Catching Up With Fear The Walking Dead

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Last week’s “Do Not Disturb” (s2ep10) didn’t do much for me. It was fractured, unattractive and it just didn’t engage me.

The episode was fractured on purpose, let’s be clear about that. And the writers and director did work it to points where different stories – not to mention musical backgrounds – melded in a kind of symbiosis. But, at the final bell, I simply wasn’t impressed.

Overall as an episode, I didn’t find anything to gravitate toward. There was nothing that really pulled me in. And if I wasn’t pulled in by anything, I wasn’t engaged in it.

That being said, there were a couple interesting points of note:

  • One of the more interesting items of “Do Not Disturb” was how quickly the father of the bride “turned” after his demise. 30 seconds after his death? The guy reanimated. Wow! We haven’t seen that quick a turnaround ever, not in the short history of Fear The Walking Dead and not in any season of its predecessor, The Walking Dead.
  • I can’t determine for certain if I’m intrigued by Chris at this point or if I still consider him a punk ass. I’m leaning toward the latter, however, after his blatant disregard and outright murder of the owner of the farm he, Travis and the rest of the group came across. Was Chris so easily influenced by the carefree attitudes of the three hooligans he met while robbing them (and he did rob them, no doubt about that) that he was emboldened to kill the farm owner? Sure, he saved at least one of those guys lives by taking care of a walker who was an eminent threat to the group but that didn’t justify kyping foodstuffs as boldly as he did let alone kill someone. And I haven’t seen anything he’s done to rationalize his actions; not his teenage angst nor the snubbing of his father, not the death of his mother, zippo. That, good readers, has me concluding he’s nothing but a selfish punk ass.

The episode didn’t do much for me outside note the above points. But I’ll give it this: I did appreciate the way it was structured, especially at the beginning. Interestingly, I saw two things this past weekend that did this: Sully, the fateful story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landing his damaged aircraft in the middle of New York’s Hudson River in 2009 and this chapter of Fear The Walking Dead. The ways in which the directors crafted the stories did justice to the tales, but it worked better for Sully.

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“Pablo & Jessica” (s2ep11)

This airing of Fear The Walking Dead gave more meat and potatoes in an hour than “Do Not Disturb” did last week. We discovered the fate of Madison and Strand, we got a nice taste of the bad assery Alicia learned over the course of the outbreak, Nick is showing even more chops and we were treated to a nice little plan to rid walkers of a possible (albeit probably temporary) safe haven so everyone can settle down for a bit, all comfy and cozy.

Horrifying as it may be, Madison and Strand came to terms with the fact the only way they were going to get out of their situation was to douse themselves in walker innards to cover their scent. That made perfect sense. And, shortly thereafter, the reunion with Alicia. Everything worked out swimmingly.

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Meanwhile, Nick is showing off again. His former drug knowledge has served him pretty well in the apocalypse, hasn’t it? This time in extending the Colonia’s drug supply to buy time and supplies. He’s earning his keep, something he’s been doing all season long. Again: He’s the most dynamic character on the show and his story lines are the ones I look forward to.

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Another intriguing character who needs his story told on a deeper level is Alejandro. His claim about surviving a walker bite … is it true? Did he come up with something, either knowingly or otherwise, to staunch the inevitable turning? If so, why hasn’t it been used on others? Is he lying about the bite with some ulterior motive in mind? Something else entirely? I can’t help but think there’s something devious in his nature or in his methods that hasn’t come to light yet, something bound to be a real shocker. In the meantime, he seems to be on the up and up … at least as far as Nick can tell.

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Back at the hotel, Alicia is proving she’s not worthless; her quest for her mother led to finding her safe and their combined efforts, along with those of Strand and other survivors we met last episode, have proven not only fruitful in securing the hotel but in a better future for all. It’s the “prison” story line of The Walking Dead where that group got in good on a good thing to temporarily keep from running. With supplies, fortification and a nice view of the surrounding area, the hotel appears to be a pretty nifty place to hole up for a while and catch their bearings.

But where’s Ofelia? Did she really take off with the truck? Wasn’t Strand the last one driving it? Because that would logically lead to him being the last one in possession of the truck’s keys … right? So if it was Ofelia who took off in it, how did she get the keys? She didn’t hotwire the thing, she’s not that savvy. And if she did hijack it out of fear or survival or whatever, does she have a plan in mind? Head back to the winery to see about her father? Take her chances elsewhere away from Hotel (Baja) California? To be determined.

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There’s this: Lots of unanswered questions are lurking out there and, with a mere 4 episodes left in the season to answer some of those questions, there’s not much time left. Personally, I’d like to see Travis and Chris continue to wander about, unknowing of the fate of the others. I’ve said previously Ofelia is rather throwaway for me … I’ll leave that notion hanging right there. Daniel? He’s alive out there somewhere; we’ll find out what he’s been up to soon enough.

No matter where Fear The Walking Dead goes, however, it’s been done nothing but up the ante in story telling and character development and overwhelmingly in a positive direction despite a few lags and stumbles.

Things That Irked Me:

  • Do you remember those damned blinking yellow lights at the bar when Madison and Strand were surrounded by walkers a few episodes ago? No? Me, neither. Suddenly, they were just there …
  • Just for the sake of continuity, it would have been nice to have seen those walkers Madison was leading out toward the pier to trip themselves up and splay all over the floor right at that little flight of stairs. Because walkers don’t really look where they’re going, especially when it comes to a couple stairs – they’re rather focused on what’s in front of them, not what’s directly below them.
  • I call bullshit on the walkers not noticing how Strand, and then Madison, hopped the bar and casually got to safety. That’s awful suspicious behavior and pretty good acrobatics for a fellow undead to pivot onto then off of a bar, you know.

What did you think of this episode? Start a conversation in the comments section below!

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