Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)


I don’t blame Salazar. I understand why other people do but I think it’s misplaced. They(all of the survivors) were NOT getting information on their loved ones and were not going to see them again, that much was obvious. The people in the neighborhood are in a prison camp, watching the military seize their family members at gunpoint, then watching them being taken away with no information provided and no communication offered. As far as I’m concerned, that’s makes the military in this scenario the enemy.

The results of his move were unforeseeable. For all he knew, the military would ultimately wipe out that horde, he just needed a bit of time to accomplish his mission. He had no way of knowing there were real patients in there getting real treatment and that a safe evac was imminent, that’s thanks to the ‘need to know’ approach the military was using. Salazar’s back was against the wall, so the blame is not on him. In that kind of situation, I’d kill everyone in the base if that’s what it took to get my people out. You think I’d be “Well, they got my wife and brother, but to rescue them I’d need to kill dozens of people. So my wife and brother are shiat out of luck”? Haha, no.

One big flaw I agree with is the emptiness of the city. It did look eerie to me, but it didn’t fit. The streets should be teeming with zombies and/or the last fighters holding out. It should not be a ghost town. It would be a ghost town over time, as the zombies roam away, but in the immediate aftermath it should look like the world’s biggest street party. They can use CGI to create generic crowds of zombies, so I’m convinced this was a deliberate, but misguided choice.


Wouldn’t it have been easy to have Travis simply drive outside the gate, stop, go back and close it and then walk back outside while it closed? It would have cost nothing. Ok, sure, technically someone might have seen it. Whatever.


In a rescue mission I’d want to get in as fast as possible, grab my people, and then get out as fast as possible. So I wouldn’t bother closing the gate. It just adds an extra reason for me to have to stop on the way out and I don’t want to do that.


You mean the rescue mission that involves leading a lot of Romero-style zombies - you know, slow, nick named “Walkers” for a reason - from the LA Colosseum to the military compound? We’re talking about 25-30 seconds [I]tops[/I]. Nothing compared to the minutes - possibly tens of minutes - necessary to lead the walkers to the compound. “This is gonna take cracker jack timing, Wang” this wasn’t.


Yeah, I forgot about this, but I had a really tough time with this part of the story myself. This merry band of adventurers just destroyed any chance these people had of beating back the tide and unleashed a literal hell on LA just to save ostensibly 2 people. I suppose one could argue those zombies were making their way out of that locked building at some point anyway, but then again, perhaps not - after all as time goes by they will weigh less and less and they really may have never been a threat after several years. Tough to say. Terrible story beat.


I don’t get it. Best case scenario, no zombies swarm the hospital. The people there are evacuated to Edwards. This means the people in the neighborhood never see those family members again. That’s because if the people in the neighborhood were also going to be evacuated there would have been some indication of that by now. So what would happen is all the military around the neighborhood would retreat to Edwards or elsewhere. So there you are in your house, with no family members returned to you, no idea where they are, no idea of what to do next. How is that a better outcome than seizing the initiative and rescuing your family, no matter what it takes?


For Salazar yes, this is how he thinks and operates. For Travis and his family, no. Travis is portrayed as an obviously caring individual, and his wife is a school teacher. The daughter presumably has friends in the neighborhood and the son (Travis’) is much like his father in that he cares. All of them know that children live in that neighborhood. Yes, they suspect the military is going to abandon them. Yes, they suspect that something terrible is going to happen at some point in the near future. I can see them packing up and leaving in the middle of the night, though perhaps not without warning at least some of their neighbors that maybe they should do the same. What I can’t see given the character development the show gave us over 6 episodes is Travis and his family knowingly unleashing a horde of walkers knowing it will severely endanger everyone they leave behind, and even leaving the gate open (and they made a point of showing Travis driving through and the gate not closing behind him) to facilitate that happening. It’s just terrible writing, characters acting out of character for the sake of plot advancement. Even if they’d warned people and secured the gates, I STILL can’t see Travis and the others agreeing with a plan that sets 2000+ walkers on the very location their loved ones are supposedly held at. What possible guarantee is there that the soldiers won’t flee or be overrun in the first 10 minutes, leaving Travis and company to not only search room to room until they find Mrs. Salazar, Liza and Nick, but fight off hordes of zombies while doing so, probably only to find their loved ones already munched on? It made no sense.


Gale Anne Hurd comments on the finale.

DEADLINE: Unlike TWD, FearTWD is an urban version of the zombie apocalypse as it takes places in modern day L.A. Now the first season is over, how do see think that backdrop impacted the series?

