Monday, October 5, 2015

Fear The Walking Dead, Season One, Episode Six: The Good Man

At the stadium, the zombies continue to push against the door but now Daniel is nowhere to be seen.

Madison is packing up a box of supplies when Chris and Alisha enter.  Madison and Travis explain that the military is retreating and that they are going back to the original plan and head east. Chris asks about Liza, and Travis promises to get both Liza and Nick.

Andrew is tied up in the basement and Daniel tells Madison and Travis that he found the arena and that it's close to the soldiers base.  Daniel says that Andrew has given them all the information he has and Travis and Madison strenuously object to murdering Andrew.  Andrew asserts that they won't get into the compound without him, so Travis decides to bring him along for the ride. When Madison says that Andrew will ride with Travis, Travis asks her if she is ashamed.  Madison fires back that Travis would do anything if Chris were in danger. There goes Mr. High and mighty again. Damn Travis gets on my last nerves.

Daniel approaches Ofelia and tells her that they are going to find her mother.  Ofelia asks about Andrew, and Daniel promises to bring Andrew with them.  Ofelia tells Daniel that he lied to her and Daniel counters saying that he protected her. Ofelia asks if her mother knows that her father was not the victim.  Daniel wonders if his daughter would have preferred it if he were the victim but Ofelia does not answer.

Madison takes a moment to touch her children's growth charts before continuing to quickly pack up. It's almost a brief goodbye to everything she has lost. Outside, Madison orders Alicia into the car and Ofelia steps outside.  A german sheppard starts to bark and Madison stares.  Madison tells Alicia that her neighbours don't know what is going on but Ofelia points out that their neighbours did nothing when the soldiers came for them.

Exner is using the radio to communicate about the plan.  Exner announces to the group that they are moving now.  Liza asks about Chris and is informed that she has made a call.  Liza asks about the rest of her family and explains that her son will want his father. Exner points out that Travis will want Madison and that Madison will want her children.  Exner asks when family comes to an end. Exner tells Liza that they have to be brutal, so Liza asks for Travis and Chris.

Travis is loading up and Andrew tells Travis that he might as well kill him now because Daniel is going to do it later.  Andrew points out that Madison did nothing to stop it. Travis jumps to Madison's defense and points out that the military took Nick.  Andrew however counters that he didn't do anything and was in fact kind to Ofelia.  Travis asks Andrew to get them where they need to go. Andrew promises to tell Travis if he cuts him loose and says that the only reason to keep him is to kill him. Andrew adds that there's no story here that doesn't end with him dead. Clearly, Andrew knew just who in the group to approach.  Travis without a doubt is the weakest link.

The cars pull out in search of where Nick, Griselda and Liza are being kept. Madison drives with the children and she looks in her neighbours windows as she drives by. When they reach the gate, they find that the military is already gone.  Daniel fiddles with the switch until he gets the gate open.  The cars drive through and this is when we see that Travis's passenger side is empty. Of course he left Andrew behind. That decision better come back to bite him.

Daniel approaches the hospital on foot holding a flashlight.  He is ordered to stay where he is because he is entering a restricted area.  Daniel calls out that the soldiers should save their ammunition.  It's then that a horde of zombies approach the base.  The soldiers start firing.

Daniel is now in the installation and he tells the group that he lead the zombies to the North gate so the soldiers are distracted.  Daniel now learns that Travis let Andrew go. Madison argues that it was the right thing to do and Daniel points out what doing the right thing will get you. Travis pulls Chris aside and tells him that if they are more than 40 minutes, he is to drive Alicia to the campground. Madison hugs Alisha and whispers that she is to take care of Chris.  The adults leave the teens on their own.

In the compound, Victor sits calmly and he tells Nick not to draw unnecessary attention to himself. Nick complains that he is losing his mind, so Victor tells him to picture being somewhere else with a needle in his arm.  The lights start to go out and the sound of guns firing can be heard, causing people to panic.  Victor tells Nick that it's time to go.  Victor checks his pockets for his key and cannot find it.  Nick however pulls it out of his.

The helicopters arrive and Liza and Exner are on the roof.  Exner says that the compound is compromised and now their evac team knows it.  Exner asks what the delay is and lies and says that the compound is secure.  Liza is told that they are assessing the situation. Exner orders everyone to go and says that the transports are downstairs.  Liza asks about Chris and is told that if they haven't gone for him now, they never will.  Exner again tells Liza that she needs to run.

Chris and Alisha sit in the car together.  He gets out and Alisha tells him that everyone will come back.  Chris says that he doesn't want anyone to die. Alisha points out that not everyone can be saved, so Chris tells her to shut up.  When Chris sees something, he hops in the car and tells Alisha to follow. The two teens duck their heads.

Victor and Nick are now free and they walk by others in cages who beg for help.  Victor snarks about his key not being one size.  Nick asks about helping the people and Victor says that they add no value.  Victor advises that they should save themselves if they can and let others take the ride. Victor plans to get a car and then get Abigail. Who is this Abigail?

The teens are still hiding in the car and the sounds of soldiers footsteps can be heard. The soldiers break the windows in the car and drag Alisha and Chris out. The soldiers demand the keys promising to take the kids with them and Chris says no.  Things start to get rough and so Alisha yells that she has the keys.  The soldiers start to assault Alisha and Chris tries to defend her only to be knocked unconscious.

The crew is at the checkpoint and outside, the soldiers continue to empty their guns into the zombies but it's not lessening the threat.  Liza heads outside into the chaos looking for a way out.  The zombies manage to tear a hole in the fence.  A soldier in a helicopter offers Liza a ride and she turns them down.  An infected soldier runs into the propeller of a helicopter.  The fence is now completely down and Liza has no choice but to run back into the hospital.

Victor and Nick continue to make their way through the hospital.  They find the check in room and it's filled with dead bodies and a zombies who are feasting.  Nick tries to stop Victor from entering further but Victor says that the zombies are slow. Victor picks up a flashlight and retrieves the cuff links he traded to Milton for Nick and tells Nick to keep the watch. Victor doesn't have time for more snark because more zombies enter the room. Nick asks if they can get out of here now and Victor starts running saying that Milton was his ride.

Madison et al walk by the cages asking about Nick.  The group refuse to give information until they are released.  Travis manages to open the door and they are told that Nick left with a rich guy in a suit.

Nick and Victor come against a door that is locked and with no way out because the zombies are following them. Victor tries shooting at them with the gun he picked up.  When Nick looks through the window of the door, he sees his mother and calls out to Madison.  They frantically try to get the door open and so Nick tells his mother to go.  Fortunately for them, Liza shows up and uses her key card. They just manage to slam the door shut in time for Nick and Victor to escape.  They make their way back to the kitchen and Liza is attacked by a zombie.  The group uses any weapon at hand to take out the walkers.  They have finally figured out to go for the head.  Liza asks about Chris and is told that he is safe.  In a free moment, Madison asks about Victor and is told by Nick that Victor saved his life.  Daniel pulls Liza aside to ask about his wife and is informed of her death.  Liza tells Ofelia that the infection took Griselda and that everything that could be done was.  Ofelia demands to see her mother and is told that there's nothing left to see.

The group is now walking through the treatment room where everyone lies dead in bed having been shot in the head by Exner.  Madison takes the time to start grabbing drugs.  Liza tells Exner that they need a way out and Exner says that Liza should have left when she was told.  Travis mentions that he is going to save his family and Exner asks where thinks his family is going to go.  Travis replies that there must be somewhere. Exner explains that there is a way out pass the ICU because it takes you to the sub level. Exner adds that they can get out but there's nowhere to go. Liza begs Exner to come with them because there are people she can still help. Madison encourages Liza to go, explaining that Exner is lost.

They walk through the halls and Victor asks about the plan.  Madison says that they are heading east and Victor suggests west because he has a home on the water with supplies and is prepared.  It's now morning and the group walk past a huge pile of dead bodies still smoking.  Now we know what Liza meant when she said nothing left to see. Ofelia realises this and starts to cry, so Daniel stands next to her offering comfort.  The group make their way into the garage and Travis calls out for Chris and Alisha, while Daniel desperate to avoid zombies encourages him to be quiet. Madison is the first to notice that the car is gone.  Chris and Alisha come out of their hiding space and explain that the soldiers took the suv.  Daniel calls out that they need to go now.  This is when Andrew appears and he points a weapon at Daniel.  Ofelia asks Andrew to put the gun down, adding that he doesn't have to do this.  Andrew takes his revenge by shooting Ofelia.  Travis tackles Andrew and proceeds to beat the shit out of him, as a stunned Chris and Nick look on. Madison approaches Travis and asks him to stop beating Andrew. Travis stands up slowly and Andrew's face looks like mincemeat.  Travis's hands are shaking when he walks away. It looks like Mr. calm and ordered finally snapped.

When next we see the group, they are driving on an empty highway. In the backseat, Victor gives driving instructions. They drive past a crashed helicopter with a zombie in it.  They make their way to Victor's place and he uses a keypad to open the gate, explaining that the generators are powering everything.  Daniel and Liza help Ofelia who was shot in the arm inside.  Playing the role of generous host, Victor tells them to help themselves to food.  The view from the house is absolutely gorgeous.

Nick and Madison end up on the balcony over looking the ocean.  Madison tells Nick that she is sorry for letting the soldiers take him.  Nick tells Madison that he feels strange and that he never knew where he was going.  Nick explains that it's like he's been living this for a long time and now everyone is catching up with him. Yeah, I suppose the whole thing seems like one long bad trip.

Liza hands supplies to Daniel for Ofelia and explains that Ofelia can survive this.  Liza then leaves to check on Chris and mother and son embrace.  Liza tells Chris that she loves him before walking away. Madison follows Liza.

