Travis has a hard time connecting with Chris while looking for shelter; Alicia meets a woman with a bloody past.
Fear The Walking Dead reintroduces two of the splintered group in an episode with a bit more of an intermediate feeling this week. Chris and Travis travel looking for food and shelter, encountering danger and mistrust along the way, while Alicia is stuck at the hotel wondering if her mother is still alive below her.
Flashbacks are a story structure that helps establish a scene or narrative through line and tonight’s episode starts with one. We see a large family wedding, the one that everybody gets to go to at least once in a lifetime. You know the one, where the family glorify the love of two people by spending a small fortune and gloating to people they barely see once a year. The air is thick with love, but something is wrong. The father of the bride collapses and all hell breaks loose. Its an intriguing opening to the episode as director Micheal McDonaugh’s camera spends an extra beat on certain characters we get to revisit later on.
The last time we saw Chris and Travis, Travis had run off with Curtis in tow after Chris’ altercation with a sleeping Alicia. We find our father and son team walking a desert road with Travis worse for wear as his bloodied feet are about to give out on him. Chris is a character that similar to Nick is all at once fighting the anger of youth and the outside world turned to hell. You ask yourself how you would react as a young person, fighting internally and externally, with a father who cannot express himself fully. It’s an interesting dynamic between Travis and Chris, the episode giving them both time and the space to develop themselves as characters without the hindrance of other main cast characters in the way. Chris is at loggerheads with Travis on what to do for the best, whether to follow the crowd or venture on their own. A tense, telling glance at the end of the episode gives us intrigue of further developments down the line.
We find Alicia, scared and alone in a hotel room, peeping through an eye hole counting walkers fearlessly scratching numbers into the door. Its a menacing scene, showing externally what Alicia is feeling and thinking internally. A show of defiant strength, but the zombie growling into the eye hole is a little over the top in terms of scares. As usual though, Alicia gets into a scrape and has to think fast when she gets blocks in and has to jump into an elevator shaft, swinging on the cables, almost like a female John McClane, as walkers drop around her, eventually getting saved by a familiar face in the shape of Elena, a waitress from the opening scene. In the form of Elena, another strong female character, we find her butting heads almost immediately with Alicia on a plan. The plan is to trap the walkers in hotel rooms and move via balconies across the hotel. The plan works but almost kills Alicia in a short heart stopping sequence when she stumbles slightly.
We don’t see much, if anything at all of the remaining main characters in a tense but intimate episode. Particular stand out performances go to Lorenzo Henrie’s Chris and Cliff Curtis’ Travis, being given the time in a typical TV episode to breathe more life into their characters helping establish further the divide between raging youth and older knowledge. Another interesting episode, going forward more Chris and Travis would be interesting.
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