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26 October, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 - Episode 3 "Four Walls and a Roof"

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.

This week's episode picks up right where last week left off, but, in the interest of not spoiling anything for anyone who may not have seen it yet, I won't talk about the specific plot anymore than I absolutely must. Instead, let's jump right into what we can learn from this episode. Some may disagree, but I find great value in Doomer Fiction as the writers can often put us in specific scenarios that we may never think of ourselves, and – by doing so – we can take things from the experience other than simply entertainment.

For instance, one thing mentioned recently and expounded upon in this episode was those odd markings on trees that we have been seeing. Turns out, the folks who came from Terminus have been using those during their evacuation, in order to be able to find their way back. This would be an interesting option for us in the real world in the event of a possible societal collapse situation where we were forced to evacuate a retreat or stronghold. The only issue I can see is that others could use it to lead them along the trail as well, so I would suggest sitting down to come up with some sort of code, a system known only to those in your group or family.

Another important lesson that should be drilled into all of our heads by now is that one should always beware of strangers, especially in a world where law and order no longer keeps things nice and polite. Some people you meet may be exactly who they present themselves to be, while others could be monsters in disguise. Likely, however, most will simply be imperfect individuals who have done things that would have landed them in prison in today's world. It is highly doubtful that anyone will be innocent, and therefore you must look at everyone with a healthy suspicion until they have proven to you what kind of person they are. You never know what someone could be hiding.

Remaining open to the idea of bringing in outsiders, however, can serve more purposes than just the obvious. Helping other people when possible will help to retain your humanity, but – if you choose the right people – it also means those people will become your allies and everyone will be stronger together. The trick will be simply taking great care as to who these people are that you accept into your group.

Also, when attempting to survive TEOTWAWKI with a group of any size, it is highly important to do everything in your power to solve internal squabbles before they get out of hand. Survival can be accomplished in solitude, but being part of a diverse group can make things easier. There is strength in numbers, and everyone has certain skills from which the entire group can benefit. That is assuming that you can keep everyone together.

There may come a time, however, when your particular group may split due to necessity, rather than as the result of a dispute. It could come down to a simple issue of space, which becomes more likely if you accept allies from outside as they come to you. The characters in the show haven't had to deal with this type of situation as yet. They have mostly been on the run with only Hershel's farmhouse and the prison standing out as places where they were able to sort of put down roots for a time. And, with respect to the prison where they were seen to take in a good number of people, space to house such people was not an issue for them.

If you are following my advice, on the other hand, you will be surviving in some sort of stronghold, a retreat somewhere out of the way. In that instance, it behooves everyone involved to have the entire group under one roof. As your group grows over time, though, it may be necessary to split your people in half and house them in two separate locations. If you recall, this occurred in the novel "Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse" by James Wesley Rawles, and I can see where it would have very distinct advantages. Some of these advantages include a more comfortable living situation, where people aren't always piled on top of one another and getting underfoot; the ability to both grow and forage for more food and supplies and to cover far more ground in such foraging efforts; and the ability for each to be able to respond if the other is threatened.

And finally, never forget that hard times can (and undoubtedly will) breed hard people. As I said before, few people surviving in that type of the world will be completely innocent. That includes all of us, and we will all need to become hardened in order to make it. In the episode, we see Rick and company take drastic measures to essentially rid the entire world of a threat that is even worse than the Walkers. People are always the real monsters. Even after the danger to them has passed, they feel the need to act decisively. The hard truth is that some people will simply continue to victimize others if they are able. I've talked a lot here on Backwoods Survival Blog about presenting a hardened target, so that would-be aggressors move on to softer prey and leave you be; but there may come a time when it is your responsibility to act as the characters on the show did in this episode in order to put down an undue threat and save the lives of people down the line whom you will never meet.

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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