Fear It!: Season 3, Episode 3 – TEOTWAWKI

Well played, Fear the Walking Dead. Thanks to you, we now have a clever phrase to use when we are talking about that great R.E.M. hit from 1987. And by clever phrase, I mean something that looks silly when typed out, and somehow sounds even sillier when said out loud. Thanks, though, for letting us know how the Otto family was able to be so prepared for the end times. Makes you wonder why any character from the original series that would’ve started out near there would have decided that Washington was the better bet. After all, the way that VHS video was packaged, it certainly seemed like Jeremiah and his family knew what was up. They even included the prerequisite scenes of utter destruction, while slamming the national government as being complicit. It really works on the one level that those types of videos need to work.

So that’s great. It didn’t start with an earthquake, or birds, snakes or aeroplanes, but it did start with a massive amount of people not using more caution around the recently reanimated dead. We’ll have to wait to hear how Lenny Bruce feels, but we’re guessing that he isn’t all that afraid. After all, it is TEOTWAWKI, and we feel fine.

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Via AMC

Willful use of the lyrics above aside, this week we got to witness some more of this show’s trademark “huh?” moments, so let’s run them down.

5. Vernon

Vernon is angry. He wants to get revenge on whoever took down the helicopter, leading to Charlene’s death. Truthfully, his anger is completely justified. But Vernon is missing a key detail; the ranchers don’t know¬† single thing about what brought the chopper down other than gunfire. Heck, for all they (and, truthfully, we) know, it could have been Troy ordering some of his men to remove that pesky brother from his side. Instead of sending a raiding party out with no information, Vernon should instead be pushing to get all of those details.

4. Jake

Look, brotherly connections are great. Family is important, especially in a post-apocalyptic world. But Jake needs to start understanding that Troy may just not be redeemable. We know about Troy’s “experiments”, and there have definitely been hints that this isn’t the first time. Heck, Jake even points out that the ranch wouldn’t accept Troy if they knew what he truly did. There comes a point where you have to question why he keeps covering for him, unless Jake has an even darker secret to hide.

3. Strand

Strand thinks he has his next move all worked out. He’s going to visit with his old friend and business partner, and the two of them are going to ensure each other’s safety. Except Strand seems to have forgotten that most of the things he did while working with Dante are not necessarily the most moral of activities. There’s literally no reason why Strand should simply assume that Dante will want to work with him, knowing what he’s capable of. Even when Dante is tossing the other criminal off of the side of the dam, Strand seems to believe that his charm and previous working relationship will see him through. Strand may have changed thanks to his time with the Clark family, but he never should assume that Dante has had a similar, benevolent influence.

2. Alicia

So, Alicia gets invited to a bible study, but the ranch’s local rebellious teen gang. They even promise she’ll get to meet “Jeff” if she goes. For some reason, the character that has been becoming more cautious and guarded now decides to throw that caution to the wind, go along with these other kids she has literally only spoken to for 30 seconds, and even willingly is the first one to enter their secret study lair. It’s all good, though, because they’re just going to sit around, get high and drunk, and “talk” to a reanimated head they call “Jeff”. Yup, just another day in TEOTWAWKI. Oh, and the sister of the drug addict didn’t even take a moment to question what might be in the pipe? Sure, weed is likely, but there’s no guarantee.

1. Daniel

NO! You were free! You had escaped any further obligations to this show, and the other characters! Why did you come back?! Of course, now this means we might get our buddy comedy The Walking Dead: Open Road, showing Daniel and Strand kicking butt and showing complete disregard for anyone not them as they drive across the country, hoping to make it to Portland in time to hit the most awesome flea markets, so it isn’t all bad.

That wraps up this week’s episode. Next week is already looming on the horizon, so let’s just get wrap this up and prepare ourselves. And realize we only have a short time before we start getting our Preacher palate cleanser.

 

Fear It!: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2 – Eye of the Beholder & The New Frontier

Previously on Fear the Walking Dead, there was a deliberate effort to kill off any of the reasons people may have wanted to actually keep watching the show (Daniel. I mean they killed off Daniel). After that moment, we got to watch Chris go more fully psychopathic, we witnessed Madison ignore her own declarations about how to stay safe, and we got to sit by as Travis just kept Travising his way through the post-apocalypse. With a second season like that, what could they possibly do in the third season?

