Alicia works toward reuniting with her family. Travis comes across a familiar face. Madison and Nick try to save their family against all odds.
Last weeks episode of Fear The Walking Dead climaxed with Alicia and Travis being taken hostage by Connor, Jack and his gang. Episode Five of Fear The Walking Dead , Captive , opens with Connor being more or less human towards Alicia even going as far as cooking her a gourmet steak, admitting to her that he wants to get her alone to get to know her better. Alicia, being young and impressionable, although scared, talks timidly. We as outsiders can see Connor is a snake and is using Alicia’s naivety against her, prying for answers. It almost makes you want to scream at the screen, to let Alicia know what he is doing. After Connor leaves Alicia to enjoy her meal she is snatched away by the pregnant lady, which gives Alicia the chance to survey her surroundings. A huge aerial shot follows Alicia outside to find, that yes she is still on a huge ship, but this time its on dry dock. The ensuing aerial shot gives a good sense of space and will be used later on in the episode.
The episode is a bit of a let down action wise after last week’s action packed episode. We hear a lot about guilt and responsibility throughout the episode but this is at the expense of action. I can understand this as a whole for the season but it does feel a bit lop sided here. Everybody plays their parts with a heavy handedness and ultimately this goes against the episode as a whole. The episode does reassure us though that every character has something to get off their chest and be angry about. At its zombified core Fear The Walking Dead is a family drama set within the world of a zombie outbreak, heavy on the family, light on the zombie.
The boaters aboard the Abigail are increasingly having to make difficult decisions. When a person gets injured they are now a walking time bomb, amply shown here when Connor’s brother, Reed, stabbed in the side but alive, from last week’s madness is killed by a frightened Chris exclaiming “He was about to turn”. Chris leaves and yet again leaves Madison to pick up the pieces of his mess. Strand cutting Alex loose from the Abigail two episodes ago comes back to haunt the crew and especially a hapless Travis later in the episode. The interplay between the two with Travis locked away in the hull of the dry docked boat and Alex’s revelation that it was her who gave Connor the Abigail’s position is quite revelatory.
Talking about family after Connor kidnapped Travis and Alicia its not that surprising that Madison will risk everything to get her family back, putting herself in harm’s way yet again using Connors now zombie brother, Reed, as a bargaining tool. Madison’s tenacity and bull headedness, although not really relatable to this watcher, is an interesting character; it will be interesting how far Madison can be pushed in future episodes. Another example of this is Madison’s flat out refusal for her kids to carry weapons but quite happily for her to jump into a dinghy with a zombie and a bag over its head.
One of the concerning points evident through the first five episodes of Fear The Walking Dead is that however hard our group try at any given task or plot point, they nearly always fail. They cut Alex’s dinghy away, she turns on them, they visit a family on an island, they get them all killed. It’s interesting as the group in The Walking Dead generally succeed.
The episode concludes with the exchange of prisoners between Madison and Connor. The camera at this point works well sweeping over each characters positions giving a good special point of view. The fight that ensues, although not as well portrayed as this week’s Game of Thrones is still well put together effectively. Especially Travis delivering a bone crunching headbutt at one point. Who knew he had it in him?
Although the plan semi works with Alicia safe, it feels like a failure; with Connor dead, it still leaves most of his gang alive and well aware of where the Abigail is. Now that Connor is dead, the age old adage of someone replacing him who is ten times worse is likely on the horizon. Hopefully with Connor’s gang knowing the position of the Abigail, this will bring about a cool boat chase in later episodes ala Speed rather than Speed 2 – Cruise Control though please.
An engaging and, in parts fast paced episode from Fear The Walking Dead . This week’s marks a third of the way through the 15 episode run; next week’s episode should surely bring new and exciting plot developments going into the second third of episodes. Lets hope it’s not a mid season slump that The Walking Dead sometimes gets bogged down in.
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