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Fear the Walking Dead

Posted on September 20, 2015

AMC’S FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, “The Dog”: The Sad Fate of Animals in the Zombie Apocalypse

Dawn

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead has aired three (of six) episodes so far and I’m happy to say it’s getting better. (See my less than positive review of the pilot episode.)

Basically, the show’s improved because the characters are coming to grips with the apocalypse and, as a result, are doing much less lounging around and whining about trivial things. We’re starting to see that fundamental divide opening up between those who can handle what’s happening and those who are living in denial—the divide, in other words, between the strong and the weak, between survivors and potential zombie food. Madison (Kim Dickens) is emerging as a leader, someone who can kill a walker when she has to. As is the enigmatic Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades), a refugee from El Salvador who projects an uncanny sense of “Been there, done that.” He gets to deliver the last, inscrutable, line of the episode. Looking out the window at the soldiers putting an X on the house across from him, he declares, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear: “It’s already too late.” Madison’s partner Travis (Cliff Curtis), on the other hand, seems unable to kill the undead (claiming they’re only sick) and, in contrast to Salazar, his last words are: “Cavalry’s arrived. It’s gonna get better now.” We know which one of them is right.

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Posted on August 24, 2015

AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead: Teens in the Apocalypse

Dawn

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead did not get off to an exactly auspicious start last night.

The episode did begin well. Having just re-watched the first episode of The Walking Dead, I was struck (again) with how much it resonated with its zombie predecessors (notably Dawn of the Dead [George Romero, 1978] and 28 Days Later [Danny Boyle, 2002]). Happily, FTWD began with similar evocations. Drug-addict Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) wakes up, disoriented, in a church that looks strikingly like the church Jim (Cillian Murphy) stumbles into in 28 Days Later, the place where he, like Nick, first becomes aware of what’s going on. In both church scenes, screams echo in the distance, and light streams through stained glass windows, illuminating the darkness inside only enough to see the horrors it contains. In both church scenes, too, we see Christ figures—a statue in 28 Days, a dead drug-addict in FTWD—both images suggesting that the world millions believe Christ died to redeem may now be irrevocably damned.

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