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27 September, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 4 - Episode 8 "Too Far Gone"

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.

The greatest lesson you and I can learn from watching this episode is that, whether you are a determined Prepper with a fully stocked-survival retreat or simply someone who possesses the skills needed to thrive and find a home among a group of like-minded survivors in the event of a societal collapse, someone out there is inevitably going to want what you have. In the aftermath of a true TEOTWAWKI event, every person who has managed to keep themselves alive is going to be looking for a place that affords them a greater level of safety than being on the open road or in a soft target situation like your average residential tract home. And, you better believe, the blood, sweat, and tears you and yours have poured into carving out your little spot for survival is going to look pretty good to them.

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...
While I have always rejected the idea that being a Prepper or even an old-style Survivalist is all about weapons and running around in the woods, dressed in camouflage, the truth of the matter is that you are wasting your time and effort working on emergency preparedness if you aren't also willing and capable of defending what is yours after TSHTF. The other option is to simply try your best to stay invisible and slink around the edges, so that you don't draw an attack. That is a fools game in my mind, however, unless it is your only choice. A single-family unit of only a few people can survive this way, but it won't be easy and there is no guarantee you won't be found in any way, no matter how good you think you are at hide and seek. If you live in a climate where it gets cold in the winter, give a few moments of thought to just how far the smoke from your woodstove travels into the sky and what a stark contrast it makes from miles and miles away. Being completely out of sight will be almost impossible for most of us, so I favor surviving in some sort of stronghold instead. If that interests you, you might take a moment and read some of my articles about Medieval Survivalism.

But, as I said, you need to be willing and able to do what is necessary to defend the infrastructure that helps you and the people you love to survive. For the record, though, if the people attacking you have a tank, you might want to speak to them very, very politely and try to work something out. Just sayin'.

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...
It turns out that The Governor has changed somewhat, but in many ways he is still the same man we saw wreaking havoc during season three of the show. He is still, obviously, something of a cold, calculating psychopath. This is a state of mind and personality that doesn't simply go away, and it isn't even always dangerous in a murdery sort of way. There's a lot of research, for instance, that says many successful business people have tendencies that might sometimes verge on psychopathy or sociopathy. But, in the event of an all-out pseudo-Apocalypse where TS has HTF and society has collapsed taking with it the structure of law and order that keeps people in check, society's thin veneer is stripped away and someone like this becomes very dangerous indeed.

Yet, he also truly loves his new adopted family and simply wants to make sure that they are safe, no matter what he has to do to achieve that safety. He knows (and he is correct) that the way their group has been surviving is a temporary situation, wherein they will continue to be steadily picked-off, needled down, and kept weak until finally a herd of Walkers passes through and simply wipes them out in one fell stroke. It could happen next week or next year, but the odds are that it is going to happen eventually. He knows that they need a stronghold in order to thrive. He was previously instrumental in building Woodbury as a bulwark of civilization, behind the walls of which people lived in a state of almost peace and normalcy, and he knows that is key. If you recall, he had originally wanted the prison in the first place but was assured that it was far too overrun with Walkers, and so the town was taken and fortified as a second choice.

Well, now he wants the prison again.

I'm sure there is an element of revenge present, but it is obviously secondary to his wanting to keep his new family safe. He could have killed Michonne immediately, instead of using her as a bargaining chip, but he let her live because – as much as he might like to see her dead – the goal of getting his adopted family inside the safety of those walls is paramount in his mind. And, despite all the bad he is done, there is a certain nobility in what he is doing. He is willing to do whatever it takes, including setting aside his own anger, in order to do what must be done to achieve the safety of those for whom he has accepted responsibility.

Another really important thing this episode demonstrates is that the group at the prison has a plan in place in case it becomes necessary to evacuate. That is an awesome thing for us to all keep in mind. Rick and company basically have a running prison bus parked out back and pre-stocked with supplies to act as an escape vehicle in the event that things go terribly wrong. That one is definitely going into my retreat planning.

Unfortunately, it seems the one forward thinking thing they failed to do was to set a rally point somewhere a few miles distant where all survivors are supposed to meet and regroup in the event of an evacuation... also now a part of my personal survival retreat planning.

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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