Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S3E3 Teotwawki

Alicia and Nick fall in with new crowds; Madison discovers Otto’s past mimics her own.

Fear the Walking Dead slows things down after the exciting debut double episodes of this season and we learn more about the Otto ranch as an ominous cloud feels like it slightly rolls in.

The episode kicks off with a video featuring the Ottos that plays intot he show later as we get a more definitive take as to what their deal is. From the short 30 second opener it’s clear that the Ottos are survivalist of the stereotypical type and Jeremiah is looked up to for his “predicting” the fall. There’s an undercurrent of religion but it’s mostly anti-government focused.

What’s interesting though is that we see some outtakes from Otto’s video later and we learn more about him and his family and why he’s the way he is. It’s tragic in many ways and Madison is able to relate to him a little more over it. Jeremiah though comes off as a bit tragic, sad, and a monster over it all. We also get a better sense of the Ottos as a whole and why one son is good and the other, not so much.

Through the madness of it all, we get a better view of Madison and her family as well. Nick is out of it as usual, scheming and planning and just not all there. Alicia goes the other side assimilating well in a Carol sort of way.

Then there’s Strand who we get a better idea as to where he was going and what’s on his mind. The series would be stronger if they cut him from the episodes and their short bits, instead saving them for an entire episode and longer segment. The short bits aren’t enough, but it’s clear his story will eventually dovetail back.

The episode isn’t bad, it’s just not as strong as the previous one. While the first two episodes were the introduction and a lot of the set up, this episode begins to play out what’s been lined up. As part of the whole it’ll be fine and while there’s some interesting moments, the episode is ok to watch but not all that exciting or intriguing… until those final moments, when things are pulled out from under us and thought lost character returns.

Overall Rating: 7.07

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S3E1 Eye of the Beholder/The New Frontier

The Clark family find themselves in a terrible predicament; Strand faces resistance as he attempts to hold power.

Fear the Walking Dead kicks off its third season with two episodes that shakes things up. To say it shakes things up is an understatement. New characters are introduced, new locations are explored, more dynamics are set up, and a major character apparently dies. A lot of criticism has been levied towards the series and this first two episodes feels like it addresses some of them by upping the action and really shaking things up.

When the last season ended we saw individuals dressed in military uniforms either shooting or capturing some of the individuals we’ve come to know and this episode drops us into the horror as those same military individuals are murdering them to see how long before they turn. It’s twisted and weird but from that a lot of conflict arises and it’s best to not reveal everything.

There’s lots of good in the fact that we’re dropped in the action and there’s a hell of a lot of conflict. The bad is some of that conflict deescalates rather quickly. It does come off as using each other for convenience but the fact there’s not a bigger grudge on display is a bit of a headscratcher. There’s easy ways to explain this away but it’s a little odd and stands out as the biggest negative of the first two episodes.

The new locations and characters are what really stands out. We’re taken to a new community that feels like a ranch the Bundy’s might like while taking a stand against the government. They mention they’re putting together a new society and community, which adds a slight ominous tone to what otherwise would be Herschel’s Farm Part 2. And that all is part of the excitement of these first two episodes. Lots of new characters and locations and we have to figure out who is on the level and who will be an obstacle and threat.

The episode too also catches us up on Strand who everyone thinks is a doctor for that truth is revealed. The episode may have been stronger without that and more being devoted in another, but his short segment does answer some questions that have been left hanging last season.

But, the biggest thing is the death of a major character. The fact the season kicks off with a major character seemingly dying (and I’d be surprised if they survived) lets us viewers know that everything is on the table and anything can happen. It also greatly shifts the dynamic as to what this season may bring.

The third season kicks off in a way that I’m excited to see what happens the entire show is shaken up in a way that it feels like a whole new series. What might happen? We’ll find out and I’m excited to see. I wasn’t excited about the series returning but after this episode I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Overall Rating: 7.97

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E15 North

fear-the-walking-dead-posterIn the second-season finale, Travis’ rage causes unrest at the RBH; and Madison must decide if she will stand by Travis. Meanwhile, Nick takes on leadership of the Colonia as Narcos close in.

Fear the Walking Dead shakes things up with the second of the two-part season finale as Travis’ actions causes Madison to have to make a choice as to what to do and then there’s Nick and Colonia, with those drug dealers closing in.

Shit goes down at the hotel which shakes things up and forces Travis and Madison to take off, but they also head out to find Nick and like the last episode this one is split into two parts but the exact opposite is the focus. Nick takes center stage and his role with Colonia.

The hour was action packed and pretty damn gory. As a clash between the Colonia crew and Narcos was coming it was a question whether they should fight or run and the latter is chosen with Nick taking over as leader of the group… which doesn’t go well at all.

