Time to Get the Zombie Apocalypse On.
Episode Two picks up pretty much where Episode One ended—with Principal Artie walking through an empty school, and Alicia not at home like she promised mom, but walking down a nearly deserted street looking for her boyfriend Matt, the only interruption being a kid on a skateboard. She really doesn’t like to stay in the house, that’s for sure . . .
She gets to Matt’s house and it looks abandoned, with the door wide open. She heads inside and while things look normal, some stuff—flowers, a lamp—have been knocked over. She calls for him and finds—
Lets jump to titles! Thank, AMC. Bringing the scary, as always.
RT: God bless AMC. One thing they are good at is delayed gratification.
CF: They do a great job with most of the teasers on TWD. And they’ll have a difficult job topping the opening of Season 5.
Travis, Madison, and Nick are trucking the hell out of the L.A. River like it’s, well, the end of the world. Nick is trying to get news on the radio, and no one is talking about this crazy stuff they saw with Calvin—who we have to assume is still laying down by the river after getting truck punched. Travis decides it’s best to get the hell out of the city and head for the desert, where they can ride out whatever the hell is going on, and Madison feels it’s a good idea, so she calls Alicia, who has found Matt, sick as hell and not looking good.
RT: The “desert”they made if sound so important, like they have somewhere special to go there rather than just hanging around with all the hot weather and sand.
CF: And no water and food. They were thinking along the lines of a pandemic, and getting isolated would help. Nah, just delay the inevitable zombie munching.
Travis decides to call his son Christopher, who is on a bus heading home and damn sure not taking calls from the former parental unit. Fuck Dad, right? Just like a teenager.
Travis Trucking arrive at Matt’s. Madison heads inside and find Alicia comforting Matt, who is burning up. Matt lets Travis know he’s been sick at least a day. Checking him out Travis and Madison find a bite on Matt’s shoulder. Though no one in the room knows it, we know the dude is about to head off and get the table set for T-Dog and Bob and every other Dude of Color who had one too many lines over by Georgia there. Alicia is playing nurse, but as smart as she is, taking care of a dude who is one step away from dying isn’t her forte. Matt tells her to leave like her parents want, and they exchange feelings of love, because she just loves him to dead. He tells her this is why you gotta leave, honey, because Matt probably knows some dead dude bit him, and he doesn’t want to do the same to her.
RT: Poor Matt, every African-American male going into a Walking Dead audition should know the rules by now…
CF: I know the argument on TWD is that some black actors are taking the part of white characters from the comic, but that’s only true in Bob’s case, who was the stand-in, more or less, for Dale’s death. T-Dog never existed, and neither did Sasha, and the original crazy guy in the prison who wanted to kill everyone was white . . . however, FTWD doesn’t have that issue, so what’s the excuse now?
RT: Exactly, They have no excuse now! And yet… it still happens.
Back on the bus Christopher is watching the streets unravel. Guy pops on to the bus and says the cops shot a dude twenty times, which in L.A. means it’s time for shit to get real. The bus empties and Christopher follows the crowd and gets his video camera ready, because it’s really five years ago, so stop laughing.
RT: I was laughing so hard here. Nearly as much as when Sookie and Jason Stackhouse used flip phones in the True Blood finale last year.
CF: I use an actual video camera, but I’m old, so don’t judge me. And I thought Sookie could make calls directly from her Magical Fairy Vagina?
RT: She can, but not in the time of finales and calling her brother apparently. Which is probably a good thing, imagine if her vagina called her brother?! #TooWeird #EvenForTrueBlood
Travis and Madison arrive home. Someone across the street is having a party for their nine-year old, while a guy down the street is packing to leave. Nick is freaking because people aren’t aware, and Madison is comforting him and letting him know he saved them by killing his drug dealer. Nick tells mom that he’s about to step into a world of shit, which makes me think maybe he should look up a certain Rick Grimes, who is well versed in said world of shit.
RT: Just think, in six months time when they are Rick Grimes certified, they will be looking back on this moment and laughing and laughing and laughing.
CF: They’ll get CHiP Hats.
Travis is trying to get in touch with his ex, because he wants them out of L.A. as well, and when he can’t get them on the phone, he decides to head on over and visit. He washes the blood off the truck first, because it is L.A. and cops tend to notice when you’re driving around with blood on your car—
Travis finally get his ex, Liza, on the phone. She doesn’t want him over to get the kid; she thinks he’s trying to bust the custody agreement. Ah, even when all is going to hell around you, divorce is still all about bitching each other out. He’s like, screw it, I’m coming. The roads are messed up, though, and along the way he sees one of L.A.’s Finest filling the truck of his cruiser with a shit-load of bottled water. No, Officer Friendly: I’m certain you nicely asked the proprietor of the whatever strip mart you were in to hand over the aqua. Police intimidation? In L.A.? Surely you jest!
