Reviews

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The G33kpod podcast went and did a review for a small company called 5 Wits.
They operate at Destiny USA in Syracuse, NY. The adventures are reasonably priced and well worth the price, for 1 adventure (16.99), 2 adventures (11.99 per adventure) and a 3 adventure pack is only (8.99 per adventure). The staff is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. They explained in detail the adventure and made sure that you were ready to begin.
They do accommodate parties (birthday, team building events) you can take up to 20 people per adventure.
They only have 3 adventures right now there is the Tomb, Drago’s Castle, and the Espionage (Spy). They also accommodate for children 7 to adults to 70.
Each adventures has its own scoring system in which your goal is to score the highest that you can in the shortest amount of time. Each adventure last about 25 to 30 minutes and take quick thinking and a sense of adventure. 2 of the 3 adventures have special items that you can get can get, but only if you are perfect in certain rooms. (The Espionage adventure is the only adventure that does not have the special items).
Our First adventure was The Tomb which is an ancient 3000 year old archaeological dig at a pharaoh’s tomb. There is an ancient legend there that if you find the Pharaoh’s tomb you might not make it out. You must battle wits with the Pharaoh at his game and prove your worthiness.
There are two tests that need to be passed to get through the first room in which you will need good sight and a keen sense of hearing. The graphics and presentation in here is very good. The second room will test your courage of the unknown and the how well you can match symbols to get to the third room. The third room will tests your sight and quickness as well as your sight and mind. Do you think that you have what it takes to make it out alive?
The second adventure that we enjoyed was Drago’s Castle which is a fairy tale that comes to life. You must recapture the dragon and get him back where he belongs.
The first room again has to two tests that you will need to pass in order to get the second room. It will test your ability to work together and your sight and team work. In the second room you will need to be able to solve puzzles but don’t think that it is easy you will need both a keen mind and deductive reasoning. Into the third room you must go but watch your head! The third room will test your ability to put together puzzles quickly and your ability to be look all over the room for clues as well as listen to the princess.
The last adventure was Espionage (Spy). You are a team that is trying to save the world that must work together to beat CABAL but time is ticking.
In the first room there are two tests. The first test you will need to be nimble and watch all around you to pass, the slightest mistake can cost you dearly, while the second test you will need to not be afraid of a little electricity. To the second room you go but watch out it is a tight squeeze. Once in the room you will need to solve two more puzzles in which each one is timed and they will test your ability to out think your opponent it is a chess match of wits and electricity. The third room you will need to be quick with your hands, eyes, ears and work together as a team to achieve your goal. Too many mistakes and you might destroy the world.
On an overall experience this was well worth the time and money. I can’t wait for the fourth adventure to opens up so that we can experience that as well. I would recommend this adventure to anyone that asks and tell you to enjoy the experience and to make the best of your time in the adventures.

Hello People,

On Monday March 2nd around 6:00pm My friends Paul, Hugh, Corbs and I had the opportunity to review 5 Wits in Destiny USA.  Every time I go to the mall I pass by this place and wonder what it was.  I wanted to know what went on in there and was always curious.  I know am proud to say I went into this place and left very satisfied.  There are three attractions,  Tomb with mummies,  Dragos Castle and  Espionage.  My friends and I did all three and enjoyed them all.

Lets begin. Before you go into each attraction a employee helps greets you  and explains to you what will be going on.  The customer service from each employee was great, I can tell the people that work there enjoy there jobs.  It is nice to see because I have been to places where people are either boring or just do not care what they do.
Time to review! The first attraction is a tomb with mummies and it was a fun time solving puzzles but that is all I am going to tell you because I do not want to spoil anymore.
The second one is a dragons castle and again not spoiling anything.
The third one was an espionage one where you are a spy, and its about, wait I am not telling you, go and do them for yourself.
After you complete them you can see your score and see if you uncovered any secrets so you can do these over again and have different results.  This was a fun time and brought out the kid in me again however I feel adults would like this place too.  Fun times for parties.  If a child had thier birthday here they would be the talk of the classroom Monday morning.  I would go back again and I will be sure to tell people about this place.  Well that is all I have for now.  Have a good evening and bye for now.

This is Jack.

