The second episode of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD ramped up the tension as the zombie outbreak spread and riots broke out on the streets of Los Angeles.
The pilot episode focused more on a father and his step-son, but this one shines the spotlight on a mother and her daughter. By the end of the episode, we’ve had our fair share of scares and know the whole family even better.
We start off with Alicia, the teenage daughter, wandering the streets alone. We hear a rushing sound, like a surge of zombies, except it isn’t. The director plays with our expectations, as the subliminal sounds introduce rushing skateboarders instead. Alicia is walking back from the beach, where she waited for her boyfriend who never showed up. It isn’t long before we find out why.
In a touching moment, her bed-ridden boyfriend reveals a bite mark. He’s infected… with a little more than the common cold. Alicia doesn’t know about the zombie Apocalypse Now. Her parents don’t know how to tell her, and aren’t so certain how the virus spreads yet.
The scene was emotional because Alicia’s boyfriend knew he was going to die, and that he was dangerous (he was bit after all). Travis shares a brief meaningful look with the brave young man who did the right thing – the hard thing.
With all that Travis has seen he slowly begins to piece it all together. He’s seen a zombie, now he’s seen a bite, but (like us) he doesn’t know how the virus is transmitted. He knows how bad it’s about to get. so he must go to his ex-wife and find his son. Of course, it isn’t that easy.
His son is downtown at a protest against police shooting. Except, in this case there is justifiable cause. The shooting victim was a Walker. More on this in a bit.
Before that, let’s get into Nick’s storyline. The pilot episode followed this young man waking up to the apocalypse after a night of partying. Now that he survived that day, he has to survive symptoms of withdrawal. His heroine habit is getting the better of him this episode.
His mother, Madison, tends to his bedside. Alicia tells her he needs a fix to tie him over. Being a guidance councilor, Madison has confiscated her share of drug paraphernalia. She just needs to get to school and bring some back.
This is Madison’s moment to shine. While her husband is off looking for his son, she’s got to hold the fort and save the day.
The school is abandoned, giving an eerie atmosphere echoing through the halls. She cracks into the locker and finds some Oxycontin or something. Almost as soon as she snatches the pills, the young Soothsayer, Tobias, from last episode arrives. He’d like his confiscated knife back… cuz zombies.
Tobias has a plan. He warned Madison earlier about internet rumours regarding the virus outbreak. She dismissed it, saying if it was true the authorities would warn everyone.
As we saw later in the episode, she couldn’t be further from the truth. Travis witnessed a cop loading his car with a store’s worth of water. This authority figure is warning the public. To be fair, he could have been warned not to say anything. But I digress…
The plan is to raid the school’s bomb shelter. It’s stocked with canned goods, and Tobias wants to borrow a few dozen.
Before they can make a run for it, Madison and the young student are confronted by the principle – Principle Walker. This is Madison’s second confrontation with the walking dead, but she’s still in shock. This is someone she saw everyday.
Luckily, Tobias has her back, and has his knife back. He stabs at the zombie, to no effect. The teen is overcome, tackled to the floor. Madison swoops in and saves the day, bashing in some undead brains with a fire extinguisher.
This just got real. The virus is getting closer and closer to home.
Speaking of, Alicia tries to make a run for it and check up on her sick boyfriend. This was kind of heart-breaking. We know it’s of no use, but she has no idea about the zombies. Nick tries to stop her but he’s so sick that he has a seizure from the strained effort. Thankfully, his sister does the right thing and returns to take care of him.
By the time Madison returns, zombies have made it to the neighbourhood. Alicia watches from the window as her neighbour is attacked. Madison keeps her away, but Alicia doesn’t know why.
This was a really great subtle moment, making you feel for Madison. How do you possibly tell your daughter that the world is ending?
Virus theory time… We see a few people coughing, and we hear about people cancelling party invites because of a “bug” going around. We also see a coughing neighbour packing his car full of doomsday supplies. Were all these sick people bitten?
If they weren’t, perhaps the virus evolves quickly during the first few days until it becomes airborne? We also had mention of flu shot vaccinations earlier, indicating a possible blood-born virus.
Perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that this series started off with the first infectee being a needle abusing drug user? Hopefully, these questions remains unanswered. For now, we can only theorize based on small clues.
The downtown protest scenes were intense. Crowds are full of people, who can get bit, die from infection, and come back as the Walking Dead.
Once Travis reunites with his son all Hell breaks out. Another zombie waltzes in to the crowd. Police shoot it down, angering the protesters of police brutality. A riot launches, and unruly citizens destroy public property.
Thankfully, Travis and his family find shelter in a barbershop before it gets too dangerous. The husband seemed hesitant, but the religious wife forced him to let Travis inside. The couple’s older daughter comes out from the back, revealing this store is their home too.
Perhaps they won’t want to leave despite the apocalypse. Will this family join them when they hit the road? Will they all survive the trip back home to Madison and her children? Will this add interpersonal conflict into the mix?
The show takes a week off before we get our answers, but the sneak peek made it look action packed. The episodes have been exciting so far, balancing terror with anticipation and character development.
Fans who expect more zombies and less talking will have even more excitement to look forward to.
What do you think?
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