Fear the Walking Dead Eye of the Beholder/The New Frontier review S3 Ep1 and Ep. 2

The New Frontier immediately went off the rails for Travis and company. The walker invasion forced Madison and Nick to travel by caravan with Troy and Alicia and Travis hitched a ride in the helicopter with Jake. That worked out just fine until someone started shooting and Travis got shot in the neck.

This scene played out somewhat oddly as Travis calmly unstrapped himself and dropped out of the helicopter. There were no last words or heartfelt farewells. As far as memorable death scenes, this was really underwhelming especially for a character as significant as Travis. It also didn’t help that Alicia was bothered, but not especially distraught over Travis’ sacrifice. To an extent, this felt more like a matter of fact Game of Thrones style death where there’s little emotion and it just kind of happens.

Was the death more than cheap shock value or does it declare no one is really safe on the show? Maybe if you’re a minority. One of the main reasons I was willing to give FTWD a chance in the first place was its diverse cast. But slowly over the course of three seasons, the show has lost a lot of its color and is looking more like every other show.

Fear the Walking Dead The New Frontier - Strand

Sure, there’s Strand playing doctor with the majority Latino hotel staffers, but their subplot largely feels insignificant now. Strand’s epic road trip has some potential, but it would have been more interesting with Ilene in tow. FTWD keeps making the mistake of assuming viewers will care about poorly developed supporting characters.

As always, FTWD is about the Clark family. And without Travis, they became a whole heck of a lot less interesting. Storyline wise, losing Madison would have been a lot more meaningful. How would Travis respond to taking care of children that aren’t his after losing his son? Would Nick feel guilty for ultimately being responsible for her death? Even Alicia dying would have played better since she could have spent Madison spiraling.

Fear the Walking Dead The New Frontier - Alicia, Luciana and Jake

Travis’ death on the surface seems like a big deal, but it’s not. Madison and him were struggling and it’s not like Alicia and Nick viewed him as a surrogate father anyway. If anything, this is just going to make Madison even more annoyingly overprotective of her kids.

Madison and Nick meet Troy and Jake’s father, Jeremiah (Dayton Callie), the leader of the RV community. Nick and Madison were a little too ungrateful considering the circumstances. And with their track record of coming to a new place and leaving it in ruin, they’re hardly in position to be dismissive to anyone offering shelter. Right away, Nick starts breaking the established rules by forcing them to care for the possibly dying Luciana.

Fear the Walking Dead The New Frontier - Jeremiah and Madison

The Clarks have this habit of ignoring rules and doing their own thing, which inevitably leads to other people getting killed or losing their sanctuaries. There’s no reason to think this will be any different.  And not surprisingly, Madison’s big plan is to stay at the shelter and if necessary, take it over. This is a pretty terrible plan. Even though Troy is a jerk, I’m actually rooting for Jeremiah and Jake to keep the Clarks from screwing things up … again.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: Michael Desmond/AMC

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