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MEGATHREAD - Fear The Walking Dead: Embrace The Madness

Last night was the season finale of Fear the Walking Dead. Luckily, it’s already been renewed for a second season, so it’ll be back next summer. In the meantime, lets take this opportunity to look back on the season that was, and reflect on what we learned and witnessed. Welcome to the Fear the Walking Dead Megathread.

(Post your takes of hotness in the comments below! I’ll get this ball rolling...)


I’ve said it before, so forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but this isn’t a show about zombies (walkers, skinbags, etc.) This is a show about people and their relationships and how they adapt to the world falling around them. In this case, the catalyst for that fall is the dead rising.

Even the The Walking Dead is more about the people involved than the actual walkers. The walkers are now to a point where they really only pose a threat in groups or when you aren’t careful. Otherwise, they’re part of the landscape.

Fear has been about these two (three, really) families and how they survive in the early days of the walker uprising. But, similar to Walking Dead, the skinbags aren’t really the threat, until they are in a group. A damn big group. But we’ll get to that. And more than just three families working together, this show (all season long, and is even a question in Walking Dead) asks: What is family? Blood or Bond? Because really, we started this season with three families in the sense that we are familiar, but over the course of the season, it became one. They may not all be related, but they are a unit; They need each other. Much like Walking Dead, where five seasons in and Rick has been warning people to stop messing with his family (he hasn’t called them his group since like season two or three), we have Madison and Daniel and Travis looking out for their family.

1. Man, that tracking shot of downtown Los Angeles in the dark was pretty trippy. Most of the show has only showed downtown off in the distance (save for the one time they went into town and Lt. Pyle got his) as the safe zone was revealed to be in Cerritos, which is approximately 20 miles from downtown. That actually helps justify the lack of skinbags that people had been complaining about. Los Angeles is more than just a small metropolitan area; the suburbs stretch for miles. The reason we haven’t seen a million-skinbag hoard yet? Because if there is one, it’s 20 miles away. Remember: Rick didn’t find a hoard of walkers until the second episode, and he literally went around a corner and saw them. Until they hear something tasty, what motivation do they have to move? Same rule applies to downtown Los Angeles. There wasn’t anything going on in Cerritos that would draw their attention.


2. Speaking of tasty, holy shit Daniel let them out of the arena. That was diabolical. I love it. Those skinbags weren’t making a fuss until Daniel got there to check on Corp. Ex-Boyfriend’s story. Once they turned, they were content until they heard something tasty (Daniel) get close.

Another point about that: Daniel was able to walk a little quicker than the skinbags when he took them to the hospital. The skinbags aren’t this group’s biggest threat. Other people are. Much like Walking Dead, they are part of the landscape.


3. I loved how cold Ophelia was about the rest of the neighborhood when they were bugging out. Those people didn’t do anything when the gub’ment came and got their family, so why should they help them get out of dodge? The neighbors are going to have a rude awakening when they wake up and there aren’t any guardsmen around.

First, I would like to comment that all of the action that occurred last night was central to the hospital in downtown Los Angeles. When they left their neighborhood, there wasn’t any real skinbag threat to their neighbors. However, THEY LEFT THE DAMN FENCE OPEN. THAT IS JUST RUDE.


4. Travis is going to get more people killed. Well, he is a lot less likely to get people killed after seeing what he went through this week, but he’s still a softie and people are going to pay. Up until this episode, Travis has been (mostly) sheltered from the realities of this brave new world. He thought what Daniel did was horrible, and thought that Corp. Ex-Boyfriend was telling the truth. In a way, he did, but there’s the torture dilemma again: He said what he thought would help get the pain to stop or get him out, but he wasn’t going to just run, he wanted revenge. You could see the gears click as he pointed the gun at Daniel in the parking structure, and the instant he decided to shoot Ophelia. I think that was a mix of making Daniel suffer and punishing Ophelia for not helping him once she found out. He was betrayed.

Travis was right to run the train on Corp. Ex-Boyfriend, but it was about 30 minutes too late. I bet he doesn’t make that mistake again. (Also: We didn’t see Corp. Ex-Boyfriend die. I wonder if he meets up with Lt. Pyle sometime in Season two?)


