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23 November, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 - Episode 7 "Crossed"

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.

I find it very hard to believe that this episode represents the last before next week's mid-season finale, but here we are nonetheless. Unfortunately, that means there won't be any more episodes after next week until the show returns sometime in February. I'm a little bummed about it, to be honest, just like I am every year. Not sure what other entertainment one can find this time of year on a Sunday night. LOL

One thing we can learn from watching this episode is that it is possible to improvise defenses for a retreat or stronghold from things that you and I today might not even consider to be in the realm of emergency preparedness gear. Not to give away spoilers, but since it involves a simple detail of the setting, rather than a plot point, I'll just say that what I am referring to specifically are the preparations put in place to protect those who stay behind at the church. The pipes from the church organ are repurposed to create what are essentially sharpened poles to protect the approaches to the building, and some of the pews of the church are cannibalized for their wood in boarding-up the door. After all, the only people remaining behind are two juveniles – one of them a baby – and two adults, one of which is the minister Father Gabriel who has shown no willingness or ability to be an asset in a fight up to this point. They are, essentially, locking themselves in for safety's sake until the others can return. They even came up with a makeshift hammer for pounding the nails... they used the leg of one of the pews to beat them in. Very ingenious and a wise use of available resources.

With respect to the church, I know some of you may disagree with this assessment, but I imagine in a world ravaged by a societal collapse that there will be instances wherein a church might become more of a sanctuary, rather than a spiritual center. Call it a sanctuary for survival, rather than for the soul. I understand that it is the role of a man of the cloth to look principally after people's spiritual well-being, but there comes a point when being a shepherd might translate to the physical definition as well. Churches might be a place where good people can get together and help each other survive a bad situation, and I – for one – can't imagine any Higher Power having a problem with that.

One issue we may all run into in the event of a TEOTWAWKI-style societal collapse situation will involve other groups of survivors. This shouldn't come as a surprise, considering I have said many times what this show does its best to hammer home to its viewers: no matter what danger exists, it's likely that other people will be the true monsters with which one has to contend. But what I'm talking about here, specifically, is the possibility that there may be other groups of survivors around whose leaders are barely holding things together, resulting in a situation where the proverbial "inmates are running the asylum." Beware of any of these sorts of people. One can never know how far things have been allowed to go down the wrong road in the effort simply to keep things from falling apart through appeasement of people in that group who might be very bad characters.

And we actually saw someone on the show creating a water filter this week. This is something I have thought was missing for quite some time, simply because it should be well known to everyone reading this that drinking water from wild sources can sometimes result in health problems, due to bacteria, parasites, etc. A lot of the time we have seen the characters catching rainwater, which is okay, but we've also seen a lot of them filling up their water bottles directly from rivers and the like, yet there hasn't seemed to be much talk about people suffering from dysentery or anything of that sort because of this. Anyway, what we see created is a simple drip water filter that appears to be created by stuffing rags or cloth into a water bottle to clog the opening, and then turning the bottle upside down to allow the water to drip slowly out, having been filtered through the fabric. One good thing was one of the characters mentioned the necessity of boiling the water even after this, but it was still a welcomed addition to the narrative of the show. FYI, using a mixture of sand and gravel in place of the cloth would also achieve the same goal in this situation. For that matter, looking at the screenshot above and to the right, it looks as though it's even possible she may have used some silt from the riverbed or something like that. We never actually see her build it, so it's kind of up in the air.

A bit of a theme for this episode seemed to be the importance of loyalty in a world where law and order no longer constrains people. We have all talked about the issues that abound from attempting to trust people in that type of setting. Hell, it's nearly impossible to find trustworthy people in today's world; it will be even more difficult when the thin veneer of polite society has been ripped away. That is precisely why loyalty and trust will be paramount in dealings with other people, including members of your own family, friends, and/or survival group. In the episode, members of the group have been taken prisoner, and so it is only right that their compatriots put forth a plan to rescue them. If I were stuck somewhere in a bad way, I would want to know that there were people out there looking for me and trying to figure out how to get me back. And so, it is only right to say that I would make that effort on the part of one of my people. How else can I expect them to have faith in me if they cannot be assured that I will fight to keep them safe and do whatever I can to bring them home?

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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