Fear It!: Season 3, Episodes 7 & 8 – The Unveiling & Children of Wrath

Remember the good times? Those hazy, lazy days back in California, where character motivations were a little more rigid, and the things that defined the heroes of our peace weren’t modified simply to fit in the next set piece? Sure, we maybe all were a little wary as to how any of these people would be able to survive after the end of the world, but at least we knew a few simple truths about them. Madison would do anything to keep her kids from harm. Nick would be the superest of SuperJunkies. And Alicia would calmly keep her head down, actually formulate a plan, and survive by being smarter and more competent than the rest of the people around her.

We’re clearly removed from those days. With Nick, it’s actually a nice move, because he’s been able to shift his character from “junkie” to “recovering junkie”, and it actually allows him to showcase how his addictive personality could get others in trouble, just as much as it gets him there. However, Alicia seems to be putting aside caution in all situations, which could easily be written off as “she’s 18”, since the show already did so. As for Madison, she seems to think that she’s still going out of her way to protect her children, but it looks a lot more like she’s willing to endanger them and anyone else around her just to be proven correct. Good thing we’re at the mid-season break, because The Unveiling of these particular Children of Wrath sure leaves a little bit of a mess to clean up.

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Via AMC

6. The Writers

There’s only so much the writers can do at this point. But it doesn’t help that they are still trying to balance all of these separate stories, and just can’t seem to actually do so. Daniel’s return in earlier episodes seemed like it would bring some decent elements, but he only appears in the mid-season as an hallucination. Strand is merely a foil for saying goodbye to the Abigail. The boat itself gets one of the most touching send-offs of any character on the series. And the cosmonaut on the other side of the radio immediately became a more interesting story than anything else we’ve seen. Maybe they needed a break, too.

5. Alicia

Alicia spends both episodes either not being cautious enough, or being too cautious. She chases after Jake before he gets to Walker and the reservation, but never once thinks about calling out to him to let him know she’s there. She talks with Ofelia about everything that happened since, expecting to be heard, but then doesn’t take a moment to listen to Ofelia’s side of the story without immediately writing it off. Most troubling about that last one is that Alicia literally had the chance to speak with Walker, and see the truth about how the man was trying to protect his people, so deep down, Alicia knows that Ofelia is telling her the truth.

4. Jake

Let’s see. You know you’re going out to face a man who has at least taken down one of the founders of your father’s community. You believe he’s ordered the death of another whole family. But you’ve beaten him in court, so you are clearly the one best destined to talk him down. Except for a couple of things. Thing one, the rule of law has gone by the wayside, so winning in court doesn’t really have the bearing it once did. And thing two, you don’t have the backing of literally anyone else from home. At best, your negotiations are going to lead to you being taken down for not holding up your end of the bargain. At worst, you’re going to end up overplaying whatever small hand you have, which could get you branded a traitor at home. Oh, and Jake? When the sick guy tells you that maybe you also need to take a break, and maybe get a nap, do so. And when you’ve got someone mostly recovered, maybe let them go, so that you’ve got an extra pair of hands and eyes, just in case another attack happens.

3. Jeremiah

Alright, you’ve made it pretty clear that you’re not a good person, but that you believe you should be forgiven because you’ve kept people alive at this ranch. Just as long as they’re white people. The undertone of racism suddenly became much more blatant in Jeremiah’s conversations with Ofelia (remember how he saved her at the end of last season? No? It’s okay, they recapped it quick in her reveal). However, one would think that, for a guy who doesn’t see too many people of color in his community, or probably in his wanderings, that maybe he’s have a better recollection of running across one that he maybe might have upset. Jeremiah literally saved Ofelia from death, so when she returns to his life as a captive, maybe he should have had an inkling of “haven’t I seen you before”? And who’s idea was it to keep Ofelia in the pantry while she was their hostage? At least his racism explains why he’s willing to die, instead of possibly think about sharing with Walker.

