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TV Recap: Fear the Walking Dead – Island Hopping Horror

TV Recap: Fear the Walking Dead – Island Hopping Horror

Ratings for the Season 2 premiere of Fear the Walking Dead came out recently, and the show brought in 6.1 million viewers last week, down from a high of 10 million viewers from the Season 1 premiere, and even a bit below the Season 1 finale ratings numbers of 6.3 or so.

Never the less, AMC announced today that it will be renewing the zombie survival drama (and spinoff of mega-hit of The Walking Dead), for a 16 episode 3rd season. There seems to be little surprise in this announcement as AMC very much wants to run fresh zombie content to rabid fans year round (don’t forget Talking Dead runs a new episode after every “Dead” episode AMC offers too).

This fanfare brings us to tonights “We All Fall Down” (Season 2, Episode 2), an episode where we find our castaway survivors checking out the sights at a local lighthouse and nature preserve off the Los Angeles coast. This relatively quiet break from all the beach burning and water terror of the last few episodes is good for some character development, but seems to come back to the circular drama of every recent episode of The Walking Dead: When will it all fall apart, who causes it to, and who feels guilty afterwards, repeat.

“We All Fall Down” shows us how hardened some of the boat group has become with Chris enjoying putting down walkers at the lighthouse fence line, while Daniel finds an sub-machine gun hidden on the Abigail. Travis and Madison keep the debate going about who to help, where to go, and what to be as it all falls apart around them.

The issue with all of this is we, as viewers of AMC’s other zombie drama, know that no place but with high walls and plenty of armed people is even a little safe against the dead or other violent survivors. Contrast this with how our very capable and equipped lighthouse family is depicted as “giving up” and “not fighting”, when all we do is see them kill walkers and fix important fences. It’s interesting to see our blended family of survivors realize what is at stake as slowly react to the world going to hell over the course of a series, but we have seen this take place already (on land) with Rick and company for 6 seasons, and we know what can (and probably will) happen.

Some of the characters and their plights on Fear are interesting, (Nick’s burgeoning darkness, Chris’s helpful and destructive behavior constantly fighting it out ), but how much impact can a repeat into the descent of zombie madness really produce a second time around?

Chris had to bear the guilt this week, as his search for pills lead our lighthouse family to go Jonestown, and force our survivors to flee on the Abigail towards Mexico, while avoiding other boat survivors with some very heavy firepower.

Fear the Walking Dead had some slower, nice philosophical moments this week, with the show considering weighty issues like tying a family to a certain piece of land, and what protecting family really means. Despite that, it all comes down to our main characters Travis and Madison, people still trying to follow a nebulous code of “helping people” as a way to retain their humanity. The show is trying to connect us to them, but we all know where that humanity goes when things get crazy in this universe. Grade: B-

Next week we will see if what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico, and we will pick up a new cast member, the first ever to survive a Walking Dead web series.

Photo courtesy of AMC

About Bradford D Harrison

Bradford D Harrison is the co-publisher, managing editor, and webmaster at Playmaker Magazine. He covers the Houston Texans and Dallas Mavericks, as well music and film festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. He currently lives in Houston.