TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead Episode 105 “Cobalt”

Hmm..Well, this episode wasn’t bad.

Let me be clear about my complaints about this show, I don’t have a problem with shows where nothing is really happening. I LIKE shows that are character driven. The thing about those shows, though, is that they have to have well written, well developed characters. You have to either like or hate them all. If you don’t give a shit about the characters then you need SOMETHING to be happening or the characters need to have activities to be doing to make the show entertaining and to hide the fact that they are extremely one dimensional. If you have characters with no purpose who are doing nothing and who you don’t give a shit about then that is sloppy writing. You don’t create a character that you have nothing to do with. Alicia and Ophelia just feel pointless. They’re cannon fodder. They contribute nothing to the story and they real personality. I’m hoping they’re being set up to have a point later because other wise they’re just set dressing in the other characters lives. Which really is sloppy writing. I find it irritating that they haven’t really served any purpose at all this entire season. I won’t be shocked if they’re killed off next week. If they do survive I’m really hoping that get some purpose next season because although this episode was much more interesting than the previous episodes have been and did give me a bit more hope for the future of this show those two characters still annoy me.

The Walking Dead writers honestly are not good at writing female characters in general. They write them into to the story but have no idea what to do with most of them. So, they end up just standing around until they start doing REALLY stupid shit, like flip a car over because of one walker in the road (which I’m almost certain is stupidity to the point of defying physics), fall in love with a psychopath that proceeds to murder your friends or stab a woman that has a gun in close reach that she can shoot you with. The writers just seem really unsure how to write normal female characters most of the time. Although it has gotten some better there are still issues. So, I think that is likely the issue with Alicia and Ophelia. I assume they were created for a reason. So, they’ll either die as a way to further the story for the other characters or they’ll serve a purpose eventually. I just wish they were better at writing them in ways to make them not seem so useless and annoying prior to being needed. As I said, this episode was better in some ways, though.

First off, the new guy, the salesman that wants Nick to escape with him (or help him escape) is a great character. He is instantly interesting. He has one of those resonating voices that when you hear it, you listen. Since he sent poor Douglas off to be exterminated (Ha!) he definitely isn’t a good guy exactly but he is interesting. Before the guy had even been on camera for a minute I was already intrigued and wanted to know more. Plus, it’s not like Douglas would have survived long anyway. Poor guy is a mess.

Travis really irritates me. I can’t help it. He is an idiot. He is worse than Hershel. Hershel at least was doing things. He served a purpose and took care of his family. Travis is just wandering around pretending to be useful. He thinks he can reason with soldiers acting under orders and he thinks the walkers are still people despite being very obviously very dead. Hershel has family that were walkers. He had a reason to want them to be alive. Travis is in deep denial for not reason. He even corrects the officer and tells him he is still an English Lit teacher. Um. no. you’re really not dude.

I also don’t like that Javier tortured that kid. I get why he did it but he is a low ranking soldier. He may not have even had any information they needed. I get it and I know they were low on options but I still don’t like it. That is a comment on character choices though not on the show from a writing standpoint it was a good direction to go. It was unexpected and it may have made you hate Javier but it definitely got your attention. Hell, I can’t even say I wouldn’t do the same thing or at least wouldn’t condone it if my family was taken away. I imagine I’d do anything necessary to get them back. He did what he felt he had to do. I don’t think it makes him a bad man exactly but I don’t love the choices he made.

The soldiers themselves are written very well. They have personality and they aren’t just brutes and bad guys. This episode does take some efforts to show that they are real people, following orders and that they don’t all like it. I’d like to see some of the soldiers become characters we follow as regulars.

Alicia meanders a lot…going through people’s houses…breaking things…if they are building her toward having some kind of breakdown then it all makes sense. I still don’t like her much but that would make sense.

We haven’t really seen walkers for a couple episodes now. I mean there were some at a distance in this episode but we’ve never seen a horde on this show. It looks like we will see 2000+ all at once next week. That’s pretty damn insane. I’m assuming that Los Angeles does indeed end up like Atlanta. Swarmed with walkers and probably eventually burning.

I wonder where the soldiers all plan to evacuate too? Are there actually military holed up somewhere still with government officials in a bunker? Are they waiting for the hordes to die and things to settle? That could be an interesting thing to find out the possibility of. The kid only says they are abandoning Loa Angeles. He doesn’t say where they are going. I wonder if we get to find out? I mean…assuming they escape the 2000+ zombies.

I’m not sure what Javier’s plan there is…I mean releasing those walkers will likely kill a lot of innocent people and would even put the people he wants to rescue in danger.

Not to mention what is he going to do when he finds out his wife died?

It was a good episode. It held my attention. I think the show need to cull the herd a bit and then put more efforts into developing the characters left. It has issues with underdeveloped and uninteresting characters but this episode left me at least wanting to see what happens next.

Not to mention that the LOOKS great. It’s shot well. Production wise, it’s gorgeous. There are just writing issues with the characters but it still has potential and it’s not like they don’t have time to build up to being better. They were renewed for season 2 before the first episode ever aired. It seems like they are introducing new characters at least which is good. I’m thinking positive. I’m thinking this show is finally getting going and will soon at least have characters who have full personalities and hopefully less pure canon fodder. Right now I have a hard time believing any of the main family would actually survive an apocalypse. Maddie and Nick, once he is detoxed at least, are the only ones in that whole extended family that seem resilient and adaptable in the least.. Maybe Chris…maybe….his Mom I’m not sure about yet. Of course they could kill off everyone in the finale and start over again next season. That would be an interested twist actually…..


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