TV Recap: Fear the Walking Dead, ‘So Close, Yet So Far’

Fear the Walking Dead Poster
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

So Close, Yet So Far Plot Summary:

As the unknown epidemic becomes increasingly worse, Madison (Kim Dickens) and Travis (Cliff Curtis) attempt to keep their family safe- not only from the progressively dangerous world but also themselves.

The end of “Pilot” saw Madison, Travis, and Nick (Frank Dillane) coming face to face with what we know is a zombie. Though they had no explanation for what happened, they recognized the need to get the hell out of dodge. “So Close, Yet So Far” delves into two closely linked struggles; keeping people informed or starting a panic and saving yourself or warning others.

Cliff Curtis Fear the Walking Dead
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

On a microscopic level, these struggles are presented as Madison and Travis trying to protect their children. They want to keep them safe, but in the dark, in the way of most parent/child relations go – ‘the less you know the better.’ When they have to collect Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) from her boyfriend’s house, they elect not to tell her he’s fatally infected. Withholding the information was easier than explaining an unexplainable situation. On a larger scale, Nick asks Madison if she will tell the next door neighbors what they know. She is hesitant because she would sound legitimately crazy and this ultimately ends in the neighbor’s death.

We don’t know yet what is causing the reanimation of the dead. The people in Fear the Walking Dead don’t even know (on a worldwide scope) that the dead are coming back to life. The police force, on the other hand, knows what is happening. They have been informed. But when they are killing seemingly innocent and unarmed people, it creates rioting. As the situation grows worse no authority figure steps up. Genpop is kept ignorant.

Fear the Walking Dead is subtly delving into larger issues under the cover of a zombie apocalypse. It is turning into a character driven drama with pockets of extreme action that can be an entertaining hour of TV. But it is also more than just a zombie bash fest.

I really liked “Pilot.” It set up the show well and was interesting to watch. But “So Close, Yet So Far” showcased Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson flexing their writing muscles. They are superb writers and are pacing the show well. The characters are being fleshed out and they are flawed and relatable. These characters are making Fear seem real. I half expect to walk outside and see animated corpses and riots. By focusing on the reactions of the characters and keeping their motivations small and innocent it presents the idea of something like this actually happening- and why.

“So Close, Yet So Far” was an excellent hour of TV. It was thrilling and electric but had quiet, thoughtful moments. It was a well balanced episode that is giving me hope for the longevity of this show.

Rating 9 out of 10

Marley Ghizzone is the Breaking News Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. She is currently a senior at Rowan University studying Radio/Television/Film as well as Creative Writing. Marley also writes an opinion column dedicated to feminism for her student run university newspaper, The Whit. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Follow her on Twitter: @marleyveee