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     Paul Showens – Host/ Producer

As listeners to our podcast know, (Episode 12 specifically ) We have been extended the opportunity to check out 5 Wits in DestiNY USA in Syracuse, NY. Well, the boys from G33kpod took full advantage of that hospitality and made the journey on Monday night ( March 2nd 2015 ).
What is 5 Wits? 5 Wits is a cutting-edge, live-action entertainment venue that immerses participants in realistic, hands-on adventures. Think a Disney World ride meets a live action video game. Espionage, TOMB and Drago’s Castle are currently available. In Espionage, you’ll be trained as spies, infiltrating and taking down a mysterious villain in his secret lair. In TOMB you’ll be trapped in an ancient Egyptian tomb fighting for your life against an angry Pharaoh! And in Drago’s Castle, you’ll join forces with a princess to escape a dungeon, solve ancient riddles and come face to face with a giant dragon! That got your attention didn’t it? I’ll talk about each of the adventures in a minute but let’s start at the beginning.
Appearances are deceiving. Your 5 Wits experience begins with an unassuming storefront. There’s lots of thematic merchandise arranged around the room and it doesn’t do much to draw you in, as a matter of fact it kind of obscures the real attention getter, The doors to the adventures! If I had a knock on them at all, it would be this. Find a way to draw more attention to those really cool doors!!!!! The merch is cool and all but, if I’d have noticed those doors before, I would have been in there long before now!!! Once inside we met the staff who would be assisting us in our experience, A great group of people they have working there.
Adventure awaits! So, what about those adventures? 5 Wits was gracious enough to allow us to experience all three of the adventures. Each of the adventures are very immersive with top notch, state-or-the-art effects, there are even a couple of “how’d they do that?” moments! All of the experiences begin outside of the entrance to the adventure. There will be an introduction video that will acclimate you to the storyline. These videos are well produced and very informative and have just the right of campy-cheesiness to make them awesome. Once the intro is over, the fun starts right-away!

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Enter the TOMB! We chose to begin our experience with TOMB. Here’s how 5 Wits themselves describes it:

Prove your worthiness and survive to tell the tale!
Enter a 3,000 year old tomb with only a flashlight and your wits to guide you! At an archaeological dig, you find yourself deep in an Egyptian tomb… face to face with the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh! Are you brave enough to make it out alive? The only way to survive will be to best the Pharaoh at his own game and prove your worthiness… but watch out for traps along the way! Test your skills in this amazing adventure thousands of years in the making!

Sounds awesome right? Hell yeah it was! This was my personal favorite of the 3 adventures. Like all of the experiences, it was extremely immersive. , going through it made me feel like Rick O’Connell. ( Yes. From the Mummy Returns ) You really get the feeling that you’re exploring an ancient tomb! It’s creepy and has a strong sense of foreboding throughout the adventure. The puzzles are difficult but not impossible and require you to use your brains as much if not more than your body. This was a very cool adventure with a rewarding ending. Next time I run TOMB, I’m wearing a fedora ( which you can buy from the merch area in the storefront! )

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Drago’s Hungry! That’s what CJ told us as we walked to the entrance of Drago’s Castle, the dungeons and dragons-esque medieval themed adventure. 5 Wits themselves describes it like this:

Are you Uppeth for the Challenge?
We’ve opened the drawbridge on Drago’s Castle — our most epic live-action adventure! But the dragon has escaped. And the princess needs your help recapturing him.
See if you have what it takes to escape the dungeon cell, solve the king’s riddles, discover secret passageways, and come face to face with the giant dragon! Otherwise, there may not be a storybook ending…

This is the one I expected to love the most and it was a close second! The tone for this one was a bit more lighthearted, but no less immersive. The environments were amazing and the dungeon area even smelled musty and dank! This experience was a bit more physical but nothing taxing. The puzzles on this go round were quite varied. Some were quite difficult ( we had one that we failed, actually ) and to answer the burning ( pun intended ) question…. Yes you DO see the dragon and he’s awesome! Once again, the finale was outstanding and made for a great experience.

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Entering the Spy Game. We saved Espionage for last. This is a 007/ Mission: Impossible-style adventure with modernistic challenges. Here’s how 5 Wits describes it:

The Fate of the Free World Depends on You!
Time is ticking and everything is on the line when the evil CABAL Corporation threatens the world. Do you have what it takes to infiltrate an enemy base and disarm the missiles before it’s too late?
Dodge lasers, crawl through vents, defuse a giant missile and stop a madman from triggering a world war in this action packed spy thriller! Every puzzle you solve, challenge you conquer, and mistake you make will change the outcome, so stay sharp, move fast-and don’t get caught!