HURD: A lot of people said it was scarier because it felt more real to them. You know, most people do live in urban environments rather than rural settings. And it also showed the decline of the rule of law.

You know in The Walking Dead, when Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) wakes up in a coma, it’s been a month in, so we didn’t see how those institutions that we rely upon begin to fail us and what that does to us. So Fear was an opportunity now to explore that. And going forward we will not be traversing the same terrain either in terms of literal geography or story lines that we’ve seen in The Walking Dead.

DEADLINE: So for Fear Season 2, we’re staying in L.A.?

HURD: I can’t talk about that but for instance, we’ve also never had a character like Strand (Coleman Domingo) in The Walking Dead. You know, he’s not someone that you would encounter in rural Southeast. He’s very much a character who has survived and succeeds by his wits and his ability to negotiate in a complex urban society.


I suspect that, if Season Two is good, it will be due to Coleman Domingo. He’s had maybe 10 minutes of screen time, and he’s the most interesting character they have.


Uh, I found it pretty disturbing how evil the actions of the character were - releasing a horde of zombies resulted in:

  • murdering dozens of hospital patients, who would have otherwise been evacuated.
  • murdering dozens of guardsmen and soldier who were doing their best to keep society afloat
  • murdering their neighbors - they couldn’t even be bothered to shut the door, wtf? And why not expressly warn them? Just out of bitterness that they didn’t intervene with broomsticks when the soldiers forcibly removed ill citizens?
  • just allowing the doctor to commit suicide, casually dismissing it with “ah, she’s lost” – WTF - they should have dragged her ass out of there and forced her to come along. Nobody is more valuable than a doctor in a collapsing society. They need her.

As someone who has great respect for the military and has seen their tremendous charity and sacrifice, I really hated the depiction of them in this show - nothing they did made any sense:

  • 10 days after the outbreak, they are turning into child rapists? I don’t even buy that they’d abandon their posts as freely as depicted, let alone devolve to all rapey less than 2 weeks after a crisis outbreak. Just distasteful.
  • Dude charging into the helicopter blade - obviously a homage to the original ending of Dawn of the Dead, but why would he choose to commit suicide in a way that was both more painful than just eating a bullet but also potentially damaged the helicopter that his peers were escaping in?
  • same with the ludicrous “cufflink” trader and general looting behavior - just stupid and unbelievable, since they’d have access to anything they could want anyway.

It also didn’t seem like the military would have any real difficulty in stopping the zombie horde - they had crews armed with machine guns who would be mowing down the zombies - it was like their bullets were blanks, given the lack of damage they were inflicting. A dozen guardsmen could easily wipe out or marginalize 2000 zombies from their defensive position just with their regular guns, let alone the heavier weaponry they presumably had at their disposal (mounted vehicle guns, etc.) It just wasn’t convincing.

I also thought they were a little sudden with the execution of their bitten member - she had no sign of illness, they didn’t know for certain that anti-biotics wouldn’t work even if it hadn’t earlier, and even if it didn’t they certainly had a day or so to determine that, which could be used to say goodbyes in less rushed, traumatic fashion, impart medical knowledge, etc. Given what these characters knew at the time, immediately executing someone showing no sign of illness other than a (possible?) bite seemed really hasty and contrived.

I liked Strand the salesman, but he seems like a character out of a video game rather than someone who could exist in the real world. Why was he locked up in the first place?

I liked 2 things:

  • the shots of powerless LA, with fires spreading organically, etc.
  • the shot of the poor neighbor walking his dog - just seemed so sad and pathetic, like Harold Lauder mowing his parent’s lawn in the Stand, and like the sort of thing I’d be doing, trying to go about my business is some state of denial – only to be utterly betrayed by neighbors who didn’t bother to warn me of pending events for no reason whatsover. I just found that really sad.


I actually liked the scene when the group gets to the beach front mansion. They had just been through a night of hell - or what passes for it in FtWD anyway, certainly less than the hell we just got put through over the last few episodes - and the house was amazing and tranquil. But also a mirage everybody recognized.

I agree with a lot of what Desslock just said. I think maybe they can say reliably that the infection cannot be fought. However, if that’s the case they should have done a better job indicating that to us, and it would also mean the nurse lady should have an idea of how long it would take before she succumbed. Here’s it’s just “uh. . . yeah you can’t kill the infection because obviously.”

It would have been nice if the military spent time easily ahndling the approaching horde of zombies, only to realize more than 2000, or even 20000, were approaching thanks to all the noise. It would make everything Salazar did (and that the rest of the group agreed too) even more evilier but never mind. They could even throw in a “we don’t have enough ammo on site to deal with this!” as a benefit to those of us who appreciate someone making half an effort.

