Fear The Walking Dead 2.03 - Ouroboros
One thing I have always enjoyed when watching, shall we say, 'genre TV', is sometimes it pays to be a little bit more attentive to the coming and going of certain characters in a show or even a set of films. For example the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the upcoming DC universe. Sometimes, especially in these days of cross pollination between comics, books, cartoons and films, that one character in a background scene may very well be a major player in a spin off set in the same universe or be a major player in an upcoming episode. So we come to this weeks episode of Fear The Walking Dead entitled Ouroboros . We open with someone (who?) in the water in distress with a 'Jaws' referencing shot from beneath. At this point we can't see who this person is, we find out soon enough that its a boy, trying to get to an inflatable dinghy after what looks like a plane crash. If you have seen the spin off episode 'Flight 462' you will know these characters well, if not, they are completely new to you. Either way, it works, and its good to see a bit more depth to characters, that you have to look for, rather than them coming to you.
We find our regular group of survivors still trying to live in close proximity aboard the Abigail, not exactly knowing where the next stop will be and whether it will be safe. Strand is on the phone to an unknown recipient, discussing what their next move will be. We still don't know what this characters intentions are though. Surely they cant be good, if they were he would share them with the group. The character is being uncovered slowly, we as viewers are being drip fed character backstory and it's interesting how and where this will pay off.
While Strand is on the phone we find Madison and Travis in bed trying to find five minutes of peace to make love and reconnect with each other. As is want in the Fear The Walking Dead universe something rears its ugly head, in this instance a blocked engine compartment, which Travis has to go under the boat to fix, at night. We don't get to see much of some characters, when the story focuses on Travis and Madison and their struggles, but we do get to see Ophelia and Salazar discuss her wounds, its a touching moment between Father and Daughter, one we haven't seen much in the first three episodes of the series. Hopefully this will develop over the next few episodes as its nice to see them connect. After Travis has had a look at the damage under the boat, Alicia notices an island with luggage strewn all across the beach. Where Madison doesn't want to go ashore, Alicia does, screaming at her mother and putting her in her place with "Stop putting us on the kids table mom!" Its an effective character moment showing her strength and willingness to help, even if it is disobeying her mother.
Some of the group head for the beach headed by Salazar where some of the adults stay behind, fighting their own fights, with Madison worried on two fronts with her children on the beach and her husband under the boat. The beach setting is another setting that is different in this world, its something we have yet to see anywhere else on either shows and in a particular stand out moment, a wave of zombies stumble over the crest of a dune, making their way to our group. Running from the zombies is a women who you may have seen before in the shape of Charlie (Michelle Ang) who is a passenger on the Flight 462 short.
One thing I like that makes Fear The Walking Dead away from its parent show is some of the set pieces surrounding the zombies. A good example in this episode is when Nick stumbles upon a zombies half submerged in quicksand being eaten by sand crabs. Its a well made up zombie and, again because of the setting is a new and exciting way to show new things on something that has been seen so much over the years.
As in real life, people aren't perfect and everyone has their problems. We find Chris at this point in the episode locating the crashed plane from the short 'Flight 462'. Chris enters the wreckage and discovers the dead, transformed and in the midst of the throws of agony. A zombie is belted into his seat with an oxygen mask over his face. It's another tally for an interesting zombie and with the mask on, the zombie isn't scary, we fell sorry for it. To top it off Chris actually finds a survivor who hasn't changed but is on the point of death. Chris has a dilemma on his hand and we dont' know which way he will go. Chris makes a decision and grows as a character with what he does, leaving the wreckage of the plane a changed person.
Towards the end of the show, the narrative does breaks down. We see the team back on the boat, after Travis has fixed the boat pump, with Charlie and the young boy from the plane on their rubber dinghy. What we find confusing is how the dinghy and the boy got to the boat. We first saw Charlie racing away from the zombies coming over the sand dunes, how the boy and the rubber dinghy got to the Abigail is confusing. Once they get to the boat, further arguments ensue on whether to let the new guys onto the boat. Strand denies them and leaves them connected to the boat but ultimately lost at sea....
We are now pretty much a third of the way through this season of Fear The Walking Dead and all the pieces feel they are in place now and with Ouroboros is probably the best of the first three episodes. At the end of the episode we simply don't know what is going to happen next and that's what you need from TV shows. An audience like this would normally know what is going to happen next and where the characters will go but from this point, we don't and that's what makes me excited. Long live Fear The Walking Dead .