How The Most Brutal Scene On Sunday's 'The Walking Dead' Came Together


Warning: There are major spoilers ahead.


"The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman was right. The show stuck closely to a popular storyline from the comics.

Sunday night's episode of the AMC hit brought a fast close to a subplot about a group of cannibals, known as the hunters, after only three episodes into season five.

Last chance to head back before spoilers.

rick the walking dead season 5 ep 3

AMC/The Walking Dead

The scene between Rick and Gareth was a complete role reversal from the season 5 premiere.

A showdown between the "hunters" led by Gareth (Andrew J. West) and Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) group erupted into an unexpected bloodbath in a church. (For the record, the scene doesn't take place in a real church. The small, white chapel in the woods was constructed for the series.)


In the episode, viewers watch as Rick, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) hack away at the Termites for threatening their loved ones.

A lot of the blood in the scene isn't CGI.

When it looks like Rick is hacking away at Gareth ...

... he's actually hacking into a block filled with fake blood to make it splatter most of the time.


West tells The Hollywood Reporter he was also hit with a rubber machete by Lincoln.

"They had to get shots of Andy actually hitting me with the machete because they didn't know exactly how they'd cut it together," says West. "So they wrapped me up with padding around my torso and they gave Andy a rubber machete and just had him beat me with that thing. It doesn't hurt at all because I got the padding and it's rubber, but you feel that pressure and you feel how intensely he's swinging. It creates a pretty remarkable atmosphere. It's scary."

Similar to Lincoln, Cudlitz smashed his gun into a block to splash blood around.


Look close and you'll notice the camera team actually covered themselves and the cameras in clear bags to film the bloody scenes.

CG is used in the scene when Gareth's two fingers get blasted off by gunfire. The actor is wearing CG fingers covered in blood.


"We put some blood on the fingers so that we had some remnant blood," says VFX supervisor Victor Scalise in a featurette on the episode. "The two pieces [of finger] that fly toward the camera are actually computer-generated and a little blood and gore and then as he pulls his hand down you see the little stubs."

If you're wondering why Gareth and the cannibals didn't stick around longer, executive producer Greg Nicotero tells The Hollywood Reporter the show has spent a lot of time with Terminus already and that the crew didn't want to drag it out.

"It's very important that the show continue its momentum," Nicotero told THR. "We feel like we had teased arrival of Terminus for almost the entire second half of the season last year. We want to keep our story moving forward. That story line - the Hunters and cannibals - we want to be able to pay tribute to it from the comic but we also want to keep moving forward. As we get into episodes four, five and six, in true Walking Dead tradition, we're going to step off and explore some other characters we may not have explored as in depth in previous episodes."

That certainly seems to be the consensus this season. Showrunner Scott Gimple and the crew aren't messing around.

You can watch Sunday's talked about scene here.


Watch the making of the scene below: