Bearing little resemblance so far to the original series – AMC’s The Walking Dead – except for the un-dead people walking around that can’t be stopped until their brain is destroyed, the 7 episodes of Fear the Walking Dead that comprised the first half of season 2 on AMC have concluded. The last 8 episodes will continue in early July.
FTWD is pulling in solid viewing numbers in spite of it being new, a prequel to a very popular show and cast, and airing on the same night (Sunday) as the HBO blockbuster Game of Thrones. Since Game of Thrones is being simulcast crossing various time zones, it is possible, like this author does, to record one program and view the other live, or record both. Gone are the days that one must pick one and only one program to watch.
If you haven’t remembered, this action of Fear the Walking Dead is happening on the west coast of the United States at an earlier time than when viewers saw Rick Grimes, sheriff, wake up from a coma in the hospital in Georgia and discover a world gone mad. Fear the Walking Dead (FTWD) is showing the madness of an earlier time period of the apocalypse.
This is right in line with the first year of The Walking Dead! However, we viewers were in the dark then, not knowing what to expect; one would think with the reputation of Rick Grimes and Company and the fan base already established that FTWD could have done better. Perhaps, in my opinion, the subject matter is a little deeper, a little more complex and a whole lot harder to interpret than TWD and that may explain it.
The addition of AMC’s Flight of 462 running mini-episodes during commercials last season, with yet another aspect of the apocalypse concerning people on a flight from Chicago to LA to contend with, it may have been a little over-kill. The hint that one survivor of flight 462 would appear on the second season of Fear the Walking Dead kept us interested. And thank goodness for The Talking Dead show afterward; it is like doing homework and one must rely on cliff notes to understand what went on in a classroom.
The tie-in with Flight 462 came in the third episode of FTWD season two.
The main characters of Fear the Walking Dead are among three families plus an interesting stranger: Madison, Alicia and Nick Clark, Travis and Chris Manawa, Daniel and Ofelia Salazar and Victor Strand. It has yet to be established who is the “Rick Grimes” or “leader” of FTWD.
Already in season one, we lost both Ofelia’s and Chris’ mothers due to bites by “the inflicted”. Travis did a mercy killing of his ex-wife, a nurse, who coincidentally did the deed for Griselda Salazar in a hospital during the initial escaping episode. One mom was buried at sea and the other was left behind, which played an interesting role in the latest mid-season debut this week. As FTWD s02e07 ended, only 4 of the 8 main characters are truly safe and alive: Strand driving a get-away truck with Madison, Ofelia and Alicia. Nick, Chris, and Daniel have all snapped mentally in one way or another and Travis has chosen to stay behind for his son’s sake.
Season 2 Summarized
FTWD took to the sea early on; after the initial military involvement, the confusion as to what was happening in the world and the introduction of the main characters and how their lives crossed, a stranger named Victor Strand who Madison’s son Nick met in an impound provided the means. The luxury yacht, the Abigail, has been the main refuge for the fleeing families with lots of intrigue along the way as they headed south toward Mexico along the Baja Peninsula.
Strand was adamant about letting no others aboard and into their closed group; but Alicia and Madison had a more open-armed approach which led to deaths, refusals to board and even cutting the ties that bind as it applied to a dingy tied to the yacht carrying flight 462 survivor Alex and a badly burned boy. Strand actually cut the rope and set them adrift.
The boy died, but Alex was seen again with another group who tried to take over the Abigail and kidnapped Travis and Alicia. To make some very long episodes shorter, Nick has learned how to camouflage himself as an inflicted zombie in order to move around, Alicia has learned to be tougher and Chris has turned his hatred of his father’s mercy killing of his mother into a lethal force of his own.
They escaped by killing the group with bad intentions, including Luiz, the son of a new character who came into FTWD season 2 with huge impact: Celia. Mother of both Luiz and Thomas Abigail (yes! The owner of the yacht), the latter who is the dying lover of Victor Strand, she is the owner of a haven (farm) in Mexico where the group has spent the last 3 episodes until all hell broke loose.
Fear the Walking Dead has evolved into more madness than just inflicted zombies walking around eating people. At least 5 other characters are now showing insanity in varying aspects. Celia, like Herschel in TWD season 1, is keeping dead relatives in a holding place instead of brain-killing them. It is hard to imagine what it would really feel like to see loved ones turned like that, so it seems that is a normal reaction to a very abnormal sickness.
Besides keeping the zombies in the basement, Celia has delusions and different ideas about the spiritual souls of humans. Perhaps the Latin American culture and beliefs surrounding their holiday Day of the Dead come into play here. Another interesting note is that of all the strangers who have just come to her farm, she is most in alignment with Nick, who spent his whole young life so far as a drug-addicted junkie and in his own apocalyptic world. It has been noted that he is surviving better than most since he has lived like a zombie in the past.
Events of the past 3 episodes have shown Celia accepting Strand has her son’s lover and who agrees to end his life with him (and probably end up in her basement) but betrays her. He mercy-kills Thomas much to her ire and wrath and is banned from the compound. Before he can leave, however, other members of their party are dealing with their own devils.
Daniel Salazar is hearing voices and seeing visions of his dead wife Griselda, who blames him for leaving her behind, Chris is totally wigging out and trying to run away from his father Travis, who has made a choice to follow him rather than stay with Madison, and Nick is totally immersed in walking among the zombies as one of them covered in blood and gore.
Daniel manged to kill his visions and all the people in the basement by burning up the entire main home on the farm, and Madison had killed Celia by locking her into her horde of zombie relatives before the fire. As the mid-season finale of FTWD season 2 ends, Strand, Madison, Ofelia and Alicia are leaving the others behind. It is not known yet whether Daniel survived the fire, but Nick, Travis and Chris were elsewhere.