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30 November, 2014

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 *Mid-Season Finale* - Episode 8 "Coda"

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.

Yet again – as expected – this show succeeded in presenting its viewers with a riveting, yet hard to watch hour of television. My purpose here, as it always is, is not to blatantly give away the plot of these episodes, just in case there may be someone out there who hasn't seen it yet, but rather to talk about the episode from the point of view of a Prepper / Survivalist and try to see if there are any lessons to be taken away from what the writers have presented us with. Allow me just to say, though, that if you've been a fan of the show and this episode doesn't get to you a little, it's probably because you're dead inside. Just sayin'.

The first lesson I was able to draw from this storyline, being the mid-season finale and therefore the culmination of things we have seen up to this point this season, is that a world where the thin veneer of polite society has been ripped away will inevitably change people. Even you and I with our lofty ideals are likely to find ourselves very different a few months or years into an episode of extreme hardship. We must all fully accept, unfortunately, that our families and/or survival groups will become hardened to the point where you might one day look at yourself and see what the you of today would think of as a barbarian.

Think about it. The "villains" at Grady Memorial Hospital that we've been watching so far this season were once police officers, sworn to serve and protect, yet now they victimize as many people as they help. Of course, this is not to say that all police are great people, but I personally know many who are – I wonder how many of the cops at Grady Memorial would ever have imagined themselves acting the way they are now before the Zombie Apocalypse occurred around them? The best advice I can give (and try to take myself) is to fully expect this change, and thereby be able to more readily guard against the more insidious parts of such a personal evolution. Being conscious of such a thing would seem to make it easier to stem the tide and keep yourself on point and guided by your moral code.

Everyone wants to think of things in clear-cut terms of good and evil, but real life doesn't really work that way. Sometimes, rather than easy to identify villains, those that wander into your orbit of experience will simply be people – both good and bad – who will represent the end result of tired, hungry, frightened individuals who are trying to evolve and find their own way. I think that's a good explanation for the character of Dawn this season. I don't really think of her so much as a villain, but simply a leader who has only a precipitous and fragile hold on her situation and yet has convinced herself that – even as bad as it is and as many morally ambiguous decisions she has made – what she has built is better than what is outside. In all truth, I imagine that in the event of a real societal collapse TEOTWAWKI scenario there will be a whole lot of individuals running around just like Dawn. Don't be one of those people.

And our final lesson, without giving way spoilers, is to never take your interactions with someone for whom you care lightly or for granted, because death can always come... even for the least deserving.

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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