Well, for starters, they could drop both of the first episodes together into a supersized season debut, giving us all absolutely no real time to adjust to the new reality before it gets stripped away again and replaced with yet another rebuild of a more successful Walking Dead set piece. They could also try and up the stakes, which implies that the audience as a whole is doing other than rooting for total destruction for these characters. Oh, and they could bring back one of the few compelling stories, and give us all a chance to once again scratch our heads at this man who seemed to start out his existence in this world playing mutli-dimensional chess, but is now apparently settled on Connect Four. When presented with the Eye of the Beholder, do we really get a New Frontier? Or do we just plod along with more of the same?

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Via AMC

Since this was a double-episode, that means I’ll be delivering a double list. Let’s start with our friends during Eye of the Beholder.

5. The Soldiers/Troy

Let’s just start with the most obvious of things. DON’T CREATE WALKERS! Sure, the soldiers may have convinced themselves that they were doing it for scientific purposes, trying to learn about how long it takes for different people in different circumstances to reanimate, but really, it all just boiled down to being a bunch of jerks, killing people, and creating a potential hazard in your own space. Something about not doing certain things where you sleep.

4. Willy

You’ve been creating walkers, and the time has come to evacuate the fortress you’ve been living in. While leaving, you hear scratching in the walls. It’s probably a good idea to just ignore the scratching, keep your head down, and leave. After all, why do you care if there are rats in the walls? You’re not going to be around to deal with it. Of course, Willy isn’t around to deal with it any longer, thanks to his odd curiosity, that lead to him being pulled into the wall by hidden walkers. Next time, dude, just leave.

3. Travis

You’ve got plenty of evidence that the people running this fort are not super-connected to reality, especially in relation to how the world used to work. You know what’s going to go strongly in your favor? How about you spend time antagonizing them, and taking the strangest route towards appeal by calling their actions “criminal”. Oh, and let’s just pretend that “criminal” means the same thing with how society has deteriorated. Travis is lucky that he didn’t get jumped to the top of the list, before he could formulate a plan.

2. Nick

Escape is imminent. You’re going to get out of this enclosure, and you’re going to get your wounded girlfriend to safety (admittedly, without knowing whether safety was really on the other side or not). Don’t be Nick. Nick didn’t really have a lot of choice about sending Luciana into the tunnels first, but he probably could have tried anything other than shouldering the gate securing the other end, so that it was broken beyond repair. Oops. Now the walkers outside have a clear path to the buffet.

1. Troy

Troy almost lost his eye during Madison’s escape effort, thanks to a well-placed spoon. The eye wasn’t lost, but it was heavily bandaged. When the dead invaded, and Troy was forced to take up arms to try and get everyone out, he made a point of aiming down the barrel, which is good for someone trying to line up the head shots needed to take out the walkers. However, his aim put the barrel and sights perfectly in line with his bandaged eye. I get not being able to adjust to your non-dominant eye on the fly like that, but maybe just try not to take the extra time to aim down a bandage?

So that was the first episode of this third season. But wait, there’s more! It was a FTWD sandwich, with episodes surrounding some commercials as the meat (well, depending on how you watched it, I guess). So what happened in The New Frontier?

5. Nick

Let’s see. You’ve made it to what appears to be something resembling a safe space. You could embrace the safety for a short time, formulate a plan, and see if their family reunites your family. Or you could be Nick, and try to head out, with no idea of the surrounding geography, or where the missing members of your family might be. Make sure to be a petulant asshole about the entire experience!

4. Jake

When looking for Charlene, Jake split from Alicia, giving her a sidearm just in case there was a need. The group had already lost Travis through no fault of their own, and there was no desire to lose any more. Jake’s personal connection to Charlene may have clouded his judgement somewhat, but the man got to the edge of a rise, looking down on where Charlene had probably gone. It’s fairly clear he knows where the edge is, right up to the point where he blindly takes one step forward and falls, almost ensuring his own demise.

