Tobias, the pimply fount of all apocalyptic wisdom, told Maddie, "When civilization ends, it ends fast." He wasn't kidding. Suddenly, walkers are freaking everywhere. And these are fast, strong, fresh ass walkers that look a lot like people, only maybe a little funny around the eyes. And then they bite you.
One of the reasons I thought FtWD might be a good spinoff is the setting. Unless you've lived in Los Angeles, it's hard to convey how huge, overpopulated and compressed it is, and how hopelessly gridlocked the traffic can be. So far, so good. Or more accurately, bad. I got claustrophobic just watching the episode.
What I didn't understand was why Maddie didn't tell Alicia what was going on. Yes, it's hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes, but Alicia nearly ran out of the house to go nurse her soon-to-be-a-walker boyfriend with his 103 temperature. Did Nick fake that seizure to keep her in the house? If he had the presence of mind to do that while writhing in pain from withdrawal, good on him. (Some nice obvious symbolism: Los Angeles itself is in withdrawal, too.)
I was glad that they brought the clever Tobias back, and glad again that Maddie saved him from getting eaten by the principal. (There was a little flash in the pilot episode that Artie was going to turn, and voila.) I also liked that Maddie went right for the drugs in the lock-up. No hangups about law and order. She's already internalized that the rules have changed.
One thing about this show that's really bothering me, though, is that we the audience know what's going on and the characters don't. You want to yell at them to stop and take all that food from the cafeteria, to lay in a huge supply of water, to find someplace up high and board it up, and do it now while the walkers are busy eating Mrs. Cruz next door. Instead, Travis and his ex-wife and son are stuck in a barber shop with Ruben Blades and his family while the rioting rages on outside, and Maddie is refusing to listen to Travis when she should be putting her son and daughter in the car and taking off for the desert. The thing is, if Maddie leaves town without Travis and the power grid goes down permanently, they'll never see each other again. But at least they'd be out of L.A.
(Then again, gridlock. Maybe it's too late to get out of town already.)
It's interesting that the cops know what's going on. That makes sense, actually. But why isn't anyone telling the people? Maybe the government powers that be know that there is no point, that the disease is spreading too fast to make evacuating Los Angeles worth while. The protest over the cops shooting the homeless guy was most certainly topical; of course, the protesters have no idea that the homeless guy was trying to eat the cops.
-- The episode began with a very symbolic sundown and obvious foreshadowing of an empty high school.
-- The blood stain on the front of the truck looked like a heart. I mean a human heart, not a stylized heart. Travis was smart and washed it off.
-- The bright kid's castle thingy next door looked weird. You're not supposed to have kid's birthday parties when the world is ending.
-- Alicia was so close to Matt. Won't she catch it? How do people catch it? Not everyone is getting bitten. Hey, that's okay. I find the disease logic confusing, anyway.
-- The shot of the kids with masks over their noses and mouths was creepy. Or it would have been if we hadn't seen it a dozen times in the previews.
-- Maddie was washing Artie's blood off her jacket (or was it Calvin's blood off Nick's jacket?) and I was thinking, don't bother, Maddie. Pretty soon you'll be walking around with blood all over you most of the time.
-- It's two weeks until the next episode. Next weekend is a holiday weekend in the United States.
Announcer: "This is a catastrophe of biblical proportions! We are losing the best pocket passer in the league!"
Tobias: "Can I have my knife back?"
Wow, Tobias. There are no other knives in Los Angeles? You have to break into the high school to get yours? Okay, canned food, but still.
Tobias: "Cafeteria food's designed to survive a nuclear strike."
He has a point there.
Like the pilot, I thought this was a good episode. I'm still feeling some distance, though. What did you guys think?
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.
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