Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead, Season One discussion. AMC has announced a 15-episode order for Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead, which will air in 2016.

In this episode, Madison (female lead) is with her children, Nick and Alicia, while Madison's fiance Travis (male lead) goes to find his son Chris who is with his ex-wife Liza. Travis, Chris, and Liza encounter rioting and hide in the barber shop of Daniel and Daniel's wife and daughter. Meanwhile Madison goes to the school where she works to break in and take drugs that have been confiscated from students for Nick's use while he is weaned off heroin. She meets up with a student, Tobias, who knows what's going on (zombie illness, etc.) and has come to the school to scavenge for food in the cafeteria. The principal, Art, has inexplicably become a zombie and Madison is forced to kill him with a fire extinguisher. Travis, Chris, Liza, Daniel and his family must leave Daniel's shop due to rioting and Daniel's wife is injured while they are running. They all end up back at Madison's house.

I get the “slow burn” concept. However, in order to identify with the characters, I need to like them and three episodes in, I don’t. Hopefully that will change. After watching Episode 3, the only one I like is the barber, Daniel Salazar. Nick, the addict, is rather appealing; I love the way he runs like hell from any threatening incident he doesn’t understand. Good survival instinct. Tobias is the only one with a clue (except for Daniel). Will Tobias show up in later episodes?

Travis. Heavy sigh; I can’t understand some of what he says; he means well but he’s weak and if he doesn’t “man up” he’s not going to survive. He’s trying, but no one likes him except Madison. Not his ex-wife, not his son, not Madison’s two kids, nor Daniel. Travis has seen the blood and guts in the church, heard Nick's story about Gloria eating everybody, saw Nick's drug dealer get run over several times after being fatally shot and then saw him get up and come after them, and lived through the riots and saw police killing patients at the hospital. Yet he explains Susan next-door-neighbor-turned-zombie, "Susan's just sick." He tries to hug a neighbor who is eating a German Shepherd. He objects to Daniel training Chris on how to use a gun. And did Madison confide in Travis that she had to bludgeon the principal to death to keep him from eating a student? Travis would surely begin to figure out that they need to at least be cautious?

Madison projects an attitude that I can’t quite identify yet. She looks like she smells something bad most of the time. She shows promise at being able to survive, though. She certainly reacted more logically than Travis when he tried to hug the neighbor who was eating his dog. Her instinct to kill Susan with a hammer was spot on, but she allowed Travis to stop her. Her conversation with Liza bothered me; she says, if that (becoming zombie) happens to me, promise me you'll kill me and not leave it to Travis to do. I waited for her to say, "and I'll do the same for you." But she didn't. Travis’s son, Chris, well, he’s an insufferable asshole. Alicia, I’m on the fence about. But if she got into Berkley, she’s smart enough to be told the truth.

I’m fed up already with the emo angst-ridden teenagers but their attitudes are understandable; just hope they adjust their attitudes soon. Alicia is kept away from her boyfriend Matt, who she loves and who is ill, yet Madison doesn’t give her any explanation, but is more like “Because I said so.” Madison suspects that Matt will soon become a zombie but she doesn't even try to explain to her daughter that she fears for her safety. Travis's son Chris is angry over the divorce and doesn’t answer his father’s phone calls and doesn’t understand the danger they face, so when he’s rescued he gets the same kind of treatment: "Get in the truck, we're leaving! Because I said so, that’s why!”

I noticed that Nick was annoyed when he realized that his mommy didn’t have much of a stash of drugs to wean him off his heroin addiction; that was kind of ironic on his part.

Things I noticed on last night's episode:

