Television Shows

August 25, 2015

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Episode 1 Recap/Review

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Written by: Joel Reaves
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‘Fear The Walking Dead.’ That’s the title (a little dramatized) of AMC’s new The Walking Dead spinoff companion series, and “fear” is exactly what you should do considering they just broke the all-time premiere ratings record for cable television. I wrote a piece on this show for Collider during Comic-Con when we knew almost nothing about this show and the show-runners gave us a little glimpse into what we could expect. What they prepared us for was nothing compared to what we got; as a person who was skeptical of cash-cowing from the beginning I will say: I think this show is amazing.

Without any spoilers (at first) I’ll say that this is exactly what a Walking Dead companion series should be. Set during the beginning of the apocalypse instead of who-knows-how-long after, it’s a fresh take on the zombie genre and explores things that The Walking Dead can’t. This show is a pièce de résistance on character development; Cliff Curtis (Travis Manawa) and Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) are high school employees who are engaged and trying to juggle their already separate families when the zombie apocalypse rises. This show could survive solely on the already established family drama in my opinion, but guess what? We also get zombies.


Fear the walking dead core cast photo

The breakout star of this show so far is Frank Dillane who plays Nick Clark, Madison’s drug addict son. The majority of this show, to throw us off from the zombie element, is about Nick’s drug problem and his first encounter with the zombies. No one believes Nick’s encounter at first and as the story progresses, even he starts to think that he’s going crazy. Naturally as the lead of the show, Cliff begins to investigate the story that Nick tells everyone and discovers a church covered in blood and guts. As the show (and zombie apocalypse) progresses, we get more glimpses of the first generation of zombies; one instance shows a band of paramedics and police officers trying to save a car accident victim who single handedly takes down the troop despite the dozens of bullets unloaded into it.

This incident is actually the one that puts all of our heroes into high gear and on the defense. By this time Nick is meeting with his drug dealer, Calvin (Keith Powers), trying to figure out what he saw in the church when Calvin tries to kill Nick because he thinks Nick has sold him out to the cops for dealing. After a struggle with a gun Nick gets the upper hand and kills Calvin. This for me was the best part of the show: Cliff and Madison finally meet up with Nick and he frantically confesses what he’s done. As they go back to try and find the body… It’s gone. Nick starts to break from reality, not able to understand what’s happening because the body was clearly there when he left. Just as everyone starts to dismiss Nick’s crazy theories again, they come across Calvin’s zombified corpse and it tries to eat Madison. There’s a struggle and Nick takes matters into his own hands and runs over Calvin multiple times. When Calvin continues to get up after every car-ramming and his body is literally missing pieces, Madison mutters, “What the hell is happening?” To which Cliff responds, “I have no idea.” Crane up over the LA river to see the city and BOOM, cut to black.

There’s not many times that you can convince me to go back on my own opinion and this is a special occasion. This show is going places as long as they continue on this path that they’ve paved for themselves in this pilot episode. The family portion of the show is just as strong as the horror element and it’s something I’m very interested in learning more about. The dynamic between everyone and Nick, now that they know he’s not crazy, is going to make for some amazing television; as long as they don’t get stuck in a prison for two seasons, I see this show going great places… ***Disclaimer, I’m still a Walking Dead fanboy and it will always be the best zombie show in my heart.

Let us know what you thought of the pilot episode of ‘Fear the Walking Dead‘ in the comments below! Also be sure to check out other related content such as interviews with cast and crew!

About the Author

Joel Reaves
Joel Reaves
Joel (Aka The LA Nerd) is an independent filmmaker and podcaster that loves comic books about zombies, really short walks to the bar, and redheads named MJ but he's definitely not Spider-Man so stop asking, okay? Jeez.



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