Hello and welcome to yet another patented “television program review” of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead! This week’s episode is called “Do Not Disturb,” and despite all the numerous, numerous jokes I could be making right now about this show and all the numerous, numerous ways in which it manages to disturb me every week, it turned out to be…well…pretty good. Yes friends, “Do Not Disturb” is the best episode this show has bestowed upon us since its “triumphant” return a few weeks ago. So, for the sake of doing the review, here we go! Spoilers ahead.
You might remember last week when we saw the remains of the “zombie crashed wedding,” as I have so lovingly dubbed it, and in “Do Not Disturb” we get to see the actual shenanigans that took place just as the ceremony took a serious nosedive. Yes, it’s about as funny as it sounds; very. In this scene we get to meet one of the many new characters of this week’s episode, Elena. We’ll talk more about her in a bit though, as there’s more important matters to deal with.
“Do Not Disturb” also marks one of the most sought after moments of the past few weeks for yours truly (I lead a boring life); the return of Chris! Just seeing Chris again brought tears to my eyes; salty, watery tears of joy. But what’s this? Something is amiss! That’s right, Chris appears to have “reset” to a time when he was far less crazy, and that bummed me out quite a bit. But maybe there’s hope yet. Maybe.
There are two things happening in this week’s episode. First, we’ve got Travis and Chris learning to adapt to the zombie apocalypse, and then we’ve got Alicia all on her own and trapped in that accursed hotel from last week. Let’s start with Travis and Chris, mostly because I really want to talk about Chris. A lot.
Following in the footsteps of the previous episode, “Do Not Disturb” gives us a brand new idea for the world of The Walking Dead: driving lessons. That’s right, Travis decides to teach Chris to drive, which while incredibly hilarious, also provided some nice scenes. I really enjoy Cliff Curtis as Travis, and any time he pulls out the old acting chops, I find myself pretty darned captivated. In fact, the exchanges between Travis and Lorenzo James Henrie‘s Chris while driving along were the best of this episode, and among some of the best this season; hands down. Plus Chris.
After a supply run and a narrow escape of the undead, Chris encounters some more of this week’s new characters. Brandon and his crew seem to be attempting their own supply run (supply run fatigue: CRITICAL MASS), and Brandon isn’t too thrilled with Chris’ success. Travis and Chris decide to camp out for the night, which leads to some even more nicely acted scenes. Fear the Walking Dead really needs more scenes like this, and I am really glad “Do Not Disturb” delivered in that department. The father-son moment is cut short however, when Brandon and his friends pull up and confront Chris and Travis about sharing the food they managed to squirrel away.
Being the cynic that I’ve become in light of watching this show every week I immediately figured that Brandon and his crew would pose a threat, or worse, to Travis and Chris. To my surprise, it turns out that Brandon wants to work with Travis and Chris, and wouldn’t you know it? Travis doesn’t want to play along, while Chris does. Chris better start getting crazy again, and fast. They forge a somewhat strained partnership and Travis agrees to travel with them to the next town, wherever that is.
Chris bonds with James and Derrick (the aforementioned friends of Brandon) while riding in their sweet pick-up truck of justice, and it seems that Chris being around people his own age is starting to make him pull away from Travis a bit (teenagers). Once they spot a farm, the newly formed pick-up truck riders decide to investigate. Travis remarks that it seems like a sustainable place to shack up, while Chris once again disagrees (impending crazy mode: engage). Of course nothing is as it seems and a couple grave sites get Travis properly spooked just in time for the farmer to interrupt Chris and his new friends’ chicken chasing tomfoolery (like Rocky, only not so much).
What happens next is pretty much what you’d expect from Chris, and after a short stand off with the farmer that results in one of Brandon’s friends being shot and injured, Chris decides to kill the farmer. Yes, Chris is now a murderer of farmers. Travis seems a bit disturbed by this (you think?!), and that puts an end to the Chris-related stuff this week.
Meanwhile Alicia is still trapped in the hotel and looking for a way out. We get some admittedly tense scenes in dark and claustrophobic hallways which leads to an elevator shaft escape sequence that I think worked quite well. Next Alicia runs into Elena, a survivor from that wedding bash that didn’t end so well, and Elena is armed with a sweet fire axe! We learn that Elena is looking for her nephew Hector, who went on a supply run (supply run fatigue: UNSTABLE CONDITIONS) and has not returned.
While negotiating their escape from the hotel, we get another tense moment where Alicia foolishly locks herself out on one of the hotel room balconies and basically chooses to become a sitting duck as the zombies mercilessly pound on the glass sliding doors, growing ever closer to consuming her alive. Elena shows up just in time on the balcony of the adjoining room (didn’t think I knew what those were, did you?) and hatches a daring rescue, undoing the mistakes of Alicia.
On their way down to the lobby, Alicia and Elena run into even more new characters (most likely “red shirts”) while searching for Madison, Victor and Ofelia (remember her?). In more typical fashion, these characters pose a threat, and so Alicia opens a door that releases a zombie hoard upon them! Capital! In the resulting chaos, Alicia is reunited with Madison and Victor and along with Elena, they hole themselves up in a room off to the side. Cliff hanger ending: check.
So, what does this all boil down to? It seems that Chris’ introduction to Brandon is creating a gap between him and Travis, which could potentially lead to some problems down the road (and also, comedy). Travis doesn’t seem to want to come to terms with the fact that serious adjustments must be made in order to survive in the zombie apocalypse, but he’s no where near as extreme as Chris. I believe somewhere in the middle of their respective “philosophies” rests a sane and respectable perspective on the situation. Time will tell.
This episode contained more intensity than any of the past two weeks’ combined, which was fantastic. The entire hotel scenario was excellent, and we even got to see Alicia get a little badass and take out some zombies. I won’t soon forget her stupidity in locking herself outside on a balcony though; in time perhaps, but not soon. Letter grade? You betcha!
Final Grade: B+
+ The return of Chris. 🙂
+ Hotel danger scenes were superb.
+ Some excellent scenes with Chris and Travis.
– All the sudden there are a lot of people around. I hope the show doesn’t spread itself too thin with too many characters.
– Balcony debacle. Just dumb.
– Needed more fire axe. 🙁
“Do Not Disturb” hasn’t completely restored my faith in this show, but there is a glimmer of hope yet. For me, the more Chris is around and does wacky stuff, the more entertaining Fear the Walking Dead becomes. I am waiting for him to do something so incredibly unforgivable and insane that I will be forced to give this show an “A” grade. Fingers crossed.
What did you think of “Do Not Disturb?” Was it a good entry into this second season of Fear the Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments section and on our Twitter page!