Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Preperadness Review of The Walking Dead Episode 610: The Next World



Episode 610: The Next World

Paul "Jesus" Monroe:  Do you even have any ammo?

Rick and Daryl fire simultaneously, dropping the same walker.

Jesus:  Okay.

Synopsis:  Several weeks have passed since the walker incursion into Alexandria.  The walls have been repaired, and a sense of normality has returned.  The peace is threatened by a lack of basic supplies, like food and toiletry items such as toothpaste.  Rick and Daryl are heading out on a supply run, and are initially successful, but run into another survivor named Paul "Jesus" Monroe who attempts to steal their truck full of food.  Eventually, the truck is lost in a lake as they battle.  Jesus is knocked out and Rick and Daryl take him to Alexandria to be checked out.  Meanwhile, Enid and Carl go outside the walls, and Spencer goes outside and is followed by Michonne.   Carl leads a zombie Deanna toward Spencer and Michonne, and Spencer finally gets to put his mother to rest.  Michonne confronts Carl about being outside the wall, and Carl says he had to do it because it should be a family member that put her down.   Later, as Michonne and Rick recount their day, the embrace and make love.  As they lay sleeping, they are awakened by Jesus, who tells them they need to talk.

The Next World is an admittedly lighter episode -- practically a comedy in Walking Dead terms -- that delves into the more mundane aspects of survival like finding food and supplies, all while various characters deal with the aftermath of the zombie incursion.   Rick and Daryl go out on a road trip, and it was nice to see them working together closely again.

The episode begins in Rick's house, where everyone is getting ready for the day.   Michonne asks him to bring back toothpaste as they are completely out.  They chat with Carl, whose eye has healed to the point where it is covered by a bandage.  He is remarkably upbeat.  It's a good moment.

Outside, Daryl and Denise discuss the list or requested supplies she's requested and he asks why she wants orange soda;  Denise says it's for Tara, who is leaving soon with Heath on a two-week scavenging run and she would like to surprise her with it.  Denise and Tara are now a couple.  Before they leave, Eugene opens the gate and gives them a hand-drawn map of agricultural supply sources and the directive to find sorghum, "a criminally underrated grain."  These beats all play out to comedic effect.  I laughed out loud as Daryl mocked Denise's wild hand gesticulations as she talked.

Butch and Sundance hit the road.
Rick is upbeat, and tells Daryl the will find supplies and maybe some people.  "Law of averages," he says.  Daryl is skeptical, and doesn't think they should  bring in more people.

Back in Alexandria, Michonne is standing guard, and sees Spencer head into the woods with a rifle and a shovel on his back.  She follows him and asks him why he is out there.   He says he has to do something, and that she cannot help him.

Maggie finds Enid alone and encourages her to re-engage with the community, and offers to talk if
she feels like it.  She ends up outside the walls again with Carl, as they move through the woods, Enid wants to know what they are doing out there.  He says it's what they are supposed to do as teenagers, but Enid no longer wants to be outside.  They head back, but when they see  a walker, someone they know, Car refuses to put it down. He tells Enid to go home.  Later, Michonne sees Carl in the woods, with the walker trailing behind him. It turns toward Michonne and Spencer, and finally she realizes why Spencer is outside:  the walker is Deanna.  Spencer said he thought he saw her "that night" and has been searching for her.  They end her walker existence and bury her.

Butch and Sundance find Jesus.
Rick and Daryl spot a sorghum barn and find a truck loaded with supplies inside.  They decide to leave the car in place and take the truck home.   I have no idea why that decision was made, but they take the truck down the road in search of more supplies.  While trying to get inside a vending machine for orange soda, a man comes around the corner and runs into Rick.  Rick and Daryl pull their guns on him .He introduces himself as Paul "Jesus" Monroe, and claims he is on the road and running from the dead, who are a few minutes behind.  They part ways, but Rick and Daryl are distracted by the sound of gunshots which are actually firecrackers Jesus uses to distract them.  He steals their truck of supplies with the vending machine still attached.  The run in pursuit, which would have been unnecessary if one of them had driven the car.

Rick and Daryl finally catch up to Jesus, who is changing a flat tire, and tie him up.  They drive off, but Jesus, who is more than meets the eye, quickly frees himself.   As they are driving across a field toward another agricultural supply store, they hear him on the roof, and Rick slams the brakes.  Jesus flies through the air and lands in the grass, seemingly unhurt. Daryl chases him, and Rick tries to cut him off with the truck.  He exits the vehicle, and Jesus makes it inside.  A group of walkers attacks, and one is about to bite Daryl when Jesus kills it with Daryl's gun.  The truck is knocked out of gear and rolls into a pond.  Jesus is knocked by the door. Rick and Daryl find a new ride (a Jeep that starts two years into the Apocalypse) and take Jesus home so Denise can examine him.  They place Jesus in the jail house.

Carl keeps an eye on Judith.
Michonne confronts Carl about being in the woods and not killing Deanna.  He said he couldn't do it because a family member should be the one to put her down. Left unspoken is the fact that Carl had to do the same for his mom at the prison.   Carl said he would do it for Michonne, and they hug.

Later, Michonne and Rick are recounting their day, and end up making love.  They are awoken from their slumber by Jesus, who has escaped. He tells them they need to talk.

Preparedness Discussion

While this is a pretty lightweight episode, there are still preparedness lessons to be learned.  The first is that of supplies.   As preppers, we sometimes become fixated on beans, bullets, and batteries, with a heavy emphasis on firearms and ammunition.   The fact that Alexandria is out of toothpaste should serve as a lesson to us all.  Sometimes it's the mundane things that make life easier in a crisis -- like toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.   Start a record of how much of these things your family uses in a month, and begin stocking up.  If you are not brand loyal, and want to maximize your supplies while maximizing your savings, investigate couponing.

Another stock-up item is clothing.  If you buy a pack of socks, get two and toss one in a storage container in the top of the closet.  The same goes for underwear, etc.   Older clothes that are still in decent shape but may have gotten stained or have some other wear and tear defect could be stored as back up clothing for an emergency.

Take stock of your food storage as well.   Recently we re-organized our pantry and extended storage location and no have room to store more items in both places.  We also noted that we are low on a couple of staples we use every day.   Set up a rotation plan for your food supply to ensure you minimize spoilage.

Finally, let's address the elephant in the room.   Daryl and Rick left a perfectly good car parked next to the sorghum barn. The supply truck's reliability after sitting in a barn for two years was questionable at best.  Leaving a perfectly working car there was an unnecessary risk (as shown) and left a hard asset out in the open for anyone to take.  This is a perfect example of something The Walking Dead  writers do far too often; they force characters to make risky or poorly thought out moves to advance the plot.

Just. Stop. It.  This would have been a four-star review if not for that plot contrivance.

Preparedness Lessons for Episode 610:

  • Take a look at toiletry or comfort items that would make life easier in a long term crisis.   Record how much you use in a month and store an amount of these products that will last as least as long as your food storage.
  • Make sure you buy or store extra underwear, socks, t-shirts, etc.  These don't have to be designer labels.  Check out thrift stores and consignment shops.
  • Make absolutely sure the food you have stored is in good condition, has not expired, and that you have stored and adequate amount.  Calories equal survival in a crisis.  Remember, the time to stock up on food is now, while you have the resources and time.
  • Don't leave hard assets vulnerable to theft or destruction.  There may come a time when they cannot be replaced. 
Next week:  Jesus leads the crew on a road trip in Dale's RV, and Abraham and Sasha get into a weird place.

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