I guess by default this was my least favorite of the three but I still had a blast! The challenges were very cool, much of it was more physical than the others ( nothing beat dodging lasers! ) The story was engaging and the sense of urgency is really driven home during the final challenge as the atmosphere teeters into chaos ( you’ll see what I mean when you experience it for yourself.)
Final Judgement. I absolutely LOVED this experience. 5 stars all the way! I cannot recommend it enough. Everyone should go check this out at least once! My suggestion, clear an evening and buy the 3 adventure package. It’s the best value and the most fun, and don’t forget to tell ‘em G33kpod sent you.

For more details, including Pricing and Hours of Operation visit 5-wits.com

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The store front is average sized and unassuming,  and this may be why I looked but always passed by 5 Wits at the Destiny Mall.   I was always interested,  even stopped by and grabbed a brochure,  but was hesitant to spend my money on something I did not understand.  So let’s clarify something:
There many things I spend money on without knowing all the details.   A movie,  a new restaurant,  etc.   With those things however I understand the concept of what I am getting.   What has stopped me from experiencing 5 Wits is I had no frame of reference for what my money was buying.   I needed someone to tell me it was worth the price.   That person would have been right.

For lack of a better phrase, 5 Wits is an interactive adventure. Like something you would find at a theme park in Florida. There are three themed adventures, with a fourth coming in April. They cover the gamut pretty well from Egyptian tomb to medieval castle to secret agent. All three are done exceptionally well, with  attention to little details that will surprise you. Each takes about a half hour to complete, and is much larger than you would expect.

From the outside, 5 Wits does not look like it could house an entire castle or tomb. That is part of the reason I never took the concept seriously. What you can’t see is the massive space behind it, and the incredibly clever use of space just beyond the entrance. Each experience has multiple rooms and feels like a different world from the retail temple just outside it’s doors. Yes, it is hard to believe there is a castle with a dungeon in that place, but there is.

In speaking with the assistant manager John Taylor, we found out that each attraction takes about ten days to build. Which is hard to believe after you have gone through one. From the dust and stale air when you first enter the Pharaoh’s tomb, to the smell of metal and grease when you enter the dungeon, it seems every little detail was seen to with the zeal of an artist. I was continually surprised by the little touches scattered all about. While most of us will never enter and Egyptian burial site, I have to think the experience would be not too unlike this. With artistic license of course!

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Another thing that struck me was the enthusiasm of the employees. The two gentleman working that evening were clearly excited to be selling their product. From a clear knowledge of the workings to being more than willing to answer any questions we had, I felt like they were there because they love show and not just for the pay check. After we went through the first attraction and saw that we were scored, they proceed to explain the workings of the scoring system. There is also apparently a meta game throughout which gives bonuses at the end if you are quick and clever enough.

For those wondering, everything is wheel chair accessible. In a clever work around, any small passageway or obstacle you come across also has a door that can be opened by the more able of the group going first. We did not catch that as twice our large selves crawled through tunnels only to see we could have sent skinny Jack through first and had him open the door for us. All three can be intense and the tomb is a bit scary, but nothing worse than a Harry Potter film. Use your best judgement and common sense with your little ones.

Finally, two things stood out for me the most. The first was when Jack didn’t show, we figured he wasn’t going to make it and started without him. As we entered the second room of the tomb he came bounding through a somewhat hidden door and scared us all half to death! The second thing was during our last run through the Espionage adventure, I finally got to do something I have always wanted to do. Badly, but I did it. I will leave it to you to go see and guess what I am talking about.

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5 Wits is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT worth your time and money.  Go give them some cash, and tell them that G33kpod sent you!  You will NOT be disappointed.

First up, Z Nation finished it’s freshman season about they way you would expect it to.

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Oddly enough the final episode felt less campy and more serious drama.  They finally reveal some back story and we find the evil scientist that seems to have created the virus alive and well and still playing with dead things.

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There isn’t much to say about this show that hasn’t been said already.  It’s mindless fun and it is renewed so we get more of it next year.  If you can accept that every show about zombies does not have to be as good as The Walking Dead, then there is nothing wrong with this sillier take on the end of the world.

Overall Grade: B-

Good enough equals awesome on the SyFy network.  Can we call this dumb when the classic movies had zombies screaming for “BRAAAINNNSSSS!”?  That’s like Star Trek fans picking on Star Wars fans for being nerds.  This will never win an Emmy, and that is fine by me.

 

Which brings us to The Walking Dead

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Best season ever so far.  Although I feel like Rick has been lost this season.  Not lost sad Rick or lost crazy Rick, just lost in the overall story.  He is being quite bad ass and vicious this year.  I can’t tell if we are to think he is losing his humanity, or if he came to this place organically but we have seen him so infrequently this year  that it seems abrupt.

