Fear the Walking Dead: Monster

"I filled my mercy quota."

The title of this episode is probably supposed to make us wonder: who is the monster?

No, it's probably not the walkers floating around in the water, waiting to bite people like unsleek and particularly gruesome sharks. It's probably not the pirates that are about to swarm over the Abigail. And it's probably too easy to assign "monster" as a descriptor to the very interesting Victor Strand, who refused to risk his yacht and his life to rescue a bunch of strangers. Maybe "monster" describes everybody in the apocalypse, including the Manawas, Clarks and Salazars. After all, when Strand put his foot down and said, "It's my goddamn boat," nobody fought him too terribly hard. Did they?

Why has Strand taken in seven strangers? He doesn't trust them; he refuses to sleep, refuses to allow anyone else at the yacht's controls. It's a question I'd like to have answered soon, because Strand feels like a person who relies only on himself. It doesn't make sense.

Chris is certainly behaving like a monster. Yes, he just lost his mother, I get it, but he risked the lives of Travis and Madison because he wouldn't leave Liza's body behind on the beach. During the little memorial, he showed great disrespect by abruptly dumping her body in the ocean. He actually hit Travis in the face while whining again about Travis daring to care about Madison and her family. Then he made everyone go after him by jumping in the water as if he were committing suicide, except he wasn't. Personally, and apologies to young actor Lorenzo James Henrie who is probably a very nice young man, I find Chris so freaking annoying that I was actually hoping he'd get bitten.

Although I like Alicia a lot more than Chris, I found her actions with the radio frustrating as well. While she gets credit for caring about others, you don't tell a perfect stranger that you're on a well-stocked yacht, Alicia! What's the matter with you? Alicia has probably been the slowest to adjust to the apocalypse, and I hope she gets on board soon. Pun intended.

Except for the fact that he still won't brush his hair, Nick was actually endearing. He was nice to Ofelia, advising her on how to apply a bandage with less pain and with the accompaniment of vodka. He jumped in the water after Chris without hesitation. He's also smart enough to question Strand's motives, and he rejected Strand's attempt at familiarity (calling him Nicholas, like his father did). I'm not quite sure why he felt compelled to check out the other yacht. I kept thinking he was going to get bitten for his trouble.

Not much about the Salazars this week. Daniel was being practical, fishing for particularly ugly eels to eat and mopping up the blood on the deck. Ofelia was quiet and upset because like Chris, she just lost her mother. Unlike Chris, she didn't seem to feel the need to act out and make a big hairy thing of herself. (Okay, plus Ofelia just found out her father isn't who she thought he was. Plus she got shot.)

Seeing Los Angeles firebombed from off shore ("Cobalt") was a shocker. Life on the yacht often seemed cold and dangerous, as if they could be swept off into the ocean at any moment, and the meal with the eel felt a bit like the Last Supper. How long will they last on the yacht? Is life on a boat during the apocalypse interesting enough to hold a Walking Dead audience?

From what I've read, Walking Dead fans are not responding to this series as the producers had hoped. Is it not different enough from the parent series? Or possibly is it too different? The actors are all good, but I'm not as invested in these characters. I do like Nick and Alicia, and Daniel Salazar is sort of fascinating, but I've recently realized that Travis is doing nothing for me. And he's the male lead.

Bits:

-- The David Bowie song that the radio guy played for Alicia is called "Five Years." It's the first track of my absolute favorite album of all time, Ziggy Stardust, and of course, it's about the end of the world. I wonder if Bowie was still alive when this was filmed?

-- Interesting that they brought Elizabeth Rodriguez back just to play Liza's body.

-- Daniel called Strand "Ahab." Huh.

-- Abigail the yacht is amazing. I want Abigail for my very own, and not just during the zombie apocalypse. How many bedrooms does it have?

-- Will they go to Hawaii? I somehow doubt it will be walker-free.

-- Madison hit her father when she was thirteen, and it didn't end well. It would be interesting to get more backstory about these characters.

-- Things I could have done without: walker face in the speedboat propeller.

-- Let me say it again. Nick, please brush your hair, dude.

-- I'm not going to add Talking Dead notes to my Fear reviews. Well, unless something really interesting comes up.

-- Daniel: "If this is the end of the world, it's already over."

A good start to the season? Two out of four unappetizing eels,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

Maybe I'm wrong about fans not responding to this spinoff. Fear the Walking Dead is barely out of the gate and it just got a third season.

http://tvline.com/2016/04/15/fear-the-walking-dead-renewed-season-3-at-amc/