Written by: John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
This week while watching The Walking Dead I found myself thoroughly impressed by something that most post apocalyptic fiction never touches upon...the fact that we are still human and all of our standard physical weaknesses remain. On the show, it was one that we all think little of, illnesses. I mean hey, if we feel a cold coming on, we just need to see the doc or snag a little Day/NyQuil and tough it out. No big deal.
But at the end of the world, especially one where the dead return to life and attack the living, illness is a big worry. Suddenly the common cold is as much of a threat as a walker and clearly the flu is something to be terrified about on The Walking Dead since it took down Patrick and a healthy chunk of Cell Block D.
Yet while I appreciate this lovely touch of adding an awesome real world element to the show, I found myself concerned after the episode. Not because of this wild and crazy flu, for it added a new element of terror to the program. No, what I'm more concerned with is that this little gem could lead to something that I hope the show doesn't add...science behind the end of the world.
There may not be a massive chance that this happens, but it opens the door. Because one of my first thoughts after seeing the flu was that I wondered if a weaker version of this flu, one that didn't make your eyes pop out of your head helped start the spread of the living dead virus. Thanks to season one we know for sure that the walker phenomenon is indeed spread via virus and that every human being is a carrier, but revealing the cause of the virus would quite frankly ruin the show for me. The terror of the unknown is essential to this show. It's what makes this flu storyline work. No one saw it coming, now it is here and a real threat...just like the walkers were one fateful day.
I'm not saying to put an end to the real world elements on The Walking Dead I'm merely hoping the show will pick and choose its battles. Simply because it really is getting better year after year and this week's episode was good, solid storytelling. Just let the secrets of the zombie virus stay just that...secrets. It's the unknown that goes with this virus that makes it terrifying. The fact that it is so unstoppable.
So it is my hope that the flu issue is resolved and dealt with properly and promptly so we don't dwell on the science. Because the longer we do, more people out there may call for answers on the virus itself...