The walker-apocalypse is heating up in the second episode of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. Both Madison and Travis have issues with their sons, which leads them on their own separate missions. See how they fare in Josh’s recap of this week’s episode titled So Close, Yet So Far! Check out Violet and Josh’s thoughts as well, to see if you might be interested in the Walking Dead “prequel”!
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Episode Recap of Fear the Walking Dead, Season 1 Episode 2: So Close, Yet So Far
So, after what I thought was a lackluster series premiere, Fear the Walking Dead continued right where the first episode left off. The episode starts with the principal of the school making rounds around the school, while Alicia heads to visit her boyfriend Matt at his house. The episode tries to creep you out with some broken items around the house, and Alicia becoming a little frantic. She finds Matt, and we are left wondering, as we just hear groaning as Alicia says, “Oh my god”…
Alicia’s Got a Boyfriend Problem
Turns out this is revealed as a red herring yet again. Matt is not quite a walker, but is looking pretty ill. It seems he has caught whatever this flu is going around.
But before that, we move back to Travis, Madison and Nick fleeing the now zombified Calvin. Nick flips through the radio stations and remarks how no one seems to be talking about this issue. Travis decides that this is all weird and wants to take the family out of town. Madison tries to contact Alicia, but has no luck, that is until Alicia calls her back. Madison tells her daughter to stay away from Matt, but Alicia is concerned about her boyfriend, and refuses to leave him. Travis and Madison decide to head to Matt’s house.
While they are driving there, the episode flashes to Travis’s son from his previous marriage, Chris, who is taking the bus home, I would presume. The bus stops though, and some civilian yells that there is another cop shooting happening just outside. Chris decides to join the crowd and see what is going on, while at the same time ignoring his father’s phone calls. Typical teenage boy stuff I suppose.
Madison and Travis arrive at Matt’s house and try to convince Alicia to move away from Matt, but she is too concerned about him. Travis ends up talking sense into Matt, who seems to see the writing on the wall–and he tells Alicia he will be okay. Also inside Matt’s shirt, we see a bite. Travis and Madison begin to question if that is what is causing this, but they recall that this didn’t happen with Calvin. In the end, Alicia does come to her senses leaves with the family. All the while this is going on, Nick has gone to the bathroom, and has been yacking. It looks like withdraws from the drugs he has been on are in his future.
The family heads home, and their neighbor invites them to a party, while another is loading up his car with supplies for getting out of town–while coughing some. Travis is still trying to get in contact with Chris, and decides the best thing to do is go to his ex-wife’s house to try to talk to them both. The stories begin to diverge a little bit at this point.
Travis Finds His Son
Travis calls his ex-wife and tells her that he is on the way to their house, and after a typical ex-wife argument, Travis is still heading there. On the way, Travis hits a lot of traffic. He spots a cop seemingly hoarding water, and looking to make a break for some safe place.
At the site of the shootings, a crowd is growing, surrounding the police, accusing them of police brutality. Chris is using his camera to film the scene, which puts him sort of at the center of the conflict, with police telling him to put the camera down, while bystanders tell him to keep filming.
Meanwhile, Travis makes it to his ex-wife’s place, and he calls Chris from her phone. Chris hangs up on Travis, telling him that he is at a protest. Travis’s ex-wife is able to figure out where he is, since the protest is now on the news.
Travis and Liza look for Chris in the crowd, and find him. The parents agree on something finally–they need to get out of there. Police have come out with riot gear, and the crowd is a getting more restless. Then an officer shoots a shambling woman–who looks to be a walker, which the crowd doesn’t seem to understand yet. Travis, Liza and Chris look for a place to flee, and they find a barber who is shutting his doors. The old man, Daniel, doesn’t want to let them in, but his wife convinces him. Inside, Travis and his family are trapped, as there are no other doors in or out. Outside, the rioting gets pretty bad. Daniel is a little on edge with Travis, but tensions seem to simmer down some. Liza and Travis talk about what is going on, and Travis tells Liza what he saw with Calvin coming back to life.
