FTWD – S3E4 “100”

Indeed, Fear The Walking Dead did, in fact, bring back my favorite character. Salazar, as played by Ruben Blades.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-304-daniel-blades-4-935This episode was nothing but character development which is exactly what I wanted for the haunted and ruthless Salvadoran death squad member.

What I find so compelling is that Salazar, while a wildly ruthless killer, operates according to an extremely predictable moral code. He kills to protect those he loves, or to enable him to do so. And he warns people of the consequences of their actions and when they ignore him and those actions put him at odds with them, he has the moral absolution of knowing he warned them and then he does what needs doing.

Contrast with Strand, who is equally as ruthless but operates exclusively out of self-interest. Strand deceives because he loves Strand, Salazar kills because he loves  others.

Of course, we now get more backstory on Salazar…he’s killed almost a hundred people, he’s feeling haunted and ashamed by his actions, and without those he loves…either driven from him by his actions or by zombies…he’s without a cause. He’s much like Abraham from The Walking Dead – without a mission, he has no idea who he is.

And his matter of fact approach is a welcome change. The head bad guy is about to kill his friends and Salazar kills the bad guys and holds the boss at gun point. In any other series, there’d be dialog as the boss would try to deal with Salazar or get into one of those “you’re no better than me” sort of moral arguments. Salazar regards him for a moment, kills him, and moves on to other things. He hates what he does, but he knows it needs to be done. He really is quite a pragmatist.

Blades does a wonderful job of portraying a simple, immigrant barber who wants nothing more that to love and be with his family…and then bringing the vulpine dispassionate killer to the surface….and then showing the hurt and shame he feels when he does torture or kill people. Thats the kinds of depth and character development that will make me watch this show.

This is, from a character development standpoint, easily my favorite episode..it shows the deconstruction and reconstruction of a man who wants only the simplest thing – to be with those he loves and to protect them. Who can’t get behind that?

Fear The Walking Dead – S2

I was pretty much ready to write off “Fear The Walking Dead” as just too stupidly annoying for me to watch. There were virtually no characters I liked, the characters were beyond clueless, and there just wasn’t any sense of caring what happened to these people.

Season Two, it appears, must have been made by people who spent the off-season reading the internet and learning what people disliked about the show. First, things are a tad grittier. I like that. It’s the end of the world, not Comic-con. The main characters have broken off into three distinctly separate storylines, so I can have episodes with minimal annoyance from some of those amazingly weak female characters.

And, speaking of female characters, we get introduced to new ones. Specifically, this one:

lucianaNormally, I’m not into ethnic chicks, and I’m not a fan of brunettes. What I am a fan of, though, are strong chicks with guns. (What can I say? I like what I like. Too many chicks are victims [or like to see themselves as victims], so ones that aren’t are pretty attractive.) So, yes, eye candy…but my kinda eye candy.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that this season the principal characters are much more realistic or fatalistic in their dealings with other people. Gone is Season One’s we-must-help-them mindset that drove me nuts. Now it seems the reality has hit home – other survivors are most likely bad news.

And to wrap it up, here’s an interesting article noticing the more realistic/fatalistic trend in FTWD.

When the apocalypse begins, the smartest thing you can do (besides raid Modell’s for combat boots) is monopolize essentials. Food, water, and shelter are in short supply. If you want easy living in the end of days, providing what people need is a golden ticket. Unfortunately, you’re going to compete with drug lords who already have the muscle and arsenal to take them first.

Fear the Walking Dead continues to one-up its older sibling series The Walking Dead by detailing a world where logic and plausibility are the most dominant forces in the zombie apocalypse. In “Sacrifice,” Nick (Frank Dillane) is assigned to accompany Luciana (Danay Garcia) on a dangerous task: Grocery shopping.

So there are stil characters on this show that I’m really eager to see leave, but overall I like the direction this particular part of the storyline is headed. I am, however, still extremely disappointed that they apparently(!) killed of my favorite character, Reuben Blades’ “Daniel”.

Walking Dead – How long has it been?

Some comments a few posts back made me wonder just how long a period of time has passed in The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead is in season six. Does that mean six years have passed for the survivors? Of course not. But…how much time has passed?

Assuming that Ricks wife wasn’t carrying on with Shane before Rick went into the coma (although I think he was), you’d have her getting pregnant somewhere within a few weeks of Rick waking up. Since Rick was in a coma for about a month, that puts her getting knocked up somewhere around 2-3 months into things. Assuming a normal gestation period of nine months, youre into one year. The kid is about a year old at this point, but appears to be less than two. So..to my way of thinking, our intrepid band of survivors is living in the ruins somewhere definitely more than two years on , but less than three.

However…if it is indeed less than three years, then Coral has aged rather rapidly for a little kid.

Two-plus years into a collapse and gasoline still seems to be fresh enough to work most modern vehicles, no sign of melted-down nuclear plants, no sign of any remnants of the government, and no presence of foreign nations. Seems a little neat.

ETA: This just doesn’t get old….


