Season Eight, Episode Ten, The Lost and the Plunderers

by Thom McKee

Years ago I had a very interesting conversation with an American who was sympathetic to the Irish Republican Army. Now, most of you probably don’t have very strong opinions on the IRA, especially since there has been peace in Northern Ireland for over two decades now. But it certainly didn’t used to be that way and I know this first hand. So my reaction to this IRA sympathizer was not so great.

My perspective is a little different because I lived in London in 1991 when the IRA

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Season Eight, Episode Nine, Honor

by Thom McKee

Who are the walking dead? Is it just the walkers? The title seems simple enough, but I am not sure that it is only referring to the hoards of zombies who threaten and kill these characters every week. There are just so many possible interpretations. Are the walking dead, the living whose survival skills (or lack thereof) are eventually going to get them killed? Or are they the ones who have been gravely injured and will be dead in a matter of days? Or perhaps, the walking dead were the people alive before the zombie apocalypse who knew nothing of the impending doom that they were about to face?

One very old theory is that “The Walking Dead” is referring to the

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Season Eight, Episode Eight, How Its Gotta Be

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

by Thom McKee

You may have already heard two things about this week’s mid-season finale of season 8 of the Walking Dead. First you have probably heard that the show had the lowest ratings for a mid season finale since season two. This season alone, the show has lost millions of viewers. But second, you may have heard (major spoiler alert!) what happened to Rick’s son Carl this week. Actually, it probably happened a couple of weeks ago when he fought off some walkers with his new pal Siddiq, but Carl has been bitten by a walker. Yes, he was bitten on his torso which means no amputations (a la Hershel) and even Scott Gimple has confirmed that there will be no coming back from this bite. Carl Grimes is going to die very soon…

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Season Eight, Episode Seven, Time for After

by Thom McKee

Does God really have a plan for your life? You may believe in God, but not necessarily that He is involved in your life at all. Or you may be the type of believer that sees God involved in every decision including what shoes you should put on in the morning. But even a rough survey of people who believe in God (including some Christians) will fall all over this spectrum – God isn’t involved in our lives at all or God is involved in every minute detail

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Season Eight, Episode Six, The King, The Widow and Rick

by Thom McKee

Just the other day, my almost 12-year-old son announced to me that he and his friends were going to make a movie. When I asked him about the details, he said that they were going to make a “feature length film to be screened in movie theaters.” Now up to this point, he has made quite a few five to ten minute movies on his Ipad and has even screened a few at church and at school. He is very talented for his age. So I mentioned to him that if he made a longer film, we could probably find a way to screen it at the local movie theater (we live in a small town with one movie theater). Of course I also had to become a bit of a buzz-kill and remind him that it would take a lot of work. His reaction was very typical of a boy his age. He told me that

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Season Eight, Episode Five, The Big Scary U

by Thom McKee

Does how you die really matter?

How about how you live?

Let’s face it, death is a horrible thing that happens to all of us. But I have done enough funerals to know that some deaths are much worse than others. Usually, the younger the person is, the harder it is on those who love them. Deaths in mass shootings or acts of terrorism

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Season Eight, Episode Four, Some Guy

by Thom McKee

Do we decide who we ultimately become or do the circumstances of life determine it?

This was the deep existential question that King Ezekiel was pondering tonight right before all of his devastating losses. Not only did he lose most of the members of the Kingdom (I knew last week when he said that he hadn’t even lost one that bad things were about to happen), but he lost his irreplaceable pet tiger Shiva, who went out like a champ. (Is it bad that I was more sad about that than anyone else we have lost so far this season?)

Let’s face it, Ezekiel had a really bad day, and it makes complete sense that the day would start with some deep questions about why he created this whole charade in the first place

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Season Eight, Episode Three, Monsters

by Thom McKee

Just this last summer, my 11 year old son asked me if there were rules to war. The question didn’t just come out of thin air. We were watching a World War II movie where the “Geneva Convention” was mentioned. He had no idea what this was, but the idea of rules to war seemed amusing to my son.

“Dad, does anyone follow rules for war?” he asked me.

I kind of laughed and pointed out that the rules mostly dealt with what you could do with prisoners of war and what types of weapons you could use, but that the Allies (in WW2) really tried to obey the rules. Then he asked me if the atomic bomb was against the rules. I told him

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Season Eight, Episode Two, The Damned

by Thom McKee

How much does fiction matter in the real world? Is there anything of value in these shows that we all watch which warrants so much discussion and debate?

Of course, as I write, I am taking a fictional show about walkers and discussing it in light of the truth of the Bible. Some people have criticized us for doing this, saying that we are mixing truth with untruth (Meanwhile, in the other room, my wife is writing a Biblical discussion for season two of Stranger Things). Obviously, we do think that there is some value in analyzing the culture that we live in and discovering how all of these ideas connect with our Christian faith. But the question is still valid – does untruth have any connection with truth at all?

While I have to admit that I

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Season Eight, Episode One, Mercy

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

by Thom McKee

What is “mercy” in The Walking Dead? Is it something that you demonstrate right before someone kills you? Is it something that only the naive hope for right before they are victimized or killed by the survivors of the zombie apocalypse? Is it the thing that all of the violence and cruelty in the world of TWD just squeezes right out of you?

I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions in the context of this show. I am also not so sure that the writers on the show know what mercy means in this universe. But one thing that I do know is that this theme has been explored endlessly during the first ninety-nine episodes of the show? So when I saw that the 100th episode of this show was called “Mercy”, I have to admit

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