I’ve been AWOL for about three episodes of Fear The Walking Dead for various reasons. Time to get to gettin’.
And wow … is there ever a lot to cover. There’s almost too much to review about the trio of chapters since the 2nd season premiered.
But there’s one thing I can state positively and without doubt. Those three airings? “We All Fall Down,” “Ouroboros” and “Blood In The Streets” … ??? Each of them of their own accords have ramped up the view-ability factor of the show by leaps and bounds.
Those three episodes have shown brightly over the course of the last few weeks, really putting a shine on Fear The Walking Dead. The show is out of the doldrums it seemed to be dragging behind it ever since last year. That’s not to say there weren’t some nifty installments in AMC’s companion series to The Walking Dead. It just needed an infusion of some sort to jump start things, to freshen things up. Let’s face it; the show seemed to be leaning toward boring and uninteresting. And now? We’re smack dab in the middle of an excited “What’s gonna happen next?!?”
One of the most thought-provoking things that’s come up of late is the realization San Diego isn’t the destination point for our group. Matter of fact, nothing on the West Coast seems able to offer safe harbor. All major cities are toast, lit up by the military and left with those people remaining up and down the coast in various states of confusion, facing the unknown. Which begs the question: Now where do they go? Of course Strand has a south of the border destination in mind with a plan to back it up, information he gave up reluctantly courtesy of the snooping Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades). Getting there though won’t be any holiday cruise however. Danger lurks everywhere … even out at sea.
But let’s back up a few episodes …
Back in “We All Fall Down” I was pleased with the story line of survivalist (as it turned out) George Geary and his family. We got a nice little sidestepping “B” story line out of the episode which drew me in and kept my attention focused. Right down to those end points of tragedy for several members of Geary’s family. (I love that stuff.) It was an element of incorporation that mimicked the Lizzie/Mika histories, both of those characters tragically losing their lives as you’ll remember. (It reminded me of Sophia’s fate as well.) Quickly, FTWD snagged me into the fold and got me to invest in it further with that episode. And that’s what makes it all worthwhile. It’s the payoff for entrusting my time to the show. (Side Note: Did anyone get deja vu about Geary along the lines of Jenner in TWD’s season 1 closer “TS-19” … ???)
With the next episode I came to a without doubt conclusion: The kids in FTWD are nothing but dumbasses. Nick is still in a drug haze, Alicia isn’t thinking at all and Chris has got issues and attitude up the wazoo, not only with his father but in light of his mother’s demise. (You really can’t blame him, though.) I mean … the stuff they’re doing. At every other turn, you expect them to get nicked either by circumstance, stupidity or both. I wouldn’t shed a tear if either Alicia or Chris got their lights dimmed …
But Nick … Nick has become interesting all of a sudden. Yes, he still says and does some pretty dippy things but there are more layers to him as time progresses. Yes, he’s continually mired in the throes of withdrawal but his wits and some of his “worldly” (as well as drug) knowledge has been serving him more to the sunny side of his demeanor rather than the opposite. That alone has made him a more likable, compelling character.
And … Hello! The Strand backstory has really catapulted the show into overdrive! I’ve said over the last few posts the dude has an underlying curiosity about him and “Blood In The Streets” finally gave us a peek into what Strand is all about. The fact he “bats for the other team” didn’t do anything for me; it’s not that that’s old news and has been done before (though, it has). What did it for me were the spiffy flashbacks into some of his past. Nothing but whipped cream atop everything to bring a smile to my face. Now, throw into the mix the guy pretty much does what he wants, calls the shots and bosses everyone around as well as cleans up “messes” like cutting dead weight from the back of his yacht (Buh-bye, Alex! Buh-bye Jake! Buh-bye lifeboat!) and Strand is just as cold and calculating as ever! But … we’ve known that from the very start. It’s just “fun” to see him manifest that coldness in the flesh.
Madison and Travis? They’re lovey-dovey one moment, yelling at each other the next. Too much going on to catch a moment between the two of them, a little “private time” as we (almost) witnessed. FTWD writers? Keep that tension between the two going. I like the conflict.
Now? We have the pirates – Jack (who Alicia was getting buddy-buddy with on the radio) and Conner (the pirate leader) and others, proving the sea is just as perilous as land.
*whew* Keep it comin’. I’m ready for more.
All this stuff happening right now? In just a handful of episodes, it’s righted the listing FTWD ship. The show is no longer in danger of the slow, methodical (but in many ways necessary) pace the first season gave us. The fact Fear The Walking Dead, while a companion series to its big brother The Walking Dead, isn’t tethered to any source material like the monster hit is offers tons more room for going intriguingly sideways with stories. Not that TWD hasn’t handed over its share of twists and turns but, if you know the comics as many do, you know many of the basics of where that series will eventually go. With Fear we don’t.
And the fact the show seems to be hitting a really nice stride currently – albeit an unknown one, much to our delight – well … that’s what we’re here for. That’s why we gladly plant our backsides on our living room couches on Sunday evenings … right?