TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead Episode 104 “Not Fade Away”

Okay….well…..parts of this episode are an improvement. Other parts make me want to throw things at the television and stab pencils into my eyes.

I’m not recapping this one. I’m getting sick of doing that. There really isn’t enough happening in this show right now to make recaps worth bothering with. So, no more recaps for this show. Maybe I’ll do on for the season finale but for now I’m done with the recaps. Anyway…

I’ll start with the good things because I prefer focusing on the positive and trying to forget the things that trigger violent impulses.

Now, that the show has gotten into the military occupation phase of the outbreak it seems moderately less pointless. This is information we didn’t have previously. None of the Georgia group knew much about the “safe” camps other than that the one in Atlanta became a death trap. So, everything that happens here is interesting. We know the eventual outcome is probably that same as Atlanta. As people die faster than the military can contain and they then turn others the walkers get out of hand and take over. The whole city probably eventually burns just like Atlanta. But now we get to see how the government attempted to control it all.

It’s pretty obvious they are taking people away who are sick, injured or suicide/overdose risks to either kill them before they die or to watch them in case they die. Which means someone in charge knows that everyone is infected and that everyone comes back when they die. Which makes it very difficult to figure out what kind of long term plan they could possibly have. I mean…..they’re not telling people what’s going on…I guess they think they can find a cure (cause we know the CDC was working on that) and cure everyone without ever telling them they were infected? I don’t know but I actually care and want to see more. So, that is an improvement over the last couple episodes when I was beginning to not care at all what happened next.

Chris is also getting more interesting. I wish more of the show was focused on him. Although his story has it’s own flaws (mostly involving Travis….a lot of the issues with this show involve Travis) his disbelief that everything is going to be fine and curiosity about what it happening outside the quarantine area they are fenced into is what will likely help fuel the story to move along more.  And, God knows, it needs to move along more.

Every time a character does something smart/interesting like Maddie venturing outside to see what is being hidden from them (or maybe she had intended to check out Chris’ flashing light friend? That was what I assumed she was doing at first but she didn’t actually do it…so i don’t know) and actually finding out some things but as soon as things like that happen the same character does more stupid shit (like her blaming Liza at the end for Nick being taken away when Liza was only trying to help everyone and had no reason to think telling the Doctor who was sick or may need help could be a bad idea).

No one trusts anyone and no one listens to anyone. That is a continuing problem on this show. Travis is the absolute worst. The world is ending and he can’t take 5 minutes to listen to his son? Yet we are supposed to believe he’s a good guy? Very little he has done during this season has made him seem like anything other than a selfish, wannabe good guy that wants the attention and praise of being a good guy without doing any of the real work involved in actually being a good guy. Rick had his moments (*cough*twoandahalfseasons*cough*) of being irritating and kind of ridiculous but I never once questioned that he was a good man who truly wanted to do the right thing for everyone.  Travis is very different. I don’t think he is a good man. I think he is a selfish coward more concerned with being in denial and wanting to “help” in a public way than he is with actually doing what’s right for his family. I have my fingers crossed that he is who they kill off in the season finale.

You know someone will die. Possibly multiple someones. My votes are Travis and Alicia.

Oh Alicia…..what the hell was she even doing in this episode? She had no purpose at all. She found out the neighbor woman who was a zombie committed suicide (another hint for them that everyone is infected but to vague for them to really pay attention to it). She cried a lot. She stabbed herself in the arm with a needle. Seriously what the fuck was she doing there? If she was trying to tattoo herself she was doing it very wrong. Ink isn’t going to stay in like that and she’s risking major infection. There are much safer and more affective ways to tattoo yourself. A thinner needle and not going so deep would be a good start. I really don’t see where she even has a purpose in this show. She seems to be being set up to be cannon fodder. Beth had more purpose than this chick. At least Beth was a good baby sitter. Alicia isn’t even doing that. She doesn’t pay any attention to Nick until he’s been beaten and then she isn’t really much help.

Hell, they may as well kill Ophelia, too. I don’t know what her purpose is supposed to be, either. I kept thinking she was Liza in this episode because she seemed to have almost no point for existing. You could cut her scenes out of the episode and the story would make just as much progress as it did with them. It would actually make the progress more efficiently.  Her scenes felt like filler at best. Alicia’s scenes served not point now but felt like maybe they have some point eventually but Ophelia’s felt completely pointless. I assume they were to introduce that soldier she is sleeping with as a character but as he wasn’t developed at all and also feels like canon fodder it didn’t really feel necessary.

Aaaanyway, there are still lots of issues to be had with this show but the development of the military occupation, while frustrating to watch, is interesting to see after hearing only brief mentions of the occupation of Atlanta and how well that did not go. We haven’t really heard anything for sure about what happened on the West Coast. So, there ARE multiple possible outcomes. Which makes it at least some what interesting. I just wish the characters involved were more interesting themselves. All of them are super irritating in some way (with the exception of the Barber…whose name I admittedly still don’t know..I suck with names…sorry…but him I do like) and most barely have any personality. Nick and Chris are the most interesting with Maddie and Alicia (and Ophelia and Liza) continuing the Walking Dead trend that exists in the original series and the comic source material being alternately irritating, stupid and pointless and Travis being a complete annoyance that makes me want to somehow stab him through the television.

I actually wish they would have a big twist and kill everyone off in the finale. Then start over with all new characters next season. Lets have a new cast every season. Something totally different from the original series. That would be awesome. Especially if they actually put some effort into developing the next cast and making them not the kind of people whose party invitations you accidentally-on-purpose throw away without replying to.

Fear The Walking Dead airs on Sundays on AMC.

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