There are some spoilers for the mid-season 6 premiere in this entry. If you’re a yellow-belly whiner about that kind of thing, go watch the episode and let me know what you think of Daryl Dixon’s shocking death.
I’ve been a fan of the apocalyptic genre of fiction (and in some cases non-fiction) since I was a small child. The way I got turned onto obsessing about the END TIMES was through watching episodes of The 700 Club with my grandmother. Each episode revealed how the events of The Book of Revelations were about a week away and we had all better send money or we’d be sorry.
As a little kid I was fairly unsure I’d be raptured up into the clouds with Jesus’s teleporter. We watched a lot of televangelist programming, but never went to church. Since church attendance is typically a prerequisite for salvation in most sects, I was always worried we would all be left behind, just like those shockingly popular books.
In my mind, the best course of action if you found yourself cursed to live in the final days was to move all of my friends and family into a guarded cul de sac and fend off demons with explosive arrows (like Rambo). This is essentially what this entire season of The Walking Dead has been about. So in a way, this season is my childhood dream come true.
Part of the joy of zombie film is imagining the type of action you would take to survive, and what your strategy would be. If I had my career to do all over again, I would’ve gone to medical school. It’s a gig that pays well when civilization is intact and it’s indispensable when the dead walk. Just having proficiency in chopping off bitten limbs could be a specialty worth pursuing.
In a zombie apocalypse we would be forced to put aside everything except utility, at least in the short term. Eventually folks would need to get together and rebuild and soon after that, there’d be differing ideas about how to restore the world.
From Rick Grimes’ bedside speech to his now monocular son CORRAL it looks like Rick has become born again on Deanna’s vision of what Alexandria should be. Rick says, “Everything Deanna was talking about is possible. It’s all possible now.” He grabs the kid’s hand and promises, “I want to show you the new world, I want to make it a reality for you” and then the episode ends with CORRAL squeezing his hand back.
Another thing I noticed in the episode is in the scene with Glenn and Enid in the church. The camera mirrors Enid’s long gaze at a Bible verse on the wall of the church: Faith Without Works is Dead -James 2:26
Later in the episode the Preacher, who is finally pulling some amount of his weight, says, “our prayers have been answered, god will save Alexandria because god has given us the courage to save it ourselves.” He then proceeds to lead the crew of people hiding out in his church on a major undead ass kicking spree. That is some serious pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps theology that I can get behind.
You can’t send prayers or use positive thinking in the apocalypse because talk minus action equals zombie food. But that doesn’t mean faith is dispersed. For Alexandria to make it, the members have to have faith in it and take action to make that faith live. They have to believe in something more than themselves and they have to protect it.
The way I see it, that’s not much different than the world we live in now.