Skip to main content

Moral Ambiguity and The Walking Dead

Last night saw the 3rd season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead zombie apocalypse series. Although its ratings will no doubt be massive, the episode appears to be garnering some dissent among fandom (at least if you read the online reviews, comments and message boards). Personally, it seemed lacking as a season-ender, even if it had its moments. I'm about to delve into a morality issue regarding certain aspects of the episode so, if you haven't watched it, turn back now.

Ok, here we go...

It can be argued that there was a through-line of morality played-out during last night's Welcome to the Tombs episode that, at its core, is of the 'kill or be killed' variety. This is actually espoused by the program's main villain, The Governor, at the start of the show. Later on, it is echoed by pre-teen Carl Grimes (supposedly one of the good guys), after he guns down a teenager attempting to relinquish his weapon.

When Carl justifies his actions to his dad, he rattles-off a litany of poor choices made by himself and others, when they didn't kill someone and that someone later-on caused the death of another. It's fair to say that this credo can be applied to the hapless Andrea and Milton. If only they'd killed The Governor when they'd had the chance, then perhaps they'd be alive today. Rick Grimes and preacher Hershel are, thankfully, disturbed by their little Governor-in-the-making.

The problem with thinking the way that the Governor, Carl and, perhaps, some of the viewers may want to, is that it's a form of guiding your morality via hindsight. Now, on the one had, this makes sense. We learn from our mistakes, right? But the lure of hindsight can also be a dangerous thing. After all, if we decide only to allow the people we trust to live, and to kill others who may or may not be a future threat, then we would never gain new trustworthy allies. We might as well start up a Pre-Crime Unit, ala Minority Report.

It has been argued by those who are in favor of this harsh world view that The Walking Dead takes place in a world hampered by a zombie apocalypse, and therefore the rules of normality are out the window. I'm a dissenter from this point of view. Harkening back to Dale (who was killed in season 2 of the series), if we lose our humanity, then what is the point of staying alive? I, for one, believe that when the going gets tough, then it should more incumbent upon ourselves to be good, not to lose sight of our beliefs.

It's easy to be kind and trusting of others when everything is hunky dory. That doesn't necessarily take much fortitude or strength-of-will. It's when times are hard that we are truly tested. So, what is our response? Do we lose sight of our character, of what makes us who we are? Or do we embolden our humanity? It is, after all, the one thing in this world that separates us from other creatures, including -- and especially -- zombies.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.