Now this is what we’ve been waiting for! Eh…sort of. The fourth episode of Fear the Walking Dead may be an improvement over all the second season’s offerings thus far, but it wasn’t necessarily a great episode. Thankfully we have a few more left to go before the mid-season finale and things are finally starting to look like they’re heating up. So then, let’s take a look at “Blood in the Streets” shall we? There will be some spoilers below; you have been warned.
So by now we’re all somewhat familiar with “Jack” and his alleged 50. caliber machine gun, right? Well in this episode we kinda-sorta-almost get that characteristic Walking Dead pay off that we are all so well accustomed to. It’s a pity that for all the times the slow burn technique has worked so well on The Walking Dead, it just seems to fall flat on Fear the Walking Dead. Nevertheless, we were introduced to “Jack” early on in this season and then the looming danger he presented was merely referenced a couple of times as a blip on a radar. Now after some Jonestown style mayhem and an oddly long-living plane passenger we finally, finally get some real danger. The problem is, the danger isn’t quite what some of us may have been expecting (myself included).
When a life boat with a pregnant passenger rolls (floats?) up on the Abigail, Travis and co. reluctantly decide to let them aboard. So far we’ve seen Victor Strand intervene whenever this sort of thing happens, and I was a little bothered by his absence in this scene; could have avoided a lot of trouble. Not surprisingly, the pregnant woman and the two other male passengers of the life boat turn out to be none other than “Jack” (referred to from here on as Jack) and his gang, and wouldn’t you know it? They want the Abigail for themselves!
I was a little shocked at the fact that Travis’ entire group was so easily overpowered by Jack and his goons (pregnant woman included, not even kidding). Don’t get me wrong, the action in this episode was welcomed, but it felt just a tad bit forced in my opinion.
What this hostile takeover lacked in the originality department it more than made up for in the way we get to see Travis’ group learn to work together to defeat a common foe. We get Travis distracting one of the men with his whole “gotta hot wire the boat for you” shpeel, which leads to the tactical placement of a sweet crowbar-type weapon for later use, while Daniel and Madison work together to completely psych out the pregnant woman as Daniel works to break free from his…shackle…things.
Of course all this tomfoolery can be directly attributed to Alicia’s radio communications (READ: flirting) with Jack, and so because of this she should be forever banished to the heartless sea. That probably won’t happen, but we can keep our fingers crossed, no?
We get some pretty tense moments (not just the title card this time kids) where it seems like Chris may actually be in some serious danger (see above picture for some spoiler-y fun). I think this scene was particularly well acted by Lorenzo James Henrie and it gives me hope that his character is indeed turning into someone we’re going to want to keep our eyes on this season. Additionally, Chris gets some sweet tasting revenge when one of Connor’s lackies is run through with the aforementioned stabby weapon; who says boats are boring?!
Now what all this action boils down to is that Jack is not the big bad we’ve been waiting for. Nope, it’s actually Connor who has been running his own little modern day pirating outfit in the wake of the zombie apocalypse (genius), and he does make an appearance when he takes Travis and Alicia along with him towards the end of the episode.
A side plot includes Nick using his newly discovered (and completely original /sarcasm) “zombie guts” technique to locate Victor Strand’s pal, Louis. I’ll hand it to Nick, his zombie shuffle is among the best I’ve seen and it was one of the more humorous parts of the episode when he evades a zombie as he enters the gated community. You can’t go wrong with a bloodied white shirt either, so there’s that too.
This side plot is related to some flashback sequences we get in which we learn just a little more about Victor Strand and what he’s all about. To the surprise of no one, Strand is a calculating kind of guy and he uses this to his advantage after he loses everything in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It seems Strand is not the kind of guy who will let himself be kept down, and these scenes helped to show that while he can come off as morally ambiguous at times, he still possesses at least some kind of code that he follows; a selfish code, but a code nonetheless.
Happily, after Strand is…stranded (see what I did there?) during the taking of the Abigail, Madison is able to save him just in time, of course, to bring him safely back to the boat after Connor has left with Travis and Alicia. Despite all my criticisms of this show so far, I still think Strand is the guy to watch and I pray to the zombie gods (who has two thumbs and is a pagan? This guy!) that he stays alive for many episodes to come.
Okay kids, let’s break this thing down:
Final Grade: B+
+ Finally we get to see this season’s big threat.
+ Some more Victor Strand related material.
+ Is Chris going to be a surprise badass this season?
– Takeover situation was just a bit forced.
– Alicia and Jack…romance fear alert.
– Underwhelmed by Connor.
“Blood in the Streets” was, in my opinion, the best episode so far this season for Fear the Walking Dead. I always leave with some words of faith and I will be steadfast in that notion. I think this episode was a set up for some pretty spectacular stuff, and I look forward to giving a couple of “A” grades down the line. Fingers crossed!
What did you think of “Blood in the Streets?” Was it the episode of Fear the Walking Dead that we’ve all been waiting for, or was it another dud? Let us know in the comments section and on our Twitter page!