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