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03 April, 2016

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 Finale - Episode 16 "Last Day On Earth"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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So now the season finale is behind us, and it's more clear than ever why this show is so popular. Despite outwardly appearing to be a horror vehicle about a zombie apocalypse, it's actually turned out to be so much more, taking the genre in directions only hinted at in previous incarnations. Instead of simply being a show about zombies, what we have instead is a show about the darkest parts of human nature and just exactly what survival in the midst of that would look like. And, on top of that, it is a piece of fiction with the power of destroying the viewer emotionally, yet bringing them back time and time again like a brainwashed domestic abuse victim. 

Tonight's episode did not disappoint in that respect. One thing that has impressed me quite a bit with this back-half of Season 6, since they returned from their mid-season hiatus, has been the way that the writers have expertly crafted the story in such a way that a sense of impending dread has continued to intensify week-to-week as though leading inexorably toward something big. And tragic. And heartwrenching.

If there's anything to be taken from this as a lesson for those of us in the Prepper / Survivalist subculture, it would revolve around the toll taken by the things one must do to survive and protect those they care for in a world turned more violent and chaotic. There may come a point when a person hits a proverbial wall and simply can't resign themselves to continuing to participate in violence any longer, but throwing off such a necessity won't be so simple as long as there are people they care for needing to be protected. The corollary to that, of course, is that we might expect some people to pull away from the sense of community they clung to previously, desperately trying to distance themselves from those they care about, simply because they no longer feel able to kill to protect them.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







27 March, 2016

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 15 "East"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
Here we are with the penultimate episode of the season. Next week is the season finale that has promised for quite a while to be an extremely eventful episode, and I've got to say that the writers and showrunners have done a really great job. This back-half of the season has turned out to be some of the best all-around episodes of the show in a really long time, and I – for one – have been feeling the dread building each and every week, even amongst some really great character building and tragic moments. I have a feeling that, as a fan, next week is going to be extremely satisfying and heartbreaking at the same time. 

Right in the opening moments of tonight's episode, we were afforded a quick glance of something pretty meaningful from the perspective of emergency preparedness. Without giving away spoilers, what I'm talking about involved one of the characters packing a go-bag for the road, and you can see she's packed her rations in a way that resembles homemade MREs. She has filled Ziplock baggies with dry foodstuffs to keep her going in the field and give her both a head start before she needs to start foraging as well as to supplement whatever she might find to eat. I saw dried peas and fruit, jerky, and some kind of homemade cake bars. Add to that a military mess-kit, knife, matches, a huge roll of duct tape, and even what looks like a jar of preserves, and she's got a pretty decent go-bag even with what little we saw in the few seconds it was on screen. 

Tonight's episode also revisited the theme we've been seeing supported lately where actions have lasting consequences, even if the characters can't see far enough ahead to anticipate them. As I alluded to above, a sense of foreboding has been building steadily ever since the show came back from its mid-season hiatus. Specifically, we are seeing now how an apparent act of mercy can come back to bite you later as well as how a seemingly isolated preemptive attack can later blossom to create an even more dangerous enemy. 

Lastly, another thing that's important to remember is that, in a world full of threats where violence is the only recourse for survival, it's a bad idea to allow a survival group to be separated and drawn apart. Something will always be pulling at your available manpower, creating situations where it becomes easier and easier to allow your strength to be thinned-out and diluted. This is why at least some central authority will probably need to exist, even if it's one of your own making and only pertaining to matters of defense. Someone will need to step up and take responsibility for keeping a sufficient defensive force together, rather than everyone going their own way where they can be picked apart piecemeal.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







20 March, 2016

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 14 "Twice As Far"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
Last week's episode went arguably further than any in the past toward expressing the idea that survivors of an all-out societal collapse may find themselves faced with the need to do awful things to keep breathing. And, as anyone familiar with this show can attest, having pushed that particular boundary is nothing to take lightly. It's also something that each and every one of us preparing for a possibly harsher future need to be thinking about. Who's to say what kinds of things we might be forced to do?

And then there's also the flip-side of that same equation. What if the mercy and helpfulness you've shown to someone in the past is repaid in equal measure with violence against you and yours? It's easy to simply resolve to try to remain a good person, but sometimes being a good person could be what gets you or others victimized. 

This episode also touched on a subject of some importance with respect to surviving in an environment without modern infrastructure, namely shortages of essential items. Specifically, what the show concentrated on was ammunition, something that definitely would become both very important as well as difficult to replace in a world where you can no longer just run to the store and pick up another box or two. This is a great example of why ammunition reloading is a skillset that will be considered invaluable in any type of post-collapse scenario, but the same issue would definitely apply to many other items as well, resulting in a situation where those items become a de facto trading currency.

We were also reminded very clearly that there will be some survivors who are not particularly adept at the more martial side of things. Everyone doesn't necessarily have it in them to be a fighter, and there will be others for whom it is a learned behavior they master over time rather than something that comes natural. Some of these people, however, may very likely possess other skills that make them valuable, and there's no reason to automatically assume they can't learn to be harder and more able to take care of themselves.

But, you know, with some supervision. Otherwise they might end up getting themselves into a big heaping pile of trouble, like we saw with tonight's episode.


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







13 March, 2016

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 13 "The Same Boat"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
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Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
One point that resonated loud and clear for me as a viewer of tonight's episode was that the age-old cliché about actions having consequences is definitely true. Last week was all about these characters having the strength (or having sufficiently lost hold of their humanity, depending on your point of view) to act in a way they never would have considered in the old world before the societal collapse in order to ensure their survival in the reality of the new and more brutal world they are living in. 

The fact is, though, those kinds of actions can have shockingly unintended consequences, and this week's episode makes that point very clearly. Sometimes particularly unpleasant chickens can come home to roost, and it feels – more and more each week – like the show is building toward something big. And, with this show, that usually means nothing good.  


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:







06 March, 2016

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 - Episode 12 "Not Tomorrow Yet"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.
----------

Ever wonder if there's anything to be learned from survival Doomer fiction like The Walking Dead? I think so. Here's what I mean...
Tonight's episode was one of those where you can feel things building inexorably toward some kind of future crescendo. Unfortunately, that feeling – as is often the case with this show – was also underlined by a mounting dread. All of that being true, a more focused episode like this one is often also a bit short on the kinds of tips and lessons we should be looking for as viewers, but even so it began with pointing out the need to use those resources one has available to them. This example took place in the opening moments of the episode where Carol makes cookies from acorns she has collected, using canned beets to add sweetness. Never doubt that when times are more difficult, that kind of ingenuity in making use of whatever rations are at hand will be a great bonus to anyone trying to survive.

Beyond that, the subject matter involved more existential and ethical questions being asked. Put plainly, we are faced as viewers with looking at two communities of survivors and a treaty between them being handled the same way and having the same overall effect as with treaties between nation-states in the real world, specifically a kind of mutual-defense pact in return for resources in this particular case. Even more specifically, this episode asks the viewers to think about the ethical questions revolving around the preemptive attack (and extermination) of a group that represents a common threat to those involved in the treaty. And, regardless of the fact that such an action might be considered justifiable against a group that has proven already to be predatory in nature, I think it's also important to recognize that such an extreme action would surely have unforeseen consequences. 


The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]


My previous reviews for the prequel series "Fear The Walking Dead":
Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6


My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below: