Last night, we got the final episode of the first half of season 2. Shiva, brought a few things to a head, but left some things dangling, like a good finale should. Before we get to all that,
Fear The Walking Dead has been a slower paced show than it’s cousin, The Walking Dead, and that is OK. They are building all their characters from scratch, and I thought they were doing a really fine job with at least half of them. More about that later.
Daniel is a truly haunted soul. We see it start coming out a couple episodes back. It comes to fruition in the mid season finale.
Travis asks Alicia to help him find Chris and she tells him, “No!”. She then reminds Travis that Chris had a knife in his hand when they woke to Strand’s gunfire. Travis then runs off to find his son.
Celia makes it clear to the group they have until sundown to leave. She berates Strand for not killing himself and lying to her adopted son, Thomas Abigail. She even taunts strand at one point when Nick asks for more time,”You are going to let a boy beg for you?”. Strand didn’t take the bait, but is no better off for it.
The good and the bad: Chris is slipping away mentally, and morally. Which is bad. The good thing is, we see how resourceful he has become. Travis comes up upon a corpse who is has a table knife stuck in his head, the same ones they had back at the compound. The corpse has an empty holster. The camera pans to show Chris with a pearl handled gun tucked into the back of his jeans. He should have taken the knife back out, but it shows Chris knows how to upgrade his arsenal.
Travis is suddenly limping. We eventually see his feet are bloodied when he takes his socks off. Not sure why he is the only one walking around without shoes. Also not sure you would get bloodied feet from walking in grass in your socks.
Nickolas: Walker Wrangler– Nick runs off and brings back Luis in undead form. Celia is happy to see this. I can’t understate how advanced and impportant this is. Nick has been the most amazing character this season in terms of development and adapting to his new surroundings. Celia is pleased and tells Nick he can stay. Nick asks about his family, and gets them to stay as well, except for Strand.
“I will not die” Nick says to Madison as she tries to understand why he is so happy to wear zombie blood and run off among the dead. He tells her about him going face to face with death on the beach and not being afraid of them. This scares the pants (not literally) off of Madison, who should be overjoyed her son has blossomed. It does seem he is getting a little overconfident though. He still needs to worry about the living.
Come undone: Daniel comes unglued as he talks to Ofelia. Some nearby caretakers see him breaking down and confront him, which leads to him lashing out with his pocket razor. Eventually he is subdued and taken off to a cell.
Strand makes his pitch to Madison. He works her on a couple different levels. She says she can’t leave without Travis. The table is set for a reunion on the Abigail.
“I’m no good” Travis catches up with Chris who seems to be going further into sociopath territory. He takes hostage a man and his small child, tells the man to get rid of Travis or he will kill his son. Whether that is true or not (the killing part) it is still a step in the wrong direction. Travis eventually disarms Chris, who runs out of the small house. Travis tackles Chris and they struggle for a few seconds. Travis ultimately gets Chris unarmed and to stop fighting. Chis says, “Look at me”, then tells Travis he is no good. It’s a sobering reality, but it brings up some interesting conversation.
The scene with Daniel and Celia in the cellar is both compelling and disturbing. They did a nice job with throwing in some hallucinations. Reminds me of what Rick went through when his wife died. Keep this in mind for later.
You can go your own way: “You didn’t find me”, Travis says to Nick as he caught up to him. Travis knows he can’t take Chris back like he is, and won’t leave him. Nick then hands Travis a knife and goes back to the compound. As crappy as it seems now, It’s setting up for some really good TV.
We get to see more of Daniel’s backstory while he is tied up in the cellar. He further hallucinates with Griselda. The parallels are strong between him and Rick. We see two of the stronger characters breaking down, and losing their grip on reality. Daniel still knows what needs to be done though, he doesn’t run off to grow a garden. Yet.
Cold blooded: Madison got Celia to show her where she keeps “the dead”. Celia asks, “What wouldn’t you do for your child?”. “Nothing.” Madison says coldly, as she closes the cell door behind Celia, and takes the key out. Powerful scene and important moment.
Madison is a true survivor and will do anything to protect what is hers. She is Rick about 4 seasons ahead of time. Or is she Shane? Shane was ready and willing to do whatever it took to protect his family. Even if that meant killing the living.
Don’t stand so close to me: Daniel makes the caretaker who was about to feed him learn that mistake. He headbutts him and gains his freedom.
Strand gets ushered out by a group of caretakers. Alicia is the lone group member who sees him depart. “I’ll hail a cab”, Strand remarks, clinging to his sense of humor.
Burning down the house: Daniel finds a gasoline can and prepares to set a section of the cellar on fire. There is about a dozen walkers. Eventually the entire compound catches fire. Madison sees Daniel a few moments later, he is passed out on the ground* (from the smoke?). She leaves as the flames flare up. Outside, she sees Nick walking. Nick is in full zombie blood mode as he was returning from trying to find Travis. He tells her he didn’t find them. Then questions her about Celia and who set the place on fire. Madison tells him to get in the truck as Strand was waiting to go. Nick says that Celia was right about them. All they do is destroy everything. He chooses to stay behind.
Madison eventually gets into the truck with Strand, Alicia, and Ofelia as Nick walks into the night. The ends scene reminds me to much of when the farm burnt down in the Walking Dead. It pushed the group in different directions.
Fear The Walking Dead Strikes Back! Part of what made The Empire Strikes Back so good was the way it ended: Han Solo frozen in carbonite. The FTWD midseason finale had three of these: Nick, Travis/Chris, and Daniel. As I said before, this should translate into some very compelling TV.
Questions: We had some answered this episode, but we had a few more come up.
Where will Travis and Chris go? They are two pretty tough dudes, and should be able to defend themselves. Where will they go? Will Travis be able to get to Chris, or will Chris try to escape the first chance he gets? Chris has come a long way from the pouty kid who sat on the roof of Madison’s house. I have a feeling if he can’t come back, he might make an epic bad guy.
Nick should be OK on his own, he has shown he is probably the best suited for the new world. He has the charm for the living, and the cunning and understanding for the dead. What will he do though? Lead the rest of the people from the compound? Start up his own cult?
Is Daniel Dead? We didn’t see him die. We have heard from producers and directors in the past, if you don’t see a character die on screen they are not dead. I said “keep this in mind for later” when talking about Daniel and his similarities to what Rick went through. Would they put all that development into a character they are killing off? I don’t think so. Daniel is one of the most fleshed out characters. I don’t think they would show him losing his mind if he wasn’t allowed to come back. Will Nick find him? Will someone else?
We haven’t seen our pirate friends for a couple of shows now. What are they up to? Jack and Alex are still out there. Will they head down and try to recapture the Abigail?
Even if Strand and company make it back to the Abigail, and it is in working order, where will they go? Will they stick around and wait for Travis? Will they head off? If so, where to? The open water is more dangerous than land, and they have less people to defend themselves now.
Will Strand change? He has no reason to keep his numbers low now. Will he be more receptive to try and take on other survivors? He chose not to kill himself and join Thomas in death. That has to mean something. What does Strand want out of this new life?
Is Celia dead? I assume she will be a gonner, but we didn’t see her being eaten either. Nick is back. Can he get to her in time? Will someone else?
I know a lot of people have been down on this show, and many stopped during season 1. If you are still interested and happen to catch this recap, consider picking it up again when it returns for the second half of season 2. It’s definitely got the elements of what we love from the original series, and is putting it’s own mark on the franchise. Hope you enjoyed the series as much as I did writing about it. See you in August!
*Edit: That was the caretaker who Daniel knocked that was lying on the ground.