  1. The bites sustained by Matt the boyfriend and Art the principal weren’t explained. It appeared that Art was in an empty school.
  2. Madison and Tobias saunter out of the high school after she kills the principal turned zombie and they don’t take the food with them that Tobias came for. If they ran out or staggered out crying and shaken up, then it would be understandable that they forgot the food.
  3. Did Madison even mention to anyone that she bludgeoned the school principal to death? It seems that would be the first thing she would tell Travis. Did I miss it?
  4. Madison refuses to give Alicia any information for some reason. Travis and Madison both work at the high school. Don't they know that knowledge is power?
  5. If you are barricaded inside a shop or home with the blinds closed, is it smart to shine a flashlight out through the blinds to check on what’s going on outside? Won’t the bad guys (looters) or in this case zombies notice the light?
  6. Travis’s pickup annoys me; why did they choose a vehicle with one seat for a group of people to ride in? It is jarring because it’s not the typical configuration of a pickup; most people started buying 4-door pickups way before the year this show is set in. Is it a plot device forcing them to take two vehicles to the desert? If so, that wasn’t necessary. It would make sense to take both vehicles anyway if you are getting out of Dodge. You would have gas in both, you can fit in more people and supplies, and one is a backup if the other one quits running.
  7. Shouldn’t Madison be rushing about packing lots of necessary stuff for the escape to the desert, like bottled water and food? Instead, she brings out the Monopoly board and they banter back and forth over which tokens to use.
  8. The way the bed of the pickup is “packed” for the trip to the desert is laughable. Check out the knit afghan piled loosely in the front corner; it will blow out when they reach a speed of 30 mph or less.
  9. What’s with the complicated wooden “maze” thingie that they have to negotiate in order to get to the house next door to steal the shotgun?

10. Of course, they forgot the ammunition and the daughter goes back alone into the scary house to get it.

11. Did they leave their own house wide open when they went next door, and did a zombie get in? It was confusing but I think neighbor Peter is now a zombie and eats the dog and when Travis walks in on that scene, he tries to reason with Peter and is saved by Daniel with the shotgun. Would you try to reason with someone who is eating a dog?

12. They are about to leave their house (where there is food, water, shelter, doors they can lock and windows they can barricade) and run to the “desert” where they will be safe (so apparently Travis vaguely realizes they are in danger) yet he strongly objects to his son learning how to use a shotgun (the one Daniel just saved Travis with).

13. Suddenly the neighborhood is under military occupation so I guess they won’t be going to the desert, at least not right away. Clueless Travis says “The cavalry has arrived. It’s going to get better now.” But Daniel knows differently.

14. The best and the most subtle scenes were the fake paneling bubbling in the barber shop (because the rioters and looters set the block on fire) and the lights of the city failing, section by section.

Who has the potential to become West Coast Rick? My money is on Daniel. What say you?

And now we come to Episode Four, where it hit the fan. I think Travis has finally seen the light. Madison has it all figured out and she is ready for anything. Nick is paying for his drug-induced selfishness and who knows if he will survive -- he's been hauled off by the National Guard, supposedly to receive medical help, but I don't think so! What did you guys think of Episode Four? Only two more episodes in this season. Wow, can't wait for next Sunday night!

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Comments 9 comments

Daniel Gottlob profile image

Daniel Gottlob 14 months ago from Texas

I didn't quite have the same reaction to the episode. Though I do admit it is frustrating that we "know" so much more than they do and we know what they will have to become to survive. But as perspective it is day two-three of the apocalypse. Between them hitting Nick's dealer with a car and the present it has been roughly one day. No one knows for sure whats going on for sure. Everyone is reacting or not reacting. Remember in Season 2 of TWD, Herschel, well into the apocalypse, had a barn full of walkers that he thought he could save. That being said I was annoyed by a few things.

Also one thing to note with Daniel is that he immigrated and it sounds like he had some rough times in El Salvador. He has had to see some dark things and may have had to do some dark things before. Overall, he is not starting from the ground up in getting acclimated.

1. Matt's did not bother me as much, at least he said he was bitten. The neighbor going zombie along with the principal did though. Did they get bit, did they conveniently for plot tension die of natural causes at the outbreak onset.

2. Madison seems far too cold/compartmentalized. For Tobias to almost die getting the food to just leaving it did not make sense.

3. Agreed.

4. Maybe the same thing with number 2. But, I can also see them not fully grasping how bad things are. Also, more importantly Alicia's boyfriend just got bit so she may not want to tell her now to prevent her from doing something impulsive. At a more simple level, she may just want one more normal night with her kids before crap hits the fan.

5. No comment.

6. I don't think at this point they have come to the point of theft so I think they are still trying to use their internal resources (outside of an emergency, the walker house invasion). I think the truck will be ditched and maybe it will be a symbol for them leaving behind what they once were. A 3 seat truck is not foreign to me at all but then again I live in Texas.

7. I don't think they were in a tremendous rush before. I think their timeline condensed after the two walker events. However, I agree it would be better if she was at least making some sort of preparation other than getting Nick drugs. They are woefully unprepared and not bracing for anything. Which is frustrating but I think is the point. You got to go through the dumb crap for when things click to really be exciting. It is a good contrast for Daniel. However, at this point you have to wonder how far Daniel would go for self preservation.