2. Nick

Sure, Nick. Sign up for the militia, so you can keep your enemy closer. And then, before being recruited, make a point of trying to rile the guy with all of the guns, to see if you can’t maybe get him to lash out. I get that Nick doesn’t trust Troy in any level of leadership, but there are better (and safer) ways to make your point to the ranch as a whole. It all comes to a (different) head, however, when Nick confronts Jeremiah about the body buried beneath his house, and then has to intercede to keep Madison’s hands clean of the elder Otto’s murder. Good thing that nobody at the ranch would be familiar enough with angle of entry, to determine that Jeremiah maybe was killed by the only people in the room with him (who conveniently are also the newest people at the ranch). But hey, at least Nick removed a bad person from the equation.

1. Madison

We’ve already pointed out that she’s no longer seemingly trying to keep her kids safe. After all, she’s willing to throw the ranch into a full-scale war against Walker’s people, just to prove that she’s made the right choice to hunker down there for safety. She scolds Nick for signing up with the militia, even though she’s covering for Troy every inch of the way. She blames Ofelia for having Stockholm Syndrome with regards to Walker, ignoring that she seems to exhibit plenty of the same with regards to the Ottos. True, she is the one to ultimately avoid conflict with Walker and his people for the moment, but she certainly went out of her way to try to light that spark before Nick’s actions.

That does it for this half of a season. It’s been a ride, but hopefully one that didn’t take place in a helicopter. The show is still shambling along, but it’s going to be a little bit until we see more of it again. Just like the dead themselves.

Fear It!: Season 3, Episode 6 – Red Dirt

Another week, another hour to spend with the family that just won’t die. At least, not completely. Sure, there are still questions that abound as to exactly how this particular collection of people has been able to make it this far into the apocalypse. Those questions just lead to unsatisfying answers, however. At least the doomsday preppers that we’ve started to get to know prepared for something to happen, and seem to have some level of survival training that would have helped them get to this point.

This week, we spent a lot of time fretting over Walker, and his tribe lurking somewhere outside of the walls of the Broke Jaw Ranch. This allows our characters to delve into the story aspect of humans being the true monsters for this season (face it, this metaphor is pretty much needed every year). While the reanimated are still a threat, they are definitely playing second fiddle to people that have been wronged by other people. With the mid-season finale looming, we’ve only got so much time to enjoy all of this Red Dirt. Well, maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word, when you’ve got people ignoring common sense just this frequently.

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Via AMC

5. Jake

Maybe it’s the glow of getting to sleep with the newest member of the community, and one that you didn’t spend all of your childhood growing up around, but Jake suffers from a crippling attack of dumb when he’s at the range, practicing his shooting skills. Well, he’s actually fine until the moment he knows that Alicia is there, and willing to learn. He’s got hearing protection available for both of them (do they just hang out at the range for anyone to use, or did Jake bring a second pair just in case?), but then he neglects to actually cover his ears with them before Alicia starts firing. Maybe we just don’t see that moment, or maybe Jake is just preparing himself for the inevitable gunfire without hearing protection that looms in his future, but it seems like he would have been more careful.

4. Alicia

Alicia has her own issues at the shooting range, but more troubling is what she decides to do after Jake has departed to find Walker and his people. She spends some time trying to convince him that Jake is heading on a fool’s errand, and that this is different than any situation where he confronted (and beat) Walker before. Then, after Madison, Nick, and Troy return with their news about the Trimbol family, Alicia decides she’s going to head off to the reservation after him? Because a young woman setting out on her own will totally help change Walker’s mind about the Broke Jaw Ranch.

3. Troy

You and your patrol group have just returned, limping and dehydrated, from an exploratory mission that went wrong, and where Walker sent a message to the Broke Jaw Ranch. You’ve listened to your friend Mike let the cat out of the bag regarding how dangerous Walker and his people may be. So immediately try to push to bring the attack to the man who ambushed you. I mean, at least take some time to heal your feet, and maybe think about getting some reconnaissance before launching your revenge schemes.

