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25 September, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 4 - Episode 7 "Dead Weight"

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...
This episode again follows The Governor and shows us the evolution of what his character has been doing, leading up to when we saw him outside the prison a few episodes previous. Traveling with the family that, essentially, adopted him as one of their own in the previous episode without knowing the real truth about him, they all eventually find their way into a larger group of survivors led by one of The Governor's past followers. This is a group with no stronghold, only a camp of RVs and other vehicles, and which has a policy of not allowing any "dead weight." As it is stated, people either chip in somehow or they are cast out.

This is interesting because, much like the situation where Rick sent Carol away a few episodes ago, it harkens to an earlier time when exile was considered a real form of punishment for crimes and other misdeeds. Through much of human history, the "wilderness" didn't mean the forest; it meant anyplace outside of civilization. Recall that the Bible tells us that Jesus wandered in the wilderness when he was actually in the desert and the same with the Jews of the Exodus. And, human history is also mostly full of times when being out on your own in the "wilderness" was very dangerous. Even just a few hundred years ago, England was plagued by Highwaymen who waylaid travelers on the road on a regular basis, and a few hundred years before that people in Scotland were forced to build stout wooden walls because of the danger of roving packs of wolves that traversed the countryside. In a world suffering from a societal collapse and conditions that many would think of as the apocalypse, this type of punishment will once again take on the same kind of gravity as it did back then, due to the dangers involved for one person alone and without the support of a community.

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...
Two other things this episode hammers home for us is that, in the event of a societal collapse, nurses and other medically-trained personnel will be invaluable to anyone attempting to stay alive. Doctors, nurses, military corpsmen/medics, EMTs and paramedics, physicians assistants, and even veterinarians will be so valuable to any community that they will basically be able to write to their own ticket if they need to find a home. Might be a good idea to take a few first aid classes now, while you're able. Just sayin'.

And... a psychotic person will always be a psychotic person, and you just might become a victim of their inner demons if you aren't very careful who you trust.

Whether you have a fully-stocked retreat or you end up on the road with a group of fellow survivors, you will run across many people seeking to join your camp. Inevitably, some will be accepted and some will not, but the truth is a first impression will never be enough to tell you whether or not allowing them to be close to you and your family was a good idea or a disastrous one. Some will be wonderful people, while others will be the worst kind of Survivalist, seeking to pull your group into doing things that are against your morals even in a world where sometimes difficult things must be done. And, for that matter, one of these people could very easily take over leadership of the entire group.

My advice is to be ready to move on whenever it feels like things are going down a road with which you are not comfortable. Others may not follow you, and you will have to simply leave them to their fate, but you need to have a workable escape plan for you and your family in case you need to slip away and go it alone.

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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