3. Nick

You’re heavily outnumbered. You’re also heavily outgunned. You’ve spent your entire time in this particular encampment being upset that you have to even pretend to play nice. They see your wounded girlfriend, see that she’s wounded, and see that it’s doubtful she can pull through. She’s also another mouth to feed, and one that can’t contribute a lot in the immediate future. In a lot of ways, the ranchers had the correct idea with what to do about Luciana, and letting Nick be the one to take care of things was actually a compassionate move. Leave it to Nick to decide that, hey, I’m just going to threaten Troy, aiming the gun at him. That’s taking a huge risk, given that he doesn’t actually know how the family feels about Troy, and that the ranchers wouldn’t just immediately eliminate all of the new people in their midst.

2. Strand

Remember when we met Strand? He took Nick under his wing, because he saw a certain special something. There at least seemed to be some level of calculation in what Strand did, and, while that did backfire with regards to the entire family being brought about his boat, it didn’t really change who he was. Now he’s wandering through life, his fellow survivors having moved on, and the love of his life having succumbed to death’s final embrace, and he’s shifting his entire concept, saving people seemingly at random? Sure, the people outside of the hotel gates were likely to force their way into the hotel, taking out those who kept the gates locked as revenge. But Strand is the type of character that previously would have found a way to connive his way to safety. Well, that was before. Now, he’s the type of character that opens a balcony window for a clear suicidal, and doesn’t think to keep a close watch on either it or her.

1. Nick

“We are not civilians”. Okay, SuperJunkie. Okay.

That does it for this week’s back-to-back premiere! How will the family fare without Travis there to try and talk his way into and out of every situation? Will Alicia again be given the magic of silky, conditioned hair, just because she’s been able to rinse it off with something other than rain water? Will Nick just keep being a complete jerk to everyone around him, until even Madison can’t take any more? And will Strand continue to strike out on his own, eventually leaving for a better quality show? Only time will tell.

Fear It!: Season 2, Episode 12 – Pillar of Salt

Remember the good times? Those hazy, lazy days of our youth when we were actually complimenting some of the characters on Fear the Walking Dead for using their brains in good ways? Oh, wait, that was just last week. Looks like the honeymoon is over, because this week is just chock full of people taking leave of their senses, all for the sake of pushing the storyline incrementally forward.

This week’s episode also took the time to give us a nice little reminder that we were eventually going to see a contrived reason to bring everyone back together again. After all, the main characters didn’t get too terribly far away from each other, and you knew that there was no way they were going to keep everyone apart for too long. It was fractured storytelling, and, unless characters were just going to vanish completely from the show, they need to be reunited if we’re going to be able to get any movement from some of these characters (yes, I’m looking at you, Travis). So hey, maybe the season finale, which is just a few episodes away, will be somewhat kind and both bring everyone together, while simultaneously cutting wheat from chaff. Only three episodes to wait, but for now, let’s take a look back. Don’t worry, you won’t be turned into a Pillar of Salt.

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Via AMC.

5. Guard in the tower

Francisco, one of the runners, has decided that his family just isn’t safe inside the colonia any more. He may have a valid point, given that the medicine is eventually going to run out, and there are too many people at death’s door to continue sending them all efficiently to the walkers ringing the town. He even utilizes the zombie camouflage trick to get past the walkers without being in serious danger. True, they ended up getting captured by Marco and his crew, and will surely be giving up the location of the colonia, but that couldn’t have been foreseen. So what’s the error in all of this? The colonia has a guard stationed in the tower. They know, because of Nick’s recent actions at El Pelicano, that there’s a good chance the colonia could be in danger. What better time to take a quick little nap, right? I get that it’s probably been pretty dull, but maybe find ways to stay awake. Or get someone on the tower that can.

4. Ilene

Oh, Ilene. Clearly stricken with grief, and just not handling things well. She was one of the driving forces behind trying to push Elena out of the hotel, all because of what Elena did when the virus took hold of the wedding. She follows up this week by approaching the room where Madison and company are trying to discuss how to run the hotel. Strand answers her knocking, and is greeted with a stabbing, because he is the one who “took away her daughter”. Listen, Ilene, your daughter was already gone, and you haven’t had a chance to mourn, but that’s no excuse to potentially bring an entirely new member of the undead into the hotel. Or forcing the people around you to use precious resources that could be saved for a better time just to try and keep him alive.

