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REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead 2×09 “Los Muertos”

Written by Robert Porter

Welcome back to another review of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead! After a somewhat lackluster mid-season premiere last week and a slue of previously disappointing episodes from the first half of this second season, I was starting to feel like this show was well on its way to “canceled town™.” Well, that is if the show didn’t have the Walking Dead official stamp of invincibility attached to its title. At any rate, I can happily report that “Los Muertos” was a step in the right direction this week. Keep reading to find out why! And yes, spoilers as usual; you know the drill.

The people in “human-zombie utopia,” as I like to call it, seem to be experimenting with hanging out with zombies, which is a cool (READ: incredibly short sighted) idea. Nevertheless, a little girl is watching as her father is about to enter the “zombie zoo” (try to keep up with all my original titles this week, okay?) when Nick walks up just in time to witness the insanity. To the surprise of no one in reality, the girl’s father is immediately torn apart and consumed by the zombies. Whoops!

Next, Luci enlists Nick to come along with her and meet a “dealer of all things” to get some water. How this works is Luci brings some prescription pain killers to trade for a variety of supplies that the people of human-zombie land might need. It turns out this dealer’s sister needs the pills, which comes in handy a bit later. Luci also explains to Nick that the “pharmacist” that helped him with his dog bite in last week’s episode survived a zombie bite. Hmm…yes, very interesting.

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Meanwhile, we finally get to see more of the cast when Madison, Victor, Alicia and Ofelia are out looking for the rest of the group. Not long after we run into them, we learn that the Abigail was stolen (thank God), so they leave a message in the sand for Travis, Chris and Nick to “head north.” Sure, that’s descriptive enough (/sarcasm). When Madison and the rest of her crew reach a hotel they decide to stop in for a rest and to look for some supplies. Yeah, there’s lots of supply-run related stuff in this episode. Act surprised.

Inside the hotel we see the remnants of a wedding that was most likely crashed by a bunch of zombies, and a fully stocked bar. Madison and Victor stay behind and proceed to drink an entire bottle of tequila while Alicia and Ofelia go off to search the hotel. In a drunken stupor, Madison trashes the bar while Victor jams on a severely out of tune piano which is actually as about as funny as it sounds, but we’ll get more into that in a bit.

Back at the dealer’s “supermarket” (no seriously, it’s a well guarded supermarket complete with muzak) Nick decides to steal a snack cake which doesn’t go over too well and the dealer almost cuts his hand off with a machete! Admittedly, I thought this might actually happen for a moment, but it didn’t. Nick explains nicely that he will “cut off” (clever, no?) the supply of drugs to the dealer’s sister if the dealer doesn’t let him and Luci go and let them take more water (ProTip: it works). Of course Luci starts to worry that because of this incident their little human-zombie town might now be on the dealer’s radar, and she’s right; it was a bit reckless on Nick’s part.

When Nick and Luci return to the “fantasy land of humans and zombies living together,” Nick offers the little girl from the beginning of the episode the stolen snack cake. Looks like this is her lucky day! Then, Nick visits the pharmacist and sees the zombie bite with his own eyes. The pharmacist goes off on the whole “the zombie apocalypse is a cleansing” thing that a couple people in this show seem to be on about, which makes me wonder if the bite is somehow staged. The injury is real, no doubt, but maybe the pharmacist is passing it off as a zombie bite for some unknown reason. Just a theory.

In the hotel Alicia and Ofelia stumble upon a zombie that is hanging from a shower head in what looks like a suicide. This causes Ofelia to malfunction a bit (just like good ol’ dad) and she runs off while Alicia is in the shower. Next, zombies start to fall from the balconies of the upper floors of the hotel and land by the front doors below. Besides the obvious comedic value of such a scene, what I found odd was that the zombies seem to have unbreakable bones and are able to get right back up and terrorize once more. Yeah…a little on the lazy side, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Once the zombies start to break into the hotel it’s up to Victor and the tequila-addled Madison to fight them off. This leads to a good scene where the pharmacist’s speech about the zombie apocalypse is intertwined with Victor and Madison’s zombie battle. I thought this was particularly well done, and felt more Walking Dead than we have seen from this show in a while.

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Now you may remember that I said earlier that this episode was a step in the right direction. There are some problems, but there were quite a few good things going on here. First, the title card was a bit more intense this week (har har). No seriously, it was. Second, we got another really well acted scene with Kim Dickens and Colman Domingo as they lament about the people they have lost and are still losing. We learn that the story of Nick’s dad’s death isn’t all that it seems, and that Madison doesn’t have a lot of hope for her son. The bar scene was by far the best scene in “Los Muertos,” and this show desperately needs more of this – pronto.

The pharmacist allegedly surviving a zombie bite and not turning is something we have not seen in either Walking Dead program thus far, so needless to say I was very intrigued with that. I’ve been saying that this show needs to distinguish itself from The Walking Dead, and this was just the way to do it; a unique idea that could potentially lead to some franchise altering developments (but probably not). So then, let’s slap a letter grade on this episode and call it a day!

Final Grade: B+

+ Madison and Victor’s scene was excellent.

+ More variety this week.

+ Some interesting new ideas.

– Unbreakable zombie bones.

– The stupidity of these “zombies are good” people is getting tiresome.

– No Chris 🙁 🙁

Extra Thoughts:

“Los Muertos” finally provided some much needed Walking Dead goodness and this show might begin to make a name for itself with some new concepts. As always I have my doubts but there were some cool things going on this week, and the return of Victor Strand is always welcomed (over the top voice and all). Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best next week because I’ve still got some letter “A’s” and star stickers that I’ve been saving for this show just in case it’s good!

What did you think of “Los Muertos?” Was it just what Fear the Walking Dead needed, or was it another snooze-fest? Let us know in the comments section and on our Twitter page!

 

 

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Robert Porter

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