After this week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead, AMC may have to borrow the name of another TV series: Everybody Hates Chris. I mean, c’mon — that series is no longer on the air, so there shouldn’t be any conflict, right? Plus, it’s kind of perfect.
If you’re asking why, you clearly haven’t been following the evolution of this Walking Dead spinoff. If you had, you’d know that the Chris Manawa character has been grating on everyone’s last nerve for… oh, you know, the entire series.
Well, if we’re being really honest, nearly all the characters have been irksome so far. However, it’s Chris who seems to hold a special place in viewers’ hearts, and that special place is apparently a seething wellspring of fury.
— Mel Haitch (@MelHaitch) September 26, 2016
— Danielle Turchiano (@danielletbd) September 26, 2016
— vamp fan (@vampfan10) September 26, 2016
wow i hate chris #ftwd
— ana (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ'✿,｡*:✿ (@peruvianpiranha) September 26, 2016
— kathleen (@kathleen_hanley) September 26, 2016
To be clear, it isn’t actor Lorenzo James Henrie this ire is directed at. He’s a fine actor. In fact, the thoroughness with which he has been able to get viewers to hate Chris kind of speaks to his talent as an entertainer.
Rather, the genuine reproach is reserved for the character — who, in this week’s episode, was a huge asshat. He was full of asshattery. Code name: Captain Asshat.
This didn’t exactly come as a huge surprise to viewers given that the kid has been a bit of a prick for weeks now. Remember last week when he killed an innocent and non-walkerized farmer? Yeah, that happened, much to Travis’ chagrin.
This week, though, Chris stepped quite a bit closer to the sociopath threshold when he helped subdue his father so his mini gang of frat bros could off a wounded member of their own crew. Yikes! Obviously this did not sit well with moral compass Travis, who tried to reason with Chris before he drove off into the wild unknown with his zombocalypse posse.
However, in true angsty teenage fashion, Chris chose to ignore all of his father’s advice and instead place stock in the clearly unstable group of strangers who made him feel like one of the cool kids. Solid plan, bruh.
So here’s the rub. In the last few moments that Travis and Chris were together and Travis was begging Chris to not go with his new friends, Chris told Travis there was nothing wrong with him — he was just “adapting.”
And in that moment, I kind of agreed with him. I think. I’m still feeling very conflicted about it, as my first inclination is simply to want to see the little dillhole get eaten by a throng of zombies.
I have to say, though, he might have a point. If what Travis really wants for Chris is for him to survive, maybe it is in Chris’ best interest to split up. Travis is still struggling to come to terms with this new reality, and he isn’t always the quickest to make the tough calls.
Having said that, the fact that Chris has started killing humans and not walkers still makes me want to punch him in the throat. In The Walking Dead world, he would likely fail the “How many people and how many walkers have you killed?” test that Rick and his crew use to determine whether or not someone has managed to retain any shred of humanity.
So at the end of the episode, when Chris’ new buddies showed up at the hotel gates and he was seemingly nowhere to be seen, I wasn’t sure how to feel at first. Was I excited to be done with his asshattery? Or was I disappointed the series was losing one of the zombocalypse’s early bloomers?
I guess I’ll have to wait to find out how Chris’ death would really make me feel, since I’m fairly certain I caught a glimpse of him standing behind his newfound friends. Although, come to think of it, the fact that I’m hoping to get that chance probably speaks volumes.