Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fear The Walking Dead Season One, Episode Two: So Close, Yet So Far

The principal is making his rounds in the empty school and the entire campus is deserted.  Alicia arrives at Matt's to find the door open and flowers strewn on the floor.

Madison, Travis and Nick speed down the road.  Nick turns the radio dials and listens to the panic. Travis is certain that they need to get away from the city and people until they know what is going on. Alicia calls and Madison asks her to pack some things and load up some groceries because they are going out of town.  Alicia however says that they cannot go because Matt has a fever of 103.  Madison tells Alicia to call 911 and Alicia says that she tries but keeps getting busy signals.  Madison orders Alicia to stay away from Matt until they get there.  Before Alicia can explain more about the sick Matt, they get cut off.

Chris gets on a full bus. When his phone rings and the ID reveals that it's Travis, Chris sends the call straight to voicemail.

Madison, Travis and Nick have arrived at Matt's. Madison again orders Alicia away from Matt, saying that people are getting sick.  Alicia however feels that this is pointless as she has already been in close proximity to Matt.  Travis moves to Matt's bedside and asks him about his parents.  Alicia and Matt say that his parents are driving home today.  Travis sends Alicia to get Matt some water when he starts to cough.  Nick heads into the bathroom and starts rifling through the drawers, clearly looking for drugs.  Travis checks Matt's shoulder and notices a bite mark.  When Alicia returns to the room, Madison tries to send her away but Alicia refuses to leave her sick boyfriend.  Matt assures Alicia that his parents will be home soon and that he will be fine but Alicia is adamant about staying with Matt because she loves him. Matt again tells Alicia that she has to go.  Matt and Alicia embrace briefly as over her shoulder, he makes eye contact with Travis. Clearly Matt knows that he is going to die and is sending Alicia away for her own good.

Chris's bus is caught up in traffic and he watches out the window as emergency services race by.  A man jumps on the bus and announces that the cops shot a homeless dude twenty times.

Madison, Travis, Nick and Alicia arrive home to see their neighbors across the street throwing a birthday party. The husband coughs into his hand and waves.  Inside the house, Nick asks Madison to tell Ms. Cruz (their neighbour) what is going on but Madison doesn't know what she would say. Nick believes that no one is paying attention. Madison sits at Nick's feet and assures him that he saved them. Nick is clearly still freaked out by everything he has seen.

Travis is getting frantic after having called Liza and Chris repeatedly and getting no answer.  Finally, Madison tells him to go and get Eliza and Chris right now.  Travis tells Madison to leave without him promising to catch up but she promises to wait.  Travis pulls out of the driveway and Madison looks across the street at the party her neighbours have set up.

Travis finally gets a call from Eliza and she is certain that he is trying to change their visitation agreement.  Travis begs Eliza to call Chris and tell him to get home.  Eliza hangs up the phone telling Travis that she will see him next weekend.  Travis gets caught in traffic. Chris has left the bus and is now walking down the busy street.

Alicia is in her room when Madison calls out that she needs the bucket. Nick is rolling around on the couch with the DT's and Madison is frantically calling their doctor trying to get a prescription to deal with detoxing.  Alicia points out that Nick is only going to get worse and will soon be unable to travel. Alicia asks if Madison has a stash somewhere in the house - perhaps some Vicodin from when she had a wisdom teeth pulled. Madison wonders if the doctor's office is closed because they are not calling her back.  When Madison hears a siren, she leaves her children, making Alicia promise not to leave the house.

Travis tries to cut through a gas station to get around the traffic but finds himself just as  stuck.  He watches as a cop loads up the trunk of his car with bottled water.

Madison makes her way to the now empty school and uses her key to enter.  Madison makes her way to an office to grab a key but starts to be suspicious about her surroundings.  Madison walks over a body outline and then uses a crowbar to pry open a locker to retrieve drugs.  Tobias sneaks up on Madison, scaring her half to death. It seems that Tobias came in search of his knife.

Chris is at the back of the crowd staring at a dead body on the ground.  The crowd starts to scream that the LAPD is out of control.  The LAPD tries to diffuse the situation but the people refuse to leave and refuse to stop filming what is going on.

Madison takes Tobias into her office and hands him his knife, instructing him to be careful.  The two leave the office with Tobias thanking Madison for the return of his knife.

Nick is on the floor and Alicia brings him some soup. He is not anxious to eat sure that he will just throw it up.  Alicia is only so sympathetic to what Nick is going through.  Alicia grabs her bag and a flask and moves to leave the house. Nick begs her to stay, reminding her that she promised Madison not to leave.  Alicia however does not want to hear it and heads outside.  She doesn't get far because she hears Nick fall to the ground.  When Alicia returns inside, she finds Nick seizing on the ground.

Travis has arrived at Eliza's and she is not impressed to see him. Travis tries to talk to Eliza about the fact that people are getting sick and violent.  Eliza however is not convinced because she hasn't seen anything.  Travis uses Eliza's phone to call Chris and demands to know where he is.  Chris explains that he is at a protest because the cops shot a homeless guy.  Chris is adamant that this is important and adds that the people are taking action.  Eliza calls out that she knows where Chris is after seeing a report on a television.

