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REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead 2×13 “Date Of Death”

Written by Robert Porter

It’s that time again! That’s right, another episode of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead has made its way to our color television screens and so in typical fashion we have put together a review of said episode, which was entitled “Date of Death.” This season is winding down now, and so we should be expecting things to heat up, yes? Well, as we have learned this season “expectations” don’t always mean results, but happily this episode delivered in some of the more Chris-related areas, which was probably very satisfying for some of us (me, of course). So then, let’s take a look at “Date of Death,” shall we? Don’t forget, there will be spoilers!

Some of you may remember the whole “Chris vs. farmer” thing from a few weeks ago. You know, where Chris murdered a farmer? Yeah, that whole thing. Well Travis is not too happy about the entire scenario and tries to confront Chris about it, which leads to a hilarious scene where Travis slaps a soda can out of Chris’ hand! Chris explains that Travis does not understand the new, zombie-infested world and all that comes along with it, which isn’t exactly a new concept to those of us who are familiar with The Walking Dead, but this show just seems bound and determined to explain this to us over and over again. As if we didn’t know!

Yes friends, despite the appearance of Chris in “Date of Death,” Fear the Walking Dead appears to be treating us viewers like a bunch of fools and force feeding us the same old tropes and cliches we’ve been seeing for years. Take for instance James being shot in the leg by the farmer. You’d be hard pressed to find a viewer of this show that wasn’t fully aware that the second James was shown to be struggling, that he would be euthanized by Chris and his lousy new friends. Do we deserve anything more? The answer is yes. Now, onto some other stuff.

The opening of this episode shows a horde of living, breathing people at the gate of Madison’s newly formed “hotelopolis” (heh, cool name right?). Of course this presents a whole slue of new problems because we fans of The Walking Dead are already completely aware of the fact that the living pose just as much, if not more danger than the undead. No surprises here tonight, gang. A very bearded Travis happens to be among the swarming crowd of humans, but where’s Chris?

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As it turns out Travis was forced to leave Chris (or vice versa) since Travis is starting to realize that his crazy son is becoming this season’s main villain (PLEASE), and now poor Travis has to go and explain all of this to Madison. This leads to Madison having a heart to heart with Alicia and finally confessing the truth of Alicia and Nick’s father’s death, which was a suicide. It was previously hinted at that Madison had not been exactly forthright with Nick and Alicia, but we finally got some clarification in “Date of Death,” even if it wasn’t especially impactful. And it wasn’t, in my opinion.

Something that was kind of glossed over in this episode was the fact that Madison and co. seemed to have no qualms with letting a large number of people into the hotel compound. We all know how that works out. Just saying. If this is the main point of the final two episodes you can color me unsurprised and infuriated with those cool crayons you’ve got over there. No seriously, I really like those crayons.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…that’s right friends, it’s time to talk about Chris. In this week’s episode not only did we get a good amount of Travis, which is always welcomed, but we finally got a ton of Chris! Chris seems to be getting attached to his cool new friends, and appears to be ready and willing to murder tons of farmers and anyone else who stands in his way; farmers especially, however. As I said earlier, Travis confronts Chris about his murderous (and awesome) ways, which only furthers the gap between them. Chris and Travis have adopted two very different philosophies in the wake of the zombie apocalypse, neither of which are anything new mind you, but it still made for some hilarious Chris-related action.

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When Chris and his new pals decide they want to travel back to San Diego (since it wasn’t firebombed /sarcasm), Travis begins to understand that there is no chance at redemption for his maniacal son. “Sure,” Travis says “drive that pick up truck of justice straight to San Diego.” That’s how I remember it, anyway. But in reality, it was a bittersweet departure for father and son, as Chris traps Travis into watching in horror as James is euthanized, which I think was the tipping point for Travis.

To be fair, I think this episode offered a lot in terms of how personalities develop, or “evolve,” in the world of The Walking Dead. While not especially new or surprising, this show is attempting at being a sort of precursor to what happened before Rick Grimes woke up that fateful day in the hospital. We all knew that already, though. The only thing that can redeem this show before the end of the second season is some extreme behavior from Chris, or a seriously shocking main character death, as cliche as that sounds. Just give us something. Please. God help me, let’s grade this episode.

Final Grade: B-

+ Lots of Chris. Lots.

+ Some more good performances this episode.

+ Victor seems to be doing alright, which is important.

– Title card. WEAK.

– Recycled ideas. This is making me sound like a broken record.

– So…no one cares about Eileen stabbing Victor?

Extra Thoughts:

“Date of Death,” or “Date ‘o Death” as I call it, was up there with the most average of Fear the Walking Dead episodes thus far this season. Even Chris, who was not as insane as usual, couldn’t save this one from falling into obscurity. With two episodes remaining, we better see some serious action – pronto. As always, we will meet again next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Was “Date of Death” an improvement over last week’s episode of our favorite television program, or was it a tremendous failure? Let us know in the comments section and on our Twitter page!

About the author

Robert Porter

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