Sick and Tired of all the Violence

Jeananne Goossen, Lauren Cohan and Melissa McBride in The Walking Dead

Maybe it’s just this election cycle, with the leading Republican earning supporters by promoting hate, but  I am sick and tired of television plots about nothing but killing. This week’s episodes of The Walking Dead and Quantico are good examples and feature characters who may be getting sick and tired of it all, too. The latest The Walking Dead episode “The Same Boat” featured mostly Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Carol (Melissa McBride) being held hostage by three women. The women were Paula (Alicia Witt), Michelle (Jeananne Goossen), and Molly (Jill Jane Clements).

Rick and the gang have gone to the compound of these women with the intention of killing everyone. They’ve just about finished the job when the three women show up and grab Maggie and Carol. The following scenes between the women demonstrate how alike they are, how much they connect. Yet, in the end, they aim to kill each other.

When the deed is done, not just to the 3 women but to others as well, Carol finally says she doesn’t think she can keep doing this – killing people who are just like them, who just want to survive. Maybe Carol is getting sick and tired of all the killing, too.

I’m sick and tired of killing being the primary option on The Walking Dead. I know there are examples on the show of people working together for the good of all, but mostly it’s kill everyone you see before even trying to establish cooperation.

Anabelle Acosta in Quantico
Anabelle Acosta as Natalie in Quantico

On Quantico, the episode “Clear” shows the agent Natalie (Anabelle Acosta) apparently blown up because of stupid decisions she and Alex (Priyanka Chopra) made to give in to terrorist demands. Alex goes a bit wacko and runs to her ex-boyfriend looking crazy and shouting, “I can’t keep doing this.”

With Quantico, the fight is against terrorists rather than zombies. The terrorists don’t eat your face; they blow you to bits. It’s still a kill everyone even though we’re all just people trying to survive mindset.

I’m sick and tired of violence being the only option in the war against terror.

Don’t all jump up and tell me that we have to be strong against terrorist attacks. I know that. I know that sometimes war is required for our own defense. Just like in The Walking Dead and Quantico, sometimes survival demands violence.

Yet the human animals is supposed to be the most intelligent animal on the planet, and we can’t find one way to save ourselves except by killing? We know violence begets violence. They don’t like what we do so they kill us. We don’t like what they do so we kill them. I’m sick and tired of it.

Why do I keep watching these shows if I dislike them so much? Because the zombie apocalypse is upon us. Climate change is the zombie apocalypse. Right-wing hate mongers are the zombie apocalypse. Poisoned air, water and food are the zombie apocalypse. Terrorists are the zombie apocalypse.

We need to think about the options for dealing with the zombie apocalypse.  Yes, sometimes violence is justified, but is it the only option? Can television about threats to our existence help us find the better ways to respond? I would like for it to try. At least try.

If we can’t try out some creative problem solving ideas in fiction, where can we try them?

Walking Dead Image: Gene Page/AMC. Quantico image: by Phillipe Bosse/ABC

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