The Walking Dead and the Zombie in the Mirror
(Spoiler alert: The following post contains information about “Pretty Much Dead Already,” Episode 7 of Season 2 of The Walking Dead.)
For me, one of the best aspects of the AMC TV series The Walking Dead is when the living act more like the undead.
We all know how zombies (or “walkers”) act. They have a one tract mind; they only want to eat living flesh. Everything else – even pain – is blocked from their un-existence so that they can plod ahead toward their goal: to feed.
Throughout Season 2 of The Walking Dead, we’ve seen the living survivors of the zombie apocalypse take on this same kind of one tract mind (obviously to a somewhat lesser extent). Whether they are focused on survival (personal, family, or group) or hope for a cure or finding a lost girl, everything else and everyone else fades into the background.
Until the characters come face to face with the zombie in the mirror. And, in the case of the episode “Pretty Much Dead Already,” that mirror is a young girl named Sophia living among a barn full of walkers. Yes, she is not a little girl lost in the woods any longer; she is a zombie. And, when Shane opens the barn door to release and dispense of the anonymous zombies inside, “she” is the last one to lumber out.
But, “Sophia” is no longer interested in finding her family and friends; she is intent on feasting on them.
Shane, Andrea, T-Dog, Glenn, and Daryl had just finished blasting away at a dozen walkers, but when “Sophia” comes out growling and snarling and seeking flesh, they cannot respond. Like I said, they come face to face with their inner zombie. They had been acting as much like zombies as the walkers themselves.
This is what happens when something – a passion, a concern, a worry, an issue, a plan, anything – takes so much of our focus that we forget everything else that is going on around us. In our search for fame, we can forget about the people who are hurt by our success. In our desire for money, we can forget about the family who lost everything to pad our bank account. In our lust for relationship, we can forget about the broken spirits that we leave in our past.
What’s the solution? As long as we ourselves are our focus, we are always headed toward zombism. There must be something beyond and outside of ourselves that keeps us living… keeps us human.
(Image by Christian Carroll.)