Fear the Walking Dead gets started with what could easily be confused as a flashback to a church session, the church choir belting a solemn sounding piece while the room occupies a number of stoic individuals sit and wait for the sermon to get underway. Through the Father’s lesson we learn that is no flashback, but a modern day mass. The undead are affecting everyone and this brief intro reminds us of that. Even though these are the earliest days of the apocalypse, the damage of it all is felt worldwide.
We’re back on the boat, still contemplating a method to get into Baja. Suddenly we see another raft approaching the Abigail, its passengers look as though they may be some form of border control. With everyone hiding beneath the deck Strand speaks with the men – certainly lawmen, as we can now see. Moments later gunfire erupts. Strand’s friend Luis is wounded fatally, but the others, save for a few from the raft, are fine.
Moving ahead and the story takes an interesting turn that a lot of us have been anticipating; everyone is back on solid land. Strand leads the entourage, who just so happen to stumble upon the church and its members we saw opening the episode. At this point they’re all zombies, so of course, our heroes waste little time in dispatching them. Men, women, children – they all die, and it seems as though it’s only affecting Nick in a major way. Just another sliver of celluloid that reminds us of how amazing this kid is.
Nick is a greatly different person than Daryl Dixon is, but they’ve got so many things in common it’s almost absurd. And I for one am thankful for that. Daryl Dixon is the reason I can’t let go of The Walking Dead, and Nick is rapidly becoming the reason I’m still onboard with Fear the Walking Dead. Given the show’s struggles to capture new fans, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Nick may be the one character keeping eyes on Fear the Walking Dead.
It’s all speculation, mind you.
Strand leads the entire group to a relatively lavish casa. It’s massive, and it looks extremely comfortable. But when Strand does make it to the house, only to learn that Thomas is dying. He’s headed for infection fast, and it tugs at Strand’s heart strings. Whether Strand ever truly loved the man or not, his pain at watching his friend quickly deteriorate is evident, and tears are shed.
The others are still working at adjusting to everything. There’s a little friction between Chris and Alicia, but that’s not all that surprising as Chris is about as reliable as a Ford Pinto on three wheels. He also seems to be going mad a faster rate than the others in the group.
Attempting to settle down on land has an interesting effect on everyone. I think the group wants to be optimistic, but they also realize that the days and commands for optimism are in the blood-soaked past, before human beings rose from the dead to stalk the living.
I’ve got to say, after the explosive episode last week, Sicut Cervus is feeling like a very, very tame affair. Scratch that, it’s something of a boring affair. I’m all for getting to know characters, but this particular group has somehow managed to make the process a long, drawn out and uninspiring affair. As Toby Keith would say it, the series needs a little less talk and a lot more action. At this point we’re in danger of catching a catnap while the episode winds down.
As the episode does unwind we’re hit with a sizable dose of tension. Madison goes to Travis and informs the man that his son, Chris (who previously sat idly by while Madison was nearly devoured by a walker), did all he could to threaten Alicia. He’s off upstairs, if you know what I mean, and he may be headed the Shane route, though Travis doesn’t want to hear any such talk. Meanwhile we watch Strand spend his last hours with the dying Thomas before being forced to brain him prior to rising once more, this time pulseless.
Where does this week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead leave us? Wanting a hell of a lot more, that’s where. We see some stimulating imagery throughout the episode, but those sequences are a bit too inconsistent to be impressed. It’s unfortunate to say it, but Fear the Walking Dead once more takes two steps back, effectively wiping away the single step forward made just one week ago. It’s a bit of a bummer.