Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fear The Walking Dead S01E02 – So Close, Yet So Far

After a solid pilot episode that shattered ratings records for cable programs, Fear The Walking Dead returned with their second of six episodes this season (15 episodes are lined up for Season 2), “So Close, Yet So Far”, another good episode that is bound to make you mad, but in a good way, I think. Let’s go…..

-We open with the principal, Art, patrolling the empty hallways of the school, which has been evacuated until they can figure out what the hell is going on. He hears something and turns around, yet tells the person on the other end of the radio that it’s all clear, so you know nothing good is going to happen to him. Then you have Alicia, the snarky daughter, walking down the street and she passes her boyfriend Matt’s house, with the door ajar….again, a sign that something bad is going to, or has, gone down. She walks in, there is a broken vase on the floor and in his room, all you hear is groans as she steps back and gasps, “OH MY GOD”. Obviously (well, not to her), Matt is on his way to Zombieland.

-Shoutout to the opening music, which is short, sweet, ominous and lets you know that it’s about to go down. It’s not even music really, it just sounds like someone slammed one button on a keyboard and let that shit ride.

-Travis, Madison and Nick leave the scene of their clash with Zombie Calvin, and they’re callin’ around to gather up Travis’ ex-wife and son and Alicia, who answers and tells Madison that she’s with Matt, while Nick is messin’ around with the radio tryna get some news. When Madison learns where Alicia is, she tells her to don’t touch Matt, who has a wild fever and no one can get through to 911, so Travis steps on it and heads to Matt’s. Mmmmmhmmmm, AMC, I’m keepin’ count. Three-for-three on zombiefied brothas.

-Travis’ bitch-ass son gets on the bus and ignores a call from his father, which jumps him above Alicia in the “You need to get eaten” power rankings. Speaking of, she’s tryna nurse Matt to health when Madison and ’em show up, and she won’t leave his side. The naivety of these people is maddening, but I have to keep telling myself that we, the audience, know what is going on and how this is going to end, but they, the characters in the story, don’t, and you think that the overwhelming thought is, “OMG IT’S THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE”, you’re out of your mind. Most people don’t think that way (and you’re not special if you do, so stop it). And even when you realize what is going on, do you know how hard that is to process? Anyway, more on this throughout the recap, I would reckon.

-Anyway, Travis finds a bite mark on Matt’s neck and he’s like, yeah, we gotta get the fuck outta here and Alicia doesn’t want to go, but Matt figures out what is going as well and is like, listen to your mother and go. I also want to him to bite the shit outta her face. Meanwhile, Nick is going through the bathroom cabinet because, well, withdrawal is a motherfucker and junkies gon’ junkie.

-Chris (Travis’ son) is on the bus still, and it stops as a cop has shot a homeless man, apparently, and people rush off the bus. I really hope this doesn’t turn into some sort of societal statement on cops and people. I don’t think this is the right show for that. Travis, Madison and the kids head home and see their neighbor outside setting up for a party, because when you hear that places are being shut down because of a virus, that is the first thing you should do: have a party and invite more people. Meanwhile, one of the other neighbors is coughing while packing up to get the fuck out.

-Nick asks Madison if she’s going to tell the neighbor about what is going on, and he also tells Madison that he’s about to step into a world of shit. I didn’t catch on to it at first because I was thinking about all the zombieness, but yeah, junkies gon’ junkie. Travis leaves to go pick up his ex-wife (Liza) and Chris, and Madison says she’ll wait for him to go to the desert, but he insists she leaves. A lot of people are gon’ die tryna be nice and chivalrous in these Fear TWD streets.

-Travis gets to Liza’s house, and she was an asshole to him on the phone, talkin’ about her legal rights and when he’s supposed to come there and shit, and he’s all, “YO, THIS IS NOT THE FUCKING TIME”, but he still doesn’t really tell her what is going on. He uses her phone to call Chris, who will pick up because you BETTER not ignore a phone call from Moms, and they learn that he is at a protest that was started by the cops shooting this homeless guy. Meanwhile, Alicia is on junkie-withdrawal duty, which means getting a bucket for Nick, who isn’t handling this shit well at all. Madison can’t get a hold of her doctor, but she comes up with a plan that involves leaving Alicia with Nick, which sounds like an all-around terrible idea, but there might not be much else she can do. She’s also depending on Alicia to not be an asshole and leave her brother, and that’s like, 50/50 at best.

