The Mary Sue Post: Fear the Walking Dead Finale Recap

Fear the Walking Dead aired its season one finale yesterday, and I have to admit that I was kind of impressed. If you haven’t seen my recaps of the entire season, be sure to check those out. If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that I haven’t been overly thrilled about how the Walking Dead spin-off has turned out. Happily, the season finale was the action, adventure, scares, gross-out moments, and drama that we’ve come to expect from a story told in the Walking Dead universe. I was actually quite surprised by how much I enjoyed the season finale, and it made me pretty interested in what season two had to offer. But I unpack this all a bit more in my recap over at The Mary Sue. I hope you’ll join me over there to talk about Fear the Walking Dead and the finale!

Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead! Read at your own risk if you aren’t caught up on Fear the Walking Dead!

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Alright friends, the first season of Fear the Walking Dead is in the books, and it was a pretty intense finale. If you’ve been reading the recaps I’ve posted this season, you’ll know I’ve not been thoroughly impressed with the show, largely because I found the dramatic irony it relied so heavily on frustrating at best, and unbelievable and stupid at worst.

In the Talking Dead special, Chris Hardwick called out how hard fans have been on the survivors, mentioning that he hoped people wouldn’t immediately decide to shoot someone in the head if they looked sick in public, which is a fair point. Of course, the actor who plays Travis, Cliff Curtis, countered by reminding Chris of the walker who was discovered eating a dog, summing up my issue with the show pretty perfectly: No, you definitely wouldn’t shoot a stranger who looked sick in public, but if you saw a clearly sick individual doing something horrificlike eating a dog, you wouldn’t try to approach him and reason with him, right? If they tried to bite you or attack you, you’d protect yourself, wouldn’t you?

But that was the tough job Fear the Walking Dead had to try to tackle. How do you tell the beginning of a story to an audience who not only knows what’s really happening in the world, but they also know how to eliminate the walkers, that any quarantine efforts do not work, and how widespread the infection is. Essentially, how do you keep people interested in the beginning of a story when they already know the ending…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue, and let me know what you thought of the first season and the finale of Fear the Walking Dead in the comments! 

The Mary Sue Post: FTWD Recap, “Cobalt”

SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t seen the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead, read on at your own risk!

Image credit: AMC

Image credit: AMC

We are one episode away from the Fear the Walking Dead season finale, and I am more torn than ever. I want to love this show, I really do, but every time I see things start to pick up, the show seems to sputter to a start. After last week’s episode, I was certain the pace would pick up, I’d become more invested (or at least slightly begin to understand) some of the characters, and FTWD would become my newest zombie obsession.

While the action did pick up a bit in this episode with a torture scene, I had a tough time understanding why the character made such a HUGE jump from regular life to torture–the show tried to explain it to us, but that explanation felt rushed. Almost all of the character and plot development feels rushed. We’re staring down the finale, and if I really think about it, I can’t really think of a character that has got me invested in the story. I’m pretty torn. I love zombies, and my love for The Walking Dead has got me excited about a potential second story in this universe, but I’m not feeling like FTWD is delivering. Here’s an excerpt from my recap on The Mary Sue:

Over at the hospital, things are as bleak as we all feared. Nick is being held in a literal cage with a couple other men, Doug and my new favorite character, Strand. Doug is clearly not doing well, and is feeling a lot of guilt over leaving his family—a guilt that Strand plays on by assuring Doug that his wife’s looks will help her survive. Momentary disgust aside, we start to see that Strand is carefully playing each and every individual around him to ensure his survival.

We see him not only making deals with the guards to ensure his own survival, but he also makes deals with the guards to ensure the survival of his fellow patients—like Nick, for instance—to add to his list of people who owe him favors. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see a huge amount of Strand in this episode, but his keen sensibilities paired with his borderline slimy manner of manipulating the room officially makes him the most fascinating character on the show. His sass game is also hella strong. If he rejoins Madison and her family, he could really provide a strong backbone to the group. Fingers crossed that they don’t kill him in the season finale next week.

While the living conditions for “regular” patients like Nick are grim, we follow Liza into the inner rooms of the hospital to see the real story—where critical patients and patients with bite marks are taken. It is here that we learn that the soldiers and doctors are well aware of the most effective way to down a walker—taking out the walker’s brain—and they are also aware of the fact that a person who dies will turn in a matter of moments. This is, of course, a lot more than the average citizen knows…

Head over to The Mary Sue to read the rest, and let me know what you’re thinking about the series. Are you getting in to it? Will you be watching next season? Let me know in the comments. 

The Mary Sue Post: FTWD Recap, “Not Fade Away”

I’m back at The Mary Sue recapping last night’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead, and I’m happy to say that I finally, finally think the show is headed in a good direction! Sure, there were still some moments of questionable logic, but by the end of the episode, I found myself actually very excited about what next week would bring–and terribly, terribly nervous about the extreme blow it would be should this show not deliver on my expectations.