Back at The House of Madison Nick is dealing with withdrawal pukes, and Mommy can’t get through to the doctor to score some meds to help ease the pain. Madison tells Alicia to say in the house—where have we heard this before?—and runs out to get the drugs herself, because she knows where to go—
Which leads her right back to her school, because there’s a locker full of drugs in the nurse’s office. Walking through the halls is spooky as hell: no one is there, though every so often one can hear something in the background—clanking, scraping. She finds the locker and manages to pry it open enough to score some good stuff, and as she turns around—Tobias! After the freak out he asks Madison is he can have his knife back.
RT: Because he wouldn’t have one single knife at home…
CF: It’s his lucky knife, just like Nic Cage had a lucky crack pipe . . .
RT: Of course, totally makes sense now 😉
Christopher is down at Riot Central, watching, taping. There’s a dead guy in the street and people are pissed, giving the cops shit. Chris is told by the law to stop filming, and when he gets plenty of fuck yous in return from the crowd, he calls for backup.
Madison goes to her office and gets Tobias his knife. She looks at the name on her door like she’ll never see it again, which was really a nice touch, because you can probably bet she won’t see it again. Tobias tells Madison he’s there to stock up on food, and leads her back to the cafeteria. He asks her if she’s seen “them”, and she’s got that look on her face like, “Um . . .”
At home Alicia and Nick are bonding nicely over his dry heaves. Dude is totally blowing lunch, only there isn’t much to blow any longer. Alicia checks him out, more or less gives him the, “Later, Bro,” dust off, and leaves to see Matt. Nick doesn’t want her to go, ‘cause as fucked up as he might be, he knows what’s going on, and tells her that Matt will hurt and kill her. She gives no shits because she’s got to check on her boyfriend, but she doesn’t get more than a few steps outside the house when Nick starts convulsing and puking all over the place. She’s pissed because she’d really rather hang with her soon-to-be-undead boyfriend, but she goes back to take care of her junkie brother.
RT: If only someone had tried the junkie pukes on Carl…
CF: You mean Carl, “There’s a zombie behind you, but I won’t say a word, just point this gun at your head,” Grimes? Wouldn’t have worked. He’d have still went looking for pudding.
Travis arrives at Liza’s right after she pulls up. He’s trying to convince her something bad is happening, but she’s not seeing it because she’s not looking. Travis uses Liza’s phone to call his son, and Christopher finally picks up. He’s giving dad the rundown on what’s happening, but he doesn’t know what he’s at, so no pickup. Liza finally turns on the TV and sees the riot in progress and figures out where the wayward son is hanging out. Time to load up the truck and head downtown.
RT: I really rolled my eyes at Liza not knowing what was going on, she’s a nursing student for Christ’s sake!
CF: Let’s see: when everyone is sick is there someplace where these people are taken? Like, oh, it’s a building that starts with the letter “H”? Where people called “nurses” hang out? Yeah, not a chance she’d know what’s going on.
RT: Guess it’s plausible. After all they are all having a hard time trying to name the undead 😉
Nick is on the sofa recovering while Alicia is scrubbing the floor. He thanks her for helping, but she’s pissed for keeping her from dying at the bite marks of Matt. While she snipes away the power goes out. The world of shit is starting—
—which gives a reason to cut to Tobias giving Madison the lowdown on how things are gonna fall apart fast. No one to run the power, the phones, the Internet: it’ll all gonna burn, baby. She hears something and realizes it’s coming over the school intercom, and it doesn’t sound good. Tobias says it’s one of ‘”them”, and right then the main alarm goes off, ‘causing them to make a run for it . . .
Down this hall and that they go, but as they get ready to leave—hey, it’s Principal Artie! And he’s not looking all that lively, if you know what I mean. Madison’s trying to talk to him, but the dude’s zombied up and he ain’t listening. He goes after Madison and Tobias, with knife in hand, stabs him, but it doesn’t do any good. He stabs Artie again, and they go tumbling down some stairs where Artie tries to eat the lad. Madison grabs a fire extinguisher and clubs Artie in the head, knocking him away, before finally going for the head and scoring the first Main Character Zombie Kill. Kill shot, bitches!
Outside the school Madison and Tobias head for her car but without the food. Madison gets him home and, since his mother isn’t in town, she tells him that he can stay with them until it’s over. He says it’ll never be over and they say their goodbyes, with him offering a final, “I’ll be okay.” Before pulling away Madison watch a car go by: the little girls in the back seat are wearing hospital masks with teeth painted on them, as if that’s gonna protect them.
RT: OMFGs! Guys! Artie is dead, deader than dead. Take the mother fucking food already! *throws her keyboard at the screen* At least you know they will be back for the food later on. What’s the bet Madison and Tobias arrive at the school at the same time except it’s six months down the track and Tobias is all Morgantello Ninja Turtle.
CF: When they walked out without the food I was like, “The fuck is wrong with you guys? Did your brains die with Artie?” That made no sense at all. And I didn’t get why Madison stared at the bus. Maybe thinking there will kids on it, or something . . . If there were, you gotta keep up with the Grimes’ and smoke those little girls.
