‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Episode 11: No, Zombie Guts Can’t Turn People

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After watching Season 8 Episode 11 of The Walking Dead (called “Dead or Alive or”), fans are wondering how Negan’s plan mentioned at the very end of the episode can actually work. And it appears there are quite a few plot holes hiding in Negan’s plan. Looking at previous seasons, it seems like it might not fit with the canon of what the show has done before. This post is going to have spoilers for tonight’s The Walking Dead episode, Season 8 Episode 11. 

Dedicated fans know their trivia, and Negan’s new plan mentioned at the end of tonight’s episode has some fans scratching their heads. Eugene suggested that they rig some catapults to hurl zombie body parts and guts over the walls of The Hilltop. And Negan is all on board. He gave a big speech at the end as he used Lucille to puncture a few zombies. (It also sounded like he might be infecting some of his people — or other people — to help make the “zombie guts on catapults” plan a reality.)

But astute viewers are wondering how this is going to work. In the past, The Walking Dead has indicated that simply being touched by zombie guts or even scratched by zombie guts isn’t enough to kill a person. Remember, everyone in this show’s universe is already infected (as was revealed to us in the Season 2 finale.) The danger of getting bitten by a zombie lies in the fact that a zombie’s bite is fatal. The person gets a fever, dies, and turns into the zombie they were always going to become when they died. So it’s not about getting infected with the walker virus, it’s about dying from a fatal walker bite.

That’s why we’ve seen so many examples on both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead of people walking around covered in zombie guts, avoiding detection by the walkers, and then being OK. In fact, so far Gabriel is the only person who has gotten sick after wearing zombie guts.

But things get even more head-scratching than that. The Walking Dead has shown in previous episodes that getting scratched by something covered in zombie guts isn’t enough to protect a person either.

Fans are pointing out that while at Alexandria, Rick stabbed his hand with a blade that had been plunged in a walker. And let’s not forget Season 2 Episode 10, “18 Miles Out,” when Shane was cut with a mucked weapon that had zombie guts on it, and he was fine. More specifically, Shane used the same knife that he had already used to kill a zombie, and he cut his hand and put his blood on the door as bait. This actually sparked some theories that Shane had been infected (which wasn’t the case.) In fact, someone even made a video about that theory back in 2012:

In the episode “What Lies Ahead,” Andrew stabbed a walker and the blood spattered into her eye. She didn’t turn as a result. Fans have also said that Michonne had an open wound on her leg and was covered with blood when she first arrived at the prison, and Sasha once killed a walker and then cut Abraham’s arm with the same weapon in Season 5.

So what’s the deal? The best explanation to this whole plan is likely found in Eugene’s explanation that he gave Negan in the first place. He didn’t emphasize that Rick’s people were going to die from the catapults. He called it a psy-ops mission that would get in their heads and demoralize and scare them. So from that angle, yes, the mission could be successful. But it won’t likely be turning anyone early.

What do you think of Negan’s plan? Let us know in the comments below.