I trust Fear the Walking Dead's Strand about as far as I can throw him
Hooray! We seem to be turning a corner on Fear the Walking Dead, and not just the kind that walkers pop out from behind and try to eat you. Rather, the survivors are finally starting to adapt to the new world.
This is great news, as this companion series to everyone's favorite zombpocalyptic drama, The Walking Dead, has been moving along at a bit of a glacial pace in comparison to its OG counterpart. However, this week could be the tipping point — particularly in regards to Nick.
Just last week I lamented that we're not seeing enough character growth with his character, and lo and behold, we saw him evolve in spades this week. I mean, c'mon... if this series supposedly predates TWD in the grand scheme of the zombie apocalypse, that means Nick — not anyone from Rick's crew — was the first person to successfully use walker guts as olfactory camouflage.
Even Alicia stepped up her game and showed some moxie by bashing in some walker skulls. All in all, it was a good week for the Manawa/Clark fam.
The arc that was less than pleasant was that of Strand.
I should go ahead and point out that this was a great episode of FTWD. Certainly the best of the second season so far, and possibly one of the best of the entire series. This is all well and good, as my interest was honestly starting to wane.
So while Strand infuriated me this week, it was in a "he sucks but oh shit, this is getting good" kind of way. Know what I mean? Let's discuss.
For starters, we still have no clue where Strand is taking the survivors. Sure, he now says they are headed for Mexico, but can we really trust this guy? I'm thinking not. Aside from being all cloak-and-dagger with those mysterious phone calls he keeps making, we can't forget that Strand has always been a bit sketchy.
Remember when we were first introduced to the character, back when Nick was being detained at that virus screening compound? Strand talked a smooth game and came off as a person with questionable motives. He always seems to have an agenda, and we almost never know what it is.
But on to the night's biggest upset!
We've all been waiting to see how Fear the Walking Dead was going to integrate the Flight 462 webisode characters into the series, and tonight, we got our answer. As it turns out, the flight crashed into the ocean. Naturally, our survivors came across the debris and realized it was an opportunity to salvage for supplies.
While on the shore doing just that, Nick, Alicia, Chris and Daniel get into a jam with a throng of hungry walkers. However, they got a bit of a heads-up thanks to none other than Flight 462's resident badass, Alex.
We know from earlier scenes that Alex had survived and had pulled out a severely burned Jake, the boy she befriended on the ill-fated flight.
So she helps everyone get off the island teeming with walkers, but she announces that they have to make a stop on their way back to the boat. When they do pull up, they are towing the life raft with Jake in it. This very clearly does not sit well with Strand, who starts protesting it before they are fully in sight.
Madison, in a move that garnered her serious respect in my eyes, fights to bring them on board. She doesn't win that battle but, in reminding her family of their humanity, she does manage to sway Travis to barter a compromise with Strand: they will tow the life raft carrying Alex and Jake behind their boat.
While this is still kind of a tool decision, it's "the best we can do," as Madison tells Alicia. And all is relatively well as night begins to fall and the ship continues to chart its course towards Mexico.
Until, that is, Strand storms out of the cabin and dramatically chops away the rope towing Alex and Jake's life raft. Just like that, he has severed the tie to the Flight 462 survivors. This is disconcerting on multiple levels, one being that Alex may have been my favorite character on the show so far.
And really, they simply weren't that big of a threat. Even if Jake succumbed to his injuries, there were ways they could have sequestered him on the boat so he could be, uh, handled discreetly. This was a power play on Strand's part.
On one hand, I suppose it's his boat and everyone has to abide by his rules. However, he is outnumbered. I vote they mutiny, because Strand's latest move made me want to punch him in the throat.