Madison’s Mission to Save Her Son
Madison and Alicia try to take care of Nick in his withdrawals, and they aren’t able to get ahold of any doctors to help him. Madison comes up with a solution–heading to the school. Apparently there are some drugs locked up? Madison tells her daughter to watch Nick, and to not leave the house. Of course that this just an invitation to leave, right?
At the school, Madison grabs some keys from the principal’s office, heads to the area where these drugs are held, and breaks into the locker with a crowbar. She then gets startled by Tobias, who seems to be stalking Madison just to get his knife back. She obliges, and they have a conversation about the impending apocalypse.
Tobias decides to hit up the school cafeteria, and “borrow” some food. Tobias loads up a big cart, and begins wheeling it when the two hear some gurgling sounds, then the metal detector go off. They make a run for it, and see the principal walking through a hallway. What the two didn’t see is that he is covered in blood–and a walker. Tobias is ready to flee, but Madison tries to talk sense into the walker. Madison is then attacked, and Tobias is nearly killed trying to save her. Madison reluctantly grabs a fire extinguisher and whacks the walker dead.
Outside, Madison offers to let Tobias stay with them, but he thinks he will be fine on his own. Madison drops off Tobias, and she heads home to Nick.
Alicia is Conflicted
At home, Alicia makes some food for Nick, and Nick is in a really bad place. Alicia then decides it is time to check on Matt. Nick pleads with her to not leave, saying it is not safe. She leaves, but outside she hears something. Actually lack of something–Nick has stopped yelling for Alicia and has begun to seize. Alicia comes back in to help, while yelling at him.
Nick seems to level out, and Alicia cleans up the mess Nick made puking.
Madison Returns Home
At home, Madison gives Nick a small ration of Oxy, which he is excited about. Madison then heads to her room, and breaks down in her bathroom as she tries to wash the blood out of her jacket. She then gets a call and its Travis. He tells her they are stuck in a shop. Unfortunately their signal is lost.
The riots outside continue as Travis and his family try to ride the situation out.
At home, Alicia spies out the window, and sees her neighbor being attacked by a figure. Alicia tries to go outside to help, but Madison refuses to let her. Alicia freaks out, and pleads to know why they can’t help.
Josh’s Thoughts: Fear the Walking Dead, Season 1 Episode 2: So Close, Yet So Far
I have to say that I thought this episode redeemed the show some. I enjoyed this episode a lot more than the previous episode. I still have a lot of questions that leave me a bit unsatisfied for example: Why IS no one talking about what is going on? I would think that after some autopsies of these walkers that the people are presuming to just be people getting out of control were done, they would figure out something, and issue some sort of warning. Even just this flu seems to be a big enough epidemic that it should be of greater concern to the people governing the city of Los Angeles.
The big thing I am trying to gauge with this show is how realistic are the characters reacting to the situation? It is a hard thing to really measure though, since nothing like this really exists. The police brutality issue is certainly something that has come up, and the way the show has integrated that seems to be an interesting way to weave current social issues into the show. But as far as characters reacting to the walkers, I am not sure what to expect. The breakdown that Madison has in the bathroom seemed to be a well timed moment for her to reflect on the situation at hand, as she has to be wondering if she killed a man, or what is going on.
The scene with Matt essentially dying seemed to be an important one to me, but it also left me with questions. Did Matt have this flu before being bit? Or was this flu a result of something else? Why wouldn’t Matt have called 911? Was it too late, and he couldn’t get through? Was he hoping he would ride this flu out? Wasn’t he concerned at all that another “human” attacked him, and bit him? I guess since the audience of the show knows more than the characters, we know more of the “right” questions to ask, but to keep the show interesting, there may not always be answers, or the answers will trickle out as the show progresses.
This episode was a lot better than the first though, primarily because things seem to be ramping up. Next week’s episode looks to be pretty good, as the scenes seem to show Travis getting into trouble as me makes for an escape with his family. Unlike last week, I actually have some excitement going into next week!
