Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead S1E3 The Dog Review/Recap (Spoilers!): “Good People are the first to Die.”


Episode three of Fear the Walking Dead built tension in a masterful way. The entire episode was a tightly wound cord that didn’t release until the very end. There were very few moments where our characters could catch their breath and relax. It is a small glimpse into the world they will soon be living in.  I’ve been on board with the show since episode one, loving the pacing and the characters. The third installment wasn’t a letdown and only heightened my excitement for what is going to happen next.
This week started with Madison, Alicia, and Nick stuck in the house. Alicia is wondering what was going on across the street. Madison is still refusing to tell Alicia what’s going on. This is a bit of a sticking point, but I still understand not wanting to tell her what they have seen. Madison is clinging to the hope things will go back to normal. She tells Nick this, but her actions show she doesn’t think things are ever going to be the same.  We hop over to Travis, Lisa, and Chris in the barbershop with the Salazar’s. They quickly vacate the shop and make a break for their truck after a fire breaks out. I thought this escalated a bit too quickly, but I loved the riot shots. The sequence of them getting back to Travis’s truck was intense. The complete chaos of the riot, with the nice touch of a zombie cop attacking another officer. It started the episode off with a bang and it never let up.
One of the best scenes of the night was after they escape the riot and are on their way back to Madison’s. They are driving in the hills and see the rolling blackouts. Chris asks Travis what is going on, and he’s not able to give an answer. How could he? How could anyone possibly try to explain the dead are coming back to life, and society is quickly crumbling? I think this is the scariest part of the Walking Dead. The zombies are frightening, but just how quickly everything could unravel into chaos is truly terrifying. It shows just how close we could be to an actual breakdown if some sort of global catastrophe broke out. Makes me want to make sure I have a hard copy of How Stuff Works. This was just a beautiful shot and sequence to illustrate the terror going on in whole city.
Back at the house Madison breaks out monopoly. It is a nice quite moment in the episode. Madison is trying to normalize the situation. We find out some backstory about her former husband and the kid’s dad.  He died in some capacity while they were waiting for him to get home.  I’m thinking he was a cop of some sort, and might explain Madison’s disdain during the first episode.  It still is traumatic for all of them, and is a cloud still hanging over their heads.  This might also explain Madison’s reluctance to tell Alicia about what is going on. She thinks Alicia has already gone through enough pain from her father’s death. Madison doesn’t want to add another burden to her plate if she doesn’t have too.
Things soon heat up at the house when a dog makes an appearance, along with their walker neighbor. Nick, ever the quick thinking junkie, makes the decision to go find a gun at another neighbor’s house.  They go through some weird garden maze thing, and find the gun. This maze screamed: A zombie is going to be in here! Sure enough Alicia got caught by one. The only person who doesn’t know what’s going on, gets caught. Predictable, but the scene was still well done and had me on the edge of my seat. Mr. Salazar was able to come in and quickly seize control of the situation. The killing of the zombie was fantastic. The shotgun blast to the face was spectacularly gruesome.
They decide to wait out the night in the house, which leads to some debate. Travis seems to be the type of man who looks for the best in everyone. This prompts Daniel Salazar to make the statement “Good people are the first to die.” This might have been just a bit too on the nose, but I still enjoyed Ruben Blades delivery of the line. Ruben stole just about every scene he was in. The arguments he has with his family, and seeming to know just what needs to be done to survive. He obviously has seen the worst side of people.  I think it would be a brilliant twist for him to be the main character and leader of the band after the eventual collapse of society. He seems to be a “Rick Grimes” type even before the collapse. No one else in the house seems to be capable of survival in a harsh environment.
One of the highlights of the episode is the characters struggling to kill the walkers. They know these people, and aren’t sure what is happening to them. Nick states they are dead, but others don’t want to believe that. It’s not that much of a stretch for people in this world to believe this. Herschel believed the walkers could be saved for almost a year after the collapse of society in The Walking Dead. This is one reason why I think the virus would spread so quick in this world. How hard would it be to kill your spouse? Your child? Your parents? You wouldn’t and you probably couldn’t. Madison wanted to kill her neighbor, but couldn’t. She was talked out of it by Travis. This is was a great look at how the collapse of society happened in this universe.
The only grip I have with tonight is the ending. I’m ok with the military showing up and taking control. I just didn’t like the timing. It was a bit of a deus ex machina moment. They show up at the exact moment the neighbor is about to take a bite out of her husband. I do like that they are pulling us back from the brink for an episode. In the big cities I would expect the military to move in and try to seize control. It’s good to see, and while it might be a bit convenient for them to show up in our characters neighborhood, it’s at least plausible. It allows us to see the military response to the outbreak.
The timing of the military was the only drawback tonight. I can justify all of the other decisions our characters make. The fact we know what is going on and they don’t adds to the intrigue and tension of the show. Next week will probably be a slower paced episode as the military takes control. This is an ok step, because our characters will finally be clued into what is going on in the world around them. Their eyes will be open, and when the military loses control in the last two episodes, our protagonist will be able to survive in the zombie ridden landscape.
My Rating: Fantastic Episode

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Love, hate, or think it was just ok? Comment and let me know. Share and follow with others if you enjoyed my recap, Thanks!!

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