I have something to say, and to be honest, I'm a little scared to say it. Not because it may clash with popular opinion (which is a distinct possibility) but, rather, because I am terrified of jinxing a good thing. Well, here goes — I think Fear the Walking Dead may have finally turned the corner.
Since the show's first episode, I haven't been shy about the fact it has seemingly failed to capture the natural charisma of its predecessor, The Walking Dead. After all, we're now halfway through the second season and some weeks it is still a struggle to really feel invested in these characters.
In this week's "Los Muertos" episode, though, it may have been the first time I truly found myself wishing scenes would last longer or commercials would go by faster. I can honestly say that, by episode's end, I was looking forward to next week.
To be clear, that has yet to happen thus far in the show's history. Could this finally be the turning point fans of the TWD franchise have been waiting for? And if so, who should we thank? I feel so... hopeful.
Let's start by talking about Nick. While last week's mid-season premiere was interesting in the way it revealed little glimpses into Nick's psyche and past, it was still a bit of a snooze-fest. What? It's true. When a TV show manages to put you to sleep in only the second season, it's problematic.
But this week, Nick's continued evolution in the Zombocalypse proved he is a character who is cunning and kind of clueless in equal measure. At times, he has authentic substance even. It's a compelling combination.
Although it certainly appears at this point that he has been sucked into another cult-like community filled with walker worshippers, I suspect his time in this community will be far more nuanced than his interactions with Celia were. The hope here is that we're going to see Nick emerge as our anti-hero.
Now, can we talk about those scenes between Strand and Madison? Getting drunk in a bar? Drowning your sorrows in booze in the midst of the Zombocalypse? Rookie mistakes, obviously, but they made for what might have been some of the best scenes in this spinoff so far.
These two have a sort of mutual respect and admiration for one another that feels almost reminiscent of TWD's Rick and Michonne (without the romance). We need more of that on Fear, please and thank you.
Another big strength of this week's episode was the growing arc of a few memorable newcomers, namely Luciana (Danay Garcia). She and Nick had a lot of interaction this week, so here's hoping she gets some major screen time throughout this season and continues to build upon that prickly rapport.
The show left us in a lurch, with Madison and Strand surrounded by walkers in the bar with no apparent way out. And the truth is I'm OK with this cliffhanger. I think Fear needed this cliffhanger to really build on the strength of this week's episode.
Leave 'em wanting more and all, you know?
The teaser trailer for next week's episode also hints that there will be some close calls for the rest of the Clark-Manawa family, and again, I'm totally cool with that. I'd even be fine if they kill off or maim another main character if it means continuing in this forward trajectory. If sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of greatness, then so be it! I nominate the son whose name I've legitimately already forgotten.
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