Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 1: “Monster”
The Walking Dead spin-off Fear the Walking Dead began its second season with the episode “Monster,” the beginning of a journey through the world of Walkers on water—though the water-logged living dead can’t be called Walkers, so…swimmers, maybe? We don’t know how long our characters will be on Abigail, the yacht captained by the smooth-talking Strand, heading to San Diego for safety—or something else—but we do know that it will at least be for a few episodes. For the first episode of a second season, it was good. Not incredible or mind-blowing like I think a premiere should be, but good.
The episode starts sometime after the death of Liza, ex-wife of Travis and mother to Chris, the characters who’d survived through the finale of the previous season attempting to get to the yacht owned by Strand while what’s left of Los Angeles is being bombed. While Strand and the others wait on the yacht from the first trip to it, Travis and Madison fight off Walkers—which, as a side note, should be walking toward the sight of flames and the sound of explosions, not to three people on the beach—and get Chris and Liza’s body onto the boat with Nick, the drug-addict son of Madison, to get to the yacht. They all make it in time, Los Angles completely blown up behind them. Though it started somewhat confusingly—my bad for not remembering that Cobalt, the code for the army to blow up the remaining city, even living civilians to help contain the infection—it was a great beginning of the episode, starting right in the middle of chaos.
While on the yacht, everyone starts to get used to their new surroundings while Strand remains in charge, keeping his stance that he didn’t have to help them and that it’s his boat, refusing to stop and help a small fishing boat too-full of people trying to escape Los Angeles. Travis is dealing with Chris, who blames him for shooting Liza, Madison struggles with Strand being in charge; Ofelia, having been shot and losing her mother in the finale of last season, remains mostly out of sight while her father spends his time fishing; Nick, loyal new friend to Strand, is just going along with everything, comfortable in the apocalyptic world he’d already been in; and Alicia starts talking to another survivor on a different boat via radio, giving details about the yacht and their location without knowing the danger—something I think Alicia would be a little smarter about, to be honest. He tells her that their boat is sinking and that they need help, but Strand doesn’t want to help and is angry that she was talking to another boat, saying how dangerous it is that she could be giving information to them and they could become a target. Later, Alicia tells him that they can’t help, and he says that it doesn’t matter, because he’ll see her soon.
After Chris unceremoniously dumps Liza’s body in the water during her impromptu funeral, he and Travis argue resulting in Chris punching his father in the mouth. After a talk with Madison, Chris goes for a swim, scaring everyone, thinking he fell or jumped off on purpose. Nick joins him and they swim into a Walker, a passenger of a boat half-sunk in the fog. With bullet holes in the side of the boat, Nick retrieves something from the inside, and Strand sees that someone is coming—probably the same people who had shot down the other boat, and quite possibly the people Alicia had been talking to.
Overall, the episode started strong but fizzled out to a so-so end. Though, with a promise of some exciting pirate/thieves/bad people coming to the yacht, the next episode looks good. My only worry is that this show is already starting to go down the path of its sister show: more about the people going mad in this new world, killing and taking without another thought. While I enjoy that for The Walking Dead, this show promised to be a look at the beginning of the end, and while the first season did a great job of that, I think it’s too soon for this kind of thing. We need more time to get to know the characters and work more with the Walkers.
Killer beginning scene
with the blowing up of Los Angeles and the main characters trying to get to the yacht. Starting it off right in the middle of the chaos worked well.
is a great character. He’s smooth-talking and secretive and won’t reveal his true intentions at all. He’s a mystery, which I’m intrigued by, and I want to know more about him. Especially why he wants to go to San Diego so badly without a real explanation.
Too much family drama
can be a bad thing. While I love that this show focuses more on the mixed family with Travis at the center, it’s starting to get annoying. The kids are all old enough to realize that what’s happening isn’t the time to worry about the same family drama that they used to have—I’m looking at you, Chris. To be fair, your mom just died and your dad killed her. But he was just acting like such a teenager—he angrily dumped his mom’s body in the ocean in front of everyone without a word, then punched his dad—that I couldn’t handle it.
Alicia is smart enough to know
not to give details to another boat. It’s noted in the first episode that she’s smart, and of course she’s still a teenager, but I don’t buy that Alicia didn’t think of this while saying it aloud. I wish they would have had her notice that she was giving these details away and stopped herself, even though it was too late.
The middle of the episode
sort of fizzled to nothing. The beginning was great, the end was okay, but the middle just felt like nothing happened at all. Hoping that with the next episode, it starts to pick up the pace a little.