-I forgot, while Travis is en route to Liza’s, he sees a cop putting all kinds of bottled water in his trunk. Yeah, something really bad is going on here.

-Madison’s plan is to go to the school and see if she can find anything in the first-aid room, and I loved this scene because it was slow and drawn out, and you’re just waiting on some bad shit to happen, especially when you think back to the beginning of the episode. Then she goes into a pitch-black room and you’re like, yep, you’re gettin’ fucked up and then you see someone walk into a room where she’s essentially cornered….but it’s Tobias, the kid who just wants his knife back. It’s kinda weird that, number one, he could get into the school (unless Madison left the door unlocked, which is possible) and two, he’s so pressed for that knife. Shit must be a family heirloom or has the antidote for the virus in it or something.

-Chris is still at this protest with a video camera, and it’s turning into a statement on police brutality and rights and all that shit, and I’m not really here for it: in most places, yes, but not in a zombie show; but again, these people don’t know what is coming. Madison and Tobias are still in the school and Tobias wants to grab some canned goods because he knows that this ain’t gon’ stop.

-Alicia gives Nick some food and he’s like NOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAPPP,  and then she goes to leave to see Matt, but Nick basically forces himself to choke on his own vomit and now she has to decide: her brother or her boyfriend? She chooses her brother, who even says that Matt is going to kill her, and saves her life, even though she says she hates him. Yo, someone gotta tell her what is going on; either that, or in the zombie apocalypse, everyone in high school or younger is gettin’ thrown in the bushes. Mufuckas are irrational at that age (although, we learn as we get older, so are adults. Just kill everyone you meet). I think she would listen to Nick right off the break.

-Madison and Tobias are leaving the school, but they walk past the audio switchboard and hear something, which Tobias recognizes as “one of them”, so they decide to peace out immediately. They’re running, but then Madison sees Zombie Art (or as a commenter at the AV Club called him, “Zombama”, thanks to the homie Caitlin for pointing that out because that shit is greatness”), being Madison, she has to try and save a mufucka. Look, I know it’s naivety and no one knows what is going on. But Zombie Art is staggering towards you, not responding to his name, and just look at his face…..FUCKING RUN. LEAVE THE FOOD, LEAVE THE KID, LEAVE EVERYTHING, FUCKING RUN.

-Tobias is better than me because he jumps in the middle when Zombie Art attacks Madison, and stabs him in the shoulder with his little knife, so instead, he gets attacked while Madison stands at the top of the steps down which they fell, lookin’ dumb as shit. She finally grabs a fire extinguisher while Tobias is holding this mufucka off somehow, and it takes a few good strikes, but finally knocks him out.

-They’re walking out of the school towards the car when they should be runnin’ like hell, while Travis and Liza get to the protest and find Chris, who doesn’t want to leave, but fuck his feelings. A zombie woman shows up in the middle of things and the cops shoot her, but I don’t think anyone in the crowd saw that she was fucked up, and of course, they start rioting. It’s chaotic and they’re running, when they see a man closing up his shop and Travis begs him to let them in until this ends. The man doesn’t want to, but his wife is like, dude, come on now. Also, shoutout to the dude that might not have been finished his haircut when he got kicked outta the barber shop. Gotta roll into the zombie apocalypse with a fucked-up fade.

-Madison drops Tobias off and offers for him to go with her and her family, but he says he’ll be alright, so the countdown to seeing Zombie Tobias begins. He’s the only one that seems to know that this won’t end. Meanwhile, a car rolls by with little girls in the back wearing hospital masks.

-Travis is starting to realize what is going on and scares this family half to death, and he says they have to get far away from here, but good luck with that because the freeway is backed up like shit. Meanwhile, Madison finally gets home and still won’t tell Alicia what is going on. She gives Nick a couple of OxyContin and he’s like, um, you don’t wanna see this as he gets to work because again, junkies gon’ junkie. Madison goes upstairs to wash Zombie Art’s blood out of her shirt and starts to cry as she is finally realizing what is going on; again, this is a lot to process to the majority of mufuckas out here. Travis calls her and tells her where he is, and I want a camera angle of Liza in the background when he asks Madison if she got Travis his meds. I bet she sucked her teeth real hard and was like, “Oh, you mean DRUGS?”. That shit woulda been good. Anyway, he tells her again to leave without him and she won’t before the signal cuts out.

