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The Walking Dead: Episode 22 was not supposed to end with Mercer’s sweary line

Michael James Shaw stars as Mercer in Episode 23 of AMC's The Walking Dead
Michael James Shaw stars as Mercer in Episode 23 of The Walking Dead. Pic credit: AMC/Jace Downs

Episode 22 of The Walking Dead saw Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) embroiled in a rigged trial between herself and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt).

Eugene had previously been involved in recording a conversation between Pamela’s son, Sebastian (Teo Rapp-Olsson), and Max (Margot Bingham). This conversation was then played over a loudspeaker and threw a bad light on both Sebastian and his mother.

After the speech aired, walkers were released in the Commonwealth and caused the death of Sebastian.

Pamela blamed Eugene for all of this, even though he was not responsible for some of it.

During the trial, Eugene’s attorney, Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), spoke to Mercer (Michael James Shaw) about how he could possibly sway the proceedings and get Eugene exonerated.

He refused to help but, by the end of the episode, was the one who ended up saving Eugene.

Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko and Michael James Shaw as Mercer, as seen in Season 11 of AMC's The Walking Dead
Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko and Michael James Shaw as Mercer, as seen in Season 11 of The Walking Dead. Pic credit: AMC/Jace Downs

Mercer comes to the rescue

Over several episodes, Mercer has been torn in regard to where his true alliance is.

Even his girlfriend, Princess (Paola Lázaro), ended up dumping him because she couldn’t stand the fact that he was standing by and letting bad things happen.

His sister, Max, is also Eugene’s girlfriend, so the fact that he still kept backing the Commonwealth and Pamela seemed like a strange thing to do.

Doubling down, it really looked like Mercer would not come through, but as Eugene is being led to his death after the trial, it is Mercer who turns up and frees Eugene, declaring that it was “time to f**k s**t up.”

However, that line was never meant to make the final cut.

Josh McDermitt stars as Eugene Porter in Episode 22 of AMC's The Walking Dead
Josh McDermitt stars as Eugene Porter in Episode 22 of The Walking Dead. Pic credit: AMC/Jace Downs

Mercer’s line was not supposed to be in Episode 22

Mercer finally decided it was time to shake things up with Pamela and the Commonwealth when he made his potty-mouth announcement to Eugene.

However, according to Entertainment Weekly, this line was not even scripted.

“So that was not originally the line,” The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang told EW.

“…That was just a free take that Michael did for fun and nobody thought we’d use it. But my editor had put it in the cut that he and the director [Rose Troche] did. And I was like, ‘We should just check the scripted takes, just in case.’ And, by far, that was the coolest, best take. And we’re like, ‘Let’s just use it. Why not?'”

So, what was the real line?

According to Kang, the line that was supposed to be used was actually, “Time to take this place!”

And, as pointed out by the showrunner, it just doesn’t quite have the same punch as Shaw’s unscripted line.

The Walking Dead airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on AMC.

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