Scott Gimple has really found a great balance with this show.  Keeping it exciting but not sacrificing the action.  It will never be as action heavy and bloody as half the internet wants, but there was some great stuff this year.

In the finale they killed another one.

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Beth Greene is dead.  People like to applaud the show for killing off major characters.  I am going to say something now I have never seen any outlet say:

Yes this show is great, and they take risks… but not really.  I don’t want to see the major players die, but I tire of hearing how brave they are when really, they pick the character lowest on the totem pole so as not to cause riots, and kill them.  Beth dying was sad.  Herschel, Andrea, Dale, Lori, Sophia, T-Dogg… the only one of them that actually mattered was Shane.  I love this show but let’s not pretend like Beth was ever anything more than a supporting role.  This was not shocking, just sad as I will miss her.

There, I said it… now on to the best scene and gif since ever…

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Overall Grade: A

They aren’t hanging out in a farmhouse anymore.  They followed the comic.  They killed some stuff.  What more could you ask for?

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Arrow, like The Flash, had an excellent end to the first half of it’s season.  Punctuated by an epic fall finale that might be the best out of the whole crop of fall finales.  Without recapping the entire season, Oliver finds out that Thea not only came back with Merlyn and has contact with him, but she killed Sara.  She was under the influence of “mysterious druggy plot devicey thingy”, but still she ultimately fired the arrows into Black Canary.  Thea lies to Oliver about having contact with Merlyn and basically they have the most dysfunctional tree trimming in Starling City.

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To anyone wondering if Arrow would be as exciting as its big screen DC counterparts, man did the finale really make a case for the TV universe.  Not only did it really end in a way that you figured they wouldn’t, it has also unfortunately led to this websites highest quotient of shirtless men in a single post.  The battle with Ra’s al Ghul atop a snowy mountain.

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As good as anything in a motion picture, this battle was more than I think we expected.   Again I think they could have worn some clothes, but this is the CW network.  Shirtless guys are kind of their thing.  Lack of attire aside, it was an amazing fight sequence worthy of the big screen.

I wasn’t sold on the guy playing Ra’s until this episode.

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He may not look right or sound right, but he is Bad Ass.  Especially when he stabs Oliver in the chest with a sword, and kicks him off a mountain.  Yup, he kills Oliver Queen.  That means we must be making with the Lazarus Pits because there is no getting out of that no matter how in shape you are.  That is why this is my favorite mid season finale this year, because they killed their main character.  They had the balls to do it.  Not fake it or wuss out at the end.  This leads them more in to comic territory than ever before.  Not only was this shocking but it is a promise of an even better show coming.  That’s how you do a mid season finale.

Just to balance the all the shirtless guys, here is our first look at Ray Palmer’s Atom suit.

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Overall Grade: A-

Can’t really ask for much more than this.  Nothing is perfect and we still spent time this season moping a bit.  Also, can someone explain how they make Alex Kingston look fat every time she guest stars.  I thought she had gotten fat, and then I see her on Doctor Who and she looks the same.  So what is going on??!!

 

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Since getting a bit off track with the holiday season, I decided it was time to get back in the saddle with the G33kpod Mid Season Report Card.  First up, The Flash.

The second quarter of The Flash’s first season continued the growth and promise shown previously.  The highlight of that was clearly the much hyped Flash/Arrow crossover.  First and foremost, this was not a publicity grab.  Both the Flash side of it and the Arrow side were well thought out and some of the most entertaining tv so far this season.  They were two partly separate stories, not just a part one and part two.  I was taken aback by that because I always assumed they would take the easy two parter road for these episodes, and was not expecting two mostly self contained stories geared toward the audience of that specific show.

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The episodes also showed a conflict, resolution, and growth in the relationship between Barry and Oliver.  Made me want to see the two team up every three or so episodes.

The other major development was The Reverse Flash

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We finally see Barry face off against the man who murdered his mother.  I was expecting this plot thread to last at least until the end of the season(and it might still), but it seems like they may be revealing things much sooner.  All signs point to Harrison Wells having a strong connection to the bad guy, if not being the Reverse Flash himself.  I didn’t feel like we actually know much more now than we did before, but I was not let down at all with the movement of the plot.  Could use a bit less pining over Iris but somehow I don’t think that is going to change any time soon.

And then the big news…

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They are really doing Firestorm!  Looks like a homeless man on fire right now, but I am guessing that might change in the latter half of the Season.

Overall Grade: B+

Paul will whine about it, but it’s better than a B-!  The show is great, but is still finding it’s voice.  I feel like if first quarter had let loose like the last quarter the grade would be higher.  Plenty of time left to bring that up to an A by the end of the season.

