OK, I do NOT want to be a spoiler.  So, right here and right now, if you are NOT caught up on the Walking Dead, including last night’s (3/16/14) episode.  Then you do NOT want to read this post yet…

For those of you who are thinking, “I don’t watch that show, so why would I want to read this?”  I might say give it a chance anyway.  I have a few friends (very few, one of em prefers chick books to zombies) that will NOT watch this.  I’ve heard a few of them say, “Why do I want to watch a show where all they do is kill zombies?”

Well I am here to tell you that last night, as well as most of the episodes we’ve had since the mid-season break has shown it isn’t just a zombie show, last night in particular demonstrated this.

Now I am pretty damn sure I am just one of many people whose blog was inspired by last night’s episode.  On Facebook I commented that it was one of the best and the worst episodes they ever filmed.  Today I will have a chance to explain my comment, but not before a bit of background.

I heard some talk show host ask once, “How can this be a series?  The Night of the Living Dead did this whole story in less than 2 hours.”  This is, most likely, the opinion of someone who really hasn’t watched the show.

Yes there are zombies, or walkers.  Yes they eat people and can only be killed by taking out the brain with whatever weapon (gun, knife, sword, street sign) you have handy.  One of the most fun parts about this show is the new and unique ways they’ve come up with to dispatch the walkers.  (My favorite, since I own a station wagon, was slamming the head of one in the hatchback).

Contrary to the belief of most non watchers though, this is not the key part of this show.  The most important part, the key I would say, to enjoying this show, the struggle to survive of those left uninfected.  The key is not the zombie apocalypse, but the apocalypse itself.

The Walking Dead has shown us what is needed to survive when all hell breaks loose (or the defecation it’s the rotating cooling machine).  Food, water, shelter, gas, a means to protect yourself, when the infrastructure has fallen apart, are not easily assessable, and supplies start to dwindle.

Some may wonder, “With no zombies, why protection?”  Again, watching the show demonstrates that some people prey on the weak in times like this.  Also, when there’s a lack of a central authority, and supplies are scarce, it soon becomes every man for himself.  If you have what people want, or need, they are going to take it, unless you can defend it.

Being faced with thing like this, different people respond differently.  Face it, we aren’t all Chuck Norris.  WD shows us all types.  Leaders, followers, fighters, cowards, those who step up and those who shrivel up.  Some grow bigger than they ever were, some turn evil, and some do more harm than good.

This is a small snippet of what we learned over the first 3.5 seasons.

Since the mid-season break, though they stepped it up.  The world just doesn’t end; those that survive are going through hell daily.  We have that with Michone, Daryl and even Carl (kid in his early teens) have had, in addition to physical issues, major mental stress.

Two of the toughest people we know, cracked.  They gave the impression of being calm cool and collected, but they can only be pushed so far.  Both Daryl and Michone showed emotions we didn’t know they felt.  Aloof Michone realized she needed people, and cried.  Daryl, the rock, who took out a tank by himself, was blaming himself for not doing enough and saving the team.

These two are adults, who both had grown since the world went south.  If they can crack, imagine what could happen to a preteen kid.  This brings us to last night.

We lost an 8 and 10 year old last night.  But not to walkers.  Carol, another adult who has stepped up since this happened, did her best to help these girls 8 and 10 (est.) adjust to the new world.  Learn how to defend themselves and stay alive, but they are just kids.

And this is why I say it’s the best and worst episode ever.  The show took us into the mind of a child who could not cope with the world.  Who didn’t understand that walkers were not people.  She felt shooting them was murder.  To prove it?  She killed her little sister so she could be reborn into a walker.  Now, they did NOT show the killing, but did show the aftermath of a bloody knife and girl laying there.

Carol and Tyreese had to make a decision from there.  She just proved she was dangerous.  Who knew when she might do it again, maybe in retaliation for killing walkers in the future.  In real times, we could get the kid help, in their time; they can’t find enough food, let alone psychiatric counseling.   Plus they have another child, a baby, to protect.  It flat came down to the needs of the many.  The only recourse?  Humanely as possible putting her down, as you would a rabid or dangerous dog.

People today are shocked and appalled, and I will admit it was gut wrenching, even to me.  People are complaining they shouldn’t have messed with kids.  But, kids are part of life, and if anything happens in real life, from zombies, to major long term disaster to economic collapse, kids will be part of it.

This wasn’t Hunger Games, this was a group who banded together to survive. Real people.  The Walking dead is showing us anything and everything that could happen.  You can learn a lot from this show, and they continue to impress me.

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