Zombie Cliche Lookout: Threat-Based Unilateral Action
Are things not going your way in the zombie apocalypse? Well, depending on the circumstances, there might be something you can do about that. No, you can’t stop the dead from reanimating and trying to eat everyone. You’ll just have to deal with that, I’m afraid. But, if your most acute problems are interpersonal, and you happen to have a firearm, well, you might just be able to effect a bit of change in your life. All you have to do is point that gun at people and force them to do things your way. Easy, right? Of course a lot of people don’t really care for that sort of thing, so you might be creating problems for yourself down the line a bit. But don’t worry about that. That’s Future You’s problem.
Naturally, this cliche isn’t unique to the zombie subgenre. It shows up all over the place, but most especially in action stories. That said, it is very, very present in zombie stories. Look no further than The Walking Dead, where this seems to be Rick’s (and honestly, several other characters’) number one negotiating technique.
About this Episode:
In the last episode, Clark started to pivot a bit. He pushed back, both literally and figuratively, against Barb. We are getting into a bit of a battle of wills. So what’s Barb to do, considering she has very little time to try to do anything about Vicky and the kids? She escalates.
Discussion Question: Pointing Guns
I’ve got to be honest: it drives me nuts when a “hero” character points a firearm at another person to win an argument. Generally speaking, it’s supposed to be this moment where the character shows just what a badass he/she is, but I find it gross. I think a hero loses a good deal of the high ground by using thuggish tactics like this. After all, pointing a gun at someone is assault with a deadly weapon.
But I suspect other people have very different feelings about this. So let’s hear them.