The episode is about decisions and consequences and also ramping things up. While it’s the zombie apocalypse, but the need to kill, and kill humans, hasn’t been there as much, but this episode and the previous one feels like a switch has happened. The show has no problem killing characters, and they kill off some big ones here. There isn’t quite the same connection as with its sister series, so the killing of characters can come fiercely and quickly, like it has here. And some of it comes quick and in unexpected ways.

And that ending! Didn’t see that coming at all and I don’t want to spoil things, but who opened fire? Is this the US government? Is this Minutemen-ish people? We’ll have to wait until next season to find out, but it looks like we’ll finally see what’s going on in the US!

Overall Rating: 7.95

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E14 Wrath

fear-the-walking-dead-posterTravis is blindsided by new refugees at the hotel. Meanwhile, Nick must make the decision to leave Colonia or stay with Luciana.

Fear the Walking Dead begins to wrap its second season with the first of two episodes and boy is there a lot to cover in the final two hours of the season.

Wrath continues to be broken up into two parts with part focused on the hotel and the other part of Colonia, both of which bring a decent amount of drama and tension.

The big part of the show is the fate of Chris which Travis finds out from the two individuals they spent time with in the season. We get the news of what happened and I’m not going to ruin it, but with the actor who plays Chris also currently on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it’s no surprise as to the news. But, what’s interesting is what Travis does and the actual truth to it all. It’s a brutal scene full of cathartic rage and one that’s not unjustified. Much of the season has been void of the brutal violence we’ve seen in its sister series, but the entire season has built up to this moment and the question is, where does it and Travis go from there?

Then there’s Nick and Colonia where the truth of things are revealed, though that’s not the main point of the episode. The main point is Travis’ actions and what he does when he finds out about the truth of his son. It’s a hell of an ending to the episode and will absolutely change things going forward.

Overall Rating: 7.95

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E13 Date of Death

fear-the-walking-dead-posterRefugees flood into the hotel, include an unexpected refugee from the group. Meanwhile, Madison struggles to cope with the situation.

Fear the Walking Dead is an interesting episode as we open up with refugees (or whatever you want to call them) attempting to get into the hotel. The fence is rather flimsy so the fact it was holding up feels a little silly. But, the scene is really to set up the return of Travis, who appears in the crowd.

The episode is really about parents and what they are or aren’t willing to do for their kids. The episode flashses back and forth between the present and past as we see Travis trying to talk sense into his son who is in with a group of kids.

That’s one of the most interesting things of the entire series so far. Seeing the anguish Travis goes through in this episode where he realizes he needs to let his son go, it’s heartbreaking. He feels like he’s actually breaking down and has had to make a horrible decision. It’s some of the best acting of the series.

It’s also a very slow episode. It just really focuses on Travis recounting his story to Madison, which then gets Madison to reveal the truth about something to her daughter. The episode emphasizes this show really is about family, parents trying to protect their kids.

There’s just one expanded episode left and a lot of ground to cover, so it’ll be interesting to see what next episode brings as the second season wraps up.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E12 Pillar of Salt

fear-the-walking-dead-posterMadison springs into action when one of the hotel residents gets violent. Meanwhile, Alejandro shows a darker side of himself at the Colonia.

Fear the Walking Dead is building towards the eventual explosion that’s going to happen and bring together various storylines in this second half of the second season of the show.

There’s a clash coming and it’s been pretty easy to figure out for some time. But, what’s been intriguing was seeing how the various groups might come together and we get our first hints of that in this episode.

While it’s not a great episode, it’s the calm before the storm. We get to learn a bit more about these characters and the world they’re now living in. Some are living in a fantasy land to deal with what’s going on while others are focused on the new reality. The clash of the two is what’s interesting.

The series is a rather uneven one this season, but it’s finding it’s groove and is showing improvement overall. Instead of focusing on dealing with walker directly, the walkers are more of a prop and the real survival is dealing with what amounts to drug dealers. It’s an interesting spin on the world and one that’s slowly getting more interesting overall. The characters are getting some more personality and the addition of some new folks are bringing out what felt lacking the first season.

In some ways this second half of the season has felt more like an anthology series, and now we’re seeing everthing coming together as expected with just three more episodes to go.

Overall Rating: 7.05

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E11 Pablo & Jessica

fear-the-walking-dead-posterAlicia and Madison work to unite two competing factions. Meanwhile, Nick draws upon skills from his past to take on a new role at the colonia.

Fear the Walking Dead has an interesting focus this episode dealing with two aspects of this new world, dealing with others and clearing out the zombies. At its heart, the episode is about team work and community with Alicia and Madison attempting to build a community in the hotel and Nick chipping in at the colonia with some of his skills.

The show isn’t as much about conflict as its sister show, instead being a slow build as these individuals attempt to learn to live in this new world.

What has had the show stand apart some is that this is all new to everyone. There’s no knowledge in how to deal with the walkers. Everyone needs to make it up as they go and Alicia and Madison are showing some interesting ways to do just that.

