Fear The Walking Dead: 2.14 Wrath, 2.15 North
There's two episode reviews for the price of one as Fear The Walking Dead airs its double season two finale...
So here we are at the conclusion of Season two of Fear The Walking Dead m a series nowhere near the quality of its big brother show or it's level of fandom, but still a show well worth watching. This season has seen a storyline at times focusing on our wandering band of misfits as a whole and other times, focusing on the individual to good effect.
Sometimes trying to save the world and everyone in it can be a chore and an impossibility in and of itself. Here we find Madison trying to atone for her recent past mistakes by letting refugees in from last week's episode. As is in life, not everyone is nice, and the tourists, Brandon and Derek, recently grouped with Curtis and Chris are kicking up a fuss. Even in the condition's that they are in, for someone to complain about it is mind boggling and makes you hate those characters even more. Madison also has a touching scene here reminiscent of last week's exchange, where she again tries to comfort Travis about the parenting of Chris. It's a quiet, pensive scene, well written and played out.
Nick has been growing more and more as the series progresses from a drug addled self deluded child and more akin nowadays to becoming someone who cares more about the group and less about his personal safety. This is exemplified by his desire to leave The Colony knowing that the Narcos will soon be upon them in no time at all and having to convince Alejandro its the best thing to do for everyone involved.
An interesting scene follows, with the episode primarily focusing on Travis and his dilemma over Chris we find him confronted with Brandon and Derek and all hell breaks loose. First Brandon and Derek lie about what happened to Chris; they are banged up because Chris fell asleep at the wheel and they managed to escape. They then come clean and tell Travis that, like James in a previous episode, they had to 'put down' Chris after he was mortally wounded from the crash. The flashback to this scene plays out in muted grey colours (where the rest of the episode plays out in scorching oranges and reds) so to me doesn't sit right.
If this is the true end to Chris as a character it's a shocking ending, remember Chris is/was only 16 and a brainwashed teenager. Hearing this, Travis unleashes hell upon anyone in his way. The scene plays out swift and sharp, as a viewer you can't really see who is winning and losing until Curtis gets the upper hand and swiftly dispatches both men, crumpling into a heap while a window smashes as others try and get into the room. It's a startling ending to this episode as glass shards strike Curtis as he lays slumped in a catatonic state realising that Chris is dead.
So after Travis' rage attack on Brandon and Derek, which also leaves Oscar dead, we continue with the aftermath of the attack. Madison had recently decreed "no violence" and this has come back to bite her back hard, with Travis taken away due to his actions. It's surprising that of all people to fall foul of this law it hits so close to home, and makes another character step up to the plate and behave more like an adult.
Alicia started the show as a snivelling typically brattish teenager and here we find her advising her mother and Strand that for the betterment of the group they should all leave the hotel if Travis is banished for his actions. It's a great development for the character; although people, especially teenagers, take time to develop into their own, it's a good quickening of the pace - especially set in this particular world.
As a result of Oscar losing his life while our main group sleep in the hotel, they are attacked by Oscar's friends who are distraught that Travis is getting away for his actions. It's a tense, dimly lit scene as Travis is held up at gunpoint, crying out to get everyone out of the room before he is shot. Suddenly out of nowhere Alicia stabs the gun holder and they are able to safely escape into the night, with Strand giving up his car for them to escape. Strand stays behind having already advised the group that he won't die because of them. It's a fast paced, moving scene, with Alicia again stepping up and doing what must be done.
As the episode concludes, they race away from the hotel, taking out the gate as they drive off, meaning anyone can now get into the hotel. We revisit Nick leaving with a group of survivors from The Colony; now that Alejandro is at death's door, Nick has stepped into his role. Nick has the assumption that a helicopter in the distance is a new form of salvation, it shockingly turns out not to be the case as they are attacked by gun-toting mercenaries. Here is where things start to slow down into slo-mo as they would feel like in real life. Is this really happening? Who will survive? And who is already shot? As Madison and Curtis find a dieing Alejandro and hear his final words "North" who knows....
A fitting double episode for a frustrating but ultimately enjoyable show. Sometimes you wanted it to go one way but it went another. Some character motivations and actions were illogical but it only created better storytelling. The ratings continue to drop Stateside but something kept me coming back each and every week. I for one will be looking forward to Fear The Walking Dead when it returns for Season three in 2017.