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Fear The Walking Dead “Monster” Talkback

by on 04/17/2016
 

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Oh no, look what happened to the Careometer! Our device to measure the effectiveness of the characters on this show is measuring lower than ever, because we forgot all about them as people we were more invested in (like Daryl and Glenn) appeared over the winter. AMC tried to keep FTWD in our memories with the Zombies on a Plane shorts, but those contained all-new characters. Madison and her brood are going to have to work from the ground up again! Wait, isn’t Squanchy a character from Rick & Morty? It’s just been too long to get anything right. Let’s see if the meter improves over the course of this episode.

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It was daylight during the first season finale. As we pick up the story, it’s a few hours later and the zombie hordes have reached the shore. Everything’s on fire and everyone is rushing to get off, dodging the undead left and right. I get that we needed to open with something exciting, but given the time difference, shouldn’t they have had the foresight to escape the beach way before it got this bad? Apparently, they didn’t do that.

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In the previous episode Strand said he was leading the group to someone named Abigail who could lead them to safety. As revealed in the final shot, he was actually talking about his private yacht, but the chick does what he claimed and then some. Abigail has it all: spacious decks, rooms for everyone, freeze-dried edibles and an engine with a zippy top speed. As inanimate objects with female names go, though, she’s no Lucille.

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They’re only on Abigail for a few short minutes (in running time) when they’re confronted with their first moral dilemma: a small boat full of survivors is in the near distance, waving frantically at the yacht. Abigail doesn’t have room to bunk all these people, but should they try anyway? A solid majority of the family thinks so, but Strand does not, and on this ship his word is law. Madison isn’t happy. Travis is like, “well, come on, I see his point.”

This shot appeared in the promos a lot….remember when everyone thought these were going to be pirates?

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Alicia is given a CB radio and told to scan it for signs of danger. There’s not much else for a teenager to do at the moment, so the CB winds up taking all of her time. Eventually, she finds a channel broadcasting a Bowie song (sniff) and a voice that sounds as young as hers, calling out for help. Alicia wrestles with this for a few scenes. Should she? Should she? Too late, she did.

The man’s name is Jack. He’s currently hiding inside a boat with two other survivors: his brother and his brother’s wife. He says they’re fine for the time being, but their ship’s hull has been breached and they need a new one. As their conversation winds on and Alicia gives away way too much personal information, she asks Jack if he’s lost anyone like she has.

“Oh, aside from these two, everyone’s gone, taken….I even saw it happen to my girlfriend.”
Alicia’s expression remains stoic, but you can hear the “KER-BOINGGGGG” going off in her mind. Her inner MU-TH-UR takes over with one singular objective. Retrieve Young Male Species! All Other Orders Rescinded! Crew Expendable!

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Nobody is worse off at the moment than Chris, who spends most of the first day staring at the corpse of his dead mother. He could have used a radio, but Alicia wouldn’t share.

Was anybody expecting Liza to start groaning and moving here? Chris would have been elated and rushed to embrace his mom, who would have gone “RAAARGH” and tried to bite him. It didn’t happen. Then I remembered Liza had been shot in the head, which is the only way to kill a body for good in the Walkingverse. That was lucky. By the time of the original series, the zombie virus is in everyone and will make them rise after they die, no matter if they’re bitten or not. Is that the case here, when it’s earlier? They still haven’t run across a situation that’ll prove it one way or another.

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Madison already didn’t feel charmed by Strand, and that incident with the boat didn’t help. She’s deeply suspicious of his motives, and he gives her plenty to be paranoid about. He’s driving them to San Diego, but only he has any idea WHY — and he won’t share answers with Madison. When she approaches him, she thinks she heard him talking to someone on the deck, even though he’s alone. Radio communication? Nah, Strand insists, he just likes talking to ghosts. This is seriously the answer he gives. It doesn’t work for her.

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Back on the poop deck, the family gathers to hold a funeral for Liza. Travis offers a short eulogy. Chris approaches the body and….bitterly dumps it over the side, then leaves. When Travis comes after to demand to know what’s up with him, Chris responds by punching him in the face. The best part about this is that Madison comes to comfort Chris a couple minutes later and says, I kid you not, “I remember when I punched MY father.” She delivers the line casually.

Is it really surprising? We’re talking about THIS Madison:

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Punching family members is simply what she DOES. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Madison gotta punch.

Later on, when everyone’s eating fresh eel, Chris doesn’t come to the table. And then when everybody hears a “SPLASH,” they fear the worst. Crazy Nick rushes out after Chris to rescue him, and dives into the sea himself — but it turns out Chris is now feeling fine. He just needed the swim to clear his head! Good thing it’s all over…..wait, who is that?

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Only Crazy Nick would see a motionless body floating atop the ocean and swim right up to it. It is, of course, a zombie. Remember when the showrunner promised us zombies couldn’t swim? It was a half-truth — they can float and don’t need to. Why do we always listen to these people?

To make matters worse, Abigail’s radar detects an approaching watercraft. And it can’t be the boat Strand just found, which is running over with Floaters (I guess that’s the term since they don’t walk) because SOMEONE SHOT IT FULL OF HOLES. Was it this “Jack” character? Did Alicia just doom them all with her horny?

TO BE CONTINUED…..

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