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Something interesting happened while watching this last weeks Z Nation.  I didn’t groan.  I didn’t shake my head.  My wife didn’t say “Oh SYFY.”  This is during the episode where they make a Sharknado reference.  There were zombies caught in a tornado being flung around and they played it straight for the most part.

Oh my god, this just might not end up being the train wreck I expected.

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There was lots of zombie action, most of them looking quite good.  We are not talking TWD good, but better than in past weeks.  I get the feeling that the production team is getting better as time goes on.  There were also some neat gags with fireman zombies that I haven’t seen anywhere outside of Left 4 Dead.

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Effects wise there was never a question that this episode would be heavy on cgi.  Other than one hiccup, most of it was handled well.  Zombies being flung half a mile by the tornado looked about as good as it could have been done, even on a bigger budget.  One particular zombie bounced off the ground right in to a tree, leaving a huge blood stain.  That one was so good we had to watch it three times.  The Asylum may not always be known for quality, but I think this shows they are growing as a production company.

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Lastly, it is clear that Murphy is not as out of the woods as we thought him to be.  The vaccine that stopped him from turning in to a zombie a year ago must be wearing off, as his wounds are starting to rot and his hair is falling out.  The crew thinks he cut his hair, but it was falling out so I think he just pulled it out off screen.  He does not look good.  I had noticed the past few episodes he had been looking worse, and I think they handled the transition with great care.

So I am more excited about the show than I had been.  It is getting better, and I hope they can keep up the momentum.  Here is a promo for next weeks “Resurrection Z”

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There is not a whole lot to say about last night’s Supernatural.  It was a very entertaining episode where the plot only inched forward, but the character moments were exceptional.

First there was the “breakup ” of Dean and Crowley.  Dean does not want to work for the King of Hell and says so in a very physical and violent way.  He basically dares Crowley to do something about it in front of his minions, and that will not sit well.  I think I see a big confrontation coming where Dean might find out just how powerful the King Of Hell is.  At one point Crowley is looking and pictures of his phone like one would an ex.  Seems like he really thought himself and Dean would make a good team, and will come back with the vengeance of a scorned lover.

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There was also the first meeting of Sam and demon Dean.  Jared  did one incredible scene last night when he sees Dean for the first time.  Just the look on his face before the commercial cut was the best acting we have ever seen him do.  My wife even said he looked terrified.  Unfortunately the reunion is interrupted by “random guy” from last week, who it turns out is not a hunter.  Dean killed his father years ago, who in a flashback looked to be a demon, and he witnessed the whole thing.  He tries to pick a fight with Dean, gets his ass handed to him, and distract Dean long enough for Sammy to get the cuffs on him.

So next week it looks like we are going to get Sam vs. Dean.  Had to happen.  Hopefully we can start to get an idea of where this is going.  Again as well, Castiel had some good scenes but it didn’t have any impact on the plot.  I really hope they fold him in to the story proper.

Here is next weeks promo, “Soul Survivor”.

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In the new spirit of not recapping every damn turn of events, I want to say last night’s TWD was a great opener to what promises to be an exciting and gut wrenching season.  There were no major character deaths and it was as close to a happy ending as we ever get with this show.

Key take aways:

Carol is a badass.  She blows up the Terminus camp in one of the coolest effects the show has ever done.  She really saves everyone.  The whole cast fights like hell, but they never would have made it if she hadn’t intervened at just the right time.

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Rick also is in full ass kicking mode.  He doesn’t think twice about taking out the Terminus residents.  It is nice to see him finally be strong and focused for the most part.  I was also suprised to see Terminus Mary bite the dust.  When they cast Denise Crosby in the show I expected her to last longer than two episodes.  Silly me, this is The Walking Dead.

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Other than that, it was lots of action, and a lot more character development you appreciated if you watched the show.

Carol and Daryll were reunited in a very emotional scene.

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Then America collectively teared up.  I think we cared more about this than Judith being reunited with her dad and brother.

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Rick was on the ground A lot.

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And then after the credits and the preview there was a stinger!  I would have missed it if I wasn’t planning on watching The Talking Dead afterwards.

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Who is that man dressed sensibly for almost any apocalypse scenario?

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Morgan!!!

There is clearly a moral issue at the heart of this episode about judging those who have done what they had to to survive, when you have done what you had to to survive.  I am sure this is going to be explored more in depth as I do not think we have seen the last of the Terminus folks.

Here is the promo for next weeks “Strangers”