Fear the Walking Dead: Good Out Here

"Being out here makes me feel more trapped than being in there. Like who I'll be is just closing in on me. Just suffocating me."

I can honestly say I didn't see that coming.

It would be an understatement to say that Nick Clark is an important part of Fear the Walking Dead. The image of him painted with zombie blood, making him look halfway between dead and alive, has become an iconic piece of marketing for the show. The entire series began with Nick as he awoke into a terrifying new world. Since then, we've followed him on a sometimes frustrating but often fascinating journey of change. He struggled, he matured, and in a world where people turn into monsters, Nick Clark became his best self: a compassionate yet capable young man.

That said, Nick did not die a hero's death. He succumbed to some of his worst instincts just moments prior, and he must've felt a deep sense of betrayal that little Charlie was the one to shoot him. Yet I very much doubt Nick blamed her. Nick hadn't completely lost hope, either. He was certainly interested by Morgan's Eastman-influenced philosophy, and it seemed like Nick was about to find a worthy mentor after a string of disappointments like crazy Celia and monstrous Jeremiah Otto. Nick and Morgan were great together even as they frustrated one another. I think both of them recognized a little of themselves in the other, and it kept them drawn together. It feels like wasted potential to lose Nick at the outset of a potentially brilliant new character dynamic, but I believe the show did right by him under the circumstances. Frank Dillane wanted out to pursue other career opportunities, and the writers did their best to accomodate him. In his final moments, Nick remembered what it was like to lie among the bluebonnets and feel at peace. It was a pretty beautiful send-off.


Of course, if it turns out that Madison is dead, I may be less forgiving. The Clarks have endured enough tragedy, and I don't want Alicia to be the only one left. Our group is motivated by vengeance and grief, and what else could have prompted that besides Madison's death? Add to that her conspicuous absence in the present day scenes, and it doesn't look good. I'm just hoping that the Vultures have her locked up somewhere; I'm thirsting for a Kim Dickens-Garret Dillahunt reunion. We got a reunion with Dayton Callie last season, maybe next season we can have Robin Weigert?

Okay, let's talk about Althea, because she might be my favorite character now? I loved her from the off, but I fell in love with her here. She's appointed herself as a walking time capsule of humanity, collecting people's stories without judgment and treating those stories with utter reverence. She's smart, tough, sharp-tongued and those little blades she keeps whipping out are cool as hell. When she couldn't talk our group into letting her go, she just started droppin' fools left and right, which was a joy to see. Maggie Grace is downright unrecognisable from Shannon Rutherford, and not just because of her short dark cut. She carries herself in a different way, and there's something both benevolent and sly in that semi-permanent smile of hers. She's also bonded with John, who values people so much that he's willing to abandon an extremely valuable van to aid some violent strangers. I hope he doesn't turn out to be a maniac. He's too endearing and finding Garret Dillahunt in a role as a good guy is like finding a Tasmanian tiger made of gold.


The Vultures continue to leave me cold, what with their silly style of dress and the fact that they don't seem to be doing anything. I'm not sure why Madison and the others were tolerating them, seeing as they're basically thieves and squatters. The name is seeming a lot more apt, though. They're just waiting, picking the bones and being a bit of a nuisance. If they're violent, why haven't they done anything yet? If they're not, why not make a trade with Madison? It's strange and I'm not sure I'm going to like the answer.

Bits & Bobs

- Seriously, I want that Dickens-Dillahunt reunion.

- I have a theory about Naomi. Since she's missing in the present day, I think she's a plant like Charlie. By exposing Charlie as the plant, nobody thinks to worry about the skittish yet grateful newcomer.

- Ennis and Mel are (were) brothers. If my Naomi theory is true, maybe she's their mum.

- Yeah, those sepia tones are here to stay.

- Lennie James and Maggie Grace were stand-outs this episode, but the trophy has to go to Frank Dillane for being so damn exceptional throughout his run on this show; I'm not sure Nick would have worked as well as he did if he'd been played by a lesser actor. Brilliant work, and he'll be sorely missed.

Quotes

Althea: You know how many times I've been zip-tied?
Marry me.

Victor: The start of a negotiation often requires an act of faith.
As much as I like the new, loyal Victor, it's still nice to be reminded of how silver-tongued he can be. It's kind of fun that Maggie Grace is dealing with a charming con man yet again.

Morgan: So to answer your question, it was my wife, my son, and my friends. That's who I lost before I lost myself. I know where you are, Nick. 'Cause I was there. I didn't know how to make it stop. I didn't know if I wanted it to stop. I just didn't think I could ever find my way out. Then I met someone. Man didn't have to help me, but he did. He, he gave me something, Nick. He told me he showed me that all life is precious. And that helped. It-- it still does.

Three out of four peace books.

3 comments:

Patryk said...

For me that was even more suprising then Travis in the previous season. But I assume that Nick will still be here at least until the midseason finale in flashbacks.

But if they kill(killed? Time travel tense issues yet again :D) Madison It will mean that Morgan is taking the show over wholesale and the entire old cast needs to die. I hope that won't be the vase.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, this one was a shocker. I was going, oh my god, is he *dying*? He can't be dying! I am having a hard time imagining this series without Nick Clark. Although Frank Dillane deciding to leave does make Lennie James moving over a lot more sense.

Like you, Jonny, I am not happy about the possibility that we've lost Madison, too. Her obvious absence from the present-day storyline and the desperate circumstances of the remaining original cast members strongly suggests that she's gone, though. As does adding not three, but four well-known actors to the cast.

I have to mention that they certainly gave Frank Dillane a lovely final swan song, both with the wonderful laugh out loud fight scene with Morgan at the beginning, and the bluebonnets at the end. Did you all notice the bluebonnets in the opening credits, too? I'm pretty sure they weren't there before.

Anonymous said...

If you want a good guy Garret Dillahunt fix, you should check out Raising Hope.