By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for season one, episode four “Not Fade Away” of Fear the Walking Dead.
In the nine day jump since the last episode, the military has cordoned off the neighborhood and set up a small safe zone. Nothing seemed amiss until Madison snuck outside and found dead bodies that were seemingly uninfected. Then we saw Lieutenant Moyers hitting golf balls while talking to Travis. Maybe it was just me, but this seemed like an obvious nod to the Governor. The very moment I saw Moyers slice his drive, I thought he was being set up as a potential villain, and nothing that happened for the rest of episode dissuaded me from that feeling. Something is definitely wrong. Dr. Exner is seemingly identifying the weak leaks of the community for possible extraction, and maybe even termination. Whether or not LT Moyers is in on this remains to be seen (in the real world, lieutenants aren’t exactly at the top of the food chain), but the military does appear to be carrying out this mission.
Maybe there will be another explanation for the events in this episode. Maybe Nick and Griselda really are going for treatment, and maybe there’s a believable alternate reason for those gun shots coming from the house on the hill. However, we already know from the original series that the military started executing unarmed civilians during the outbreak (think back to that season two flashback in the hospital where Shane witnessed this). Still, I have to commend the writers for their ability to keep up the suspense when we have a basic idea of what will happen next.
Madison and Travis
I wrote about it last week and will reiterate it this week, Madison is being set up as the future leader of this group. She’s a “take charge” kind of person. When she thought something was off with the narrative the military was giving, she snuck out and investigated for herself. As a result, she knows that uninfected people are being shot, and she knows not to trust Dr. Exner when Griselda and Nick are being taken away. She’s developing a survival instinct that will carry her far in the walker apocalypse.
Travis is also a leader, but he’s more of the group’s moral compass. In that way, he’s comparable to Dale from the original series. He’s having a hard time accepting that the military may have nefarious intentions, and as a result he’s taking what LT Moyers and Dr. Exner are telling him at face value (there’s a little doubt on Travis’ part, but he either dismisses those doubts or doesn’t want to question authority). As a result, he’s struggling to hang onto the past just as everyone else is accepting that maybe it’s time to let go.
Nick and His Addiction
Am I the only one who’s ready for Nick’s addiction storyline to be over? It was interesting at first when he was spinning fantastic tales of flesh-eating monsters that no one believed because he was an addict, but now it’s just dragging on. At first I thought the writers were using the nine day jump to write it out of the series. It still would have required a suspension of disbelief, but I was willing to go with it. I don’t know if we were supposed to feel disappointment, or maybe sympathy, when we saw Nick under the bed hooked up to the IV line, but I was just annoyed. It’s time for the character to either do something else or die to move the military plot line along.
So, how about that monologue from Alicia at the end? Do you think she’ll commit suicide or was she just talking to her dead boyfriend as a way to comfort herself?
Thanks for reading!