5. “Save your ammunition.” Holy shit that was intense. Those poor guardsmen didn’t know what to do. My favorite part of World War Z (the book not that zombie movie that borrowed it’s name) was the part where the gub’ment wants to put on the “shock and awe” campaign to destroy the zombies, but quickly realize that big bombs and spray-and-pray does not work. It takes a head shot to do the deed. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the machine guns of our military (and others) aren’t made for complete accuracy. They’re born from World War II and Vietnam, where you couldn’t really see your enemy that close. The idea was suppression. Spray. And. Pray. True, soldiers are trained on accuracy, but in the heat of battle, in a conventional modern war, unless you are going door to door, they are taught to shoot and shoot a lot for the center mass. Again, this does not help against hoards of skinbags who can only be killed with a shot or hit to the head.

These guardsmen at the hospital fell back into their conventional training, even after about a week and a half of realizing that it took head shots to down these skinbags. They panicked, and didn’t have to command structure to help them adapt, and were sadly, outgunned.


Also: look at those four dbags that took the Durango. WHO TAKES A DURANGO? Again with the common theme: Skinbags aren’t the biggest threat; people are. Especially people with weapons training and superiority complexes. Maybe the Governor was right at the beginning of Season three...

6. Speaking of head shots - these skinbags are observably harder to kill. They are a lot fresher than the walkers in and around Atlanta. The combination of time and humidity has made the walkers softer. These skinbags in Los Angeles are fresher. It is not easy to bash someone’s brains in (um, apparently), and this episode showed that. The scene with the skinbags in the kitchen area showed that readily. These people had to work for that freedom, dammit.


7. Chris tried, like Travis does. I’ll give him an A+ for effort. He just made a fan for life out of Alicia (if he hadn’t already when they played dress-and-fuck-shit-up).

8. The skinbag (well, almost skinbag) kill of the season was the guardsman doming himself on the tail-roter of that helicopter. BRRRRRRRMMMHPPHH.


9. Madison showed her situational awareness when she immediately started taking medications when Liza led them back to the sick ward. I also felt bad for Dr. Feelgood, because it seemed like although she was a company woman working for the system, she was really trying to help as many people as she could. I think the quick two second scene of her getting ready to old country herself was worse than seeing that she euthanized everyone in the room. Harsh.

10. Strand. James Strand. Can we all agree that he is one cool cat? Tobias was the poor-man’s survivalist; learning everything about this on the intergoogle and trying to protect himself with a (tiny) knife. Mr. Strand here is what Tobias would have been with money. A freaking compound. Generators. Supplies. A FUCKING BOAT. He is completely out for himself, but at least he has a contingency.


How much did Mr. Strand see before he got corralled at the detention center? He knew the skinbags were slow. He’s an interesting fellow, and I bet he likes his martinis shaken.

11. Going back to the beginning where we saw Los Angeles in the dark, it was really cool to see the panning shot of Los Angeles as they headed to the coast. I especially liked the touch of the wildfires clearing out neighborhoods. That would be a bigger threat than skinbags to someone holding out in their house. That, and fire-skinbags. Yikes.


12. We had two full circle moments this week: Nick back in the Los Angeles River (yay!) and Travis’ women worrying about him coming undone. They must be Weezer fans.

But seriously, I’m glad Travis was the one that offed Liza, because had Madison done it, he (and Chris) would have resented her for the rest of their lives (lets be real, Madison isn’t dying any time soon). Also, it pushed Travis over the edge. He’s not completely in this new world now. This is Rick after Lori died territory, people. HIDE THE PHONES.


Speaking of Travis. Now he has wet sand all up in his gootch. You thought the dead rising was bad? Try running with a loaded diaper in your jeans. Rookie move. You’re from Los Angeles, YOU KNOW BETTER.

13. Mr. Strand had the same idea as I do (lets be real again - we have zombie plans) with the boat. I would suggest an island of some kind (ahem CATALINA) with some infrastructure and limited population. Or a 150 foot yacht with a lot of gas. That’ll work, too.


Fear The Walking Dead Season Two: I’M ON A BOAT

I’m glad The Walking Dead is only a week away, but I really will miss this show. It was fun.


BONUS: Flight 462: It was about a minute and a half long, and takes place a few episodes back. They are just grounding flights, and we learn this on a Plane that is about to take off. I bet that kid ends up on next season.

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