I think episode 4 of The Walking Dead was sad, intense, but ultimately expected. Surviving a zombie apocalypse is no easy thing (as we have seen since the show started), but the chances of survival are pretty slim given the the following realities that have been revealed:
1. “We’re all infected.” Yes, Dr. Jenner of the CDC told Rick at the end of season one (but only revealed at the end of season two) that every human has been infected with the zombie virus. That means whatever happens when you’re a human, in the end there’s a good chance that you’re going to come back as a zombie. If, however, you have an agreement with friends and allies, they’ll shoot you in the head when you die to stop you from turning into a flesh-eating zombie.
2. The humans who haven’t “turned” are not a very friendly bunch. They are, for the most part, a gang on the run whose allegiances gravitate toward a “leader” whose decisions often result in a body count. The introduction of “The Governor” in this season is a lot different from the comic book. But this guy has been able to carve out a slice of normalcy that’s built on his ruthless actions. Rick, on the other hand, is trying to do the same in the prison, but is thwarted by the inmates who are still there, the fact that the zombies are still there in large numbers, and other threats that decrease the chances of establishing a safe haven.
3. Finding adequate food when you’re on the run, is no easy thing. And if you do find it, there’s always the chance that someone else is not too far behind you looking for the same thing. In other words, it’s a kind of “kill or be killed” environment that makes one question whether it’s worth living in such a world.
There are more, but if some kind of disaster disrupts or wipes out the society that you’re used to, the best thing to do is have a plan to get out of the high density areas. Zombies or roving gangs…each have their own dangers, but they are much more hazardous in bigger cities.
Carl (Lori and Rick’s son) is supposedly the future of humanity. He’s a kid who has accepted the world he lives in and will fight to make sure that he will overcome what humans have become. But to do so, he’s becoming a PhD candidate in surviving the zombie apocalypse by knowing that his loved ones are going to die (and some will “turn”), and that deep down he knows he’s a good person who will not let himself descend into a soulless person who has zero empathy for others. I suppose that’s the glimmer of hope that keeps the characters from just killing themselves.
Have a great day and “Don’t get bit!”