2. Jeremiah

On one hand, Jeremiah was able to talk Troy back from the ledge, keeping him from launching an ill-advised attack against Walker that the Broke Jaw Ranch wasn’t ready for. On the other hand, he’s seemingly willing to underestimate what Walker is capable of, and doesn’t seem terribly disturbed by watching people from within the Ranch break away from his power center. In fact, his way of reacting to the fact that he is the only founder left of the ranch is to drink, but not actively do much to change his fortunes.

1. Madison

Okay, so you’ve been spending some time getting to know Jeremiah and his family. You’ve gotten the community to start seeing you as someone who is more help than they originally believed. You’ve also got plenty of reason to try and keep Troy from exerting any level of control over the people living at the ranch. So why are you siding with Troy? No, seriously, I’m going to ask again, why are you possibly siding with Troy? Especially with all the evidence pointing to the possibility that the Trimbol deaths were not caused by Walker, but by the man you almost cost his right eye? Unless you’re planning on supplanting him yourself, which could be your gambit. Is it worth it, though, to align so clearly with a man who, mere episodes ago, almost killed your husband and family just for his experiments.

That’s it, everyone. Just one more week, until we’re fed a two-hour mid-season finale. This is the second time we’ve been delivered two episodes in the same sitting. It’s almost like even the powers that be are looking to make sure that we don’t have too many weeks to put up with these characters. Check back in next week!

Fear It!: Season 3, Episodes 4 & 5 – 100 & Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

I was off on a vacation last week, and, because of that, I didn’t get a chance to watch the fourth episode of this season until just last night. But that meant I got to experience more joy, with binge-watching two episodes of this action-packed show back-to-back! Or it means that I had to plow through two hours of characters completely throwing aside things that previously defined them all for the sake of trying to give us something different. Take your pick.

It also means that this post is going to encompass both episodes. First up, we got to see more about Daniel’s wild ride ever since the fire that almost wrote him off of the show. But hey, a man with Salazar’s background surely wouldn’t be defeated by something as simple as fire, especially one that he set himself. It’s not like he was dancing before he set it (oops, getting somewhat ahead of myself with that comment). Anyway, let’s dive in and take a look at what happens when Daniel keeps it 100.

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Via AMC

5. Daniel

Make no mistake, Daniel Salazar is fully a character that should have a good chance of making it through the apocalypse, given his background fighting in the civil war in El Salvador. And it would be remiss to ignore that his encounters at the beginning of the episode was hampered by the fact he had recently walked away from pretty intense burns. However, when the dog ended up being the only thing that prevented the walker from deciding to dig deeper than the over-cooked leg meat, maybe Daniel should have gotten up and tried to find a different location? Instead, it’s pretty apparent that he hid underneath the car, and ended up sleeping there. He’s incredibly lucky that Efrain was there the next morning.

4. Efrain

Efrain’s actually pretty smart when it comes to gathering the water. He may not know where it came from, but he is aware that once a week, he gets to fill his buckets, and take it others who desperately need the hydration. Maybe his blaring radio isn’t the best choice, given its ability to lure looters, walkers, and Dante’s guards, but it’s also an effective way to let people know they can get a drink. However, when out scavenging, shortly after Daniel’s procedure, Efrain decides to bring the limping, cane-hobbled man with him. When you know that you’re headed into dangerous territory, and have a lot trying to take away your safety, maybe keep the guy who will slow you down tremendously at home.

3. Lola

Lola’s actually fairly lucky that Daniel is trying to protect her, and that Dante and his men aren’t great at tracking down the thief, but she really should have done more to cover her tracks. Instead, she seems to believe that she will get away with siphoning water at the exact same time every week, and sending it to the fountain for her friends to drink their fill. Heck, it still might have worked, if it hadn’t been for her jumping in to stop Efrain from suffering more torture. To think, all of it could have potentially been avoided if she had just decided to not try and cover for Daniel upon his arrival at the dam.

2. Strand

Remember when we all thought Victor was incredibly smart, calculating, and one of the few people who should survive? Yeah, those were a good couple of episodes. Now, we’ve got a Victor Strand who has literally been stripped off anything that made him the man we first met, and who can’t even keep his story straight. He actually had Daniel almost willing to spring him from the jail, until he mentioned that Ofelia was “waiting for him”. Great, buddy. She’s waiting for a guy that everyone, including her, was convinced was dead? Good thing you still had some use.

