Fear The Walking Dead: 2.09 Los Muertos
After last weeks Nick centric episode we return to the world of Fear The Walking Dead with our central characters still split up and wandering the scorched landscape of Tijuana. A new sense of serenity falls over Nick as he revels in the security of his new family within the compound and we finally get to see most of the other characters as well, in what condition, who knows, but as always we continue with them on their ever expanding journey.
We find Nick opening his eyes to a whole new world of safety in a gated compound full of laughter, food and community. If, as a viewer, this is your first experience in a The Walking Dead universe, don't be fooled, it won't last long, it never does. Nick observes a sacrifice of sorts, with a man moving beyond the secure fence and willingly being eaten by Walkers. This is jarring for a number of reasons. One, Nick observes this alongside a young child, the man's daughter, and two, the man willingly sacrifice's himself for an unknown reason. The young actress who plays the little girl pulls the role off well, most shows with children live and die by the younger cast members.
Madison, Stroud, Alicia and Ofealia are looking for Nick and are debating about where to look. What is striking here is the way Alicia callously disregards Nick and wants to return to the Abigail. Its a surprising turn for the character, how she doesn't even bother wanting to put her energy into looking for Nick. The gang return to the Abigail but find it missing, presumed taken by the military. They head north to a distant hotel but not before leaving a message in the dirt.
When the gang arrive at the hotel and split up, some surprising character developments happen. Madison and Strand sit at a bar and decide to slowly get drunk on Martinis. Here is where Madison sits and opens up to Strand on what happened to her former husband and her ongoing relationship with Nick. There is a poignant moment where she mentions that Nick has been "slipping through her fingers since birth" and he is someone she has never been close to. Kim Dickens plays the scene well, not saying a huge amount but using body language to convey her state of mind. Strand trys to lighten the mood by saying the service here is "subpar".
Alicia and Ofealia move to higher floors to find resources, after finding hot water Alicia showers. In a world that has gone mad, it would be incredibly freeing to simply bathe in hot water, to cleanse yourself, especially in the timescales our characters have. It's almost a freeing moment for Alicia but while she is at peace we see bodies falling from the sky. Ofealia is missing but we see it is in fact Walkers falling over the balconies and walking towards the foyer where Madison and Strand are. It is incredibly effective (even a touch of bad CGI can't dampen the scene) seeing bodies flying over balconies and then seeing them get back up and carry on their destruction. Its a scene that hasn't been seen before in this series or its main series.
Other scenes are effective also, Nick and Luciana go shopping but Nick nearly gets killed after being reckless and trying to shoplift. Nick visits Alejandro who explains how he keeps the community together, preaching the world of god and saying that the survivors will inherit the left over earth.
Another effective episode from the show this week, one full of vivid scenes and also well written dialogue from new writer Alan Page. The scenes at the episode's climax with Nick mouthing the religious rhetoric of Alejandro are especially striking. Is Nick losing his mind? Will he become one of the converted?