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 2 of Fear the Walking Dead: So Close, Yet So Far
Okay, after last week’s lackluster episode, I have to say that this episode was much better, and has me back on board. It kept my interest a lot more than the premiere, as things got a little more exciting and tense. Last week, it seemed like things were moving relatively slowly as far as a walker outbreak goes, but this time around, it feels like the downfall of civilization is coming a lot more quickly.
I’m still confused as to the origins of the walkers and their relation to the flu virus though. Matt is sick, and has a bite on his shoulder, presumably from a walker. Calvin was not sick, and did not have a walker bite (that we know of), yet he turned into a walker when he died. The neighbor packing up his car to leave seemed to be sick, though we don’t know whether he had a walker bite or not, and turned into a walker somehow – maybe after the flu virus killed him? These are all three different scenarios and I’m failing to see the connection. Is it the flu virus that causes you to turn into a walker upon your death? If so, why did Calvin, who didn’t have the flu virus, turn into a walker when he died? I suppose it is possible that he had caught the flu virus, but just hadn’t begun to show symptoms yet. What about Matt, did he have the flu virus and then get bit, or get bit and then get the flu virus? How is this thing spreading? Is it airborne? Is there something in the water?? Remember, according to The Walking Dead, everyone has the virus that causes you to turn into a walker upon death. But is this a different virus from the flu virus? Or maybe the same one that mutated? Just how do you get the flu virus?? If it’s from being bitten, why are there so many people “out sick” and missing, but no reports of these bite incidents? You would think so many people would realize they have the same weird story about being bitten, and that this would be all over the news. Is it just that the flu virus is a coincidence that occurred around the same time as the walker outbreak, which contributed to killing off a lot of people, and thus causing a vast number of walkers to come into existence at once, which leads to a quicker downfall of civilization? On the other hand, if these incidents are so widespread, but not being reported on, could it be some sort of government coverup? If so, why? So many things going on that we don’t have clear answers about yet. However, maybe we’re supposed to still be confused, as the details are slowly revealed throughout the season.
But back to the events of the episode at hand. It was kind of weird to me how Madison just went right up to the principal and tried to talk to him, when he was clearly a walker. Her stupidity almost got Tobias killed. I was about to get pissed off if she got him killed, because he was the only one who saw this coming. However, this is looking at it from the perspective of someone who knows all about walkers from watching The Walking Dead (and zombie movies and TV shows in general). I guess you have to look at it from the perspective of someone who has no clue what is going on, and is just trying to help a friend that looks hurt. But at the same time, Madison saw what happened with Calvin. She knows that something is going on. This is not the first walker she has encountered, so she’s not totally clueless. Her reaction would have been more believable had this been the first time she had come across a walker. Also, it looks like this whole thing about Tobias and his knife was pretty much a non-issue, since he wasn’t really able to do much with it when he tried to use it to save Madison. Additionally, all that food he tried to get from the school? It looks like they left empty-handed. So much for stocking up.
It also made me a little upset that Madison knows that something is going on, and she mentions that she’ll talk to her clueless neighbors across the street to let them in on what’s been happening, yet she never does, and just leaves them there to get killed by her other neighbor that turned into a walker. Good job. More walkers in your neighborhood to worry about. Why all the secrecy? It seems like you would want to help people, want to warn them. By the end of the episode though, her own daughter still doesn’t know what’s going on!
So um, how long is this riot going to last, and how are Travis and his family going to get out of there? Where is Travis’s truck? Will it have been damaged in the riot? How is Travis going to get back home? Are Liza and Chris going to hang out with Travis’s new family? That would be awkward to have the ex-wife and the new girlfriend together…
In any case, I am actually interested to see what happens next, and to witness the continuing downfall of civilization. Hopefully we get more answers in the coming episodes.
Scenes from Fear the Walking Dead, Season 1 Episode 3: The Dog
Here are scenes from next week’s Fear the Walking Dead episode titled The Dog: