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22 March, 2015

REVIEW: The Walking Dead (AMC Network TV Series): Season 5 - Episode 15 "Try"

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 episode represented the penultimate one of this season, leading into the 90-minute long Season Finale next week, and it definitely felt like it. Ever since our little group of survivors made it to the Alexandria Safe Zone, there has existed something of an uneasy atmosphere. I think we can all understand why Rick was initially hesitant to trust the recruiter that approach them about joining the community. Experience has definitely taught these weary people the undeniable truth: people are the real monsters. Despite that, much longer on the road and out in the wilds would have proven certain death for a group who had been out there so long already, and so there was little choice but to take the chance. And it turned out it was a good thing. They found a community that was not only willing to take them in, but which was everything it was professed to be.

Still, a dark and brooding sense of unease has yet to shake itself free over the ensuing weeks of episodes, and all of that tension would have to eventually find an outlet such as what was witnessed in this episode. That being said, as Preppers / Survivalists enjoying Doomer Fiction like this and trying to glean any possible lessons from it, we must remind ourselves to beware of the possibility and almost assurance of an "us versus them" mentality arising when and if stressor events occur that draw lines between an existing community and any newcomers. Many experts within our little subculture will argue against a willingness to take in newcomers in the event that we ever do actually find ourselves in the midst of a complete societal collapse such as this television program portrays, but I'm not one to go quite that far. I actually believe that, even if you have created your own secure community, there will always likely be a need to bring in outsiders in order to gain the advantage of the skill set they bring with them. What I do advise, however, is a sense of wary and watchful caution. Each and every entry carries with it the possibility of outsiders either corrupting or possibly even taking over the community you have built.

Lest we forget that such an event is precisely what befell the residents of Terminus. They actually really did start out as a sanctuary for survivors, but that generosity was repaid when a group overpowered them and took over with all the killing and raping you can imagine such events would entail. And now, it is very interesting to draw a parallel between that known history and Rick's group.

The other side of that equation, of course, involves putting yourself in the place of someone on the opposite side of that proverbial sanctuary gate. If you have not built your own community prior to SHTF times, then your goal will need to be to find a community willing to allow you to join. You are working on your own skill set, acquiring knowledge that will make you valuable to a community right now while you are still able, aren't you? Because you definitely should be. Some will argue a strategy of essentially hiding from everyone and skulking around in the woods, warding off threats by not being noticed, but I can tell you that I am truly not made for that sort of life. Humans are naturally and instinctively social animals, so putting aside the idea of community completely is unwise both for mental health as well as safety and survival. There is something to be said for the old adage of their being safety in numbers, after all.

But what do you do in the situation where you have stumbled upon a community that has everything you need to ensure survival, yet the people running that community seem to have no idea how to live in the harsher world in which you all now exist? Do you allow their naivety to endanger a community that could keep you alive? The real moral issue at stake here is, in such a situation, do you become a conqueror? That's the kind of thought exercise you and I need to be having right now in today's much more safe world, just in case we eventually find ourselves in one that is nowhere near as rosy and bright and in which the false veneer of civilization has been ripped asunder.

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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