Something is happening in L.A. People are getting sick and no one seems to be talking about it. A junkie named Nick (Frank Dillane), his mother Madison (Kim Dickens), his sister Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and Madison’s boyfriend Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) are one of the first to see it. As Travis tries to keep his adopted family safe he is also dealing with his ex-wife Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and his son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) who resents him. With the dead coming back to life, survival as a family might be more important than ever.
Fear the Walking Dead—Season 1 aired from August 23, 2015 to October 4, 2015. The shortened season ran on AMC and served as a spinoff semi-prequel/parallel story to the popular series The Walking Dead. The series was met much less favorably than The Walking Dead by both critics and fans.
I always get behind on The Walking Dead. I’m behind on the comic and I’m behind on the series. It doesn’t always grab me and often moves at a snail’s pace…The Walking Dead looks like a sprint when compared to Fear the Walking Dead.
Fear the Walking Dead has a bit of a different set-up. The movie is exploring the onset of the outbreak (which occurred shortly before the start of The Walking Dead) and it is also exploring family relationships in a crisis. Both these topics hurt and help the show.
While it is nice to see how a family would have to fight to stay together, I feel we already had that in The Walking Dead with Rick and his family. The focus on family also is a threat in that unless the show becomes brutal (which it really needs to do), they can’t kill the main characters since they are “family”. This has happened in The Walking Dead, but it feels less likely with Fear the Walking Dead (you knew who the goner was going to be to wrap up this season).
The onset of the plague also could be great, but The Walking Dead didn’t take place very long after the plague spread. If it was a slower burn with zombies slowly becoming a factor, it might have been better. We also know efforts to keep a village are futile so it makes the second half of the season rather pointless…you know where it is going to go.
The cast also is a problem. I don’t really like any of the characters. While the acting is fine, most of the characters are made so flawed that they aren’t likable. They whine, they complain, and they keep living (unlike The Walking Dead). I kept searching for someone to really like, but didn’t find one.
The season also is rather lacking in zombies. I like the L.A. setting, but I don’t feel that it was used enough. The Walking Dead started out with a lot surrounding Atlanta and those are some of the better episodes. I hope more L.A. and more of what it meant to survive in a post-apocalyptic mega-city. I did like the exploration of the virus’s effect to essentially level the playing field…there is no rich or poor and high-class homes mean nothing if everyone is dead.
Fear the Walking Dead—Season 1 isn’t very good and at this point feels redundant, but the show does show potential. The characters seem to be acting more logical in their decision making and taking to the ocean could be an interesting exploration. The show really needs to find its direction the next season and work on character development…and hopefully you can find one that is identifiable.
Fear the Walking Dead—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:
1.1 Pilot Airdate: 08/23/15
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) wakes up after a heroin bender to find himself surrounded by horror. Hospitalized, his mother Madison (Kim Dickens) and her boyfriend Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) learn that Travis claims to have seen people eating others. Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) deals with her brother’s addiction and tries to spend time with her boyfriend Matt (Maestro Harrell). As Madison and Travis begin to suspect that what Nick saw wasn’t brought on by drugs, Nick escapes the hospital and finds himself a target of his drug dealing friend Calvin (Keith Powers).
1.2 So Close, Yet So Far Airdate: 08/30/15
Nick, Madison, and Travis question what to do after seeing the horror first hand with Calvin’s death and resurrection. Alicia finds her boyfriend Matt is sick and is warned to stay away from him. Travis tries to retrieve his son Christopher (Lorenzo James Henrie) from a riot downtown with his ex-wife Liza Ortiz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and finds himself trapped in a barbershop with a family called the Salazars. Madison’s attempt to get drugs to help Nick from his withdraws leads to a trip to the school and a confrontation with the principal (Scott Lawrence). Separated, Madison debates travelling to the desert with Nick and Alicia as Chris, Liza, and Travis try to find a way to escape downtown L.A.
1.3 The Dog Airdate: 09/13/15
As the riots in downtown L.A. spread and blackout begin to affect the city, Chris, Liza, and Travis are forced to flee the barber shop with Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades), Griselda Salazar (Patricia Reyes Spindola), and their daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason). Madison, Alicia, and Nick see the horror first hand as their neighbors begin to succumb to the disease. Nick finds the drugs are starting to run thin as the family considers going to the desert…but the arrival of help could mean more problems.
1.4 Not Fade Away Airdate: 09/20/15
The military have moved in and locked down the neighborhood for the protection of the people…but some are beginning to wonder if they are really being protected. Travis works with the military as a liaison but finds he doesn’t have much say. Chris discovery of possible survivors outside of the Safe Zone sends Madison on a dangerous mission. Nick finds that Liza’s working as a nurse despite not having a license and that it could be a new source of drugs. Griselda’s injured leg continues to get worse leading to military intervention…but Griselda might not be the only one the military is looking for.
1.5 Cobalt Airdate: 09/27/15
Liza finds herself helping Dr. Bethany Exner (Sandrine Holt) at the hospital in an attempt to keep watch on Nick and Griselda as Travis learns what really happens when the soldiers go on patrol. Nick is held for observation and finds himself enlisted by a man named Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) who has big plans. Alicia and Chris bond as they explore the abandoned homes and realize something is happening with the soldiers. Daniel sets out to find the truth about the plans for the Safe Zone by torturing Andrew Adams (Shawn Hatosy) and Travis, Madison, Ofelia, and Daniel learn the truth about Cobalt.
1.6 The Good Man Airdate: 10/04/15
The military are abandoning the Safe Zone and leaving the people to the dead. With Liza and Nick being held in medical base, Alicia, Chris, Daniel, Travis, Madison, Ofelia, and Daniel must go on a rescue mission using Adams’ information. Strand has a plan for escape and what to do once he and Nick are free. Raiding the medical facility could be hard…but getting out alive could be harder.