‘Fear the Walking Dead’ 2×01 Review: Monster

Praise be to AMC for giving us more Fear the Walking Dead.

In Sunday’s premiere, titled “Monster,” we join Madison, Travis, and all our other lovely survivors as they make their escape to Abigail. Now, while I’m glad to have more walkers in my life, I’m not happy with these people. (Yes, I know they’re the newbies.) They’re not ready for the apocalypse. Instead they’re paranoid, blind to the truth that their world has ended, and setting themselves up for failure. On a side note, kudos for giving me the shivers when the words, “forgive us,” were uttered.

Let’s talk about it!

 

This is Strands Boat

I want to start off by saying that I love Strand. He’s me during the apocalypse. Or what I hope I’d be like.

That being said, everyone on the Abigail is under the impression that they have a voice when it comes to decisions on Strands yacht. That they have a say in what happens while sleeping in her rooms, eating in her dining area, and walking her halls. But they don’t. This is Strands home. He gets to make the decision on who they take on and where they go. No one else. Also, it doesn’t matter if they don’t know everything about this man because he gave them an escape from the horror that was LA. He’s earned the right to have his own secrets and motives.

Strand can sense their entitlement. That’s why he hasn’t slept since coming on board. There’s a fear inside that at the first sign of weakness they’ll toss him overboard. These people might even have more secrets than he does. Daniel sure does, with the way he watches Strand with those calculating and calm eyes. (I see you villain!) Madison isn’t far behind. There are things about her that she wouldn’t want anyone to know about, a darkness that lurks near the surface. If these two can keep their secrets, and no one questions them, then Strand can keep his.

Our survivors need Strand more than he needs them. He’s not afraid of death and abandonment like they are. He’s in control and they better get in line before, the only one who knows how to drive the yacht, leaves them on some random shore. If they want to stay, they’ll have to follow the rules. Deal with it.

 

The Truth About Survival

While we’re talking about rules on Abigail, Strand isn’t asking much from them. Just don’t talk to strangers on the radio (looking at you Alicia) and don’t bring people on board (looking at you Madison.) They’re blind to the new world order and Strands not going to let them get him killed.

I understand that ‘Monster’ starts off hours after season one ended, but buck up ladies and gentlemen of the Abigail. The world has kaput. The things that were valued before, coveted, are no more. And the people that are going to survive are the ones who can adapt. Strand can adapt. The others need to follow that example and stop acting like everything’s the same. It’s not. Everything is different now. And it doesn’t matter how much they fight it or try to do the right thing because you’ll get eaten up by this world if you show any weakness.

Suggesting that Strand stop the boat and let those survivors on board the Abigail is weakness. Risks like that put everyone in danger and the yacht at risk. What if one of them has been bitten? Sick? Hell, there might even be someone on that floating barge that would destroy them all for a chance to survive longer than anyone else. It’s time to wake up and not let your emotions cloud your judgement.

It’s the end of the world. If they don’t see the truth of what it takes to live in it, they will die. Except Strand. He knows what’s going down. He’ll outlive them all.

 

To Be Young in the Apocalypse

There’s nothing worse than keeping secrets as a means to protect “fragile” minds. Madison made a great mistake by not telling Alicia the truth. Sheltering her from the pain of the zombie apocalypse has brought a new threat to their doorstep in ‘Monster’. Well, to their deck.

By not telling Alicia she put her daughter to a disadvantage. Everyone around her is leaps ahead in coming to grips with their new lives. Alicia was left alone and ended up listening to that radio as a means of understanding the bigger picture. Reaching out and connecting with the random guy on the radio wasn’t done with malicious intent. Neither did she do it because she was naive.

Alicia was trying to connect with someone, anyone, as a means to process all this. Along the way she made a friend and started to care for what happened to him. And none of this would’ve happened if someone had actually helped her process these new emotions. She’s young and needs guidance. Instead of being suspicious of Strand and arguing about bringing strangers on board, Madison should be focused on her lonely daughter. Telling her the truth and discussing it will prepare Alicia for the pain, loss, and anger that this new world generates in bucket loads.

Can’t forget to talk about Nick when we’re addressing being young in the apocalypse. His decision to swim over to the yacht made no sense. NONE! I can understand going for a cool dip and wiping off that blood on his face. He thought he was safe so far away from the shore. But as soon as he spotted that walker, who clearly didn’t look like Chris, he should have booked it back to the yacht. He heard something? Yeah, the groans of zombies out to tear him limb from limb! That’s the kind of stuff you swim away from, not towards.

Why did he take the yacht charter? I’m not a sailor and can’t swim at all. Someone explain this to me because all I see is Nick taking a dip into walker territory for new reading material. I’m sure there’s a copy of something interesting in Strand’s shelves. Just grab something from there. While you’re at it, change your clothes. The grandpa look is getting old.

 

Looming Threat

It’s kind of terrifying to think of what is lurking in the water during ‘Monster’. I’m not talking about the walkers that can apparently swim/float. That’s horrifying on a completely different level. I’m talking about whatever destroyed that yacht Nick took a dip in. They didn’t just steal the ships supplies. Oh no. That was too easy. They killed all it’s people and destroyed the ship. They tore it to pieces as a message to anyone out there, that they’re coming.

This mysterious baddie is powerful and not afraid to show it. It’s kind of like the scare tactics that Negan liked to use on The Walking Dead. You leave examples to show others what might happen if you cross paths. You make yourself the boogeyman on the water. People make mistakes when they’re hyper alert and it’s what you need to catch them off guard. Fear is a powerful tool.

This threat of the unknown is going to push our group of survivors down treacherous new paths that will define them. They’ll argue about what to do next, where they should go, and who should be in charge. Trust will start flying out the window, left and right, and Strand will probably bear the burden of most of it. More importantly, it’ll push them all back to land. (Except Strand. He’s smart and will stay on the boat.) As a means of seeking shelter from this looming threat in the water, they’ll take a chance, thinking that it can’t be worse on land. They’re deceiving themselves by letting hope cloud their judgement.

It can always get worse. And on land, with a zombie apocalypse just starting to rise…you sure as hell can guarantee it will.  

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays @ 9/8c on AMC.

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