Fear the Walking Dead: Do people overestimate their badass potential?

Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC, Fear The Walking Dead
Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC, Fear The Walking Dead /
Colman Domingo. Victor Strand. Fear the Walking Dead. AMC
Colman Domingo. Victor Strand. Fear the Walking Dead. AMC /

We’ve watched 5 seasons of zombie killing on The Walking Dead. Things have gotten brutal. We’ve seen cannibals and morality shifts that require things that would never be acceptable in civilized society. I think some viewers have started to become so acclimated to the new rules that with Fear the Walking Dead, they are not only frustrated with some of the characters, but they overestimate their own hypothetical decisions were they placed in the zombie apocalypse beginnings.

I’ve seen comments to the effect of: I wouldn’t hesitate to kill a zombie if I saw him eating someone. These characters better toughen up and get with the program. The difference between Travis and Morgan was Travis couldn’t shoot a random walker and with Morgan it was his wife. Liza was dead not alive, really when Travis shot her, she would be a walker.

Consider these scenarios; How would you feel if you killed someone on a car accident where it was in no way your fault. How would you feel if you had to put down a family pet even if he’s in pain or injured and suffering? How would you feel if a loved one were going to die and you had to stop all treatment or take away life saving measures? Now imagine, you can’t just stop the treatments, you have to shoot the person in the brain to stop their suffering.

I might know I needed to do all these things and be able to do them, but I don’t think that I’d be eager or that I’m tough enough to think that these actions would not affect me in any way before or after I had to do them.

Sasha, The Walking Dead - AMC
Sasha, The Walking Dead – AMC /

Even on The Walking Dead, it’s odd to me that when the writers show a character dealing with the emotional fallout from what the loss and the killing does to these characters, people seem to turn on those characters. People seem to have little patience for Sasha dealing with her grief.

As an audience, we want to feel emotion, we are sad with the deaths, we experience happiness with the reunions and exhilaration with the action, but we don’t want the characters to experience any. We want them to be cold zombie slaying machines. But that’s not true either. We love their emotions, just not fear of zombies or weakness. I can’t put my finger on it.

Daniel Salazar. Fear the Walking Dead. AMC /

Maybe it’s that we want them not  to stay in a weak spot for very long. We want them to get over things quickly. Maybe that’s it. We aren’t willing to watch them go through the lengthy learning process or grieving process. It’s television. We want them to speed through the emotional processing.

Maybe we overestimate our own badass potential because we want to relate to the warriors we’ve seen emerge on The Walking Dead . Perhaps it’s a way of seeing ourselves as the hero of the story rather than the ordinary man. Maybe that’s what we want out of our fiction. Maybe I need to have more patience with the impatient.

That’s why I love The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. They make you think.

Next: The Walking Dead: A Timeline of Events-From Morgan to Morgan

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