8-10. No comment.

11. That was annoying. All of them should know to lock the door when creepy stuff is going on. No indoctrination is needed for that.

12. I don't know why they would go to the desert unless they have a place to go to in the desert. Otherwise, they are really unprepared. As far as the gun, I would still say it is day two. Travis still does not know that those people are already dead and shifting to be a killer is a big switch. I would not expect that to be something he would take lightly. Plus, he may simply not trust his son using a gun. Up until the apocalypse the most likely person someone is going to shoot with a gun is their self or family member. Travis' day will come.

13. If there was any thing that happened in my neighborhood today and the police came none the less the military I would be at more ease. My first response when the military comes in and stops zombie lady from eating her husband is "not these a-holes". Daniel immigrated to the US and has seen some bad things go down with the government.

14. Agreed.

I don't think it will be Madison for some reason. I think you are going to see someone transform and for me the biggest transformations would be for Travis and maybe Nick if he kicks the addiction. I could see Daniel losing his humanity when his wife dies.


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 14 months ago from Spicewood, Texas Author

All great comments. I am waiting to see the how the relationship between Travis and Daniel evolves.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

Great overview.


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 14 months ago from Spicewood, Texas Author

Thank you, Larry.


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 14 months ago from Spicewood, Texas Author

Next episode is on tonight - 8:00 Central. I just visited a Facebook page that has lots of astute comments about this show and many mirror my own thoughts. People want the school kid Tobias to be a regular cast member, they like Daniel and they don't like the other characters much, and an overwhelming number of people want to know "When is Nick going to change clothes! Seriously, instead of playing Monopoly, perhaps he should have showered and washed his hair!


Daniel Gottlob profile image

Daniel Gottlob 14 months ago from Texas

What did you think of this week's episode?


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 14 months ago from Spicewood, Texas Author

Wow. This week's episode totally has me hooked on the show and I am sad that there are only two more episodes to go in Season One! Nick steals morphine from a dying neighbor and his mom, Madison, loses it and beats him about the head in her frustration. The military is flexing its muscles and its motives are suspect. A doctor appears and seems to be there to help. Liza falls in with her because Liza is studying to be a nurse and wants to be a doctor. Liza informs the doctor that one of the inhabitants, Nick, is in need of methadone. They take Mrs. Salazar, Nick, and Liza away to a "hospital facility." Mr. Salazar and Madison are physically held back when they try to accompany their loved ones. Earlier, Travis, clueless as ever, chats with the National Guard leader, who has a really nasty attitude. Travis learns that their neighbor with the cool classic cars has been taken away. Travis mentions to the leader that his son saw flashes of lights from a far away house that looked like signals. Later that night, Travis is watching the flashing lights when suddenly they turn to gun fire. Madison clips the fence and walks a ways into the city, observing bodies everywhere, some appearing to have been healthy. She makes it back unobserved, but now we worry about the gap in the fence. When Nick is taken away, Madison blames Liza and by association, Travis. So now things are in shambles, they are prisoners, the military has gone rogue, and their family has been separated. It's going to get ugly.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

I catch episodes here and there when my daughter is watching but just cannot get into the show. I like your Reader's Digest synopsis and critique.


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 14 months ago from Spicewood, Texas Author

Thanks, FlourishAnyway.

Well, the first season is over and the finale was full of "walkers" (the "infected") and Travis did a complete about-face. Daniel tortured Ophelia's boyfriend soldier to get information revealing Operation Cobalt, that the army planned to evacuate LA after first killing all civilians. Daniel released the walkers from the arena to use as a diversion so that our little band could enter the base hospital and rescue Griselda (Daniel's wife), Nick (Madison's druggie son) and Liza (Travis's ex-wife) on their way out of town. The tortured soldier was released by Travis against the orders of Daniel. All the adults went inside as a group, leaving the two kids, Alycia and Chris, defenseless in the parking garage. It was too late for Griselda but they came away with Nick, a new character (Strand) and Liza. Meanwhile, Alycia and Chris were assaulted in the parking garage by escaping soldiers but the soldiers took their car and left them behind, and as they were leaving, the soldier Daniel tortured to get the information about Cobalt jumped out and shot Daniel's daughter in the shoulder as revenge. Travis jumped on him and beat him to a pulp as everyone watched in horror. They all drove to Strand's mansion on the edge of the sea, where Liza revealed that she had been bitten and Travis had to shoot her. They plan to board Strand's mega-yacht and sail away.

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