3. The hotel residents

We’ve already talked about Ilene, so let’s talk about the conversation that was happening shortly before that. We saw Madison and Elena work to fill up the generator with gas, and then test it to make sure it works. Thankfully for them, it does, but it starts to beg the question, what would be a better use for said gasoline. Would it be better to conserve the gas for the inevitable supply runs you’ll need to venture out on, or should you use it to make sure that you have plenty of ice and can take warm showers? Look, I understand that the desire for creature comforts is strong, but it certainly would have been nice if, while discussing the severely limited number of hours that the generator would be run, someone could have stepped up and said “We don’t actually need this stuff to survive, nice as it might be”. It is awfully hard to have a scotch on the rocks after a hard day of undead destruction without rocks, though.

2. Alejandro and Nick

These two are butting heads over the direction for the colonia. After it is discovered that Francisco has left with his family, Alejandro decided that he needed to lock down everything, and prevent anyone from leaving. This includes sending anyone to make the drug run to El Pelicano, despite knowing that the delivery was expected that day, and that Marco’s crew already had reason to be angry with the residents of the colonia. While he is trying to protect everyone, he’s actively making it much more dangerous. And Nick? Oh, Nick. Apparently, despite being SuperJunkie, Nick never learned how to be subtle with his own scheming. Nick at least seems to understand the importance of getting Marco his drugs, but he tries to gather an ally for his trip by seemingly asking as many potential partners as he can, and doing it loudly. These two are certainly going to have a more direct confrontation in the coming episodes, and the safety of the colonia will suffer the most for it.

1. Madison

From running the generator at all, through to the end where she ignores her own decree about not powering up at night, Madison spent most of the episode being driven by emotion, instead of logic. Everything really came to a head when she and Elena were delivering fish and ice to El Pelicano, and she happened to overhear Marco interrogating Francisco. Given the state of the world, most people would have laid low, gotten the supplies that they needed to save Strand’s life, and made it back to the hotel. Not Madison, who decided that she just needed to hear more about what was going on, and then heard about a random American who was also part of a settlement. Now she knows about Nick, or at least someone that matches his description, and she’s willing to jeopardize everything to try and get him back. At least Alicia called her out on it all, and may have gotten through to her enough that the lights got turned back out, but maybe the rest of the hotel should rise up and exile the woman who may have drawn a lot of unneeded attention towards them. Especially if it brings Travis.

So that wraps up this week. Honestly, there could have been so many more people added to the list, but let’s just keep it at 5. Otherwise, we’re setting a terrible precedent, and we’d hate to imply a promise for something, and then never fulfill that promise. The next episode is titled “Date of Death”, so does that mean we’ll be saying goodbye to someone? Only time will tell, and that time is just under a week. See you then!

Fear It!: Season 10, Episode 11 – Pablo & Jessica

Guys, I’m actually somewhat conflicted after this week’s episode. See, I set out to make fun of the stupid decisions that the characters make every week, and then this week goes out and actually presents some of them concocting a pretty decent plan. Even more to the point, they pulled it off almost exactly the way they intended to. Don’t the writers know that doing this really throws off my personal style?

Don’t worry, though. Even though Madison’s plan worked out pretty well, and even though it was a plan that actually deserves merit, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t moments of stupidity scattered throughout the episode. The biggest thing that seems to separate this show from its parent is the large cast of characters not normally seen on television in the United States. It certainly isn’t the overall intelligence of the main characters. Now, since we got to experience Pablo and Jessica a little bit more, let’s dive in and see who took a departure from intelligence over the course of the hour.

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Via AMC.