1. Dante

Oh, Dante. You got your dam. You even sussed out the truth about Daniel, all because he refused to stand for your entrance and JC wasn’t willing to let that moment slide. Maybe you should have been just a little more careful with a man you knew could kill literally any and all of your men with little provocation. Showing yourself to not be working for the side of the angels put Daniel into a tricky position, but it also snapped him out of whatever reverie he was in that allowed him to believe working for you was his best, or maybe only, option.

That was just the first episode consumed this week. Well, for me. Everyone else probably parceled out the episodes the way the network intended. Instead, now that we’ve been reacquainted with Daniel, and he and Strand start their buddy epic, we also get to go back to the Otto ranch, and check in on the Clark family. They may be Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, but they also have a new recruit to their beliefs, or at least someone willing to pretend and help. Maybe the dancing old couple should have been put on display earlier for other potential recruits.

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Via AMC

5. Troy

Troy seems to still be insistent on proving his worth to his father. Not only is he going to lead the search for whoever shot down the chopper, but he’s going to lead the bucket brigade to attempt to extinguish the fire at Russell and Martha’s. Sure, it was a huge waste of water, but it actually showed a level of concern for others. However, Troy was also the one to lead the group to Phil’s outpost, and then straight into the trap Walker and his people had set for them. Listen, folks, in the apocalypse, if you see someone strapped to a chair, with a bird pecking out their brain, maybe don’t investigate? Just a thought.

4. Jake

Maybe Alicia just wanted to feel something. Maybe she was still in a bit of a cloud after spending the previous night at her “Bible study”. Maybe she’s taken a shine to Jake as one of the few new people she’s met who’s actually shown any kindness to her and her family. If only she’d known that shortly after sex, he would try and gift her a Charles Bukowski book. What, didn’t Jake have any Ginsberg or Frost available? Listen, Jake, even pre-apocalypse, giving a girl Bukowski after you’ve slept with her probably isn’t the best move. Just saying.

3. Strand

It was already mentioned above, in the previous episode, that Strand has difficulty holding on to his story with Daniel. The question now is why he wouldn’t have taken literally any point during the apparent day of travel to tell Daniel the truth about Ofelia. Yes, she had gone to the hotel, but then she left. Strand could have stated that at any point, and the worst-case scenario would have been being abandoned on the side of the road, where he was in the open and not surrounded by a horde. Instead, the timing of his admission led to Daniel depositing him at the hotel. To be precise, inside of the hotel, with plenty of the reanimated dead lumbering towards him.

2. Madison

Forget about Madison walking into the trap with Troy and his squad. Forget her trying to usurp control of said squad from Troy. Let’s instead just look at the early combat with the walkers, and remember that Madison has fought a great many corpses already in her adventures. Maybe she was dealing with a heavier weapon than she was used to, but why did she strike at the zombie’s neck? She failed to destroy the walker, which almost led to her facing an early demise. Thank goodness the rest of Troy’s crew thought she was worth saving, having “proven herself”, apparently by not backing away from the fight.

1. Nick

Nick doesn’t trust Jeremiah, Troy, or the rest of the people at the Broke Jaw Ranch. He is only staying until Luciana can be rehabilitated from her injuries, and then the two of them are leaving. Wait, no, scratch all of that. That was Nick before he watched Russell and Martha dancing on their porch. Suddenly, Nick sees the benefit of staying behind, and is willing to put in the extra effort to scrub clean the fire-destroyed home. He even thinks that Luciana will agree with him. You can’t say that he’s doing it to keep his family together, since that clearly stopped being a concern last season. Nope, instead Nick now wants to stay. This will surely work out well for him and everyone else.

That wraps up both of these episodes. If math is on my side, we’ve got three episodes before the mid-season finale, and maybe we’ll actually get to see more of Ofelia’s story by then.

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.