In “We All Fall Down” Fear the Walking Dead continues to explore the theme of family within the context of the zombie apocalypse. It delves into issues of home, sustainability, and sacrifice. Each family must find their own way to survive, and, as we’ve seen throughout the first season, being a family doesn’t mean that everyone agrees. The Manawa-Clark clan has certainly had its challenges, but suicide-murder has yet to be put on the table. As Leo Tolstoy said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in their own way.” Fear the Walking Dead finds interesting ways to explore how the stress of the infection impacts families and individuals.
Fear the Walking Dead returns with the Season 2 premiere “Monster.” The series started with a blended family dealing with their own challenges, then quickly grew into a group of survivors banded together through luck and circumstance. This family has had better luck that most, after being helped by a man who has already experienced the worst of humanity and another who seems to have planned for the end of the world. After the government collapse, it starts to become clear that people can be just as dangerous as the dead.
The season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, “The Good Man,” provides a satisfying ending for this new series with a rescue and escape. The final episode was written by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson, who also wrote the pilot. In six episodes, Fear the Walking Dead took us through the fall of civilization, and “The Good Man” shows us the impossible choices that need to be made to survive in this new world.
In Fear the Walking Dead’s penultimate episode, “Cobalt,” it’s become clear that the infected aren’t the only danger. We learn more about how the military plans to respond to the growing threat. In “Not Fade Away” Travis and Madison weren’t on the same page. Despite their increasing awareness of the danger they’re in during” Cobalt,” Travis and Madison’s worldviews remain quite disparate in “Cobalt.”
Fear the Walking Dead shows the calm before the storm in “Not Fade Away.” Even though everyone knows there’s a rampant infection, there are attempts at normalcy in their occupied safe zone. Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) starts a romance, Travis (Cliff Curtis) helps out around the neighborhood, Madison (Kim Dickens) fixes up the house, and Nick (Frank Dillane) goes back to his drug-seeking habits. Same old, same old. Of course, the cynical Daniel (Rubén Blades) isn’t the kind of man to lie to himself, but he has his injured wife Griselda (Patricia Reyes Spíndola) to care for, which limits his choices.
The third episode of Fear the Walking Dead, “The Dog,” finds our blended family divided. Madison and her kids Nick and Alicia are hiding from the zombie neighbor in their East LA home. Travis, his ex-wife Liza, and their son Chris are waiting out the riot in downtown LA with the Salazar family: Daniel, Griselda, and daughter Ofelia. All of them are in terrible danger from those just outside their doors.
The second episode of Fear the Walking Dead, “So Close, Yet So Far,” picks up just after the events of the pilot. At the start of the outbreak, the public isn’t aware of what’s going on, though it’s increasingly clear that health workers, police, and other first responders do. If AMC ever does a third series, let’s hope it’s presented from the perspective of emergency responders and health officials. Just the glimpses we’ve been given in Fear the Walking Dead of how hospital, ambulance, and police personnel are responding to the crisis have been fascinating. In “So Close, Yet So Far,” people’s faith in the forces that are supposed to help and protect society begin to be tested.