Tag Archives: Television

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

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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

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E7 Shiva

fear-the-walking-dead-posterThe family faces their greatest test yet. Meanwhile, Nick, Madison, Travis and others go to great lengths to keep each other close.

Fear the Walking Dead wraps up with a midseason finale that’s all about family and what parents would do for their kids as well as what we do for the ones we love.

We’ve been seeing this farm from hell in which people haven’t quite accepted the fact that people are dead and zombies now. As I said with last week’s episode, it’s fascinating to see religion actually coming into play.

And that idea of religion and the intelligence of the series can be seen with this episode title. “Shiva” could be a reference to the Hindu goddess or it’s a reference to the time people of Jewish faith spend to mourn their love ones.

Everyone has their moments in this episode as each figures out where they stand and what they believe in when it comes to this new world, and in particular what they think of this particular situation. What’s interesting I think is that like The Walking Dead, Madison and her group are a force of destruction much like Rick’s group. They’re just pure destruction and you wonder if they’re worse than what they’re fighting/dealing with. Do they destroy everything they touch?

The episode has a bit of a shocker with individuals dying and others making a different choice when it comes to where their future may lay. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? It’s fascinating and interesting to see because in the end, like a good argument, there’s a lot of gray.

The series returns in August, but it leaves us at one hell of a spot.

Overall Rating: 8.15

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E6 Sicut Cervus

fear-the-walking-dead-posterConflict erupts in a final push to Strand’s destination; and Chris makes a decision that shakes the family. Meanwhile, Nick meets a new maternal figure.

Fear the Walking Dead takes its title for this episode from Psalm 42 which debates not being close to God and the pain for being in exile from him.

That concept of being close to God in death is a theme that runs throughout the episode as cast members reflect about the situation about them, and those they have lost.

The episode is an interesting one that explores an almost cult like belief that death is a good thing in that it brings one closer to the creator. We see that in a few ways in the episode as things are slowly revealed throughout the episode.

It’s an interesting philosophical episode that debates what the living dead are in this world. It’s a concept that hasn’t been explored too much in The Walking Dead world, and it hasn’t been explored much with a religious concept such as this.

Each character explores this in some way and many through touching moments that have them dealing with the death of someone close to them.

The episode is the best of the series so far diving deep into concepts that’ll get you to think and debate about this new world. Here’s hoping we see more of this going forward as it’s something we rarely see.

Overall Rating: 8.65

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E5 Captive

fear-the-walking-dead-posterAlicia works to reunite with her family; and Travis meets a familiar face. Meanwhile, Madison and Nick lead a charge to save their family against all odds.

Fear the Walking Dead continues from the events of last episode with folks split and the tension building for the entire episode to what is a hostage negotiation.

The episode actually does a solid job in the opener as we see the fate of Travis and Alicia in a slight twist. But, who gave information to their captors is the interesting one and has a nice sense of actions coming back to haunt the group.

But, the episode is all a build to the final moments of the hostage negotiation. For everyone who things these characters are irritating or unlikeable, this episode has so many of them stepping up. There’s some badass moments as everyone steps up in their own way.

The show has improved in many ways and this episode is a major one where the characters all have their moments, and more importantly, smart moments.

As the tension and threats increase, the episode has seemed to have gotten better. Here’s hoping it keeps up.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E4 Blood in the Streets

fear-the-walking-dead-posterA family in distress boards the Abigail; and Strand branches off as his past begins to emerge. Meanwhile, Nick searches for an associate of Strand’s.

Fear the Walking Dead bounces back and forth between the past and the present as we learn much more about the history of Strand.

The episode is an interesting one that ups the tension in many ways in the present as some folks take over Strand’s boat the Abigail and then takes everyone hostage. This is something that’s been building for the last couple of episodes and there’s hints that there’s some bigger threat still out there named Connor. If the episode focused on just that, it’d have been an excellent one. The end of the episode definitely ups that factor of tension as we don’t know what to expect and since no one is the big named character like it’s sister show, it really does feel like anyone

Instead, the episode bounces to the past as we learn more about Strand and a bit about the location they’re going to. That kills the momentum of the episode a bit. But, it does some good and gives us a lot of information about the character.

Things ramp up a bit as we learn more about Fear the Walking Dead’s mysterious Strand, and while not all is revealed there’s a lot that should keep folks intrigued.

I’m still not completely sure what his deal is, but we have more info at least. The show continues to be an interesting one and for once we have some real tension.

Overall Rating: 7.45

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E2 We All Fall Down

fear-the-walking-dead-posterThe group seeks shelter with a survivalist family; and Madison tries to uncover the family’s true motives. Meanwhile, Salazar works to discover Strand’s intentions.

Fear the Walking Dead takes us back to land in the second season’s second episode and things are really interesting. The episode emphasizes the series focus which isn’t as much on individuals, but instead is about what groups are doing and how they’re handling the zombie apocalypse.

In this case we get a bit of a microcosm of a family that’s holed up and gone a bit crazy. It emphasizes some of what we’ve seen in The Walking Dead, and even Fear‘s first season where we see individuals who commit suicide instead of the prospect of having to live in this world.

The big picture is the focus as plans are made and people are realizing of what this world is like and what is happening.

While the series seems to be focusing on the big picture, it also is about individual actions. Here it’s a son dealing with a mother turning. A mother wanting to save her child. A father not willing to accept reality. It’s a slow build and a slow reveal as to individuals, their motivations, and how they’re reacting.

We’re seeing small changes in everyone as the series shifts from that big picture to more about the individuals.

The episode also gives us more information about the situation that is the West coast, and elsewhere. We find out as much information as the individuals see or hear, something that is sure to irritate some viewers, but also makes decisions in the first episode more clear.

The episode is an interesting one as we see the characters come more alive and we see how different individuals are reacting to the end times.

Overall Rating: 7.35

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