Monday, April 18, 2016

Fear The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode Two: We All Fall Down

Thanks to Alicia, the crew of the Abigail find that they are being followed by a ship that they cannot seem to shake. At this point, Strand is convinced that they are being followed by a military ship, given that they cannot shake their tail and the damage they witnessed to the ships they came across. They decide to stop on an island in the hopes of hiding for a bit and shaking their tail.  Madison notices a light on but at they approach the light quickly turns off.

On an island they approach a house very cautiously.  Things are tense for a bit but Travis promises that they mean no harm and only need to stay until the morning.  The Abigail crew make their way inside and find a family of survivalist, who never went to the mainland before the apocalypse and are hunkered down for the end of the world.

 Melissa starts to grill Madison about what she did for a living and whether or not she likes kids.  Madison answers all of her questions but this raises her suspicions because she feels like she is on a job interview rather than socially interacting with someone.

Travis sits down with George and learns the degree to which the world is completely and utterly fucked up.  Much to his dismay, Travis is informed that a good half of the United States is gone and that there's no reason to believe the other half is any better.  Travis questions what is going on further south is told that the borders have been closed.  Given what is going on the U.S. I wonder if he thought about who would actually enforce a border closing, if the world is now populated with zombies.  George,  claims to be an amateur anthropologist but is very much a fetishist and goes on a bit about Travis's Maori roots though he tries to wrap it all in family values.

George informs Travis that they are all infected and that this is nature's course correction. He firmly believes that the planet could not sustain all of humanity and that this is the result. I really believe that the characters of Fear the Walking Dead are getting a massive info dump in order to move the story forward so that the audience doesn't have to watch them play through the same things as the characters on The Walking Dead.

Together, Madison and Travis talk about the situation.  Madison believes that Melissa wants her to take the children with them when they leave and that she left the light on purpose.  Travis points out that George most certainly doesn't feel that way and that they cannot just take a man's children away. Madison is adamant that they cannot just keep turning their back on people and wonders what will become of them if they continue down this path.

Nick gets invited to see Harry's (the youngest son) room.  Once inside, he sees that all of Harry's dolls have a red dot on their forehead. Harry explains that this is what has to happen when someone gets sick.  Nick tries to assure Harry that he won't get sick but Harry's not concerned because he has power pills.

Daniel has a conversation with Strand about what is going on.  An astute Daniel points out that Strand did not plan to take so many people on The Abigail and wonders aloud who Strand plans to get rid of first.  Strand simply answers that Daniel is a hell of a fisherman and that they have a lot of fresh water. We already know that Strand sees Nick as a survivor and now we know that he values Daniel as valuable, so that makes Travis and his family disposable at this point.

Chris heads outside and joins Seth (the oldest son) at the fence killing the dead with a pic axe. Seth explains how to kill a zombie and says that he learned all of this from his father, who is self reliant and believes in deliberate living.  Seth makes a point about having to stay quiet because gun fire only brings more zombies.   I guess they've figured out that body shoots do nothing and that the brain must taken out to end the dead.  It's worth noting that the characters of Fear the Walking Dead, already know more about walkers and the state of the world than the survivors of The Walking Dead did at this point. Travis is clearly horrified when he sees his son hacking away at zombie which makes me wonder when he is finally going to get a clue.  Travis begs repeatedly for his son to head to The Abigail, but Chris doesn't leave until he kills the last zombie. Travis is still playing largely by rules that no longer exist, despite his willingness to sail right past people who were stuck on a raft the week before. It seems that despite all that Chris has seen, Travis is not willing to admit that while Chris will always be his son, his innocence is long gone.

Travis meets with George and brings up Chris killing  the zombies.  George, unlike Travis is content to let his son kill zombies, explaining that they cannot let the zombies press against the fence.  Travis talks about the ordinary things that Chris used to do and George explains that this is how people live now. George takes Travis to an area to repair the fence and explains that there are several hundred zombies on the other side.  Travis is adamant that this place is not safe and accuses George of just giving up. George however points out that he's mending the fence and therefore is not giving up.

Alicia takes the time walk to a tourist areas of the island.  She leaves behind a drawing on the wall.

Nick goes through the medicine cabinet looking for drugs.  He finds pills inside a globe but before he can do anything, Willa enters the room asking to draw with him.

On The Abigail, Strand notes that they have lost track of the ship which was trailing them and tells Daniel that they are leaving with the tide.