Are we finally getting the Walking Dead spin-off we’ve all been waiting for? Is the show finally tapping in to those exciting and troubling moral questions, the extreme survival, and the unimaginable odds?

I have no idea, honestly, and at this point I’m not particularly invested in the characters, but the story has started to hook me–which is how the obsession started with Walking Dead, story before characters (though now if you try to hurt Carol, Glenn, Maggie, or Daryl I WILL FIGHT YOU). So I’m excited to see what the last two episodes of this season. If they continue travelling the path they set out this week, we might have another stellar show on our hands. BUT I get more into this and more over at The Mary Sue. Here’s an excerpt (spoilers ahead, obvs):

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This week’s episode jumped forward a few days, after the soldiers we met at the end of last week’s episode fully enclosed the neighborhood and cleared the immediate surrounding area of walkers. As we got the hint in last week’s episode, Travis is completely oblivious to the situation around him. He doesn’t want his kid to learn how to use a gun, he’s taking the trash to the curb like a good citizen, he’s getting his morning jog in, and he’s being super friendly and compliant with the super-sketchy soldiers—even calling them sir and acting as the community liason between the soldiers and the civilians. Travis is certain that now that the military has rolled in, things will only get better.

Oh, Travis. You sweet summer child.

Really though, Travis’ optimistic outlook on the future isn’t anything new. In every episode, he’s been blissfully naive and completely unwilling to journey into survival mode, despite all he’s seen. So the fact that he’s smiling and falling in line with his new, martial law-style life is not a huge surprise to me. Mercifully, it seems like we’ve seen the end of Optimistic Travis.

The unraveling begins when one of Travis’ neighbors, Doug, is pinged by the soldiers for his unwillingness to comply with the health check-ins. At the urging of the soldiers, Travis gives Doug a pep talk and encourages him to get the health check up and be strong for his family until life returns to normal. Though Doug does get checked out, the pep talk doesn’t exactly take…

Read the rest over at The Mary Sue and let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments! 

The Mary Sue Post: Fear the Walking Dead Ep. 3 Recap

You guys, can we talk about Fear the Walking Dead? I soooo want to love this show, but these characters are really making it tough for me to latch on to this story–and this is coming from a girl who loves nearly every zombie thing she interacts with.

FearTWD_Ep-3-640x360

I want the characters’ actions to make sense, and they just don’t. For example:

  • Travis: Let’s escape to the desert to ride out this chaos in town. We probably won’t need more than an overnight bag and certainly no food. They’ve got McDonalds in the desert, right?
  • Madison: We probably shouldn’t loop our daughter in on what’s happening–especially because it’s not only happening in the world around her, but also probably directly effecting her boyfriend. I’m sure she’ll just let it go when she sees our neighbor attacked by a walker. Now then, why don’t we play some Monopoly? Nothing says apocalypse like a game that destroys families and relationships, right?
  • Alicia: Man, I wish my parents would let me know what’s going on and why everyone’s so stressed out. Did our neighbor just get attacked? Meh. I’m sure it’s fine.Oh, hey, Monopoly!
  • Nick: I encountered exactly one walker, and I happen to now be an expert in all things zombie. After all, it’s a well-known fact that all hardcore drug addicts are very lucid and knowledgeable about world-ending, reality-distorting, catastrophic events–especially in the heat of a detox. Score! Mom got out the Monopoly board!
  • Travis: Oh, look. It’s my neighbor. He’s eating a dog, and looks just like those other zombie-like creatures I’ve interacted with before. I wonder if he’s up for a quick chat. Oh, and hey, please no one teach my son how to use a gun. I realize society is crumbling around us and there are literally flesh-eating monsters about, but I don’t think that’s a reason to go teaching my kid about guns and stuff. We’re more of a melee weapon-wielding family anyway. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put our trash on the curb. Trash day is Wednesdays, even in the apocalypse…

SERIOUSLY. These characters are driving me NUTS. I really, really want to see the slow dissolution of humanity and society as we know it, but I want to believe the journey they have me on. Right now, I feel like I’m following a family of idiots who make crazy choices that make zero sense to me. But, I’d love to hear what you think. Here’s an excerpt from my recap over at The Mary Sue:

It would seem the pace has finally, finally started to pick up on Fear the Walking Dead. After an episode of heavy family drama and light walker action, and another with disjointed action and ambiguous plans to escape to “the desert”, things have finally started to get real. Travis, his son, his ex and the rest of Team Barbershop are still waiting out the riots in while Madison and her kids are chilling at their house in the ‘burbs as they wait for Travis to return.