5. The Showrunners

So this week’s episode opens with a flashback. However, it isn’t a flashback like last week, taking us back to the beginning of the whole infection and showing us characters we didn’t know. Instead, it took us back to a couple of weeks ago in our own viewing, and focused on Strand and Madison. It felt like there was an attempt to heighten some of the tension about how they actually escaped from the bar, except for one key thing; WE KNOW THEY ESCAPED FROM THE BAR AND ARE JUST FINE. It took what could have been a cool moment and turned it into little more than a time waster.

4. Alejandro

True, in the end this will probably help out the people of the colonia, but maybe, just maybe, letting an admitted junkie play around with your pharmaceuticals isn’t the best plan. At least he made a point of hanging out near Nick the entire time, and even took part in cutting the medicine (with evaporated milk?) to help prolong the supply, but it just seemed like an odd choice for this pharmacist to make. Oh, wait, it was just an excuse for SuperJunkie to show off how super his particular junkie-fu is.

3. Alicia

This one’s apparently been a long time coming, but Alicia is still walking around with her cell phone? If she had retrieved one from the hotel, it might be forgivable, but it felt like the implication was that this is Alicia’s phone. True, phones aren’t heavy, but at this point, you have to believe that there’s not only no cell service anywhere, but that Alicia’s battery has long gone by the wayside. Unless we’re going to see apocalyptic Instagram posts, which I’d actually be totally okay with.

2. Madison

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Madison’s plan to clear the walkers out of the hotel was actually a pretty genius one, and it went pretty smoothly. The question here is whether or not it’s a great idea to make a plan like this that requires trusting others, when she herself admitted that she doesn’t trust anyone other than Alicia. Admittedly, she didn’t have a lot of options as to what else she COULD have done in this situation, given her choice to make the hotel a safe zone to live in, but maybe she should have coerced someone else into being the person on the pier needing to dive into the water.

1. Oscar

Look, I get it. There’s been a terrible outbreak, and it happens to coincide with your wedding day. Your beautiful bride was one of the victims. You and what remains of your wedding party have holed up in the hotel that the wedding was going to take place. But is it really the best idea to keep your deceased wife around in the honeymoon suite? Aside from the supplies you’ve potentially locked yourself off from, you now have to have a constant reminder of what should have been the best day of your life, turned quickly into the worst. The other big problem? We already saw a storyline about a zombified loved one thanks to the Governor and his daughter, so we don’t need to rehash. It’s good that Strand has made sure that this isn’t going to linger, but it’s just another example of Fear cribbing liberally from the show that came first, and not doing it as well.

That does it for this week, but there’s more upcoming, of course. We’ll see if Luciana and Nick will be Fear’s Glenn and Maggie, or if one of the two is short for the apocalypse after making their own little love connection. We’ll also get to see Madison taking even more charge of the situation, which will undoubtedly endear her to everyone in the hotel even further. As for Travis and Chris, well, let’s just pretend that they haven’t appeared at all in the second half of this season, and maybe leave it that way.

Fear It!: Season 2, Episode 10 – Do Not Disturb

When we were told that there was going to be a spin-off for our favorite zombie-centric television program, we had high hopes. When it was promised that this would be a chance for us to fill in the missing pages of what happened while Rick was stuck in his coma, our hopes skyrocketed. Then the show finally debuted, and we were given fairly insufferable leads, and the show jumped ahead in time. Oh, sure, we got to watch the first couple of walkers make their appearance, and then we flashed forward to the military taking over, but what about everything in between? And why are so many of the main characters just so darned unlikable?

All of this makes the opening of this week’s episode a little harder to swallow. Mainly, the wedding scene was actually a pretty phenomenal one, and being able to see how Elena handled a situation with really no good out reminded us what we had been promised before the first episode ever aired. It was also the Nick-less episode that we thought we’d be getting the week prior, even if that did mean that we had to suffer through Travis and Chris, instead. Overall, the goal of the show seems to be heavily focused into a Do Not Disturb mode, as they’re following an already-documented path forward, without really doing much to change the game.

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Via AMC.

5. Brandon

Spring Break, dudes! Oh, wait, I meant “spring break dudes”, as Brandon and his group make it clear that they’re in Mexico because they were vacationing before the apocalypse hit. The problem? Brandon seems to firmly believe that the rise of zombies is actually pretty darned awesome, and that he’s clearly going to see the end because he’s been turned into some sort of a god simply by surviving this long. Man, they just don’t make gods like they used to, if some punk kid can steal a can of beans from them.