-Alicia keeps asking Madison if she is okay and what is going on, and when she sees Party Neighbor getting attacked outside by a zombie (but she doesn’t know it yet, and I think it’s the neighbor that was coughing earlier), she wants to run out and help and Madison shuts the door and locks it. Yo……seriously. Tell her what is going on within the first 10 minutes of the next episode.

-While this is going on, we get cuts of dead Zombie Art in the school, the riots going on outside, Matt’s parents finally arrived at the house, but the trunk is still opened and the suitcases are on the ground, which can’t be a good sign, so we also have a countdown to seeing Zombie Matt. Nick is nappin’ like a junkie, which means he’s not gettin’ up for a hot minute. The wife of the barbershop man is praying for, well, everything at this point and then blows out the candle to end the episode.

“So Close, Yet So Far” kept the story moving as people are still slow to figure out what is going on. At this point, if you thought that Fear The Walking Dead was going to move faster than the original, you’re either trying to convince yourself or not paying attention. The Walking Dead has allowed Fear to move at its own pace and we’re going to get there. But today’s viewer isn’t patient and they want a cliffhanger every week, which can be tiresome as shit. You gotta let the story breathe because as I keep saying, it’s a lot to process. However, by the looks of the preview for the next episode, which is in two weeks for some reason, the scales are going to tip in a big, big way for Fear The Walking Dead.

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Fear The Walking Dead S01E01 – Pilot

It has been a random summer for television over here, with some good (Ballers), some bad (True Detective), some still yet to be decided (Sense8) and some that I’ll get around to eventually (Mr. Robot). But really, I’ve been waiting on Fear The Walking Dead since I heard it was a thing, and the pilot episode didn’t disappoint. Let’s go…

-We open with a junkie named Nick, who looks like a cross between Johnny Depp and Jack White, but wacked on heroin, waking up in a church because where else are junkies supposed to sleep? He calls out for his friend Gloria, but he finds a guy who is bleeding from the head and has a bite mark on his neck. So he’s like, alright, still high, fair enough, but then Nick stumbles upon Gloria, who is buffeting on a dead guy (at least I hope he was dead because that would SUCK), and when Gloria looks at him with blood on her mouth and zombie eyes, he bolts and runs out into the middle of the street where he gets hit by a car. Two things about this: try and watch this again, and watch Nick run. It’s hilarious, he’s like a child running downhill. Two, maybe I was laughing too hard at that, but it looked like Nick got hit from behind, which would make that driver a really shitty driver. Probably texting or some shit.

-Side note: Nick is played by Frank Dillane, whose father is Stephen Dillane, who plays Stannis in Game Of Thrones. He was also apparently in a Harry Potter movie or something, but I don’t watch that shit.

-Then we meet the protagonists of the show, Madison, who reminds of Julie Bowen (Claire from Modern Family), her daughter Alicia, who is a smartass and shoulda got dropkicked in the chest for yellin’ at her mom like that, and her fiance Travis. They get a phone call and it turns out that Nick is Madison’s son from her first marriage, and he is in the hospital, where he has had to be restrained because he was ranting about all sorts of crazy shit, which of course, we know to be true. Alicia makes a couple smartass comments to Travis about him moving in to the family, so we know what role she’ll play going forward. Travis then has to call his ex and cancel on picking up his biological son, who doesn’t want to go with him anyway, and the son is up there with Alicia on the list of “people I want eaten already”. Madison then tells Travis that he didn’t sign up for this, and he’s like, “well, I’m here, I’ll stay with him” as she leaves. What a guy.

-Madison and Alicia are driving and Madison is trying to talk to her, but Alicia won’t take her earphones off, and then she says Madison should listen to Travis and stop supporting Nick, a junkie who won’t stop being a junkie. But of course, Madison won’t do that as they get to school, so we learn that she is a teacher. She is walking through the halls with the principal, Marty, and they stop this kid, Tobias, and Madison runs his pockets to find a knife, so it’s to the office with him.

-She thinks he has the knife because he’s getting bullied, but Tobias starts going on about how they’re safer in numbers and nobody’s going to college because of news reports stating that people are killing other people and they don’t know if it’s a virus, or what it is, but Madison is convinced that he is just reading too much bullshit online, which is fair. So there, we learn that the outbreak started and mufuckas weren’t tryna hear it, which takes me back to the first season of The Walking Dead because no one really knew what the hell was going on.

