Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Survivors - ''Corn Dolly''

Spoiler Level: High

Things start to look up when Abby, Jenny & Greg run into Charles Vaughan, Loraine & Mick.  Charles Vaughan has been accomplishing what Abby wanted to do-- he's started a farm and created a place where survivors can gather and try to work together. And unlike Wormly and the previous people she's met, Charles is actually a nice guy, and is keeping people together out of mutual need and help rather than out of fear. It's a much more upbeat and optimistic outlook.

Charles has also been able to gather some numbers as best he can; it seems that only 1 in every 5,000 people survived.  He has no record of any two people from the same family surviving, or any two people who knew each other surviving, or any two people who even knew of each other surviving.  It really puts just how devastating the plague was into perspective.

Sadly, when the group returns to Charles's farm they learn that nearly everyone is dying from food poisoning.  They had recently caught fish from a local river; apparently, it's become contaminated.  It's another example of how day-to-day life becomes much more hazardous for anyone who's survived the plague.  Jenny is considering staying, and Greg, who's becoming very romantically attached to Jenny, is considering staying with her. Abby of course won't stop traveling until she finds out what's happened to her son.

So of course it has to be too good to be true.  Charles's fatal flaw is that he's so hung up on the future if the species that he fails to see people as people anymore.  They're a resource; x number of people needed to keep the farm going, y number of people needed to start new towns and new communities.  He can't even bring himself to be upset about the deaths of the people on his farm; he's more upset that this means having to start over again.

And the real deal breaker is that he feels if the human race is to survive, it's imperative that as many babies be born as possible. So he's taken it on himself to impregnate as many women as possible.  Apparently without telling them about each other. And telling them all he loves them.  And then he starts moving in on Abby.

The worst part is, when it comes to the need for a new generation to be born, he's not really wrong; it's pointed out that with no two people in the same family having survived, no infants could have survived, so we've probably already lost an entire generation. And with such a limited gene pool remaining, there is going to need to be a lot of crossbreeding; most likely, traditional standards of monogamy are going to need to be thrown out the window.

But that doesn't mean you treat women like cattle.  Just because a woman can have a child doesn't mean she's obligated to become a baby factory, and quite frankly if the human race has fallen so low that that's the only way for the us to survive, then maybe our time has already ended.

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