4. Chris

Chris ends up finding like-minded souls in Brandon, Baby James, and Derek. Before that, of course, he stole some beans and water from them, also inadvertently bringing walkers down upon them. He did kill one, saving Brandon’s life, but what does Chris do when they catch up to him and Travis? He proceeds to hold it over Brandon’s head. Now, it turned out that Brandon actually kind of respected that moment, but almost any other interaction we’ve seen in the apocalypse would have ended with Chris and Travis missing at the very least all of their supplies, if not something more vital, like a pulse.

3. Alicia

Trapped in the hotel, and separated from Ofelia, Alicia seems like she’s going to run out of hope. That is, until she stumbles upon Elena, which leads to a merry chase through the floors of the hotel, herding walkers until Alicia could climb the side of the building to get to the next room. She made the mistake of looking down while perched precariously, but a lot of us would have done the same thing. And she made a seeming mistake by removing the barricade from the bar doors, but that ended up working in her and Elena’s favor, as well. However, all of this stems from Alicia using her own dumb luck once again to her advantage, as her foray to Elena was all terribly planned, and should never have worked. Not that Alicia necessarily would have had much hope of escaping had she remained in the room, but her path blindly through the hallways, calling out to Ofelia, and practically summoning the dead to her only succeeded because Elena heard her and ended up rescuing her off of the elevator cables at the last possible instant. And what if that elevator had instead been on her floor, and also full of the reanimated dead? It might have served Alicia better to tap into cartoon knowledge, and spend time making a comically long rope out of sheets, towels, blankets, and maybe a bathrobe or two.

2. Baby James

Let’s face it. None of the three guys in Brandon’s crew really seem like they’ve truly grasped the seriousness of the situation. Brandon has been the most vocal, but there’s an awfully big “we’re freaking awesome at surviving, and killing zombies is fun, brah” type of attitude coming off of them. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that when the group (now five, thanks to the addition of Travis and Chris) find the farmhouse, the boys go off and create some havoc, finding the barn full of chickens. They were truly excited by the prospect of protein, but they had to be a little disappointed that it wasn’t a bunch of the dead hiding out. Things eventually take a turn for the worse when the farmer who owns the barn comes out, rifle held at the ready. It’s a tense moment, and there’s a stand-off happening at this Mexican farm. It almost seems like Travis might be able to talk everyone down from their desire to let bullets fly, but Baby James will have none of that. A quick snap, and a chicken is killed, followed immediately by James getting shot in the leg, and the farmer meeting his maker. Poor chicken wasn’t even armed.

1. Travis

Really, everything that’s been happening to Travis recently is because he has allowed himself to be blinded to the truth of who Chris has become, and this episode is no different. Travis refused to believe Madison or Alicia, and hasn’t really been that good at reading the signs off of Chris since he had to kill Liza. He chased after his son, which was somewhat understandable, but did it completely barefoot (a moment he’s still paying for). In this episode, after the experience in town near the gas station, he even decides to teach Chris how to drive, and seems lost in the father/son moment. While it’s admittedly difficult to accept that someone close to you has traversed a darker path, there have definitely been plenty of indications of where Chris is headed, and Travis has done seemingly everything in his power to make sure that he doesn’t have to really comprehend any of it. Now that he watched Chris gun down a man, maybe his tune will change, but given that Travis is responsible for Chris ending up aligning with Brandon and his crew in the first place, the odds seem unlikely.

That does it for this week. There’s more coming up next week, but it’s really just a matter of biding time before the parent show returns to the airwaves, and drops a baseball bat worth of quality on us all. At least we probably won’t have too many more bait-and-switch moments like we did this week with the blonde zombie. And that’s something we can all look forward to.

Fear It: Season 2, Episode 9 -Los Muertos

After a completely Nick-centric episode, we were clearly bound to get an episode focusing on the other characters of the series, right? We wouldn’t see Nick at all, in order to build suspense for his next appearance. After all, if you’re going to crib from your parent show, why not crib that particular narrative technique?