If I was in a zombie apocalypse, I wouldn’t be walking the dog. I would be meditating up in the mountains to unlock my latent Kung Fu genius abilities. I would then walk the earth and fight the forces of darkness. Speaking of which, is Into the Badlands going to be any good?


And it’s obvious that the writers of this show are so tone-deaf and oblivious that [I]they have no idea this is a possible takeaway[/I]. There is more fussing and fighting over what to do with the young Guardsman who had some of his forearm skin shaved off than there is about overruning a hospital/detention center with a horde of ravening undead. So very very stupid.

And I disagree with the earlier post about there being any budget in evidence in this last episode. It looks like that had maybe one day of shooting with about a hundred extras. The military watchtower was one of those platforms you use in a warehouse to reach high crates? Really? That sequence might as well have been second unit footage for how poorly it integrated with the rest of the episode, because as near as I can tell, none of the principle cast was involved in shooting that sequence. It’s hilarious how in the one shot with Travis and co. cutting into the fence, you can see in the background about fifteen extras as zombies supposedly crowding the front gate, doing their best to fill the frame and make it look like they’re at the head of a vast horde. Fail.

The deserted LA streets make zero sense. Again, I presume they simply don’t have to budget to show an LA crowded with zombies and ruined cars. I loved how the black guy makes some statement about avoiding downtown because it will be too full of zombies. Downtown? Really? That’s where we’re supposed to think all the zombies are concentrated? Anyone who lives in LA knows that downtown is probably the most sparsely populated area in the entire Los Angeles area because pretty much no one lives there. It’s absolutely deserted after rush hour, on weekends, and on holidays. During a zombie apocalypse, it’s probably the place you’re least likely to find zombies!

What a terrible terrible show. Clunky, cheap, and dull.


P.S. Looking forward to season two!


I think I see where my interpretation is deviating from everyone else. When Travis and the rest are leaving, there is a cut away to an overhead shot showing a large area with cars driving through it. I thought that was showing them on the way to the hospital. Then we see the gate thing, then we see Salazar approaching the guards. I thought the gate was at the hospital!

The guards of the neighborhood had been so visible and overbearing I did not think it was possible there was literally no one left and yet no one in the neighborhood noticed they had left. That one family was having dinner or something as if everything is normal. Also, I thought that gate was the outer perimeter of the hospital grounds because I could not believe that Salazar and the zombie horde could get that close to the real perimeter before anyone saw them.

So yeah, that’s terrible. That’s actually malicious to leave the neighborhood gate open. Inexcusable and very out of character for Travis. The only reason I can imagine is maybe he thought he could not get out of the truck without risking Salazar going back to see what’s going on, at which time Salazar would see that soldier is not in the truck.


The finale seemed more brain-dead than if it was written by a zombie. Let’s release a few thousand zombies on our neighbors, even leave the gate open to really fuck 'em over - just to creat a distraction. And then lead them to a hospital so we can fuck over everyone there also? Motherfuckers.

Not to mention why the hell is LA deserted and overrun by zombies, because they sure as hell skipped over that happening. The only way to rescue this disaster of a disaster epic, is for Strand to watch all the other characters get slaughtered, and take over the series. I’d cheer. Failing in that, I can’t see a reason to watch it any further except to mock it.


Remember there was a curfew. So I can [I]kinda[/I] but that nobody had noticed the guards had all left. Though surely someone besides son and daughter would have noticed “oh, hey, is that a Military vehicle driving hastily by. . . with a bunch of loot. . . wtf?”


Remember the guy walking his dog? It was stuff like that which made me think it was business as usual for the neighbors. One thing I didn’t consider is maybe the neighbors liked being guarded by the military, so unlike Travis and family, the neighbors just assumed everything was fine and didn’t really pay much attention to what was going on outside the fence.


OK. I’m going to praise parts of the final episode, but I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression: that was pretty damned sucky and chock full of big steaming piles of stupid. I agree with pretty much everything that anyone has posted in the last day or so.

However, I am a big fan of giving credit where credit is due, and there WERE some crunchy nuggets of goodness scatter hither and thither.

First, I loved the two bookend shots of overhead Los Angeles. I posted a few pages back that I would love to see that same shot repeated each week, showing the gradual decline of the city. We didn’t get that, but I was impressed by what we did get this week. The first shot appeared to show a dark but mostly quiet city, but as the camera shifted to show more and more, you start to see all the fires and quickly realize that things are not as quiet as you first assumed. The second shot showed how those same fires had continued unabated and in fact spread through the neighborhoods, burning uncontrolled in an expanding ring and leaving nothing but charred remnants behind. Again, I would have liked to have seen this over the course of every episode, but still: decent effort.

