Fear The Walking Dead: What property claim do you have in the apocalypse?

Matt Frewer as Logan - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC
Matt Frewer as Logan - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

The season 5 premiere of Fear the Walking Dead raises an interesting question: If you own property pre-apocalypse, do you own it after the fall?

During the season five premiere of Fear The Walking Dead, we were introduced to a new character, Logan. Morgan’s group had set out to rescue Logan from what sounded like a tough situation at a truck stop, only to find that Logan had lied so that he could take over the denim mill from Morgan’s group.

At first glance, it seemed like the standard fighting over a safe haven that we’ve become accustomed to in post-apocalyptic fiction, and not just the Walking Dead universe. Even seeing that Logan had the combination to the lock to the mill – it didn’t immediately click with me that he actually owned the mill, along with Clayton/Polar Bear (who we met, briefly, last season) pre-apocalypse.

Puts a whole new twist on finder’s keepers, doesn’t it?

Normally we see characters claiming property simply because they got there first – and perhaps they’ve fortified it or put down roots (literally, in some cases, as survivors grow crops). But here we have an entire mill/factory that was owned by a survivor before the fall. Logan even mentions that he holds the deed.

This brings up a few questions – other than where the heck was Logan for the few weeks or months since Morgan and Co. setup shop in the mill. First question – does having the deed mean anything in a world that’s fallen apart and no longer has any law? Second – even if Logan no longer has a legal system to back him, should our survivors have some ethical or moral obligation to respect his claim?

The answer to the first question is a no-brainer, of course. With no law or government around, Logan’s deed is now no more than a piece of paper.

The second question is trickier. Does Logan get to claim the safe haven simply because he owned it when the world wasn’t crawling with the dead? Did he forfeit his claim by leaving the space unattended? Does Morgan’s mission to help people give him any claim to the land? Did Morgan’s group establish a claim by setting up camp in the mill?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, and surely some could be debated until the end of time. But it’s an interesting thought, and thinking about these questions beats mulling over the question of whether one should help fellow survivors or not – a major theme of this episode.

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All I know is, if the zombie apocalypse DOES occur, I’m raiding the bank and packing the deed to my condo with my survival gear. You know, just in case.

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.