Episode 540: Late Comers

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Bring Me Up to Speed

People showing up late for the action bring with them a number of problems. The first and most obvious is that they weren’t actually there to lend assistance with the actual problem. Secondarily, they need to be brought up to speed on the situation once they do arrive, and if things are still dangerous – say in the middle of a zombie attack – that might not be possible. Sure, you could probably give them the cliff’s notes version of what happened, but it would lack any real nuance, and might actually cause them to make a bad decision because of a lack of complete information. When every moment counts, that’s no good for anyone.

On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for fresh, rested people showing up in the middle of a fight. You might have to give them an update of where everything stands, but they’re ready to jump right in and help, possibly relieving others who are tired and injured. As with anything, there’s a give and take.

About this Episode:

Once again I struggle with how characters should show up on screen. I like to show as much transition as possible, but it seems stupid to waste two panels on these people opening a door and walking outside. It’s much more efficient to just have them standing on the porch when the comic starts, with the door perhaps slightly ajar. I’m not 100% happy with the effect though.

Discussion Question: Limb Removal

Let’s say someone in your group has been bitten by a zombie, but others were there to step in before they could be killed. You notice right away that the bite is on an extremity: their forearm. Do you think amputation could save their lives and prevent the zombie bug from taking hold? If so, how quickly would you have to act, and what factors would need to be considered (whether an vein or artery was bitten, perhaps)?



Typo alert, Zombie Cliche Lookout, last sentence: everyone–>every 😀

It seems like there’s only one typo, unless someone else spots an obvious one! 😀


Regarding the Discussion Question: I don’t favor this at all. First there is the problem of whether removing the limb would do more harm than good, as amputees do suffer from circulatory problems. Second, there’s the problem of how long that limb actually stays attached to the patient before it gets removed, and how far the infection gets in the blood and lymphatic systems during that time period.

Therefore, in Brent’s case, if he did actually get bitten, he’s going to become a zombie sooner or later, regardless of what help they try to give him now.

The only thing that would save Brent now is author-powers, and I really doubt Dave would do that unless his script called for someone with resistance to the zombie infection to become apparent to this group! 😀


I think amputation is one of those things that sounds good because people think it sounds easier than it would really big. When you factor in things like shock, infection, blood loss, etc, it’s something that’s going to fail the vast majority of the time.


Hm This question this week makes me think this would be something I would being up with my group right away.
I would tell them it was so we could find out more about the virus and see if an amputation could help save our lives, or if it was too late. So I would amputate for the sake of knowing down the road if it worked.
As for if it was on an artery, then I think it’s be too late.(As I said back last time with the severity of the wound)


That’s a tough thing to do. If it doesn’t work, you’ve just tortured a person who is already in agony and dying. That’s pretty icky.


If you came across someone in a car accident, perhaps, but the zombie virus is 100% fatal. I think that falls under the “you might as well” category.

Like Rick making the split-second decision to chop off Hershel’s leg in The Walking Dead, it just might save them, and, if it didn’t, they were dead anyway. I’d think “circulation problems” pale in comparison to becoming a zombie.

That said, I think by the time they’re having this debate, it’s already too late for our friend. However, “you might as well”…


Interestingly, this was handled significantly differently in the comic. Rick made a split-second decision to amputate one characters leg, and they died in agony from blood loss.


How fast the virus spreads is my friends greatest Zombie pitfall. We can never agree on what spreads the virus, like in TWD last season Maggie was walking around with blood all over her face with no infection yet something in their mouths are suppose to spread it? I personally think the Zed Virus has already infected everyone because no one turns until they die, so why bites? or scratches? People don’t change while they’re alive, right? I could see the Zombies infecting people with some other horrible disease just not Zomi-itus. So as far as the amputation goes, It should work. But other arguments would say depending on how the virus is spread whether it be blood, saliva or at some cellular level. If its through blood then forget about it, most of the time its almost a minute later its noticed. How long does it take blood to get from your toes to your heart?


The lack of safeguards for blood and other fluids on that show (and most other zombie movies) is just ludicrous. I think they all need to take a blood-borne pathogen class or two.


that would be really interesting, having someone who is resistant to the infection


It could certainly be taken in interesting directions, if done well. I think there’s a real danger of doing it only to keep favorite characters safe.


I think it is up to every person for themselves, if they are coherent enough to decide. Some people accept their fate and some want to go out kicking and screaming the entire way.


A zed virus resistant person is what Z Nation on SyFy channel is about.


Look up amputations during the American Civil War. There is a lot more to them then just hacking off the limb and stopping the bleeding. A really good surgeon could do it in just under ten minutes. The usual zed survivor has no where near the skill and experience to do an amputation correctly so most likely will kill the bitten person either with the operation or from complications. Do not see it as a good way to stop an infection.

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