Fear The Walking Dead - 2.04 Blood In The Streets
Another week, and another threat attacks our rag tag bunch of characters. This week characters from past episodes come back to haunt the group and surprising character developments arise with shocking consequences.
With the change of scenery this season to the Abigail, the sea and water come into play a lot; whether it be bullet ridden capsized hulls or suspicious gangs roaming on smaller boats. Another aspect commonly associated with the sea is that of rebirth and Blood In The Streets captures this perfectly as Nick pulls himself from the sea, crawling up a beach at night. He comes across an abandoned camp site, tents flapping menacingly in the night air. He lures a lone zombie into a tent, killing it with the staple stab to the head and then continues inland by slathering blood on his body again, from head to toe....
We find Madison and Travis furiously arguing about Charlie's fate from last week when Strand cuts their dinghy loose, forcing them to fight against the elements and roaming gangs on their own, lost in a world heading towards madness. Both argue for and against cutting them loose and both come to the same conclusion but from different points of view. It's an interesting dynamic that must be incredibly difficult from a writer's perspective but is captured well on screen.
Chris and Ofelia talk on deck of the Abigail, shooting the breeze about relationships, flirting as the conversation continues. "Are there girls left on this planet?" Chris decries. Ofelia confirms there will be but the look of disappointment from Chris, he hides his true feeling for Ophelia. I think this relationship may blossom in further episodes. Before anything further can develop Nick questions whether to shoot an approaching dinghy. The survivors board the Abigail and cry for help as one of the group is pregnant and bleeding. Alicia enters the scene and recognises one of the voices of the group, questioning him with a "Jack?". The new additions make small talk before attacking and tying up our group with the help of Alicia, who begrudgingly helps at gunpoint. As the group continue to talk, Strand ghosts the group and looks to get hands on a gun but finds the magazine empty. He leaves the ship but gets a few bullets in his dinghy for his troubles, the new additions thinking he will be dead either by being shot or hyperthermia.
For the first time in this season we get a flashback. We haven't seen much of this either in Fear The Walking Dead or The Walking Dead aside from a brief look at Michone's life pre-apocalypse. The flashback here focuses on Strand. We meet him at a bar alongside someone who we believe is a colleague, played by guest star Dougray Scott, they chat about the devastation of the recently hit Hurricane Katrina, a nice nod to set the time and year. We find out that Strand has been declared bankrupt and looking to start over. Strand puts his colleague to bed but not before stealing his credit cards. It is an interesting setup that pays off as the episode progresses.
Meanwhile Alicia tries convince Jack to let the group go and to find out if all the things they discussed over the radio were real. Jack proclaims their leader is Connor and he must obey him as he has saved them in the past. I am intrigued to see if Alicia is really falling into a trap with Jack.
Nick continues looking for something, or someone, on dry land, and runs into someone looking down the barrel of a gun. Nick proclaims he has been sent on a mission by Strand to look for someone who can get the group into Mexico. The lone stranger proclaims "I only thought I was getting Strand into Mexico". With the group back on the Abigail, Madison and the pregnant lady, Red, discuss the ongoing hostilities and Madison scares Red with her story of being pregnant, losing a baby, and being weaker for having babies. It's a great turn by Kim Dickens who plays Madison, a chilling turn of character.
We head back to Strand at this point and find that he has been caught out by his business colleague and they kiss. Strand being gay is an interesting plot development; in previous episodes Strand has been almost Alpha Male like. I look forward to seeing where and if they bring this back up in episodes further down the line.
This week's episode of Fear The Walking Dead was not boring but certainly a letdown after last week's episode. It will be interesting to see where further characters develop into and what decisions they have to make. Some characters are maturing and developing where others are retreating into their shells. Can the show develop these weaker characters as successfully as its parent show The Walking Dead?