Fear the Walking Dead: Let’s Talk About S1E2

fear-the-walking-dead-teaser-129237Fear the Walking Dead shambled into its second episode last night and I’ve invited along some of my surviving site-mates to join me in presenting some ongoing thoughts about the spin-off show.  Find out what we had to say about S1E2, “So Close, Yet So Far,” after the break.

[FEAR THE WALKING DEAD PILOT SPOILERS BEYOND]

Ryan: Well that escalated quickly.  The fall of civilization seemed like a slow spiral based on the first episode but the rate of decay suddenly flipped into hyperdrive with the second episode.  The dawning realization that the undead were about to hit the fan led our main heroes to realize they need to get out of town quickly–but that’s not going to stop them from completing one final task.  That final task never goes well so we end with the family split apart (oddly enough, back to their original pre-Brady Brunch mixing) with one group trapped in a barber shop with a somewhat-welcoming protector while groups riot outside and the other group now trapped in suburbia while a few zombies shuffle outside.  I’m not sure which is the scarier predicament at this point, but so far the show has confirmed all my suspicions about how much Los Angeles sucks.

It was predictable that Nick would have withdrawal symptoms, but I’m surprised it wasn’t a more consistent approach.  He seemed to get worse and better from scene to scene and made it feel more like an artificial condition than a threat.  Maybe that’s how withdrawal actually works–no clue here.  But I liked how his seizure actually saved his sister’s life by keeping her in the house.

The confrontation with the principal-zombie was a nice tense scene and the fallout by the mom in the bathroom felt genuine if forced.  We still don’t know if this band will turn into the hardened group of survivors it will likely take to make it all the way through even this short season, but it’s a slow burn already and I’m looking forward to tossing the next log on the fire.  I’m just bummed the show is already taking a week off.

Score: 8.5 out of 10 conveniently located fire extinguishers

Jimmy: Definitely enjoyed episode two more than the pilot.  At least stuff is happening.  I know it is a different kind of show than The Walking Dead, but it needs more zombies.  Or something.  I just don’t find it is doing a great job building up to the “end of civilization.”  The original show is not all zombies, all the time either, but I care about the people and am interested in their stories.  I think one of my issues with this show is that I don’t care about any of the main characters…yet?  It’s not a bad show, but the bar has been set so high for me by Walking Dead, that it hasn’t lived up to expectations.  This episode was a step in the right direction though.

Score: 7 rubber glove removals out of 10.

Jenny: Full disclosure, I was out of town last week and missed the Pilot episode of Fear The Walking Dead. So yesterday, when I watched, it was a combo pack of Episode 1 & 2. Almost like a little binge, and it was awesome. Well – maybe I should refrain from using the world binge since one of our main characters is a heroin addict (yucky). So my reaction will be a little bit of Ep. 1 & 2, because that’s how I roll.

So, first and foremost – I was skeptical about the show because how do you recreate a flash of gold in the pan? I think we’re all wondering how this will compare to the original series. And that’s normal, comparisons will be flying left and right. But I think that is what makes the show fun – wondering… when will it “happen” to them. Because we all know what’s coming. This isn’t a story where everything in L.A. is happy-go-lucky, this is a story about how the world slowly fell apart. And I love it.

I love seeing glimpses of what people are thinking and how they are reacting. No one really knows what’s going on. The original series really drove home our need for the characters to seek “protection”, but that same sense of urgency currently does not lie with these people. It’s not their story…..yet. They don’t know if people are sick, or if people are crazy. They don’t know that these “occurrences” with the police around them are actually zombie sightings. They don’t know that their neighborhood is about to go to shit. They don’t know that the world around them is quickly falling apart – but we do. And that’s what makes this fun.

So far it’s too early to make an assessment on the series, but I did love this episode.  I’m in the process of picking out my favorite characters (which is probably a bad idea, did I not learn anything from TWD?) and Nick is in the lead. This kid – the same one that played Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter movies – is blowing me away. I believe he’s a junky. I believe he’s scared. I believe his withdrawals. I look forward to seeing what they do with him in the future.

I also appreciate the urgency of both the parents on either side of the coin. They’re starting to get it, and I like seeing how their brains are ticking away on how to make the quickest and safest move for their family. On the flip side, I am annoyed with Alicia (Nick’s sister). The teen angst thing is just a little too much for me. I’m already over it.

I look forward to seeing where they go from here. We already know the families are split up, we know that they need to get out of town, and we know that they need to get to safety and figure out how to survive. For a story about the initial outbreak of zombies, I think they are on the right track. My only question is if the characters will hold my attention for as long as I would like them to.

Score: I give my combo episode viewing –  8 hail Mary’s out of 10

 

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Ryan Garcia

Father of two boys, husband, attorney for Dell (Social Media, Retail, Gaming), Broadway geek, comic book geek, science fiction geek, gadget geek.

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