-Alicia sneaks out of school and apparently she’s insanely smart, and she goes to meet her boyfriend Matt, who is black and that probably made people more mad than the idea of the zombie apocalypse. I’m sure there was some good ‘cism going on in the Twitter streets, which is why I’m avoiding all that shit.

-Anyway, Nick is at the hospital and wakes up from a nightmare, and he tells Travis what he saw and Travis bites (no pun intended). He heads to the church to see what Nick was talking about and finds a junkie freakin’ out, yelling “DON’T KILL ME” and he finds a pool of blood, possibly from the buffet Gloria was having earlier, or it could be a new one, or just straight-up junkie blood. Either way, it wasn’t pretty.

-The family is at the hospital, and Alicia feeds Nick while Travis tells Madison about what Nick said he saw, and what he saw at the church, but Madison just dismisses it as junkie talk, but which is fair, I guess, but Travis saw some ill shit as well. Meanwhile, Nick is lying to Alicia in her face and telling her he’ll get clean, and I laugh. She goes off to meet her boyfriend again, while Madison accuses Travis of trying to help Nick in lieu of seeing his own bitch-ass son who needs to be eaten anyway.

-So everyone is gone and Nick tries to get the nurse to untie a hand, and she’s like NOAP, but then his roommate, an old man, starts to die, which causes a commotion and he somehow gets out anyway, taking the old man’s stuff and peacin’ the fuck out. Watching him walk around in old-man clothes was pretty good, this Dillane kid, acting is obviously in his genes, he’s pretty solid. Definitely the best part of the episode. Meanwhile, Madison and ’em show up later and they’re like, where the hell is Nick and the nurse is like, BITCH I DON’T KNOW, HE’S GONE. I feel like Madison woulda put up more of a fight, but hey, it’s only a 90-minute episode.

-Travis takes Madison to the church of horrors because she wanted to go, then they get there and she realizes that probably wasn’t the best idea she has ever had. They then visit his friend Calvin to see if they know where he is, but he doesn’t. That’s two black people so far. Good job, AMC. You’re gettin’ there.

-Madison and Travis hear gunshots while driving on the highway, and they’re seeing police helicopters in the sky, but it’s Los Angeles, so they don’t seem to think much of it. Still, something has to be up because Travis dips off the highway with the quickness.

-They get to school the next day (Travis is also a teacher, so that’s where they met), and there are more sick students, while the police are there and Alicia is on her phone, looking at leaked footage of a man getting beaten with bats by the cops (again, something not surprising in L.A.), and then they shoot the man….who gets back up. Some people think it’s fake, but it looks pretty damn real, then he principal announces that there will be a half-day and all but evacuates the place. Madison gets Alicia and meets up with Travis, but as she is walking out, she sees Tobias on the bus and he hits her with that “BITCH I TOLD YOU” look. That shit needs to be a GIF.

-Nick then meets up with Calvin, who is his dealer (OF COURSE HE IS) and Nick is like, dude, the fuck did you give me? Calvin is like, it wasn’t that and then he says he has some more, so junkies gon’ junkie and Nick is in. Then they go to a shipping area of some sort and Nick sees that Calvin has a gun in his pocket, which may or may not have even been for him; as a heroin dealer, it’s just part of the job to have a gun on you, yeah? Anyway, in a fight, Nick somehow gets the gun and shoots Calvin, which is fuckin’ weak, although junkies do have super strength at times if Florida news has taught me anything.

-Anyway, Nick called Travis off-screen to tell him where he was at and he goes there with Madison, and Nick takes them to where he shot Calvin, but the body is gone. They’re confused, but they’re like, well, guess we’ll leave and behind them is Zombie Calvin, and Madison pulls up the white-people trope of having to investigate everything instead just running the fuck away, and almost gets bit in the process. Nick is like, fuck this and gets in Travis’ truck and runs Zombie Calvin the fuck over, and again, Zombie Calvin gets up. Finally, Nick hits Zombie Calvin and he falls a good distance….and he starts moving again and they’re like, WHAT IN THE FUCK.

As far as pilots go, Fear The Walking Dead nailed it. It set the tone for being creepy and it might even be darker than The Walking Dead, which is darker than a lot of people remember, especially the first season. I’m not putting it up there with TWD yet, though, it’s one episode. But the Nick character was good, the Madison character is good and naive, and I assume we’re going to end up seeing both sides of the family together as they try and escape when shit goes down. Between the pilot and the preview for next week when it looks shit is about to really get real, I’m in.