TV Recap: Fear the Walking Dead Season 1 Finale

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

Fear the Walking Dead Season 1 Finale Plot Summary:

Travis (Cliff Curtis,) Madison (Kim Dickens,) Daniel (Ruben Blades,) and Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) storm the compound to save Nick (Frank Dillane), Griselda, and Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez.) The stakes are raised and life or death battles block their path to escape.

A few weeks ago I decided to bake a cake to celebrate (Read: Mourn) the beginning of classes. It was a simple three ingredient box recipe. Nothing fancy. I pour the mix into a bowl and the oil or whatever it was and put it into the oven. Five minutes go by and I realize I forgot the eggs. I took it out, cracked in the eggs, and put it back in the oven.

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

Fear the Walking Dead forgot the eggs completely. Whereas my cake was moist and leavened, Fear the Walking Dead’s metaphorical cake was edible but sort of flat and dry. I think the shift really occurred in the fourth episode. But tonight’s season finale jumped the shark taking Fear to a whole new level, and I don’t really think in a good way.

There are so many conspiracy, apocalyptic, zombie shows, movies, and books out there. Some have wide popularity or critical acclaim. Some shed different light on the subject or revitalize the over wrought ideas. Fear, I felt, was poised to do something different.

I want to first say what “The Good Man” did right.

The entire episode was infused with gut-wrenching tension. The back-to-back hallway and kitchen scenes in the compound were sweat inducing. I clutched my hair in fear, immediately regretting it though because I felt like a bad Sunday cartoon.

As always the cinematography was off the charts. When they all finally leave the compound and drive in the half deserted and smouldering city, the wide sweeping shots are breathtaking. Fear the Walking Dead is cinematic.

Yet, this doesn’t raise the stock much for the episode or the series in my eyes. “The Good Man” had a lot more action, zombies, rotting flesh, and blood. The decisions being made are wild. Though we didn’t have enough time with the characters to really know, the decisions feel distinctly plot-determined rather than character based. The most apparent example would be Daniel (Blades) releasing a horde of zombies on the compound they were trying to infiltrate. Why would anyone in their right mind do that? That makes no sense, especially for someone like Daniel who has appeared to be a calculated man. But in regards to plot, releasing the zombies left room for the showdown and Liza’s (Elizabeth Rodriguez) subsequent death.

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

I want to like this show. I want to be a fan. I was one for most of the season but slowly and then not so slowly the story accelerated to ridiculous proportions. Whereas I believed this was going to focus on family life of a normal family. It instead re-racked to focus on the conspiracy of the world at large. It’s becoming The Walking Dead in a different place with different people, just a little before Rick and the gang. It could have been so much more.

I know I have done an almost 180 since my first review. I will admit I am an intense and obsessive person, but my thoughts on any given subject change daily. I still back my initial thoughts just as fiercely as when I first wrote them. So the way you may feel hoodwinked by my sharp and near sudden change in reviews is the exact same way I feel about the drastic change in Fear the Walking Dead.

Why did Daniel let out the zombies? Why? I can’t get get over it. It’s so stupid. It’s straight up wild. There are a lot of things I can’t get over. One thing is going to haunt me forever though and it’s something Nick (Frank Dillane) says to Madison (Dickens) as they discuss the new status of the world, “It’s like I’ve been living this for a long time and now it’s like everyone is catching up with me.” That is the craziest thing I have ever heard, but then again he is a drug addict so what do you expect.

With all my complaining, and eye rolling and sighing and gesticulating, I still like the individual episodes of Fear. It’s not what I wanted or expected. The episodes are alright. It’s not torture to watch but I’m not an avid believer in it anymore.

Rating 6 out of 10
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