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REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead 1×02 “So Close, Yet So Far”

I’m thankful that this week’s installment of Fear the Walking Dead was a lot quicker and more entertaining than the last episode, but I’m still having a hard time really getting into this show. The advantage of this being the second episode is that we didn’t have to slog through anymore tedious exposition since we already know the main characters. However, even though this episode had a better pace than the pilot, it still felt very sluggish at points and was cluttered with unnecessary filler. (spoilers ahead!)

As I’ve mentioned in my previous review, I think this show fails to bring anything new to the table. It’s little more than just another generic zombie outbreak show/movie. The Walking Dead delved into the remnants of human society as they struggle to cope without order and balance while zombies nipped at their heels. What exactly is Fear the Walking Dead trying to do? Show us the decline of human civilization at the onset of a zombie outbreak? Haven’t we already seen that in World War Z? I went into this show expecting an explanation of what exactly is causing the zombie outbreak. Have we gotten that yet? Nope. We’re just following a family around Los Angeles as society crumbles.

Half of this episode focused on Travis as he ventures into the city to make sure that his son, Chris, is safe. Chris, being the typical angsty “I hate my parents” teenager cliche, ignores his father’s phone calls and ends up at a police barricade where a riot is brewing. The police have shot a homeless man dead, which angers the community, who see it as unnecessary violence. After the police shoot another unarmed walker, all hell breaks loose.

I found this part of the episode to be intriguing and insightful. This situation with the police shooting an unarmed citizen is a thin reflection of several similar scenarios occurring throughout the United States right now. U.S. citizens are angry at the injustice they face at the hands of the police, and it appears that these current events have found their way onto Fear the Walking Dead. My only question is whether the show is supporting the police, supporting the protesters, or simply just using current news for relevancy. Either way, I thought it was very interesting how they managed to incorporate this element into the show so as to make the situation more relevant to the viewers at home.

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While Travis is trying to regroup with his ex-wife and son, Madison is at home dealing with her rebellious teenage daughter Alicia (seriously, are all teenagers on this show douchebags?) and drug-addicted son Nick. Issues arise when Nick begins to suffer from severe withdrawal. Madison decides to head back to the school to get drugs so as to help Nick’s transition.

Madison finds one of her students, Tobias, in the school, and they attempt to smuggle some food out. The principal of the school, now zombified, comes out of nowhere and attacks Tobias. While the two wrestle on the floor, Madison grabs a fire extinguisher and brains the principal.

A complaint I had last season was a recurring shtick when a zombie would attack a main character: they would roll around on the ground, and then another person had to come to their rescue and save them at the last minute. I thought we were past this trope. I’ve seen it happen several times in The Walking Dead, and now it appears to be happening in the spin-off as well. Don’t pull that crap. It’s a cheap way to generate shock. Either let the zombie eat the person, or let them fight their way out. Don’t keep bringing in an outside savior at the last minute to rescue them. It’s been done to death (no pun intended).

Once again, I’m left sitting here at the end of the night thinking “meh”. Fear the Walking Dead has done very little to get me excited for the future. As of now, I’m not seeing anything new coming from Fear the Walking Dead, and my interest is slowly declining. Hopefully, we get a fresh perspective sometime within the next four episodes.

 

Final Grade: B –

+ The riot scenes were intense, and they really gave me a sense of the danger the characters were facing.

+ About time we saw some zombie action!

+ The episode had an overall faster pace than last week.

 

– I still don’t care for any of the characters, especially that creepy Tobias kid.

– It’s getting more and more annoying watching these people see zombies and not knowing what’s up; even if zombie films don’t exist in the Fear the Walking Dead universe, you’d think people would still know something is wrong.

– There is too much unnecessary filler.

 

Extra Thought:

– It’s interesting how the show is reflecting the things going on in our society today. The riots instigated by the police shooting the homeless man is very similar to the events unfolding across the U.S. regarding police injustice.

 

How did you feel about this week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead? Did you enjoy it, or is it still boring? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!