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Fear the Walking Dead almost made me lose my dinner, and I loved it

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Why did Fear the Walking Dead have to wait until the finale to finally get interesting?

 

Let me start by hitting you up with some real talk. There were moments during this week's two-hour finale of Fear the Walking Dead where — and I'm not proud of this — I quite literally covered my eyes, y'all. In my defense, I'm fairly certain I would not have been able to keep my dinner down otherwise.

Before we go any further, consider this your spoiler alert. If you haven't yet watched the Season 2 finale of Fear the Walking Dead, go forth and do so before popping back in.

Now, where do I even begin? While this is typically an assessment I reserve for The Walking Dead, wowza. For the first time in Fear's history, it arguably rivaled its predecessor in finale theatrics. And praise be for that!

More: Dayum, Nick, that was the hottest kiss in Fear the Walking Dead history

While I realize saying that proves I'm pretty pumped about this week's gore-fest and it may give you a troubling glimpse into my psyche, I know all you fellow fans of TWD universe feel the same way. In short, we've been waiting for the proverbial shit to hit the fan for a while.

As it turns out, we have Chris to thank for finally getting our chaos and carnage.

Chris and Travis have been butting heads for, well, the entire history of the show, essentially. But it reached fever pitch over the last few weeks, when Chris killed a man who had not been infected. Travis took a moral stand, as Travis is wont to do, and the two parted ways.

Because Travis is such an empathetic man, he feels terribly guilty for what he perceives to be abandoning his 16-year-old son in the apocalypse with a couple of clearly unsavory characters. As he was recently reunited with Madison, she assures him he did the best possible thing he could have done for Chris under the circumstances.

However, when Brandon and Derek — the "bro-migos" Chris had been traveling with — show up at the hotel sans Chris (guess that wasn't his shadowy figure behind them last week), Madison quickly makes the connection and finds out Chris was killed in a car accident.

Or so she thought.

She tries to have the guys escorted off the premises, but Travis catches wind of the whole thing and confronts them. Madison arranges for them all to talk in the hotel coffee shop, and things seem to be going relatively well.

Until, that is, Travis recognizes an inconsistency in their story. He locks out everyone but the bro-migos, and he starts kicking their asses to find out the truth. They confess that they "put [Chris] down," at which point Travis proves he can't handle the truth. He loses his mind, killing both of them and critically injuring one of their new allies, Oscar.

More: If FTWD introduces one more frickin' character, I'm going to scream

Later, when Oscar dies on a makeshift operating table, Hector and Andres barge in and demand to exact revenge on Travis. But just as Andres is about to pull the trigger of his handgun and kill Travis, Alicia stabs him in the heart. Whaaaaaaaaa? I was not expecting that.

They then flee together, aided by the magnificent Mr. Strand, who stays behind.

Meanwhile, Nick has led Luciana and her people away from the Colonia. Just when they cross the border into America and realize the refugee camp (and safety!) could be mere hours away, men in military gear open fire. Luciana is seemingly shot somewhere in the chest. Nick tries to get to her as the men in military gear drag them away from each other. Nick struggles against their power, but he is kicked unconscious.

Did I mention that in this episode someone's face was also bitten off and that Nick plunged his thumbs so deep into a walker's eye sockets that he scrambled the dude's brain? I was not joking when I said the finale had me feeling queasy.

Yet I loved it. It was by far my favorite episode of Fear to date. While I hate to say the show needed some carnage, it did. And it's not just that it needed carnage — after all, it has had its fair share of gory moments.

Rather, it needed some carnage of substance. I know... it's a strange concept. Still, the show needed some carnage that would drive the story forward and create a more compelling narrative for its characters. I feel as though the finale accomplished that.

For all the trash-talking we all did about Chris, it was kind of heartbreaking to see him executed that way. It was gutting to watch Travis' visceral reaction to the news. It was shocking to learn Alicia is capable of murdering a man.

Every single one of these characters just got infinitely more interesting. And none more so, perhaps, than Madison.

There was a very telling scene between her and Travis, in which Travis tells her that he has changed and that whatever goodness that was in him is gone. Madison responds by telling him she is just as bad, if not worse, and — here's the kicker — that while this new world made Travis dark enough to do such horrible things, she was already that person prior to all of this.

More: Raise your hands if you wish that zombie on Fear the Walking Dead was Madison

Intriguing, indeed. Since she also only recently told Alicia that her father committed suicide, it would seem Madison has some seriously twisted skeletons in her closet. For the first time, I'm invested in finding out what those are.

What do you think? Was the Season 2 finale the best FTWD episode yet?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Why did Fear the Walking Dead have to wait until the finale to finally get interesting?
Image: Charlie Steffens/WENN
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