Then there’s Nick’s story which has him using his shady past to help out his new home. He seems to be fitting into this group who have taken on a cult like presence in face of what’s going on.

The episode is a rather slow one overall, much more of a character study, especially at the end as Strand… well that’s best to be watched on your own. That focus on the characters seems to be resulting in mixed results overall, but episodes like this help make the series stand out a bit and fleshes out its characters, making them somewhat more interesting.

The show is clearly building to some action and conflict, hopefully things can remain interesting.

Overall Rating: 7.35

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E10 Do Not Disturb

fear-the-walking-dead-posterTravis struggles to connect with Chris while searching for shelter. Meanwhile, Alicia meets a lonely woman with a bloody past.

Fear the Walking Dead splits the episode between Travis and Chris’ journey and what’s going on in the hotel. It’s an interesting episode as it feels like it’s really early during the infection and people are still coming together to figure out what to do and how to handle the new situation.

The episode is slow, but interesting as it is rather slow throughout. It’s an episode that’s about the details, the biggest of which may be below.

Travis and Chris bond and while Chris is still clearly touched and is a bit too easy with the bloodlust, he also seems to be the most willing to deal with the world as is and step up to do what’s necessary, no matter how brutal it is. He’s a realist compared to Travis’ optimism and somewhat naive idealism. Chris wants to join a pack, Travis wants to hold up on a farm. It’s two different views and you can’t help but wonder how much of Chris’ view is his youth.

Back at the hotel, we get some new ways to kill walkers and a new character Alicia meets. Through that new character we get a lot of horribly difficult choices and some back story to see more of the outbreak at the hotel.

But, the biggest revelation of the episode is that we may have a date as to when this all began. In a scene Travis discovers three graves all with the same year of 2010… is this when this madness began? Have they given a date anywhere else? Interesting. Interesting.

The episode has a lot of tense moments, especially the last few minutes as there’s standoffs of a different sort going on.

This is a pretty intense episode with some tough moments throughout. It’s a strong episode focused on tension and having to make tough choices. The series seems to have made some improvements in its break and those improvements seem to be paying off.

Overall Rating: 7.95

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E9 Los Muertos

fear-the-walking-dead-posterAfter the fall of the compound, Madison, Strand and others forge a tenuous path forward. Meanwhile, Nick is recruited for a perilous assignment.

Fear the Walking Dead splits its story focused on Nick as well as another group featuring Madison and Strand.

Nick’s story is interesting as we get a glimpse of what the world has turned in to when it comes to people trying to survive. There are people who have decided to act as warlords, hording goods to trade.

Then there’s the group Nick is with who has an extension of the outlook of death we see in events like Day of the Dead. They don’t necessarily worship death, but they’re very accepting of it. It’s not quite a death cult, but it’s one that’s too accepting of the world that now exists.

Madison and Strand’s group look for Nick, but give up after a while and decide to seek shelter in a hotel. This story takes a bit more of a traditional route as their antics cause zombies to eventually pay attention and attack. It’s interesting watching this a bit as Madison and Strand drink their sorrows away and we get some more of what they’re thinking. What that results in is so familiar there’s a shot that’s straight up from Shaun of the Dead.

Splitting the episode makes it a bit more hit and miss. Nick’s story is actually interesting as we’ve seen what’s stepped up to fill the vacuum, while Madison and Strand is something we’ve seen before over and over.

For the many steps the show took forward last week, this episode takes quite a few back.

Overall Rating: 7.85

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E8 Grotesque

fear-the-walking-dead-posterNick’s steadfast search for answers leads him into a deadly dog-eat-dog landscape; and a dark piece of his past is uncovered.

Fear the Walking Dead is back kicking off the the second half of the second season with an episode focused completely on Nick. Yup, other than some new characters, everyone else (for the most part) is absent other than walkers.

The episode is a fascinating one and the strongest of the season so far. It actually makes the case in many ways that the series should drop every other character and just focus on Nick’s survival on the zombie apocalypse.

So what do I mean about “for the most part” when it comes to the other characters? There’s flashbacks that involve Nick and his mom is present. That’s the extent really of major characters from our survivor group.

But, back to Nick…

The episode adds a hell of a lot to the character who has up to this point has been the drug addict who seems to have more going on than folks give him credit for. We see him survive hoards of walkers, dogs, and humans intent on killing anything that moves. It’s an interesting focus on survival and seeing the growth of skills.

There’s also very interesting new dynamics added as new characters are introduced and a we’re left with a new location as the episode wraps up. Hopefully we see more of this focus, because this really was one of the best episodes, if not the best episode, of the season and possibly the series. It’s very character driven focused in on just one and for that it’s stronger in many ways.

The first half of the season was ok, but this start of the second is heads and above better than what we’ve seen so far.

Overall Rating: 8.65

« Older Entries