‘Walking Dead’ spinoff

So the other night was the premier of the ‘Walking Dead’ spinoff – ‘Fear The Walking Dead’. The premise, in case you missed it, is that unlike ‘The Walking Dead’ which shows us the zombie apocalypse about a month after it started, we get to see it from the start.

I find this interesting because I want to see the descent into a dystopic world. Walking Dead shows us the ashes of the world, but I want to see the world when it was burning.

Im expecting that since the first episode was used primarily to set up who was who and what their situations were, the second episode will get to the ‘meat’ o the matter. I want to see the panicked mobs in the supermarket, the violent traffic jams, the looting, the every-man-for-themselves police, the mobs of scared people, the infrastructure failure, etc, etc. To me, thats the most interesting part.

The first fifteen minutes of the otherwise forgettable World War Z movie was like that.  There was a great scene in the supermarket where the cop ignores the patrons shooting each other while he grabs stuff for himself. Sahdes of hurricane Katrina.

So far, though, Im less than impressed. I understand that the real zombie action has to wait until we’ve been introduced to the characters. Thats fine, I understand that. But, geez, there was not a single person there whom I cared about. Drugg addled son, bitchy daughter, desperate-to-be-a-family dad, badly-defined ex-wife, angst-ridden new wife…genuinely no one I cared about. We’ll see if that changes.

Walking Dead – metaphors

Remember the last season episode where right before our crew of intrepid survivors walks into the setup at Terminus Rick is showing Carl how to make a snare to trap game? He explains how the animal is funneled into the trap and is caught before it knows its even in jeopardy. Remember that?


So look at the metaphor in tonights show. The horse has been running around during this crisis and has been surviving just fine. And then…someone tries to reintroduce it to civilization, and once its in the pen behind the fence it gets swarmed and killed by zombies. It was safer outside the confines of the pen, taking its chances with everyone else.

Foreshadow much?

Walking Dead – Shane Was Right Edition

My wife pointed out, after last weeks episode of TWD, that Rick has become Shane. Shane was all about how they needed to do whatever was necessary, that this would not all blow over in a few months, and that the world was going to be a completely different place with different rules and different morals.

And, now, it appears that in Season Five Rick has become what Shane was in Season Two.


fullshaneNow, you could argue that Rick has never killed innocents for the sake of the group, as Shane did when he shot Otis, but in this most recent episode of TWD we see Rick casually saying that if it becomes necessary they’ll just “take” their new sanctuary from its owners. And Rick has, in the past, been less-than-reluctant to let strangers meet a gory demise without helping (which, yes, is not the same as killing them).

But it appears that ol’ Shane may have been ahead of his time in regards to his outlook and attitude.

Article – Science finds the best place to hide from zombies

The “I told you so”s will be long and loud……

Farmhouses, fenced-in compounds, even the thick concrete of a penitentiary. Post-apocalyptic zombie fiction has taught us that these are good options for hiding out to protect your delicious brains from the undead, but eventually the zombies typically overrun the walls.

Fortunately, science has now provided a better long-term strategy for surviving the walking dead: Head for the hills. Specifically, you should probably get familiar now with the general location of Glacier National Park so that when it all goes down, you can start heading in that direction.

Walking Dead – Episode 511

Man, I know the apocalypse can be a rough neighborhood….what with crazy one-eyed bossmen, colonies of cannibals, and just the general this-doesn’t-look-good crowd of dangerous survivors….but, geez….Rick and Co. are now just as bad as any post-apocalyptic gang of scumbags? Rick coldcocks a guy, takes his gear, takes his food, and threatens to kill him…and all the guy did was, unfortunately, use some language that was somewhat similar to what the folks at Terminus said. “Community for all” and “Stronger with you than without you” and all that jazz.

On the bright side, this episode was at least a somewhat better episode than the last couple that seemed to focus on experimental direction and storytelling.

Clearly, the end of the world is going to be rife with trust issues. Especially 18 months after the world flushes itself and you’ve spent the last year and a half being hunted, hounded, hungry, hurt and hopeless. But still….that was pretty thuggish behavior. I suppose it’s to show how the character of Rick has changed over time, or something like that.

Slightly better tactics than usual with a 2-man rule being shown, and more finger-off-the-trigger discipline than I’ve seen in a while. Thus far, these first three episodes of the new season seem pretty lame. I think I could have skipped the last three episodes and felt like I haven’t missed anything.

Oh, and probably more than anything else, the blogosphere will be burning up with much teeth-gnashing over the showing of a pair of gay guys kissing. You can show heads being impaled, limbs being ripped off, and cars literally covered in blood, but two guys kissing…thats objectionable. I kinda like the idea of them introducing a couple gay characters…(Everyone forget that there’s already a gay character in the group? Tara.) ..makes things seem a little more real and certainly opens up some previously unexplored story lines. When the end of the world rolls around there’s gonna be all sortsa folks running around trying to survive…men, women, blacks, whites, religious, non-religious, etc, etc. Stands to reason that there’s gonna be some gay folks and couples out there as well. I’d worry less about ‘what’ folks are and more about whether they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

All in all, probably the strongest episode of the season in terms of story and plot development. Now that the ‘Alexandria Safe Zone’ storyline from the comics has been picked up I look forward to seeing how it develops.