Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 9: “Los Muertos”

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 9: “Los Muertos”
Grade: A

The ninth episode of season two of Fear the Walking Dead, “Los Muertos,” follows Nick navigating his way around the colony that Luciana has brought him to, helping where he can and understanding the intense faith they have, leading to sacrificing ill and infected people to “the wall,” using the entrapped living dead as guards. Luciana takes Nick to the grocery store for supplies and food, trading drugs to a gang who control the store for the goods inside. Nick attempts to steal a packaged sweet cake for a little girl whose father was sacrificed, but is caught and nearly gets his hand chopped off before he and Luciana negotiate, telling them that if they want the drugs (for the leader’s sister) they will let him go and they will get another cart full of water. Luciana is angered by Nick’s recklessness, possibly starting something with the gang. The faith-driven leader of the colony, Alejandro, preaches that the living are chosen ones by God—and his bitten shoulder is proof of it, as he has never turned.

Meanwhile, Madison, Strand, Alicia, and Ofelia end their search for Nick and head back to the yacht, the Abigail, only to find that it’s been stolen. They find a hotel seemingly free of Walkers to look for supplies. While Ofelia and Alicia search the upstairs rooms, Strand and Madison get drunk at the bar. Ofelia disappears after they find a zombie in the shower of a room, the man having hanged himself, worrying Alicia—for Ofelia’s been through a lot and spoke about being tired, about not wanting to survive anymore. But before Alicia can find her, a horde of Walkers are attracted to Strand’s piano playing and Madison throwing glasses at a wall. They surround them in the bar while Alicia is trapped on an upper floor, Walkers having filled the stairwell.

As much as I enjoyed the previous episode, this episode was a much better opening for the second half of the season. Nick’s story last week worked well, but that slow of a pace didn’t quite work enough for me to get excited again for the season—however, “Los Muertos” did. What really worked with this episode was the separating of stories, allowing the characters to interact with different people (like Nick in the colony) and expand on the world a little, instead of keeping the same family/main characters together going through a lot of family drama. This will also give the characters room to grow and evolve in this new world, away from their families—I see this happening most with Alicia immediately. It’s a good thing they all split up, because “Los Muertos” worked perfectly. Now, it’ll be exciting to see how Travis and Chris’s story works with this new dynamic in the next episode.


HIGHLIGHTS

Separate storylines
is working exactly as I’d hoped. The main characters, especially Madison and Travis’s family, were all too close. There was too much family drama. Keeping them apart, having them all on their own journeys, is exactly what the show needed to make it from “pretty good” to “great.”

Alicia
has been my favorite character since the start. And she’s been proving herself more and more bad ass as time goes on. She knows what’s up. She has the mentality to survive. Her relationship with Madison is going to be tested this season, now the only family they have left, and that’s going to be an interesting dynamic going forward.

Apocalyptic grocery store
was probably the best thing ever. The concept of a drug gang being in charge of goods, the idea of how silly it is to “go shopping” with a cart during the apocalypse—the realness of all of that being what would happen in an post-infection world. That is exactly what I think would happen if the world were to end like that—some big gang or group isn’t going to be afraid to take over the food and supplies, flipping it into a business to get what they want and need.

LOWLIGHTS

Strand and Madison
in the bar getting drunk was great. Everything about it worked for getting Madison to open up, to reveal some of her history, for them to become closer. And I realize that they were drunk, so their thinking wasn’t entirely all there, but if Madison called to Strand “Are you crazy?” for ringing the bell at the front desk of the hotel, drunk or not, she’d be worried about the glasses breaking and piano playing. It’s obviously loud. They didn’t just forget there’s a zombie apocalypse happening around them and that noise brings Walkers.

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