VII. The Shelter

(Season 3 / Episode 3)

Ok, so the lesson of this one is short and
So sweet I’ve
linked the entire episode below (it was still up as of May 2014).

The simple story – one person on the block,
the neighborhood
doctor, is ridiculed for building a bomb shelter for his family. That
is, until
an emergency broadcast tells of a probable
missile attack. Mr. Prepared locks himself and his
family in his shelter, as he had planned, and one by one the unprepared
neighbors visit to beg their way in.

As you can imagine, the previous group of
friends rapidly
deteriorates into desperate parents trying to protect their children –
something perhaps they should have thought of before this day, as the
had. The desperation quickly turns to rage and mob-mentality as
tribalism takes
over. The doctor, so recently a beloved friend, is now the
and must be coerced, punished, or destroyed.

Never mind that he offered his basement to a
neighbor who
had none. Never mind that he stated that taking any additional people
in to the
small space would be a death sentence for everyone. And never mind that
the mob
tries to break down the shelter door to get in, even though that would
the shelter useless for all. Mob mentality rules and a
ethos reigns.

The theme becomes writ large when the
townsfolk seek out a battering ram to smash in the shelter door.
Someone’s got
one a few blocks away….but wait, one of them say – if we go get it
that other neighborhood might know our
neighborhood has a shelter…they’d
swamp us and we’d all die! The irony of scale of course is lost on them.

Serling said at the end there is "no moral"
to the
story…but oh, there is – BUILD YOUR OWN DAMN SHELTER and BE PREPARED.

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