Melissa reveals that she has M.S. to Madison and while she is not going to die tomorrow, she doesn't want to be a burden on her family. Melissa admits that she turned the light on on purpose.  Melissa asks Madison to take her children and give them a chance at life even though this is not what George wants.  Melissa is adamant that they are just biding their time on the island until it's over. Melissa says that George and Seth believe that it's better to die with family than with strangers.  Madison does try to convince Melissa to come with them and agrees to take the kids.

Madison talks with Travis about taking Harry and Willa and argues where they land next could be safer.  Travis  is unwilling to take the kids without their father's approval  but Madison argues that they cannot keep leaving people behind. Travis agrees to talk to George.

Alone on the boat, Daniel starts to search.  He pulls the furniture apart and finds some maps, an automatic weapon, and letters.  While Daniel is searching, Strand is on the phone talking with someone. Strand promises the person he is speaking to that he will be there. What the hell is Strand up to and who the hell is he?

Inside, Nick tells his mother and Travis about the pills he found.  Nick believes that the family is headed for Jones Town, explaining that he knows about pills and that the drugs are not recreational.

Melissa has packed a bag for her kids, having lied to Willa and Harry about where they are going. Madison promises to keep the kids safe.  George comes across his wife giving instructions on the care of the kids and is not pleased.  Melissa tells her husband that they have to give their kids a chance. Harry makes his way down the stairs and reports that something is wrong with Willa.  Melissa charges up the stairs and finds her daughter dead on the floor.  Harry explains that Willa took her power pill.  Melissa wraps her arms around her daughter, despite Madison screaming no and telling Melissa to get away from Willa.  Willa sits up and bites her mother's neck.  George screams for Travis and Abigail to take their Harry and leave.  Travis begs for George to come with them but he refuses to leave. As they head outside, they hear a single shot.

Everyone heads to The Abigail, and when Strand sees Harry, he is not at all pleased.  Strand immediately demands that Madison put Harry on the dock, certain that Harry will slow them down and be a drain. Strand calls children the definition of dead weight.  Madison gets right in Strands face and makes it clear that he doesn't get to decide who lives and who dies.  The problem becomes mute when Seth barges onto The Abigail waving a gun, demanding to get his little brother back.  Daniel sneaks up on Seth and puts a gun to his head but Seth will not back down, claiming that he can at least kill one of them before he dies. Madison tries to reason with Seth saying that he doesn't know what's out there and that he is welcome to come with them.  When Seth is not swayed, Travis argues that this is what George wanted and that he changed his mind about the island before he died.  Seth still refuses to leave, calling the island his home and asking his brother to join him at his side. Before exiting the boat, Seth blames Travis for what happened to his family.

Seth and Harry leave the boat and Strand starts to cast off.  Melissa, who is now a zombie,  is walking towards her children.  Ofelia suggests they should do something but Daniel responds that there's nothing to do and that Seth has a gun. Alicia tells Chris not to look but he doesn't turn his head. Seth instructs Harry to turn and wave goodbye to The Abigail and then he shoots his mother in the head.

I still very bothered by exactly how competent Nick is at this moment.  Sure, he says that his life was always kind of like this so it's situation normal for him but I don't feel that this justifies the way his character has been portrayed.  In moments of emergency, addicts don't suddenly stop being addicts nor do they go through withdrawal with few symptoms.  Yeah, I know that Nick went in search of the power pills which lead to a child's death, proving that drugs are still a lure for him but I don't think at this point that the writers are appropriately dealing with the fact that Nick should be anything but competent.

I am still very much team Madison, as leader of the group, though it's clear that Strand and Daniel both see themselves in this position.  Madison wanted to bring more people on the boat but I still don't see her operating with the same kind naiveté as Travis.  She is right to be concerned about the type of people they could potentially become. Unlike the cast of The Walking Dead, they haven't really had a run in with bad humans yet and the kids in particular posed no threat to their survival beyond their need for care.  I don't think that this is going to be the last time that we see Madison get up in Strand's face and personally I look forward to it.

Other than Madison, Alicia and Ofelia have pretty much faded into the background.  I really hope that this changes and we see them become competent members of The Abigail.  I know that both Ofelia and Alicia are younger than Madison but if Nick can be a competent addict, I see no reason why both of these young women cannot step up to the plate, given that they have seen just as much horror as everyone else.