This week, Fear the Walking Dead starts out with appears to be an idyllic scene. In fact, if you had forgotten that the show is airing (which is nigh impossible, giving the marketing they put behind trying to get people hooked on this spin-off of the original series), you might have thought you were watching a nice little family drama. Well, a DIFFERENT little family drama. One without super-junkie powers or walking corpses. But no, after the niceties don’t last long before we start to see walkers approaching our peaceful scene, and then we’re met with an abrupt jolt as a chain link fence stops further progress.
In many ways, this could be a good metaphor for the show itself. We get promised one thing, in this case we’re provided with a tale about how we’re going to see things from the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Before long, there is a fence erected to prevent us from getting closer to what we’re looking for. In this scene, it was an actual fence, but with the show overall, it was the insertion of the military and the time jump that pushed us down the road from when the first walker was witnessed. This group of survivors may not have suffered through a coma like Rick did, but the audience didn’t get that benefit. Maybe this is why We All Fall Down, but not everyone can get back up again.
In the grand scheme of stupidity that has marked Alicia’s progress through this world, this week’s incident was one of the most minor. That said, you’re in a space that you don’t know, and you are definitely in a world where there could be walkers around any corner. Sure, you trust George and his family, because they seem to have a little piece of safety, but maybe you shouldn’t be walking around with your ear buds in. This world needs all of your senses at full awareness, and no dope jams are worth getting ambushed by a hungry walker.
This one isn’t so much dumb, as it is incredibly unlikely. So, it turns out that Nick has super-junkie powers. He’s like a drug-sniffing dog, in that he can track down hidden pharmaceuticals with the greatest of ease. It would have admittedly been far dumber if Nick had decided to pocket them for himself, but he did exhibit another poor choice by feeling the need to tell Madison and Travis, thereby ensuring that there would be no bridge night upcoming. Oh, and let’s not forget that Nick, thanks to his extensive junkie abilities, can easily spot that these drugs are going to be killer. Now, there is some truth in the idea that drug addicts develop SOME of these abilities out of a sense of self-preservation, but nothing about Nick’s actions seem like they’re anything more than plot-preservation.
Looks like someone hasn’t learned from Strand, or the fact that they’re on HIS boat. Look, I totally understand the desire to try to save as many people as you can, but we already had it explained that there weren’t enough supplies for the people currently on the boat; why would Madison think that they should be even considering for a moment bringing more people aboard? At least most of the family doesn’t even consider the trip with the crazy new blonde lady who came to visit their island, but she does try and bring along the one who is least capable of actually helping for a number of years. If Madison isn’t careful, Strand is going to kick her off the Abigail, and she’ll have nobody to blame but her over-inflated sense of saving others.
You saw a light flash on. And then off. And you’re aboard an island that seems to be safe, albeit dark. Naturally, the best thing to do is go straight for the light that you saw, and then stand shouting at the front door. You know, because it wasn’t that long ago that you realized your boat was being chased by a larger vessel that could easily decimate your family. It all works out, though, as George and family aren’t trying to do anything more than survive for whatever time they’ve got left. Thank goodness Travis is here to learn, and adapt their advice. Oh, wait, no, Travis is here to try and chastise George for “giving up” on the world, and not being willing to fight for the future. Hey, maybe George had already seen plenty of people like Travis before the apocalypse hit, you know, the well-meaning but ultimately out-of-touch ones, and decided that he’d rather hole up on the island, even without the dead coming back to life.
1. The Writers
We’re meant to be shown how crazy-prepared George and his family all are for the apocalypse. This is something that they’ve prepared for for years, apparently. This is a bit of a thread in the world of Fear the Walking Dead, as Strand has also been displayed as being someone who’s way too prepared to not have any real advance knowledge of what is going to happen. George’s family is presented as being doomsday survivalists to an extent, which would be fine except somehow, this guy was aware of exactly what would need to be done to defeat the dead before it happened, and trained his family explicitly for this, while the other side of the country features plenty of people who have had a LOT of hands-on experience fighting the walkers, and yet they don’t even know the basics half of the time. It’s meant to flesh out the world, but just comes across as being sloppy.
That wraps up this week. We’re back on a boat, and, as heartless as it may seem, we’re thankfully bereft of any additional dead weight. Of course, the boat that was chasing the Abigail can’t be too far off, even if they have been lost for a moment, so we should expect to see that return at some point. It’s not like The Walking Dead universe would set up a potential threat and then drop it completely thanks to an overly complicated shell game. See you next week!