Fear the Walking Dead 2.07 - Shiva
When characters in TV or film perform moronic actions, we usually give them the benefit of the doubt. We know its not real life, we are watching a narrative, and we know we are better than the characters because we know better. Usually if a character just spoke more openly or listened better, a certain tension or crisis would be averted. In this week's episode of Fear The Walking Dead characters act irrationally and more importantly implausibly. From the last few weeks episodes where characters have been acting out, but acting out within parameters of believability to this weeks off the map madness, this weeks episode entitled Shiva is a frustrating watch.
At the start we are thrust back into the mind of Daniel as his mind wanders back to flashbacks of rivers engorged with blood and full of bodies. Its an evocative opening scene, showing Daniel's slow mental collapse that plays out later on in the episode. Fear The Walking Dead rarely has any flashbacks so its interesting to find out characters back story or mental state with this type of narrative.
In the immeadiate aftermath of Strand killing Thomas we find the remaining group members surrounding them, as usual, arguing. Celia seems to be more emotional than the others. We find out Celia is Thomas's mother. Fear The Walking Dead is so heavy on family that it's interesting to throw this plot development into the mix. Madison being the alpha female butts heads with Celia. Celia is the mother of the older child, being Thomas, laying dead and Madison is the mother of the more needy younger children. Its an interesting family dynamic played out on screen with each being correct but looking at the same point from different perspectives.
After Chris bolted last week we find Travis chasing his son through the fields of the compound. Stylistically the shot is framed well, Travis looking over the fields at night with fog rolling in. An eerie captivating scene but one with narrative problems. Travis runs after Chris without a care, running to the point where his shoes are no more. Its unbelievable that someone would do something as stupid as that. Its only there to make a scene later where Travis has to sit down and take his socks off and catch up with Chris.
In The Walking Dead they used the 'cover yourself in blood and guts' to mask zombie attacks sparingly, here it looks like they are using it every week, specifically with the Nick character. Here, to barter more time at the compound after Celia asks them to leave, Nick goes all Rambo again and gets another zombie to add to Celia's brood again. Madison, once again, scolds Nick. Madison is mothering Nick to the point of suffocation here and Nick explodes in anger. We can see that Nick is jumping from one addiction to another. An addiction from pills is now turning into an addiction for danger and he feels invincible because of it.
The group we started off with at the outset is becoming more and more fragmented and dissillsuioned. In times of great disruption, there is always one voice who thinks it is best to burn the world down and start again. This weeks episode teaches us no different. With Celia now locked up in the basement of the compound, thanks to Madison, Daniel decides to end everything by soaking the surroundings in petrol and burning it to the ground. As the group of Strand, Madison and Alicia escape, they come across Nick, once again covered in blood, amongst the zombie horde. He would rather stay there, thank you very much, amongst characters he feels more at home with than his own family. Its an interesting character development. Nick has now stuck his flag in the ground and set out his stall. Whether anything comes of it, who knows.
An interesting but fatally flawed episode of Fear The Walking Dead this week. With character developments aplenty but some that I can't quite invest in, as we enter the mid season break, what will happen to our family of characters? Who will survive the burning of the compound and will things change or get progressively worse. We can only find out when Fear The Walking Dead returns on 22nd August at 9pm.