I’m two episodes out from the end of Season 9 of The Walking Dead. So glad I am back on to watching this brilliant, incredible show. Two episodes remain in this season, and they are titled respectively ‘The Calm Before’ and ‘The Storm’ and so I have paused before seeing the inevitable shit storm that culminates in their striving and plans to create a peaceful celebratory ‘Trade Fair’ marking their community building efforts – always fraught with peril and pitfalls in the world of the dead. But, to this point so far, how much has been learned and won?
Ever since the first seasons of this show, when it dawned on me the creators were using Zombies and the Apocalypse to make critical comment on what Life and Civilization is and means… They have been playing a dangerous game of attempting to outline how one makes it in this world, what rules or principles there might be… for surviving, for loving, for making committments, for working together… for trusting… for being open… for making the tough choices… and they have played a very strong game.
In season 9 they made a trip to an old movie theater to rescue a projector bulb from an old theater to bring back to the Kingdom, one of the communities of the growing civilization they are building.
The commentary on how seeing a film, for the first time for some of these young ones in the post-apocalypse, will create memories and bonds that will last them a lifetime, is not just telling us what role art has in the world of humanity, but also gives us an insight into how the Walking Dead might view its own role as storyteller.