All of that is forgetting one key element. Nick is this show’s Rick Grimes, without the utter confusion about where Carl is. Nick is this show’s Daryl Dixon, without the redeeming qualities that have made him a fan favorite. Nick is going to be the ultimate hero of Fear the Walking Dead, and he is SuperJunky. That isn’t to say that there are other characters who deserve the spotlight more, but Nick is definitely the one that we’re going to follow through this particular version of the world. And when the world is filled with Los Muertos, the brain ends up taking a predictable path, as well.

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Via AMC.

5. Alicia

So, early on in the episode, Alicia does the exact thing that we’ve seen repeatedly on these shows, and the exact thing that makes experienced gaming groups flinch. She splits the party, taking Ofelia away from Madison and Strand as they go off to explore their way through the hotel. However, it’s later in the episode that we’re focusing on, because after discovering that there’s still hot water, Alicia decides to take a shower. Makes sense, since she’s probably ready to get a good clean going, but she also decided to do so after having a quick talk with Ofelia, where she learned that her companion may just be growing tired of trying to survive. Now she’s trapped alone in a hotel, high up in the building, and seemingly with every possible exit closed off by the dead. At least she could have had a companion to go out with.

4. Nick

After Luciana decided to take Nick on her supply run with her, she implored him to not talk. In fact, she made it clear that him talking would be something she might just have to retaliate against. Naturally, Nick keeps his mouth shut, right? Oh, wait, when he’s the only person who’s unarmed in the situation he decides that he is just going to ignore his only instruction. If Luciana didn’t need someone else to push a cart, Nick might not have made it. Thanks, plot line life jacket!

3. Madison

Admittedly, you’re slogging through the apocalypse, and you’re going to get thirsty. When you find an open bar that’s actually stocked, you’re probably going to want to have a drink. But Madison decided to take what was one simple drink and turn it into almost a drinking challenge between herself and Strand. Just goes to show that you don’t want to give a Southern belle a martini, and you certainly want to keep the tequila out of reach. At least, you want to make sure to do those things there are zombies all over.

2. Strand

The whole drinking thing was started by Strand seeing the bar and deciding that he just had to mix a martini. It was ended by Strand and Madison deciding to literally make as much noise as possible, despite not knowing how close the walkers were. Oh, and did we mention that they were both completely trashed by that point? Yes, both were missing their lovers, and it makes the desire to have a drink or two somewhat understandable, but come on, Victor. You’ve actually shown yourself to be incredibly capable throughout so much of the stuff that’s happened around you, and you forget even the most basic of rules you’ve established simply because there’s some good gin?

1. Nick

Already making the list once, Nick finds himself on it again. This time, it revolves around his actions at the supermarket. Surrounded by a gang who are heavily armed, Nick and Luciana hear that only one cart is being provided now, instead of the usual two. Again, heavily outnumbered and outgunned, Nick clearly decided to toe the line and act appropriately, of course. Appropriate for Nick is attempting to take a non-essential item, and, after getting scolded by Luciana for it, he then decided that it would just be better to try and shoplift it. Oh, and he then antagonized the supermarket gang, thereby potentially drawing the Colonia into a conflict that they aren’t equipped for.

That does it for this week. Next week looks like we’ll be gifted with more of Travis and Chris, which will encapsulate the remainder of the group from the Abigail. I mean, except for Daniel, but the last we saw of him was around a giant fireball. Doesn’t look good, unless he’s the Glenn Rhee of this show.

Fear It!: Season 2, Episode 8 – Grotesque

Welcome back my friend to the show that never ends, never actually delivers what it originally promised, and is slowly but surely turning into a pale reflection of the original show it spun off from. That’s right, Fear the Walking Dead returned to our television screens, and decided to do so with an episode that literally could have been pulled from the parent show, with a quick palette swap of characters to make it fit.

