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Review: Fear the Walking Dead S01 E02 – So Close, Yet So Far

FearTWD-4

Spoilers are dead ahead…get it?

Today’s episode gave us more time with Travis Manawa’s side of the Brady Bunch in the zombie apocalypse. We dove deeper into the characters,Travis’ ex-wife and son, respectively portrayed by Liza Ortiz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and Christopher Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie). We see more of the conflict here between the characters that was briefly introduced back in the pilot. Liza yells at Travis much like we’d expect most ex-wives, or even current wives, to yell at their husbands. There’s a mystery storyline of how the two got separated…and it could be a very interesting one that helps us understand Travis more. Chris resents his father and is trying to find his place in the world, which was front and center on a televised stage in this episode. This added to the conflict of Travis going out to find his son in the middle of the zombie outbreak.

Walker 101

While watching the show, one can feel like the zombie kills are just way too elementary. At this point, viewers have graduated to see the Rick Grimes’ show tear apart zombies in some really gruesome kills. Fear seems to be taking its sweet time and maybe it’s on purpose. Maybe the show is following the transition into the apocalypse by turning the camera away from the action. Madison Clark’s zombie kill of the principal Art Costa (Scott Lawrence) was off-camera. Maybe the show is treading carefully and is conscious of the fact that it’s a white woman beating an African-American zombie in the head. Who knows? Then again, the character study of The Walking Dead and this spin-off are focused are much more important than the kills, right?

Best Performance

While Frank Dillane continues his solid performance from the first episode, it’s Maori actor Cliff Curtis that gets this week’s nod for best acting. He’s a man who’s trying to help out his girlfriend and her two kids, while trying to make sure to be responsible for the family he already has. There’s a balancing act that can be seen in this versatile actor’s performance. You can also see that the character is not easily broken by these early events of the zombie apocalypse. We feel that Travis is going to be able to hold it up for a while, but you know that he is going to lose it at some point. We all know that Curtis is capable of delivering a wide range of emotion based on his resume.

Best Moment in the Episode

The showrunners did an excellent job connecting this episode to current events. I’m not sure this was on purpose, but we recently saw a video on Facebook of an LAPD officer shooting a homeless man. Immediately after the shooting, people started to protest against the cops. Fear did a marvelous job of incorporating these same tense LA moments into the story, especially as a way to continue the contrast with the Georgia vegetation.

Looking Ahead

We have 4 more episodes left and I’m hoping that Fear will pace the zombie outbreak a little quicker. The show is still solid enough to keep us coming back for more on the 2015 version of Escape from LA…without Snake though.

Overall: B-

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Image Source: AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead Website

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