Back at the riot Travis and Liza finally arrive and find Christopher, who’s still taping. Liza’s checking out the body in the street and notices it was shot in the eye: another head shot. A Hazmat team pulls up to get the body, and right then a slow, shambling girl approaches a police officer. Cop drills the girl and she doesn’t go down until she, too, is shot in the eye.
That’s the switch that needs flipping, and it’s riot’s on, bitches. Heat in full-on beat down gear show, and that’s all the excuse Travis and Liza need to haul Christopher the hell out of there and head home.
Only they can’t leave the area because, you know, rioting, so they end up meeting Daniel, the friendly local barber who pretty much tells Travis and his ex-family to buzz the hell off, he ain’t got time for their shit. It’s not until Daniel wife, Griselda, ask him to let them in that Daniel relents and the two families are hanging out as one. There’s a lot of talking; Travis is pretty much scared and Daniel doesn’t want them there.
CF: And something was bugging me about this scene, but it’s not what you think–it’s Daniel’s wife. Her name is Griselda. Cool. Do you know what Lizzie named the Walker she was playing with in the episode “The Grove”? “Griselda”. I FOUND OUR CROSSOVER! I confirmed this by checking the wiki.
RT: Holy shit! Mind blown! 😀
The riot is full-blown outside Daniel’s shop, and you get the sense that the cops aren’t even trying to contain the situation. (It was at this point that I told Rachel, whom I was chatting with on Facebook during ads, that I could see how the zombies spread at this point: rioters get injured and/or shot, they die, and before you know it you have an infestation in an out of control mess.) Daniel’s still doesn’t want them there, and his daughter Ofelia asks Travis what he’s seen. He’s not seeing much, just telling them they all have to get far way—
Which tens of thousands of people are doing that moment in an establishing shot showing L.A. from overhead. The expressways are solid, and as we watch, blocks start flicking out. It’s just like we imagine Atlanta becoming.
RT: I seriously hope AMC do this week by week, showing L.A. shutting down bit by bit.
CF: I really liked that quick touch, and I can’t wait to see L.A. firebombed by the cops and military.
Madison arrives home with the drugs, and the lights there are back on. She gives Nick some Oxy, for which he’s thankful enough to narc out Alicia for trying to leave. Madison heads to the bathroom where she’s trying to get the blood off her jacket, and that’s when all the shit that happened at the school hits her. She breaks down a bit: pretty much what you’d expect from someone who just killed their first zombie. Madison sees Alicia as she’s leaving the bathroom and Alicia asks what’s wrong: Madison says nothing.
RT: I’d just like to give Nick a round of applause here for claiming to have stopped Alicia from leaving but failing to mention that it was because he’d had a seizure.
CF: If at the start of the series I’d come to realize the best character on the show is the junkie, even I’d have thought I was nuts. Props to Frank Dillane for making Nick someone interesting. Meanwhile his sister Alicia is the Carl of the group, but we can probably blame a bit of Sarah Wayne Callies–aka Lori Grimes–rubbing off on Alycia Debnam-Carey, aka Alicia, when they did Into the Storm together.
Travis finally gets through and gives Madison the good news, but there’s an explosion outside and things are pretty freaky. He wants her to leave for the desert, but she’s not having that; she won’t leave with out him.
LAPD is ordering the streets cleared, and we know how they get when people don’t listen. It’s going to hell fast:
Artie’s dead at the school.
Matt’s parent’s car is in the drive, the trunk is up, the bags are out—no parents, however.
Rioting in L.A. while people sleep at Daniels’ place.
Alicia looking out the window. The phones are down and woman across the street is being attacked by her husband. Alicia wants to help; Madison bars the door and won’t let her out of the house
Griselda is praying; Travis is pensive.
You wanted the end of the world?
You’re getting it.
RT: You know, I really like the feel of this episode. There was more action for those who needed it, but there was still those quiet moments where you could absorb what was going on. Once again AMC also added to the oppressive sense of dread by using the sound of helicopters this week but they amped it up even more with the saddest birthday party ever that you could see unraveling right from the first moment you saw that jumping castle.
CF: I have to say this set the tone for the next couple of episode. It wasn’t like there was “action” going on, but there were things that showed how order is breaking down and the world is becoming chaotic. And that birthday party–shit. I’m calling that the “Fear the Walking Dead Little Girl Moment,” because when you think of it that became that girl’s last birthday, and ol’ Rick may as well went over there and shot her in the face. What are the chances Madison blows that girl away?
RT: I think there will be no chance, Madison WILL blow that child to smithereens 😉
Madison Clark — Kim Dickens
Travis Manawa — Cliff Curtis
Nick Clark — Frank Dillane
Alicia Clark — Alycia Debnam-Carey
Liza Ortiz — Elizabeth Rodriguez
Christopher Manawa — Lorenzo James Henrie
Daniel Salazar— Ruben Blades
Griselda Salazar — Patricia Reyes Spindola
Ofelia Salazar — Mercedes Mason
Fear the Walking Dead airs in the US on AMC at 9 PM EDT.