he deems as part of his crew and once they make it into his heart, he would die to protect them. However, Rick is fragile. He’s been run through the ringer since day one when he woke in the hospital. It was only a matter of time before something happened and he snapped a cog. Daryl, on the other hand, is usually very mellow. He stands back from the problem and assesses it, not with book smarts or anything someone else taught him, but with the skills and knowledge he gathered himself. Daryl was raised to be a survivor. It was the only way to make it through his rough childhood in one piece. His fault lies in the fact that he can’t, he won’t hold your hand and talk through your emotional breakdown. Daryl is a man of action, not emotion. Though, once he’s gotten comfortable around someone, he begins to take care of them in subtle ways, ways that doesn’t look like he cares too much, even if he does.
What about Carol? We never saw her body. A glimmer of hope shines in the darkness covering the group. Hopefully there are some answers next week and this isn’t drawn out like the search for Sophia.
Who would you rather follow into battle with the undead, Rick or Daryl? Let us know in the comments below.
After months of anticipation the day has finally come when we can release the cover art for Undead Uncensored, the second Zombie Survival Crew anthology. This year’s anthology is a vibrant collection of short fiction, poetry and non-fiction pieces designed to help you get your zombie freak on and prepare for what we might all face if the zombipocalypse hits!
Undead Uncensored features the work of yours truly alongside other ZSC Commanders actor Michael Rooker, award winning author LK Gardner-Griffie, and authors Jinxie G, R.C. Murphy and Amy Sundberg. ZSC crew members including Wendy Sparrow, Jessica Capelle, Robin Sellman, Amber Revelt, Stephanie Allen, Christopher De Voss and many others contributed their artistic endeavors to this creeptastic collection!!
This episode in particular had a lot of anticipation built up around it long before it aired. Heck, people were excited back before filming began and producers confirmed what the main story arc of the third season would be. Fans were anxious to meet the Governor and see Woodbury outside of the confines of paper and ink. Not to mention, watch an entire episode devoted to Michonne and Andrea. Oh and there was a certain returning character fans begged and pleaded to have back on The Walking Dead. We’ll get to them later.
For three seasons, we’ve been teased with glimpses of a helicopter. In the apocalypse, something like a helicopter builds hope that somehow, some way people are surviving and thriving. At the very least, survivors begin to think there is still some sort of government force at work to keep them safe. It is a false hope, really. But there we were again, watching a helicopter hover over the earth and wondering, “How on earth did any military personnel survive? They were on the front lines when the walkers rose.” Obviously some would make it as long as Rick and his original crew. Seeing them, though, was a little strange. Any sort of government figure is a foreign concept now. Even Rick dropped his sheriff uniform. What point is there when most of the people you swore to serve and protect are dead?
There was very little time wasted introducing the Governor. On first impression, one looks at the way he leads his men and realizes, this is the sort of leader Rick wishes he could be. Unfortunately, Rick has an overwhelming sense of guilt and morality hanging over his head at all times. The more we saw of the Governor in this episode, it became quickly apparent he had neither of Rick’s downfalls holding him back. Can Andrea and Michonne trust the Governor? The answer is a double-edged sword. He fully believes his efforts alone will be what saves humanity and made it perfectly clear he’d do anything necessary to do so. When you know someone’s game plan, you can trust them to follow through. But to rely on him for their safety when he lies about his intentions in other matters? They’d be foolish.
Michonne is more than ready to leave town and make her own path to survival. She is a woman determined to do things on her own. Trust is a huge issue with her, except when it comes to Andrea. However, trouble could be brewing in their friendship if Andrea insists on staying in Woodbury much longer. Michonne’s spidey-senses are tingling. She’s pacing like a caged tiger waiting for someone to get too close to the bars. Danai Gurira is amazing in this role. Michonne rarely speaks, unless she is alone with Andrea, but her misgivings about Woodbury and the Governor are very, very clear thanks to Danai’s stellar performance.
Caution: There may be spoilers below.
The pets. It was difficult watching Michonne dispatch them in order to keep the walkers from giving away their location. It became even more difficult to let them go after seeing her dodge around the question—the one question that’d give everyone a deeper insight into what makes Michonne tick. Who were the walkers she disfigured and kept by her side at all times? It is easy to assume she found a couple random zombies and fashioned them into her personal pack mules/cloaking device. However, once the question was asked, we knew there was a story there. Maybe one day, we’ll even figure it out.
Woodbury seems too good to be true. It has the same sort of vibe as the prison and Hershel’s farm—if the survivors get too comfortable and settle in too deeply, the place will become their grave. Who on earth would even think of utilizing solar power during the Zombiepocalypse? Yet, there it is. Along with well-manicured flowerbeds, gardens, clean sidewalks, hot water, electricity—the works. What of oneself does it cost to live in Woodbury? For the men, they’re conscripted into the Governor’s private militia. We haven’t met many of the women, yet. They simply seem happy to have a safe place to call home. Because of that, they’re not asking the questions nagging at the back of their mind before they go to sleep each night.
Helpful tip: Don’t ignore the nagging voice when your safety is on the line.
Let’s see…was there anything I forgot? Hey, stop throwing stuff! You know I couldn’t forget good ol’ (rotten ol’) Merle Dixon.
The reintroduction of Merle was perfect. Even without showing him, we knew right away who’d snuck up on Andrea and Michonne. This isn’t the same Merle we saw handcuffed to the roof of a department store. His time in Woodbury has given him a clear head. With the Governor calling the shots, directing Merle’s every move, he has no leeway to dive back into his vices. At least, that’s how it seems so far. Who knows, Merle could flip a gasket and start talking to rocks for all we know.
Lesson number one of The Walking Dead fandom, never attempt to predict what any of the characters will do.
I’ll close this out with one last note:
Fish tanks. Eww.
What do you think about the goings-on in Woodbury? Let us know in the comments below.