Second, the scene where Depp Jr. and Strand are trapped in the hallway with a small horde of approaching zombies. I thought the flickering lights that kept hiding the approaching ghouls was really well done. As people upthread said, the one thing this show has done nicely is to make zombies scary again, and this scene was a great example of that.

Third, and I think I might be alone in this, I liked the panicked soldiers forgetting any advice/experience they had learned in zombie killing and just reverting to their original training… and how ineffective that was. I’m not as big a fan of Brooks’ “World War Z” as some here are, but one of his theses for why the military would not be able to stop the ZA, was that they were endlessly trained to fire at a target’s center of mass with three-round bursts, and that would be worse than useless against the undead.

The scene with the soldiers at the fence was a great illustration of that idea. The remaining soldiers (presumably all the smart ones have bugged out already) are freaking out at the sight of hundreds of walking corpses, and they act like the panicked teenagers that they are: blazing away rather than carefully picking targets and getting headshots. Strand even comments on this as he and Depp Jr. make their escape: “Full automatic. Hmmm. We don’t have much time.”

Finally, many folks (myself included) complained last week that Strand giving the soldier little trinkets (the watch, the cufflinks) was seven levels of dumb given that anyone could have gone to any random Tiffany’s and gotten better stuff with a crowbar and ten minutes of free time. This episode showed us that their deal went far deeper than that and that the soldier was trading keys and favors for something much more valuable than a Rolex. In fact, the watch and cufflinks may in fact have been a ruse to disguise that Strand and the soldier had a concrete plan to blow out of the site together and take off on [I]Abigail[/I]. Nice.


People will stall traffic here for hours just so they can stop and rubberneck at a pulled over car on the side of the highway - I doubt their curiosity will suddenly be diminished by the zombie apocalypse! Of course in the show’s version of LA, everyone’s disappeared so maybe there’s not much to gawk at anyways.

EDIT - this was to gameoverman and the complacent neighbors scenario.


This. I also didn’t buy the military base being overrun at all. Even if 2000 walkers were being funneled through the fence 20 or 30 abreast, these are soldiers that already know a head shot is necessary, they have automatic rifles and Humvee-mounted high caliber weapons, plus helicopters. They should have been able to easily form a firing line of personal weapons and mounted weapons, aim at roughly 5’8" off the ground (should be about average for hitting most folks in the head) and just let loose with a steady stream of fire. Walkers don’t duck, run for cover, shoot back or do anything other than slowly press forward. Hell, a couple of guys with .50cal guns on Humvees could have reduced that herd to a body pile in minutes. Instead we saw tons of shots ricochet off the chainlink fencing and soldiers running directly into the line of fire with riot shields to try to…well I don’t know what they were trying to do other than get bit so they could run into the chopper’s tail rotor.

That is the problem with Fear the Walking Dead. It seems like they set out to illustrate how society fell apart in the universe of The Walking Dead, only halfway through they realized that without a catalyst event like a plague to create thousands of dead Americans in a short time, the government and military would be able to contain the threat pretty effectively, so instead they just handwaved away 10 days and now we have hordes of undead and a completely inept military to facilitate our rush for the show to become Walking Dead West.

I also agree that the shots of a dark/burning L.A. were really cool. Same thing with the shots of the people in the neighborhood going about their sorta-normal routines despite the abnormality of it all. There is some amazing opportunity in these kind of scenes to do some epic storytelling, to really delve into the meat of the fear and powerlessness that happens when ordinary life is stopped and uncertainty and suspicion take it’s place. Instead it feels like the writers wasted a golden opportunity to do something really cool.


He also introduced a phenomenon related to dealing with zombies. Namely that both an increasing number of approaching zombies, and nearness of zombies, caused people to start to panic and get erratic with gunshots. I don’t think either of these things were so much a thesis as “it’s just an idea for how it happened in this case”. IMO, I liked both.

But the soldiers here did know to do headshots. Even though they weren’t professionals, I think they would have been better served with (1) more than 2000 zombies (which they easily could have justified; using sound to pull a horde is much more dramatic and useful than just going to the colloseum, and there’s series precedent) (2) start off with the soldiers using head shots but (3) getting increasingly panicked as the horde got ever closer, and perhaps also slip in that no more rescue is coming (like the medical chopper that refused to land). It that context Strand’s line has a lot more weight.

Also, something just occured to me. Didn’t Cliff open two cages (to protests) but there were still more that needed opening?