The Walking Dead Season 4

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dream, May 6, 2013.

  1. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn't you answer your own question? If a bite by a zombie leads to death, then obviously there's something to transmit.
     
  2. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Yes, but not whatever you were talking about.

    How do you even come to the conclusion that "normal microorganisms" are killed off on the show? Hell, they just had a storyline involving the spread of "normal microorganisms."

    And, again, it's not the "zombie bug" that kills anyone. There's no worry about the "zombie bug" being transmitted at all -- it has clearly been stated that everyone is already infected by it.
     
  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry, allow me to clarify. The theory was that whatever's active in the walkers kills or retards the growth of normal microorganisms ... leading to significantly slowed decomposition. Everyone else is fair game to disease just like always; they may have the "zombie bug" but obviously it doesn't do much for them. It's not inconsistent if the bug behaves differently for those it's reanimated, since ... well, they're zombies and we're not.

    I didn't come up with that conclusion, though; I read it here a while back.

    And it's true that the reanimation bug can't be the same as the rapid infection that the walkers give you when they bite; the discussion of mosquito bites and so on referred only to the latter.

    I tend to unfairly equate them because they both behave fantastically and are apparently both directly related to the zombie plague. But really we should be referring to:
    Zombie Bug #1, which everyone already has, and which reanimates you after death, and
    Zombie Bug #2, which spreads through your system like lightning, causes massive fever, quickly kills you, and lets #1 take over. And it requires penetration into the system before it can work. And it only comes from a zombie's mouth, nowhere else. I find all that very interesting. You don't typically get #2 from a zombie scratch, or from smearing yourself with zombie ichor even if you have open wounds, or sitting on a used toilet seat where a zombie sat.

    I think that right there is the final nail in the coffin (crossbow through the head?) for anything being spread through parasites. If #2 only comes from a zombie's mouth, any enterprising mosquito would have to fly into his mouth, suck up some of the appropriate stuff, and then immediately go bite a living victim. Obviously not going to happen very often.

    Yes, you could argue that there's no need for a zombie bug #2 and that zombie bites carry enough germs that it would happen anyway. But the show depicts zombie bites as specifically deadly. You get bitten and that infection rockets through your system faster than anything you'll get from a Komodo dragon (I hope!). You have only minutes to amputate the afflicted area or it's all over? What behaves that way?

    Back on the highway we saw T-Dog slice his arm open on a wrecked car while he was covered in zombie guts. He had complications, but nothing like what you get from a bite. When Rick and Shane started finding walkers who had turned for no reason other than Bug #1, they were looking specifically for bite marks ... and perturbed when they didn't find any. People get clawed by zombies, pawed by zombies, mobbed, dogpiled on, felt up, their wallets taken, etc. etc., but the question is always the same: "You get bit?"

    Therefore, the show acts like there's a Zombie Bug #2 and there is something unique about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  4. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    I've been calling #1 Zombie Virus & #2 Zombie Bacteria...but agree with the idea. How they are interrelated, we don't know...and probably not too relevent, at least for the sake of an enoyable show...
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I've wondered if maybe there is just something about the Zombie that somehow activates or accelerates the Zombie virus. Do we know for a fact that the Zombie Virus everyone is infected with is having no effect until you die? Could it maybe just be acting really slowly or be dormant until you die or get bitten?
     
  6. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Others have pointed out that there's no way a true virus could do the things this does, so I prefer to just stick with something generic like "bug" or "whatever is active in the walkers."

    As for bacteria, well, I'm not qualified to analyze that one-- but I was wondering something. Whatever #1 and #2 are, it's either a remarkable coincidence that they work so well together, or else they were designed that way, or else:

    The appearance of #2 is dependent on the presence of #1. This is established. It requires a reanimated body before it can manifest itself, and it then does so in the mouth. And only there. If it's a bacterium, there's something about mouth conditions that are just right for it. Perhaps the walker produces some sort of chemical in the mouth that encourages the growth of #2.

    OR perhaps the chemical is #2. A substance produced by the walker and secreted in the mouth. When a walker bites living flesh, this stuff gets into the wound and the victim reacts violently. Body temperature shoots up, swelling of the brain produces disorientation that looks like delirium, and so on. The intent is to hasten death so that #1 can take over. It makes #1 more efficient. But it's a chemical reaction, not a fever.

    Side note: If #1 is a microorganism, there's a case that #2 facilitates quicker reproduction ... but since it's apparently infected the entire world, it's a little hard to tell when the reproductive cycle even is. So I can't pursue the specific nature of #1 much further.

    Including the answer to JD's question. I couldn't possibly guess what #1 might do in a living host when no available evidence suggests that it does anything.

    Anyway, #2 could still be a microorganism that lives in some sort of remarkable symbiosis with #1. Both would gain when more walkers are reanimated. But we'd have to ascribe almost as many fantastic elements to #2 as to #1, particularly the apparent speed of reproduction once it enters the body, plus an extremely convenient symbiosis, etc.

    And the chemical idea seems more elegant. It only requires one bug, not two, it could very well work that fast, and it seems to account for all the symptoms. And one more thing: the story on the walkers' physiology is mixed, at best. They have this hunger but seem unable to digest, they're producing energy that comes from nowhere, etc. Producing a beneficial chemical doesn't answer all that, but at least it's a nod that they have some kind of functioning metabolism.

