Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead S1E2 So Close, Yet So Far Review (Spoilers!): ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!


Last week’s premier of Fear the Walking Dead took some criticism for being a tad on the slow side. The premier, in my opinion, had to be slow last week. We are seeing society at the very start of the outbreak.  The character’s lives are going to be as close to normal as they possibly can be. I liked the setup and the way we were introduced to our protagonists.  I related to a few of the characters and bought into the story.  Tonight’s episode ratcheted up the action and tension as society began to crumble.
This episode started off brilliantly with Alicia, the daughter, visiting her boyfriend. The camera pointing at her and not knowing what she saw was a fantastic way to start. I thought he was going to be an incapacitated zombie that couldn’t walk. We quickly learn he is just extremely sick and infected from a zombie bite. This is my first extremely minor gripe with the episode. How did the boyfriend get bitten?  I would think this would be the first thing he would have told Alicia. Guess he didn’t want her to freak her out, which seems to be a theme throughout the episode.
The tension tonight was spectacular. It builds from the opening sequence of them driving away from the Calvin murder scene. The actors do a great job of conveying their utter shock and confusion of what’s going on. They go to pick-up Alicia at her boyfriends.  This scene was handled well. They don’t want to freak her out, but at the same time they want her to get the hell away from Matt. Again I’m surprised they didn’t try to find out what happened to him, but I would probably want to get as far away as I could too. Alicia, rightly, doesn’t want to leave Matt. The rest of the family doesn’t know how to tell her what is happening. Her mom isn’t able to tell her all the way up until the end of the episode. She doesn’t tell her then either, it’s her just seeing a neighbor attacking another neighbor. She goes to help and Madison stops her. Madison is completely terrified. She is a counselor of some sort, charged with helping others, locking the door and turning her back to ensure her own families safety.
Nick is the only one who seems to want to tell Alicia what’s going on. Madison assures him they will tell her, but Alicia is probably just going to have to learn about zombies the hard way. Nick probably would have told her if he wasn’t suddenly in a “world of shit.” Great use of the classic line from Full Metal Jacket. I’m not sure if he would have gone into withdrawals that quickly. Maybe adrenaline was keeping him high, and he crashed. I’m no expert on heroine withdrawals, so maybe they do hit this suddenly. I’m leaning with no, so it’s another minor gripe, but it serves a purpose in the show. It keeps Alicia from going back to Matt’s, and it gets Madison to look for drugs at the school.
The school scene was full of tension. The principle zombie had me on the edge of my seat, and I wasn’t sure if Tobias was going to make it. I started to question why Tobias would have come all the way to school just to get his knife, but they quickly explained he was there for supplies and not just his knife.  Seems like a smart kid, and the character is brave for going toe to toe with a walker. Though he’s going to struggle, because the first rule of Zombieland is cardio. Wait, sorry, wrong zombie universe. Madison does a good job of holding it together until she gets back home. I’m surprised she didn’t offer Tobias a place to stay, but I guess she thinks he’s going to be okay.  Everyone thinks things are going back to normal, expect Tobias. He seems to know just how quickly society is going to crumble.
Travis goes to try and find his ex-wife and son. They both do not know what is going on and Chris gets stuck in a riot. How are you supposed to tell someone who hasn’t seen a zombie that the dead are rising? The fear and panic Travis has bleeds through and even though his ex-wife doesn’t understand what’s going on she knows she need to finds their son. Chris thinks he is in the middle of an important public demonstration. Once they find him the scene quickly devolves into a mass riot when a police officer opens fire and kills a walker. I like the place they take refuge in. The barbershop with the steel shutters would be a logical place to hold up.
This was nearly perfect second episode. Things I questioned served a purpose. The actors all did a good job, with Alicia being the only character I’m still not completely sold on. This episode captured the unraveling of society and by the next one LA will be in complete chaos and anarchy will reign. For those who didn’t like the pacing of the first episode, I still say it was spot on. The slow build and now the quick decent were perfectly paced for me. Tonight was a great installment, and if the final four are this good we could be well on our way of seeing Walking Dead year round. As long as the quality is always high, not an easy thing to do, it shouldn’t get stale.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Where you as impressed as me, or did you want more action? Are you enjoying the characters, or do they annoy you? Comment and let me know.

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