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The latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead offers insight into the wider world beyond the main group, and provided insight into the importance of family and friends during an apocalypse. It also overlooked the season’s biggest subplot: the mystery ship chasing the main characters. ComiConverse Contributor James Morgan gives his spoiler-filled review.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Fear The Walking Dead.
This weeks episode of Fear The Walking Dead titled ‘We All Fall Down’ was a little slow but it also gave us the chance to meet the outside world beyond the core group of characters.
The episode opens with the main characters being pursued by a mysterious ship. Nick has found the log books to the burnt out ship from last weeks episode which clearly state that San Diego is dead. The group finds refuge on the coast where they meet a family of 5. The head of the family, George and Melissa, live in a fenced area with their sons, Harry and Seth, and daughter Willa. George lets Travis and co. know that most of the coastal city has been bombed.
The problem with Fear the Walking Dead is the danger of it becoming too similar to The Walking Dead. For example, the main character in FtWD, Travis, is similar to Rick Grimes in the sense that he still does not understand how to operate in the new world, and he is reluctant to make the hard choices.
This week’s episode again focused on the strained relationship between father and son. Chris and Travis are at odds due to the fact that Travis mercy killed his ex-wife Elizabeth, Chris’ mother, last season. We see Chris taking lessons from Seth at the fences killing walkers with an axe. He does not hesitate to kill the walkers and is in no way phased by killing them. Either this is an oversight in the writing or the kid is more damaged than we think. At one point, Travis tells Chris that before doing anything else, he has to do the dishes and tidy, a moment of normal teenager/parent interaction in the midst of the apocalypse.
Also worth noting is the fact that Harry takes Nick into his room and his toys have blood drawn on their foreheads. Nick asks why he has done this to which Harry replies “this is the way things are now.” The younger characters in Fear have acknowledged the way the world they live in has changed whereas the older main characters are struggling to adapt. Alicia, for instance, goes wandering around on her own without a weapon, a rookie mistake. She is lucky this time, but if she continues to do that kind of thing she will not be around for long.
Melissa, meanwhile, is ill and wants her children to be safe. Nick discovers poison pills that George is planning to use on his family. This plan goes awry when Willa finds and consumes the pills first. She subsequently turns and bites her mother. The main group escapes to the boat with Harry, but Seth retrieves him at gun point. He is then met at the pier by a zombified Melissa and with Chris watching Seth shoots his mother. This moment is reminiscent of Travis killing Elizabeth. Perhaps Chris understands now the hard choice that Travis had to make.
Possibly the most interesting characters in Fear The Walking Dead are Daniel Salazar and Strand. Daniel is very suspicious of Strand and guards him on his boat. He also snoops through his personal belonging. it seems like Daniel could last a long time on the show because he has an intuitive grasp of what needs to be done, and knows how to do it.
As for Strand, he is a mystery. Who is he? Where is he going and who could he be speaking to on the phone? The CDC perhaps? Anyone remember Edwin Jenner?
Strand is almost certainly going to be a key player in the future of this show. The mystery gives a little more edge to a series which seems to rush its best part for shock value rather than tell a good story.
Sadly this episode did not live up to the series premiere. Something the writers forget that this is a show about zombies, and there is no real feeling of horror or threat even when Alicia wanders around on her own. Even the newer characters did not have much depth to them and felt shoehorned in for a shocking death scene.
This episode highlighted the importance of family and group cohesion, but it also ignored its most interesting subplot – the mystery ship chasing the main characters.
James Morgan is a contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @thecamerasuite
Good, not great
This week was a slow episode that failed to thrill fans expectations.