Fear the Walking Dead season 2 premiere ‘Monster’ recap & review

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Recap

As the night rages on, Los Angeles lies before them in a sea of fire and destruction by the bombings. Travis and Madison are making mad dashes to and fro along the beach trying to get everything ready to be picked up by Nick. Chris, Travis’s son, is oblivious to what’s going on around him, as he kneels in front of his now dead mother. Suddenly, zombies begin overtaking the coast, swarming in from every direction, forcing Madison and Travis to fend for themselves while they wait. After some awkward defensive fighting against the undead, Nick finally makes it to the beach to rescue them in a dinghy, but not before finishing off one last zombie by Nick angling the engine’s propeller blades to destroy its face. Once aboard the Abigail, they join up with Daniel, Ofelia, and Alicia to get away from the bombing raids, slowly floating away from the mass inferno that once was Los Angeles.

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They set sail for San Diego, hoping that they can find some refuge at the Naval base there. The next morning the Abigail pushes past a small boat filled with a lot of people, but as Strand points out that he has met his “mercy quota”, they continue on, threatening that if they are to stop, it will be to let people off, not on. Travis nods slightly in agreement, stating later that it is about their own survival, not anyone else. Travis tells Alicia to begin checking for radio transmissions, in hopes that maybe they can find someplace they can sail to safely, but to her dismay, she hears nothing but scared and hysterical transmissions looking for help. But the most compelling transmission out of all of them is one from the coast guard, declaring that they have no way to provide any form of rescue by land, sea, or air, ending their transmission with a resounding plea: “forgive us”. After some time, Alicia finds a transmission of “Five Years” by David Bowie, and while listening to it, hears a calm voice by the name of Jack asking if there’s anyone else out there. She hesitates to respond at first, but after some coaxing by Jack over the radio, she finally speaks over the com by saying “I’m here.” She begins to conversate with Jack, hearing how he is hidden within a cove alongside his brother and his brother’s wife. Jack has been talking about going to Hawaii with his group, but that their boat won’t make the trip. Alicia lets it slip that they are on a large boat with a desalination system, to which Jack slyly asks if they can make it to Hawaii.

Chris hasn’t left his mother’s side the whole time, mourning her death, but the one moment he does, it is to fish off the edge of the boat alongside Daniel. After small talk, Daniel gives his condolences to Chris for his mother, to which Chris responds with his condolences for the loss of Daniel’s wife. Travis takes note of their conversation, but doesn’t disrupt, and just walks away. Later, Travis ends up asking Daniel about what they were talking about, to which Daniel responds with “We were fishing. You don’t talk when you fish.” Daniel does reassure Travis that one day, Chris will understand that what he did for his mother was an act of mercy.

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Daniel makes a point while talking to Madison to let her know that he doesn’t trust Strand. He mentions to her that he had his bags packed before the bombs fell, to which she responds that he probably was already planning to head to San Diego at the time. Daniel tells her that he doesn’t know, and feels that he has motives that he isn’t sharing with everyone else. Madison doesn’t know what to think of it, and states that maybe he should keep an eye on him, but Daniel mentions that he’s already watching him. All the while, Strand sails to a part of the ocean that’s deeper to where they can perform a burial at sea for Liza. While Travis is giving a eulogy, Chris, in a fit of anger, pushes the body over and runs off to his room, with Travis close behind. He pleads with Chris to talk to him, but all Chris can say is that he could’ve “fixed her”, that he didn’t need to shoot her, and closes their conversation with Chris punching his dad.

Alicia heads over to the radio to continue talking to Jack, but as she tries to hail him over the com, she hears him frantically trying to do something, stating that his boat is taking on water, and that they are forced to head towards land, where the dead are. Alicia offers to come and help them out, giving them their location. She rushes to the dining room to find Travis, letting him know that they need help, and that it is only three of them. From someone in the background, we hear Strand speak up, asking Alicia, “Who’s Jack?” Strand states the level of chaos and insanity going on land, and reminds them that nothing changes while on water. He then goes on about reminding them the rules of the boat, all three of them encompassing on one simple key point: it’s his boat. Alicia heads back to the radio, apologizing to Jack and telling him that they can’t come get him. “It’s ok,” Jack responds. “I’ve got you. I’ll see you soon.”

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While the rest of the group are preparing to sit down for dinner, Chris makes his way through the dining room and leaves out the back door. All of a sudden, we hear a loud splash, causing everyone to go into a panic. Nick, without thinking, jumps in to the water to rescue Chris, but Chris responds with “I’m just going for a swim”, bringing a lightness to the mood, but it is short-lived. While underwater, Chris is attacked by a zombie, discovering that amidst the fog lies a capsized boat. Travis jumps in the dinghy to grab the boys, but is only able to rescue Chris, as Nick says he hears something from the capsized vessel, swimming over to it. He finds that it is riddled with bullets, and one last zombie scare for the audience. While all this is going on, Strand finds that something or someone is coming this way. He says that they need to get out of there because whoever is coming, is coming fast. “It could be no one, or it could be the ones who did that,” telling Alicia, pointing to the bullet-ridden mess of a boat. Travis and the boys make their way back on to the ship as Madison tells them that they need to get ready, because whoever destroyed the other boat, are on their way back.

Review

The show makes great work of the opening scene, setting the somber tone of the rest of the show, but letting down with having all the intense parts of the show lie within the first 8 minutes. The rest of the show loses its momentum, with minimal points of high energy and intensity. It tends to become lethargic at times, for it being the season premiere episode. It goes to great lengths to lay down the foundation for what’s to come in the rest of the season as far as story development and brow-raising characters, but other than that, we are left with a minuscule remnant of what we had received during last year’s season premiere.

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Some of the high points of the show, within what was given to us, were the unique character developments of individuals such as Strand, the elusive captain of the Abigail. He doesn’t give much to the other characters that would cause them to think differently of him, but his demeanor and approach to survival does cause a few of the characters to doubt his sincerity. Nick is another character who is definitely coming into his own, becoming more than just a bumbling addict. Although he does folly every now and then with his decision-making ability, he shows true maturity in his moments that he has with Ofelia and his conversations with Strand.

Overall, the show laid a good psychological foundation for the show, thus far. We are getting to see the quiet minds of the characters at work, seeing who is suspicious of who, and who is not as strong of a mind as the rest. We see relationships beginning to progress, while others begin to dwindle. The idea that the episode being titled “Monster” leans more to the psychological aspect of the show, making a well-aware statement in the end, with everyone’s fallacies and failures, not to mention the people who we’re going to get to meet in the next episode, they might all just be monsters.

What did you think? Did you like the episode? Who do you think they’ll encounter in the next episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 10/9p.m on AMC.

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Eddie Villanueva Jr.
Eddie Villanueva Jr. 313 posts

A movie connoisseur of only the finest films, and an Encyclopod of geek and nerd knowledge. And if you know what an Encyclopod is, you're cool too!