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20 September, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 4 - Episode 5 "Internment"

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...
Keeping in line with the past few episodes, the subject of this one also centers largely on the outbreak of sickness through which the community at the prison is suffering. As might be expected, a situation like that would be terribly hard on those who aren't sick as well. On the one hand, you have individuals who will no doubt be worried about people they love who are infected; then, you have the logistical problem of these people being forced to pick up the slack and carry the workload of those who are sick and unable to do their part, all the while under stress because of the worry they are experiencing.

I think that the show gets it right also in depicting that it is perhaps the volunteer caregivers of the sick who are pushed closest to the brink. Without a doubt, these people will have to be cared for when they cannot care for themselves, so it will definitely be up to volunteers who are willing to risk their own health. And then you run into the issue of what to do with the dead, while attempting to maintain the mental health of the others.

It goes without saying that, in a real-world societal collapse / TSHTF scenario, those who have died from any sort of infectious disease will need to be burned. I know that isn't what a lot of people want to hear for religious or cultural reasons, but it is the best way to try and keep them from infecting anyone else after death. Handling a dead body would be an unhappy chore in the best of times, even worse when that dead body is infected with a virulent pathogen and you are living in a situation that is not sterile. History tells us that one of the ways the Black Plague in Europe was finally ended was by burning bodies, instead of allowing them to pile up waiting for burial. It will simply have to be done.

In the show, Hershel – who has volunteered to look after everyone in the quarantine area and is portrayed as treating the symptoms of the ill with a tea made from Elderberries – makes sure that whenever someone dies, they are wheeled out quietly on a gurney, so that none of the other ill people knows that they have died and has to face the fact that they may come to the same fate. And his reasoning is sound. He quotes John Steinbeck in saying, "A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ." In a situation such as the one depicted here, the worst thing you want a sick person to do is to give up. No one needs to see the dark side of things, least of all children. We can all take a lesson from Hershel. He is a wise man.

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...The only other occurrence of note in this episode involves an issue of the fence that forms the perimeter around the prison giving way under the weight of too many of The Walking Dead pushing against it. What ever you may think with respect to the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse, we can still take from this episode the lesson that, if you are lucky enough to find yourselves in a position that has some sort of perimeter defense – like a wall or fence – the odds are it is going to require regular upkeep, which means heavy labor. In a situation where there has been an outbreak of sickness and those who are healthy are having to carry the slack of those who cannot work, this can become a serious problem as being short on labor can result in the upkeep falling behind and the defenses failing.

On a side note, we are far more likely to be dealing with other people in the event of a real-world societal collapse than a bunch of zombies incessantly pushing against the fence, so I would suggest that if you find yourself in such a place, trying to survive, one of the first things you should do is set a crew to work digging a ditch around the outside of the fence. Make it wide and deep enough that any vehicle attempting to ram your fence will fall nose-first into the ditch and the earth will absorb the impact. This may not make things foolproof for you, but it will keep you from being overrun by the first roving gang that attacks you, because I know that ramming an undefended fence would be the very first thing I would do if I were 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]

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

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