Tobias and Madison make their way through the school making small talk.  Tobias explains that the looters will hit pharmacies first, then gun shops and liquor stores. Tobias and Madison make their way to the school cafeteria where he has stocked up provisions.  Tobias warns Madison that she should stock up but Madison says that they have food.

Alicia is cleaning up the mess Nick made on the floor, saying that Madison and Travis should have been back by now.  Travis thanks Alicia and she replies by telling her brother that she hates him. The power goes out.

Tobias and Madison wheel his food through the school and he tells her that everything is all going to end and quickly because that's what happens at the end of a civilization. In the main school office, Madison hears a zombie over the intercom.  Suddenly, the metal detector at the front door goes off, so Madison and Tobias start racing through the halls.  They stop when Madison sees Artie, who has already turned.  Madison tries to communicate with Artie, as he moves towards her slowly. When Madison doesn't hear Tobias's warnings, he attacks Artie with a knife.  The two stumble down the stairs and Tobias struggles to keep Artie from biting him.  Madison hits Artie over the head several times with fire a extinguisher.

Tobias and Madison are now outside of the school.  They make their way through the empty parking lot to Madison's car.

Chris is in the middle of the protest, as Travis and Eliza search for him. When they finally find Chris, they drag him away.  A cop is being approached by another walker and when she fires her gun, the crowd goes berserk because it looks as though the cops are shooting an unarmed citizen.  Chris, Travis, and Eliza, rush away from the scene as a riot starts to break out.  They approach Daniel Salazar, a barber who is closing down and beg him for shelter.  Daniel tells them to go and find the cops, so Travis explains that the cops might just be the problem.  Finally, they are allowed to seek shelter after Griselda intervenes on their behalf . Once inside they learn that there is no other exit and Eliza tries desperately to make Travis respect that they are in someone's home as well as business.

On the radio, citizens are advised to stay inside and informed that neighbourhood watches are being established.  Tobias hops out of the car and Madison tells him that he can stay with them. Madison adds that they have room and are safe but Tobias reminds her that she has to look after her son. Tobias assures Madison that he will be okay, and slowly makes his way inside his home as Madison watches.  A vehicle dries by and the kids in the back seat are wearing masks.

At the barbershop the riot continues to rage outside.  Travis pulls Chris away from the window warning that he doesn't want to see what is going on out there.  Elizia asks Travis what he has seen and he explains that he has seen things that don't make sense and that people are coming back from the dead.  Travis is certain that they need to get far away.

Madison returns home and asks about Nick, who claims that he has never been better.  Madison asks about Travis and learns that he hasn't called.  Madison gives Nick an oxy warning that they have to ration them.  Nick questions how many they have and Madison explains enough to get them to the desert.  She then heads into the bathroom to wash the bloodstain out of her jacket.  It's only now that she is alone that Madison breaks down.  Madison gets a call from Travis and asks him to come home. Travis explains that they are stuck and that the freeway is jammed.  Travis asks about Nick and Madison explains that she got enough to wean him off.  Travis then instructs Madison to get to the desert, once again promising to catch up.  Before they can agree what to do, the phone call gets dropped.

Madison puts on her brave face leaves the bathroom. What she has seen is written all over her face and Alicia is quick to pick up on it

Artie's dead body lies in the now empty school.

Cars are on fire in the streets and the riot is still going strong.  Nick sleeps peacefully on the couch as Madison quietly panics.  Alicia looks outside and sees a Walker in the streets.  Alicia asks again what is going on but before Madison can answer, they hear screaming in the streets.  Ms. Cruz is being attacked by her husband.  Alicia tries to rush outside to help but Madison jumps in front of the door to stop her daughter.

A worried Travis watches as Griselda Salazar prays.

Tobias seems to be the only one I've seen who is capable of surviving what is going on.  Dude went to get a weapon, and food.  Everyone else is acting like they've never seen a zombie movie or read a zombie book.  If someone is dead and comes back to live they must be a zombie. See how simple that is.

Fear The Walking Dead has an inclusive cast in terms of race but has anyone else noticed that the death toll is still largely people of colour (in terms of named characters)?  The first one killed was Cal the Black drug dealer in the first episode.  In episode two we also lost Matt and Artie and poor Mz. Cruz who barely got to say to words. Hmmmm. Yep, this seems like The Walking Dead. This week we were introduced to a Latino family and I couldn't help but wondering how long they are going to last?

Then there is the issue of the race riot.  What the ever loving hell was that?  Have the writers been watching the news?  It was the most insensitive bullshit I've seen in a long time.  The LAPD has a long history of discrimination and attack marginalized people yet somehow, Fear The Walking Dead places the LAPD in the right and turns the people they are killing into zombies.  Hmmm whatever could be wrong with that?  How about the fact the opposite is true.  The people who are dying at the hands of the LAPD, or otherwise being jacked up aren't monsters, they just happen to be poor people of colour.

Speaking of marginalized characters it's also worth noting that they are in L.A. and we haven't seen a single GLBT person yet.  Did the zombies eat them all already?

The story line continues on with the poor drug addled Nick.  Yes, it's natural for him to have the DT's, the problem is I just don't give a shit.  It's irrelevant in a world that's about to fall apart.  He's not going to have the chance to anesthetize himself anymore. It all just makes me want to scream get on with it already.