Spoiler Warning: Events through this week’s Fear the Walking Dead episode discussed below.
Despite a lackluster premiere and a slow start, a lot of us are still watching Fear the Walking Dead, waiting for it to get better and become a proper companion series. Though this week’s “Not Fade Away” wasn’t a huge improvement, there are a few signs that keep us hanging in there, despite the fact that most of the characters are flat-out stupid or willfully ignoring their own common sense. I know many of you think our (the audience’s) background knowledge is a heavier advantage than I’m willing to concede, but that doesn’t excuse all the foolishness.
By this point, no matter what the infection may be, families need to use (whenever possible) the buddy system. People should not wander off on their own. I’m willing to overlook the teenagers, because they’re — you know — teenagers. Sometimes a young person might not think it through before she heads right back into the maze-trap where she was recently attacked by a walker. I’ll try not to focus on that, or the fact that she went off without telling anyone else where she was going — that seems to be the norm, even after the military locks down your town. I’ll skate right past the one-dimensional characters, like the stock MGiC (Military Guy in Charge) who’s got nothing better to do than practice his golf swing in between wisecracks, or the soldier who’s going to screw up his mission because he’s horny for Ofelia — who of course has no other way to get meds for her mother than through sexual manipulation. Never you mind that Travis and Madison are both worried, and don’t believe the military is giving them the entire truth about what’s happening, or that they’ve seen the things they each have seen … forget all that. The obvious solution is: Don’t talk to each other, keep everything you’re thinking and feeling to yourself. Go to the garage, drink, and if you have time, get in a quickie, because god knows if you’ll ever be (or want to be) alone together again.
We’re supposed to believe these two are in an intimate relationship because of the sex and the fight scene, I guess, but other than sniping over Travis’ ex-wife, they don’t act like they care bout each other … or their kids. Wait, that’s not exactly fair. Madison did go check on Nick in the pool, and she did smack him around after she figured out Nick was lying, and hasn’t exactly quit using (shocking!). Don’t even get me started on their non-conversation about Chris’ rooftop observation, which Travis didn’t believe, and Madison was unsure about…so she left by herself, without telling anyone, and discovered not all the dead bodies outside the “safe zone” were infected. Oh right, I wasn’t going to focus on the stupid people. Let’s get to Nick.
In what was possibly the hour’s best moment, we were privy to one of Nick’s ingenious (if not horrifying) survival techniques.
That right there is using your noodle, people; desperate times call for desperate measures. And if Nick is this clever and scrappy on drugs, can you imagine how great he’ll be when he finally gets clean? He’s already killed (several times) the drug dealer who tried to kill him, and Nick also saved his disbelieving mother and Travis from their first walker attack.
As pissed as Madison may have been that Liza was behind Nick being taken away, if that’s the impetus to him having no choice but to get clean — whether with that creepy Doctor Exner’s help or not — then good on Liza. I can see a rough-edged Nick as the guy who’ll rescue his family. Eventually, things in that safe zone are going tits up, and I think we can safely say that when that happens, Madison, Alicia, Travis, Chris and Daniel and Ofelia are going to need an innovative, react-on-his-feet kind of guy on the outside. Nick has already proven, he is that guy.
Before then, it looks like Daniel will break out of the safe zone alone (or with Madison), to go find the facility where Griselda and Nick were taken. While Daniel does seem more willing to listen to his instincts than most of the Fear characters, he’s going to be emotional over his wife, and that could be a liability. Nick has the necessary Daryl/Michonne willingness do what- it-takes edge that the rest of the Fear characters haven’t yet discovered in themselves.
“Not Fade Away” gave us a reminder of who this series’ real hero will be, and just enough hope to keep hanging on.
Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good (Lou Reed, Perfect Day)