Welcome to the ceremonious mid-season finale review of Fear the Walking Dead! I say ceremonious, but I really mean “what is this show doing?” This first half of the second season of the incredibly popular Walking Dead‘s sister program has been somewhat frustrating, to say the least, and I’m willing to bet we were all hoping the show would shift gears in a big way this week. Did it? Keep reading to find out! As usual, there will be spoilers.
Despite my initial (and somewhat continued) annoyance with this season of Fear the Walking Dead, I must admit that in “Shiva” there was a lot happening. In the past few episodes we have been seeing that some of the characters are afflicted in a variety of ways; some are feeling the effects of the zombie apocalypse, while others are still dealing with past incidents while also coming to terms with the end of the world as they know it. So how does this all come into play exactly?
In the wake of the whole “having a knife at bed time” debacle from last week, Chris runs off and Travis is tasked with finding him. Meanwhile, Celia is totally pissed about Victor killing Thomas before he can turn (because she is insane), and threatens to kick his entire group out of her little compound. Since Nick has the hots for her, he brings the zombie-fied Louis back to appease her, which was slick as hell. Just kidding, it was tremendously idiotic.
But that’s not all! Daniel has his own plan to escape the compound with Ofelia that lands him in Celia’s official prison™, since he is unable to overpower a bunch of unnamed, never-seen-before characters (we call them “red shirts” in Star Trek land) with his hand-made shiv. Yeah, so there was a lot going on this episode. Let’s start with Daniel.
Tied to a chair in his spanking new prison, Daniel is confronted by the equally unhinged Celia, where he begins to see visions of his past. At this point I was thinking that Daniel’s story arc would start to pick up, but it kind of just…ends. Once Daniel “sees” his dead wife again, he takes it upon himself to take out Celia’s little zombie stable (and himself) in a blaze of glory. I’m not complaining about his death, but I do think we deserved a bit more from his character this season considering all these recent developments with his past -SIGH- but that’s television I guess.
Okay, let’s talk about Chris. As you you may know, I have been very interested in Chris and all of his bizarre behavior these past few weeks. Happily, Chris delivered once again in this week’s episode and we got a nice dose of crazy from him in “Shiva.” When Travis goes looking for Chris, he pulls a knife from the skull of a dead body. Apparently even Travis knows that Chris is completely unpredictable, and that he needs to protect himself from his son’s bloodlust. I actually thought this was a nice touch, and while Travis has been somewhat subdued this season, I do enjoy his character quite a bit.
When Travis stumbles upon a shack, dehydrated and searching for Chris, he meets a paranoid local who seems to be hiding something. Would you like to take a guess at what he’s hiding? Go ahead, I’ll give you thirty seconds, Alex Trebek style.
Would you like to buy a well placed brick to the skull?
It’s Chris! And he’s holding the man’s son hostage! Are we all clear on Chris being completely out of his mind at this point? Chris tells Travis that he cannot go back to the group, which causes Travis to decide to stay with his mentally disturbed son after a little “father vs. son” action (no seriously, they fight). This is where things get interesting.
What we’re seeing here is just one little “slice of life,” if you will, in the zombie apocalypse. Fear the Walking Dead is showing us how groups are formed and dissolved in this week’s episode, although none of it is especially impactful in an emotional way. In the course of “Shiva,” Victor is the only member of the crew of the Abigail that is forcefully removed, while Chris and Travis, and Nick (all by his lonesome) make the choice to stay despite the compound being burned to the ground by Daniel.
The award for biggest badass goes to Madison in this episode. When she takes a nice little stroll down to the zombie stable with Celia, she (easily) locks Celia in the zombie holding cell, which can we can surmise, leads to Celia’s demise (unintentional rhyme). Personally, I’m glad Celia is gone since I was beginning to wonder if there would be some sort of creepy romance between her and Nick, but maybe that’s just me.
Annnnnnnnd it’s back to the boat for Madison, Alicia, Victor, and Ofelia. Looking back, it’s kind of difficult to see all of this coming and I do feel that the past couple episodes were somewhat rushed. We were just introduced to Daniel’s dark past (with a few snippets in season 1), Nick fell way too easily to Celia’s nonsense, and Chris?….Wow. What happened? I’m not complaining since Chris provides some much needed (and probably unintentional) comedic relief in Fear the Walking Dead, but it kind of came out of nowhere. Maybe all the pieces will be picked up when the show returns, but I have my doubts.
So how does the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead measure up?
Final Grade: B-
+ Chris is the best character this season. Hands. Down.
+ Zombie stable wasn’t the big “to do” this week. Thank the maker.
+ Daniel’s story had a ton to offer this week.
– Daniel’s story ended prematurely.
– What happened to Conner and his crew?
– This show simply doesn’t know what it wants to do.
In “Shiva,” we get some insight into how groups are made, and subsequently solidified as a unit in the zombie apocalypse. The problem is this is a mid-season finale, and Daniel’s death (as far as we can tell) wasn’t exactly the big shocker this show needed at this point. Let’s hope we see some huge, huge developments when Fear the Walking Dead returns later this summer. God help us all.
Did “Shiva” leave you feeling somewhat disappointed? Or did you think it was the perfect closer to this first half of the second season of Fear the Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments section or on our Twitter page!
MID SEASON FINAE
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