Fear the Walking Dead: Monster review S2, Ep. 1

With its lost at sea premise, Fear the Walking Dead gets to explore a rare setting its sister show hasn’t already manages to explore. That should lead to a fascinating and fresh season for the spin-off, but its season premiere was anchored by more of the same frustrating and questionable character logic.

FTWD is eventually going to overcome these issues, but for now, it’s still hard to invest in characters with the survival instincts of Alexandria pre-Rick Grimes.

Given what longtime The Walking Dead viewers know about this world the characters continue to act in amazingly insufferable fashion. It was probably too much to hope that the characters would immediately become experts in navigating the post-walker world, but too many choices felt like overly manufactured drama that made everyone look stupid.

fear the walking dead - monster review - strand, madison and travisThe crew fled a bombed out Los Angeles and took to the sea in Strand’s yacht, which just had enough room for everyone — including Liza’s corpse. That absolutely couldn’t have been sanitary and no matter how bad Chris wanted to say his goodbyes, taking a corpse on the yacht is one of the worst ideas I’ve seen yet in the Walking Dead franchise.

Strand’s yacht offers settings we haven’t seen beyond a tease in the final act of Dawn of the Dead. I’m excited to see random excursions to various shores for supplies and hopefully some more likable characters.

Chris and Nick’s impromptu swim in the ocean didn’t feel so much like two teens goofing off and taking advantage of their setting as it was a contrived measure to get them in close proximity to walker swimmers. And Alicia naively chatting along to a stranger on the radio seems destined to cause some major drama soon if they weren’t the guys responsible for shooting out the capsized boat Nick discovers.

Travis remains a weak character. He’s so indecisive and apologetic that he barely registers. Whether it’s Chris totally disrespecting him or Madison constantly giving him the side eye, Travis lacks the presence that comes so easily to Strand and Daniel.

fear the walking dead - monster review - madison and aliciaStrand might not be the nicest guy, but considering the Wolves, Terminus and the Saviors, his overly cautious mindset isn’t nearly enough to fit him in the season’s villain role. Considering he actually is providing the book, beds and supplies to keep the crew alive the others came off slightly ungrateful.

You’ve gotta figure if the crew follows Strand’s orders, they’ll be fine in the long run, but the inevitable mutiny is going to prove disastrous. And that’s where the season’s best storylines lie. This episode hinted a future fall-out between Strand and Daniel, the one guy who has the right idea about how to handle these crazy scenarios.

Rating: 6 out of 10

  • Juan

    Jeez man, that ditzy girl with the radio, giving the corpse a ride so they could subsequently dump it overboard, and the continued amazingly brainless antics of Emo Kylo Ren is making me root for the zombies. Only people that belong on that boat are the junkie, the boat owner and the torture guy, everybody else is just there to use up oxigen. If Rick or Carol were on board, the crew would already be a lot smaller. They need to fix the stupid angsty teen scripting or feed at least one of them to the zeds, or this series will get boring real fast.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    Juan, you win comment of the day my friend. Emo Kylo Ren was awesome.
    Yeah, I don’t see how anyone is drawn to the angsty teen drama.

  • Barry Murray

    I was groaning at “hot teen girl telling people where they are” over the radio…
    I’m hoping Strand has a .50 Cal hidden somewhere…
    There needs to be stress and conflict, but i can’t imagine Strand letting a dead body on board.
    However, i am cautiously optimistic that this will just be a stepping stone on the way to these people becoming more and more able to survive in this world. In TWD, a big part is picking up new folk and original cast members dying, so i am sure that will also happen here.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    LOL at hot teen girl. Yes, she was insufferable with that one.
    Strand and Daniel clearly seem to be the most sensible. With this cast, I’m actually rooting for some to get taken out so we can get some much better additions.

  • Barry Murray

    I am guessing the guys on their way will definitely be the same ones that riddles the other boat with holes. I am struggling to work out how the boat with holes is still afloat, but i am no expert, so there may be something i am overlooking.
    Other than that, i am interested to see where this goes. I can’t imagine they have enough material for an entire season of a life on the ocean waves, but they might. And i am optimistic it will be a new direction for once.

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    I think the concept of them being at sea has me willing to overlook some early issues. If this remains the norm by say episode 8, it’s gonna be a long season.

  • Barry Murray

    For sure.
    Do we know how long this season will be?

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    Pretty sure it’s 16 episodes. They’ve got time to develop this one.

  • Barry Murray

    I’ll look forward to that. Did you ever get around to reading World War Z?

  • Jeffrey Lyles

    Not yet. 🙁 I’ve got some time off next week and I’m gonna make sure to put that on my list!

  • Barry Murray

    I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts.
    I reckon it’s the best zombie novel ever written.