Hours have passed since Madison and Travis parted, and Madison and the kids are starting to worry—especially since they watched their neighbor get attacked by a walker. Despite the hours Travis has been away from his family, despite the next-door-walker, and despite the fact that Alicia’s boyfriend is at his house actively becoming a walker, Madison still refuses to let Alicia know what’s going on. Instead, Madison tries to distract her kids with Monopoly (a game known around my home as “The Friendship Ender”).

There were several unbelievable moments in this episode, but this was one probably the dumbest. I had a real hard time believing that Madison—a woman who had just witnessed a couple of actual zombies, a woman who is now scared to death that she’s lost her husband, a woman who is trying to help her son successfully detox in the midst of the literal apocalypse—would be up for playing a jolly game of Monopoly. ..

Read the entire thing at The Mary Sue, and let me know your thoughts about the episode and the show in general in the comments! 

The Mary Sue Post: Fear the Walking Dead Episode II Recap

So my recapping at The Mary Sue is in full swing. While I’m stoked to be back at TMS, I have to say that my reaction to AMC’s new zombie show, Fear the Walking Dead is…not as thrilled. I mean, this week’s episode was better, no doubt, but still, after watching the second episode of the show, I’m just not as excited about the show as I hope I’d be. The show’s not bad, but it also isn’t great. I rate it as One Sammy Shrug.

sam shrug

Still, the show has zombies in it and is a brainchild of Robert Kirkman. That alone is gonna make this one really hard for me to quit. There is so much potential here, and I feel like they’re so close to making the show truly awesome. So for better or for worse, I’m hopelessly devoted to Fear the Walking Dead. 

hopelessly devoted

So wait with me, friends, for that shiny moment that FTWD finally lives up to the amazing standards set by TWD–whether it really comes or not. Until that moment, join me over at The Mary Sue to talk about what went down on the second episode of Fear the Walking Dead.

Fear the Walking Dead is off and running. If you aren’t caught up on the show, read on at your own risk—spoilers ahead!

Last week’s episode kicked off AMC’s newest zombie drama with a bit of a rocky start. The show was filled with tons of kinetic zombie energy, but none of it ever actually bubbled to the surface. We started and ended the show with some dramatic zombie action, but the rest of it was a lot of family drama. There’s nothing wrong with a show all about family drama, but we need to see some undead action here! I was really hopeful that the second episode of the show would kick things up a notch, and we’d see that same Kirkman magic that we’ve all come to love from The Walking Dead.

And … it sort of happened.

After last week’s episode where Maddie, Travis, and Nick witnessed and interacted with their first walker (second walker for Nick, of course), they were understandably shaken. They respond by rushing home to move the family out to the desert to “ride out” whatever the hell is happening in L.A…

Read the rest of my recap over at The Mary Sue, and let me know what you thought of Fear the Walking Dead so far in the comments! 

The Mary Sue Post: Fear the Walking Dead Pilot Review

Well, it’s a new season of walkers, so I’m back at it at The Mary Sue, recapping! While we still have to wait until October 11 to catch up with Rick and the gang at Alexandria, we got our first introduction to our new group of survivors–or whatever we’re calling them–last night in Fear the Walking Dead‘s pilot episode.

I’ll be honest, I was kinda underwhelmed, but I do see a boatload of potential simmering just under the surface. I’m hoping they kick up the walker action in the coming episodes, and play with humanity’s evolution when society begins to break down–those tough moral dilemmas TWD has forced us to ponder that make the Walking Dead franchise more than just a zombie show.

Here’s an excerpt from my spoiler-filled review:

FTWD

We finally got our first look into the world of AMC’s hotly anticipated spin-off of The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead. A spin-off of such a successful, unique television show is a daring adventure, and the expectations from the TWD fandom was HUGE. So did the show actually live up to expectations? Do we have another classic in the walker-run universe of Robert Kirkman?
Well, maybe.

Before we jump in, read ahead at your own risk if you haven’t watched the pilot of Fear the Walking Dead yet. There WILL be spoilers ahead!

The big difference between The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead is that while we were immediately thrust into the walker-run world in Walking Dead, and the show went from 0-100 straight out the gate, Fear the Walking Dead is a much slower burn. In FTWD, we’re teetering right on the precipice of the zombie outbreak—which means that the storyline is very … normal.

In the pilot, we meet Maddie and her family—a perfect daughter, addict son, Maddie’s loving and supportive partner. The meat of the episode is dealing with her son, Nick’s, severe heroin addiction. Nick sees a walker in the first three minutes of the episode, but isn’t sure if he actually saw a girl chowing down on the insides of another human, or if the drugs he took were laced with something funny…

Head over to The Mary Sue to read the whole recap, and let me know what you thought about Fear the Walking Dead in the comments!