One thing that FTWD has definitely had going for it is that it has included a much more diverse cast than the original program. It would be nice if that more diverse cast could lead to more diverse storylines. Sure, we’ve seen people who feel that the dead are the “next step” in evolution, but that isn’t that terribly far of a step from the people who decided to keep the dead around, either for sport or because of a belief that there would be a cure created. And when some of the shots are direct lifts from the original show, it just makes what’s happening in the second story look that much more like a shadow of something we’re more familiar with.

So how did Fear kick off the second part of the second season? If you remember correctly, we last left our crew as they were doing exactly what every D&D GM hates, and they were splitting the party. It’s a storyline that’s been done before, and now we’re guaranteed to see fractured pieces of what’s happening, until the family, through some convoluted means, ends up reuniting. In the belief that the real breakout star of the show is Nick, the addict who’s clean because there are no easily found drugs in the apocalypse, we get to follow our favorite (?) zombie camouflage artist as he wanders towards Tijuana. There were definitely moments in the episode that were fairly Grotesque, so let’s dive into this week’s list.

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Via AMC.

5. Nick

Right at the beginning of the episode, Nick is shown hiding out in a home, and there’s clearly other people there, as well. In fact, it even seems like these people share part of Nick’s new mentality towards the walkers. Clearly, to pool resources and skills, Nick travels with them, even riding in their car instead of hiking through an unknown land. Oh, wait, I mean he does the exact opposite of that, because Nick is a rebel. He’s a loner.

4. Nick

Further along his solo voyage, Nick finds shelter. He lights a fire, in a fairly open air space, which serves to keep him warm in the desert night, but also acts as a beacon for anyone else who may come by. This leads to him getting ambushed by a woman with a baseball bat (because we have to remember about baseball bats for the main show, right?), and costs him his backpack. What was Nick’s biggest sin in this exchange? Taking his eyes off of the person attacking him for even a moment. While he may not have wanted to try to overpower her, he should have been able to keep an eye on her while slowly maneuvering to get his possessions. Good thing he’s got all of that cactus around him.

3. Outlaws

After failing to take out Nick the first time they ran across him, these gun-toting men driving through the open wild had a second opportunity, running across the horde that Nick was hiding in. Not seeing Nick at first, they decided that they would take a few potshots, looking to thin out the dead wandering around. All of their shots are headshots, so they’ve learned a little something. What at least one of them hasn’t learned, however? Don’t carry only a six-shot revolver, stand closer than the rest of your crew, and refuse to back up at all when needing to reload. Yeah, maybe the sight of Nick spooked him a little, but there’s no reason he should have been close enough to the walkers at that point for it to even make a difference.

2. Nick

Before the outlaws got their second chance at Nick, he could have made good on another escape. He narrowly got away from them the first time, so while wandering within the horde (and having some wonderful hallucinations about them leading him home), the sound of an engine, followed by a car horn was heard. At that point, there was enough distance that Nick could have probably shambled away, despite his injuries, and laid low until the outlaws had departed. Instead, he chose to keep moving with the walkers, not even straying from his course as bodies were dropping all around him. The fact that he made it to meet Luciana and Francisco was a miracle of luck, or just convoluted story telling.

1. Nick

What was Nick’s biggest mistake throughout the entire episode? Well, after getting away from the outlaws the first time, he made his exhausted way through the desert, finding a deserted, broken-down van. The van was clearly in a severe state of disrepair, and the idea of hiding inside of it was pretty much a non-starter, but there was certainly a place Nick could, and probably should, have gone to give himself a little more safety. The top of the van, where he eventually retreated to after acting as a chew toy for a couple of dogs, would have provided a good refuge, just in case. It would have kept him safe from walkers, and random animals roaming past. Always take the high ground, Nick. Just not high like in all of your flashbacks.

Yes, this week featured an awful lot of bad choices by Nick, but that’s kind of hard to avoid when he’s really the only person we know for the bulk of the episode. He’s introducing us to an entirely new group, however, and they’ve so far shown to have a little more intelligence, by at least being willing to wait and see what Nick was trying to do before even moving in to help. After all, in the apocalypse, you can’t just go about wasting resources simply because some dude has a bloody shirt and walks with a limp. At least this episode taught us what happened to Nick’s dad, although there’s probably more to that story, as well. There always is.