the walking dead season 5

S05xE12: “Remember”

After spending so much time out in the wilderness, fighting for their lives against walkers and the living, the Tribe has finally come across a civilized town that may allow for them to settle down, establish roots and create a home. Alexandria has potential to be a safe haven for Rick and his group, and yet, they are not just on the defensive, but on the offensive; already thinking ahead to what they may have to do if the people of Alexandria and the Tribe do not share the same values. In a post-apocalyptic world where survival is the only thing that matters, will these two very different factions learn to work together?

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…

In a dystopic world, in which food, shelter and kindness are rarities, our factions are looking for stability. This includes, not only health, safety and companionship but also a sense of home. An environment in which occupants are able to rest and reflect is essential to the mental and physical health of our tribe members. This is why Rick was able to heal his mind after Lori’s death–he had work to keep him busy (Farmer Rick!) and a place to recuperate safely. After the confrontation with the Governor, the destruction of the prison and ultimately, the tribe rupture, factions are not only searching for each other, but meaning and purpose in a very violent and changed world.

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S04xE14 “The Grove”

The factions are swiftly moving, whether toward each other and a utopian existence or death, no one can be sure. Without any sort of media or communication system, finding friends or even knowing what happens outside of the Georgia wilds is impossible. In a post-apocalypse world, the best way to know where a person will be at any given time is to KNOW that person, their habits and, as simple as it sounds, have FAITH. This isn’t faith it God or a higher power, but faith in humanity, in each other and the choices made. With the breakdown of government, media and all of society, tribe members each have uniquely personal reasons for the decisions they make. Maggie is determined to find Glen; Sasha is afraid of the truth about Tyrese; Bob doesn’t want to be alone; Daryl is protective and maybe even a bit smitten with Beth, who simply wants to hope again, while Rick, Carl, and Michonne struggle to develop and retain some sort of semblance of self.While the biters are the physical threat, the mental breakdown of the tribe seems eminent. Each faction member is being forced to restructure value systems that have been in place since before the turn. There is no question that the factions are stronger as a unified tribe, but will they find each other any time soon or will they die trying?

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image property of AMC

S04xE13 “Alone”

Society begins and ends with difficult choices.  But, what is a society? This week in our online zombie course from Cal State Fullerton, we are discussing the development of societies from the point of views of philosophers such as Aristotle to Karl Marx. According to Thomas Hobbes, society begins with self-restraint and an agreement to give social justice decisions over to a designated leader. In past seasons of The Walking Dead, that leader has been Sheriff Rick Grimes. He organized the prison-tribe before they were a prison-tribe, he redistributed power at Woodbury and led a hungry, terrified and exhausted group of survivors to safety time and time again. In seasons past, Rick has stated that the group power is not a democracy, and rightfully so. The “Ricktatorship” has worked well in the past, but as Rick began to buckle from the weight of losing Lori not only to Shane, but to childbirth, as well as the knowledge that there is no greater society at work to help the group in times of grave danger, well, the Sheriff began to lose his mind last season, didn’t he? A recovering Rick, gardener Rick, farmer Rick of season 4–doesn’t want to pick up a gun and see his Carl lose his humanity by murdering zombies or even willful, human enemies. Season 4 Rick, at least in episodes 1-3, seemed content to allow the newly formed Council to make the difficult decisions, while he remained safe in the bubble he created for himself. Unfortunately, as Carol notes in this episode, Rick can be a farmer during the zombie apocalypse, but he can’t ONLY be a farmer.

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Episode: S04xE04 “Indifference”