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Fear the Walking Dead: We Might Actually Need To Fear For It

Sunday, August 30, 2015 Mykah Williams

If you are an avid Zombie-head like myself, there’s a 99.9% you already did, or at least made plans to watch the new AMC Series, “Fear TheWalking Dead”, warning there will be many spoiler ahead. For those of you that don’t know, “Fear The Walking Dead” is both a spin off and prequel to one of television’s most popular sci-fi series’s, “The Walking Dead” which follows a pack of misfit survivors as they try to survive and make a life in a newly zombie-fied world.“Fear the Walking Dead”, plans to educate fans of “The Walking Dead” on the big question we all have while watching the original series, how did the outbreak start, and how did we essentially “lose” the war against the probable virus?


The pilot episode began in an eerily similar way to the “Walking Dead” pilot episode, the audience is welcomed into the show by a young man waking up alone in what appears to be a considerably hostile situation. Soon though, our central character Nick (Frank Dillane) learns that he is definitely not alone as he is greeted by his once friend nibbling on the mutilated face of another.

As Nick runs through the streets of a modern-day Los Angeles it becomes clear that the country has yet to be over run as people walk casually down the city sidewalks and drive their luxury vehicles on the right side of the road in a rather non-chaotic fashion (Not very Glenn from TWD, am I right?)
With our lead Nick in the hospital we are introduced to his, of course, dysfunctional family, his mother a seemingly level-headed high school counselor (Kim Dickens, Gone Girl), his stepfather Travis (Cliff Curtis), his sister Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey).

Image Courtesy of www.ew.com 


Brother and sister are tapped to be total opposites in terms of life success, Nick a drop out and drug addict, and Alicia a prospective student Berkeley University. Still though the two appear close and it looks as though quite a bit of attention will be given to their complicated relationship. The two discuss what Nick believe he saw when he awakened from his drugged stupor, Alicia has no faith in her brothers story. Zombies? No way. Alicia carries the same naïve attitude as her mother.

It appears that Madison (Nick and Alicia’s mother) may begin to question herself though. She is shown the video of a horrific car accident that Travis and she had passed the previous night while searching the city for a paranoid Nick. Nick, in a just too perfect turn of events, was able to escape the hospital. He then sets out on a mission to meet up with his friend and drug dealer Cal to inquire about the drugs he was given, even Nick himself wants to believe what he saw was an apparition.
Noticing Nick is still in withdrawal, Cal decides to take Nick to a secluded location where it seems as though he might give Nick more of the drug in question. 

But for a reason largely unknown to the audience, Cal opens the door for Nick with a gun badly hidden behind his back. Nick notices the gun and fearing for his safety tackles Cal.  In a quick turn of events, Nick manages to accidently shoot Cal with his own gun and watches as his friend takes his last breaths, unable to believe what he has done. The show moves in a much faster time frame than “The Walking Dead”, especially in moments like this. It didn’t quite leave the same effect dramatic effect as it could’ve if our fallen character had been given more depth. Completely distraught, Nick brings Madison and Travis to the scene of the crime only to discover that Cal’s body has gone missing.

This is where previous knowledge of “The Walking Dead” will come in handy for the viewer.

Madison embraces Nick as he crumbles on the asphalt utterly confused. However, as the three are backing out of the crime scene they notice a swaying figure in the rear view mirror. The figure is Cal, but as we now know, it’s not really him, but his lifeless body taken over by the virus.
Of course, our characters do not have this knowledge and leave the car to investigate the limping figure, barely escaping with their lives. They watch as Cal’s mangled body turns his head to them still awake despite being ran over multiple times in the struggle to escape. Madison then asks the apropo question that ends the episode, “What the hell is going on?” as though she is still in question of what she has witnessed after having a physical struggle with Cal’s zombie body herself.

Courtesy of www.moviepilot.com

“Fear the Walking Dead” appears it will move at a much faster pace than “The Walking Dead” although this could be deemed necessary with the quickly evolving circumstances our characters are finding themselves in.  It may be too soon to tell, but I’m not sure if FTWD will have the same attention shown to character development as TWD. The acting wasn’t on fire either, the relationships came across as the typical forced dysfunctional family dynamic you see in most dramas. 

Over all, the episode leaves the audience with much less feeling than the pilot of “The Walking Dead” did, but I will remain optimistic for the series, perhaps it’s too soon to judge how the series will further progress.

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