I don’t know, guys. This new Fear the Walking Dead presents a whole new opportunity to spend more time in our zombie-infested wasteland, but it also forces us to get to know a bunch of new people. Like, people that we have no connection to before. Will we find them interesting enough to want to see what happens when the dead rise? Do we care about the goings-on in California while Rick Grimes is stuck in his coma? Will the start of the zombie apocalypse be sufficiently interesting enough for us to want to really dive in? And how much will our previous knowledge about the going’s on of the series make us not want to scream at the screen, because clearly none of these people know what’s coming?
Okay, let’s be honest. If we’re hooked to The Walking Dead, then Fear the Walking Dead is pretty much candy for our brains. It doesn’t really matter how good or deep the story is, because we’re just tuning in to see more zombies eviscerate hapless individuals. In fact, it’s pretty much a bonus that they’ll be targeting California, because we’ll get some beautifully scenic views backing the tragic zombie death. The big question is how Californians will notice someone being more listless than normal.
Who am I kidding? The big question is how stupid will these new characters be? After all, while our East Coast survivalists have shown incredible intelligence coupled with incredible stupidity. Will our newest group of characters be able to achieve this particular level of frustrating entertainment? Well, if the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead is any indication, then the answer is a resounding yes. So, without further ado, let’s Fear the Walking Dead.The first episode of the series doesn’t wait too long before showing us what we can presume is Patient Zero in the zombie apocalypse. Glory, glory, Gloria the zombie, hallelujah! Of course, after the quick reveal that things are starting off right away, we’re reminded that the zombie apocalypse clearly couldn’t have spread all that quickly. After all, people still need to die before they can be reanimated, and there’s enough healthcare keeping people going to prolong the full onslaught. By the same token, this is a society that clearly has never heard of reanimated dead, so it’s going to take them a little bit to realize that it isn’t just a bunch of special effects (thanks for driving that point home, Alicia). So who takes this week’s top list?
5. Nick – Okay, so we see Nick in the hospital bed after he gets run down in the middle of the street. We understand that he’s less-than-willing to be completely forthcoming with the police, given his drug issues (because of course the first person to see a zombie HAS to be a drugged out dude, right, California?). However, the fact that he didn’t tell the police anything about the bloodbath at the church just strikes as a moment of stupidity. Yes, he might’ve gotten busted for drugs, but he also would have at least tipped them off to a giant mess.
4. Madison – What did Madison do that deserves placement on this list? Was it believing that a druggie would finally dry out with a(nother) round of rehab? Was it telling Travis that his eyes were lying to him? No, it was in disregarding everything Tobias was saying. Because clearly we can trust that the authorities would never keep details from us if they believed it was in the public’s best interest. Or is this just 2015 talking back to whatever year they’ve started Fear the Walking Dead in (2012 potentially, based on clues and good sleuthing on the ‘nets)?
3. Travis – Hey, Travis, I’ve got a great idea. No, it isn’t ignoring your actual birth son because your girlfriend’s son needs to dry out from drugs. It’s the idea of walking into a (hopefully) abandoned drug den, armed only with a flashlight, because you’ve been told that there was a gruesome crime that happened there. Oh, wait, better idea? Go back (after you’ve seen evidence yourself) with your current girlfriend, still unarmed. The only better idea you could have had would’ve been to try to dance a jig over a bed of spikes.
2. Nick – Admittedly, it worked out in your favor, because of an advantageous medical emergency, but why on earth would you decide that the best time to try to escape from the hospital and your restraints, was when you were supposed to be using a bed pan. Even in the best (or is it worst) of situations, that should only award you maybe 5 minutes. Let’s forget about all of the hospital staff that would be nearby as well. Yes, if you hadn’t left the hospital, your family might have been even more boring, but maybe pick a better time for escape. Unless you were somehow still high at the time.
1. Travis – We almost put Calvin here, for wrestling over a gun with a strung-out junkie. But no, this top spot belongs to Travis. He drives his truck, complete with a cracked windshield, into the reservoir, under Nick’s suggestion. The whole family has time to look around, trying to find Calvin’s body, only to come up empty. And, with plenty of time and space, you decide that the best way to leave the reservoir is to back up your truck? The entire way? Sure, your back window didn’t have a crack in it, but it just seems like it would’ve been a lot smarter to drive through a freaking tunnel when you didn’t have to crane around to look behind you.
So that was the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead. Let me know what you thought, and I’ll see you next week, with more stupidity!