    Can people see any holes in that?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  7. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    I'm still leaning towards the Komodo dragon idea (or at least what was originally thought about them). Their bites are just infested with all kinds of crazy bacteria that leads to festering wounds. Maybe the zombie virus itself acts as a catalyst, greatly accelerating the speed in which the infections spread.

    Hell, maybe part of the zombie transformation includes some kind of venom sac. Scratches and bodily fluid certainly don't seem to be deadly, only the biting.
     
  8. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then we're thinking along the same lines. If my Bug #1 acts as a catalyst to speed up existing bacteria, you get the equivalent of my Bug #2. If the body grows a venom sac, that is my Chemical #2. Although I'd prefer to think it adapts the salivary glands or some such thing to produce the chemical, rather than growing something new.

    Excellent deductions, Watson! :techman:
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I think of it that the "Zombie Bug" is dormant in everyone and being bitten by someone with an "active" version of the bug (a zombie/walker) causes what happens in every other zombie movie to happen. The person dies and eventually comes back as a zombie.
     
  10. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, but even then, there has to be something unique about the walker bite that "activates" the bug. The walker bug is dormant in living people and (as long as they remain alive) it doesn't get activated until very specific conditions arise. Walker scratches, casual exposure to zombie ichor ... none of that does it. There's something about walker structure or "biology" that focuses on their mouths and/or their bites. The most likely candidates are still some other kind of bug (even if it's just an activated version of the regular bug), or some kind of chemical.

    That may sound like hairsplitting, but unless you establish that there are some very specific trigger conditions, then the walker bug should be treated like any virulent microorganism. It becomes active at the drop of a hat whether the person is alive or dead, races through the population, and very shortly nothing is left but walkers.

    Obviously that hasn't happened yet. (Although the flu outbreak at the prison was meant to make us think it was starting to happen.) So, there are some pretty specific limits for activation and those limits define why the 1% of the population is left for us to have a show.

    Yeah, "bite" is one of them, but it has to be more than just "bite". Medically there's no difference between "bite", "scratch", "T-Dog slashing himself open and getting walker ichor into the wound", and "walker gets shot/stabbed/decapitated/[insert violent act here] while attacking Rick and ichor gets into the visible cuts on Rick's face". But only one of those does it.

    There has to be more to it than "bite" and there has to be more to it than "virulent organism that runs rampant once it gets into your system."
     
  11. dansigal

    dansigal Captain Captain

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    The real answer to this is that this makes absolutely no sense, and it never will. It simply is what it is. This is the rule for how this fantastical world works. It's like trying to figure out the science behind magic. There's no explanation that will ever make any sense. I think just accepting the rule is better than trying to develop some midiclorian nonsense.

    For an example of this done right, look at Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy. In that world, there is a zombie virus and everyone is infected. However, its dormant until you die, then it's activated, or if it comes in contact with the active virus, it will also activate. But they are consistent in that it doesn't just have to be a bite. If you get zombie saliva in your eye, you're done. If you get zombie blood in a cut, it's just a matter of time...
     
  12. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can hardly argue; I posted almost exactly the same thing about a week ago!

    I think the actual infection may be the "walker explanation virus". I've caught it since last week and now I'm doomed. Don't let me bite you.

    Seriously, it can be interesting to rationalize a framework that covers everything. I don't treat it as canon or even expect anyone else to accept it; I only bring it up here to see if anyone can find inconsistencies. So far, it seems to hold up.

    And I go for the simplest explanation that covers all the evidence. I'd prefer a chemical or venom secreted by the walkers over any kind of additional bug. No midichlorians here.

    But it's not that important. It's entirely separate from my enjoyment of the show. If my explanation holds up through everything we see through the end of the show, then great. Obviously I was reading the writers' BRRRAIINS!! (Sorry, losing a little control.)

    If they present something that violates my explanation, well, too bad — but that's no reason to stop watching. I'm a consumer and I've still gotta consume. Maybe I can try to eat-- I mean, try to find a loophole that makes it work.

    Someone help me; I need a crossbow bolt now.
     
  13. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could it have something to do with viral load ? Everyone has a low intensity background level of infection, which has no noticeable symptoms.

    Bites give a sudden massive viral spike overwhelming the subject and leading to death, after which...
     
  14. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    It's just a very, very, nasty regular bite that's filled with disease and bacteria that quickly becomes very, very infected and septic. It's probably augmented by the "active" version of the Walker Bug but, basically, it's like being bitten by a rabid dog with a flesh-eating bacteria in its mouth that the dog itself is immune to.
     
  15. PKerr

    PKerr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  16. Q2UnME

    Q2UnME Commodore Commodore

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    ^ That was REALLY cool. Thank you for posting it.

    So ready for new weekend. *squee*

    Q2 :techman:
     
  17. PKerr

    PKerr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Same here, not many shows I get really excited for but TWD is one of them and you're welcome BTW. :)
     
  18. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Same problem: why's the bite different than getting zombie blood in your mouth/eye/open wound? Agree with your general idea, it just doesn't make the bite itself anything special. Getting rabid dog blood in your open wound wouldn't do you any favors, the teeth are just a way of creating that open wound first...
     
  19. PKerr

    PKerr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dunno if THIS has been uploaded before but it's pretty hilarious.
     
  20. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Nice. I love that they actually got Norman Reedus to do it.