Victor is packing a bag when Nick finds him.  Victor explains that he has to stay in constant motion. Nick asks if they can stay here and Victor says no.  Madison is making her way out to the beach. Nick asks where Abigail is and Victor says not here.  Nick asks why they came there if they are not staying and Victor explains that the only way to survive a mad world is to embrace the madness. Victor walks onto the balcony and looks through his telescope before offering the view to Nick.  In the middle of the ocean a ship floats and Victor explains that this is Abigail. Yep, it seems that Victor is always one step ahead of the game.

Liza makes her way down to the beach when Madison finally catches up with her. Madison asks what's wrong and Liza lifts her shirt and shows Madison a bite mark.  Liza explains that she didn't notice until they were clear.  Liza pulls out a gun and tells Madison that she doesn't think she can do it, even though she knows she has to.  Madison asks Liza not to but Liza uses the words Madison did when Madison asked for the same favour.  Liza hands over the gun.  Travis arrivews and asks what is going on when he sees the gun in Madison's hand.  Madison explains that Liza was bitten.  Travis says that it's okay because they have meds now.  The women tell him that the antibiotics won't work. Travis is adamant that he won't let Liza do this.  Liza explains everything she has seen and adds that it doesn't matter how you die, you come back.  Liza asks Travis to protect their son and a crying Travis says yes. Travis holds out his hand for the gun and Madison hands it to him.

Alisha and Chris are on the balcony having a Popsicle when the sound of a gun shot is heard. Hearing the shot, they race down to the beach.  Travis walks away from Liza's body and falls to his knees. Chris cries over his mother's body as Alisha looks on.  Madison heads to Travis's side and holds him in the sand as he cries.

Alright people, that brings us to the end of the first season of Fear The Walking Dead.  For me, much of the season was pretty slow because having watched The Walking Dead all of these years, the characters discovery of the zombies felt drawn out to me. I kept wondering when the real business of surviving was going to happen.  For the first few episodes, Tobias (remember him?) was the only one who was talking sense.

We have mentioned it before but it needs to be said again, this universe seems to love killing off people of colour.  This season we lost Liza, Art, Calvin, Susan and Alisha's boyfriend.  Even the write of characters like the neighbour across the street who was eaten by her husband was of colour. Just because Fear The Walking Dead has a much more diverse cast than its predecessor The Walking Dead, does not make it okay to keep killing off POC. It's also worth noting that despite its racial diversity, Fear The Walking Dead has no GLBT people in it.  Were LGBT people the first victims of the zombie apocalypse? Do LGBT people taste extra good?  There's no reason for this erasure, particularly given that the show is shot in L.A.

For much of the season, Travis irritated me.  I understand that he was clinging to civility and trying to keep everyone calm. He is the type of person to want everything structured and at heart is a peace maker.  Travis's morality played a large role this season.  I suppose this is a set up so that that if this show moves on, we will see him evolve just like Rick did. When Travis finally lost it and punched Andrew, all I could think was, "it's about damn time."  I don't know how he managed to stay so tightly wound. I think with Andrew, Travis learned a lesson about how different the world is. Andrew forced Travis to drop his facade of normalcy.

I think Daniel is easily my favorite character of the season. To be clear, Daniel has had a hard life and he is not necessarily a nice man but he is the kind of man you need in a zombie apocalypse. Daniel saw the warning signs early and was determined to do what he had to to survive.  Daniel watched the group he was with closely, picking out the people he thought were weak (TRAVIS).  Daniel does what needs to be done.

I think it's fair to say that as far as women are concerned, all of them were really strong characters. Even Madison's rage about having to do everything in the house was sort of on point. Yes, the world is falling apart but that doesn't mean automatic return of gender based labour.  Unlike Travis, Madison was ready to make the tough choices and she didn't sit around waiting to be saved.  I loved Liza's forthrightness and her realisation of the costs of her decisions.  Ofelia was not afraid to stand up to her father and made the tough decision to bring Andrew in, in order to find her mother.  Daniel may see her as sweet and innocent but it's clear that Ofelia has a strong backbone and won't be blindly led. There's so much good to say when it comes to gender and Fear The Walking Dead.

It looks like the writers plan on starting out in a new direction with season two.  Now that Victor has a plan to ride out the apocalypse on sea, I can immediately see some of the challenges this represents. Is the group going to deal with pirates? What happens when they run out of fuel and supplies and have to come into land?  It may immediately be safer on the ocean but that doesn't mean that one can survive there long term.  It will be interesting to see.  Also, speaking of Victor, does anyone actually trust him? I know that he is smart but I very much get the feeling that he is only looking out for himself. I watched this supposedly practical man pack white shirts into his bag and could not help but wonder what role he plans to play in what comes next.

I cannot say that I was blown away by the first season but I will certainly watch season two, if only to hope that Travis bites the big one or rather, gets bitten by the big one.