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Fear the Walking Dead Explores the Positive Side of the Zombie Apocalypse

Illustration for article titled iFear the Walking Dead/i Explores the Positive Side of the Zombie Apocalypse

Sunday’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead was the mid-season finale, leaving viewers with a few cliffhangers as the show goes away until August. It’s been a mostly monotonous, occasionally interesting, season but this episode finally put gave us some meat on the bone (so to speak)

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In the episode titled “Shiva,” Celia (Marlene Forte) presents a very unique perspective on the zombie apocalypse. You see Celia, the matriarch of the Mexican home the group has ended up at, keeps her dead alive. The basement is filled with the zombies of her loved ones. And when Strand (Colman Domingo) shoots his boyfriend/her son Thomas (Dougray Scott) in the head, she’s furious. This kind of finality cannot stand, and she banishes him.

Here’s where things get interesting. Celia doesn’t see the zombie apocalypse as an “apocalypse,” she sees it as the “beginning of eternal life.” Now, as long as you don’t destroy someone’s head, they cannot die.

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Whoa. That’s... kind of true, right? I mean, obviously, the zombie versions of people have no morality or consciousness and will blindly kill anyone in their path. When Madison tries to kill Celia and Daniel burns her house down, you understand their disgust at this idea. Years and years of zombie movies and TV shows have led us to a universal truth that these creatures aren’t human.

But I applaud Fear the Walking Dead for providing a flipside to the argument. This early in the zombie outbreak (I mean, we’re probably only like a month into it at this point, right?) it makes sense people would have different interpretations. What makes less sense are Madison and Daniel’s instant and violent rejection of this more optimistic view, but that’s another story. For instance, here’s what Daniel thinks of Celia’s idea:

It’s also great that this belief has begun to splinter the main group. Will these complex, interesting thematic threads continue when the show comes back in August? We don’t know, but it’s promising nonetheless.

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

I can’t handle this Germain! You ripped on this show when I liked it and I came here just waiting to read your eviceration because I very much did not like the episode.

And you praise it!

Sigh. You vex me! *shakes tiny fist*

In all seriousness I had some problems with the basic writing on the show this time around. Nothing is feeling earned to me.

Suddenly Chris wants to just abandon his family. Faced with being exposed over the fact that he was gonna watch stepmom get eaten he has decided to go it alone.

Dad finds him and, despite being stabbed, doesn’t beat this kids ass and gives up on his wife, kids, and general security to just follow his psycho son into the unknown. Seems like a rash decision.

Nick, the heart and soul of common sense on the show, just drinks the Kool Aid like he just walked in from the desert. I am was hoping, HOPING, that he is just saying he believes this nonsense because he knows those are the words that he needs to speak in order to stay in the safe area. But nope. He has decided he is “invisible” to the infected and decides to roam amoung them on his own. Also abandoning his family.

Daniel doesn’t abandon his family. Even his dead wife. I can sort of buy this. He has snapped. But it felt unearned —there was no foreshadow of this. He went from ruthless competant survivor to nutball in two minutes.

Madison is the only character here who I really think stayed within character. I completely bought her locking Mama Nutball in with the zombie petting zoo. This seems exactly like what she would do —which was refreshing in an episode filled with a bunch of WTF moments.

I suppose Victor was not bad. He ultimately stayed a survivor. And I thought it was good growth that this seems to have worn on him; his words say he doesn’t care but his body language says he does.

The entire thing was hard for me to accept. Too many characters went off the reservation in terms of how it was established that they generally behave so much so that they seemed like different characters altogether.

It also seemed very artificial. It appears to be an attempt to break up everyone so they can tell their individual small group stories. Walking Dead has done the same; but it did it in ways that were consistant with the characters they wrote about.

For me this was the very worse episode to date. It is still a well-made show. I will still watch it. But the writing on this seemed very ham-handed and it interfered with my ability to really enjoy the story at all.