Fear the Walking Dead’s third episode, “ The Dog,” reminded me a lot of my mom’s 15 year-old dachshund. It sleeps all day and the only way you know it’s alive is to check to see if the poor thing’s chest is moving up and down. Every now and then, usually around meal time, it perks up enough to move from the couch to the food bowl. Then it’s the long walk back to the couch for more Zs.
“The Dog” was a lot like the old dachshund. Most of the episode was spent in a deep sleep. There were moments though that perked up a little, but only to go back to sleep again.
I thought it was pretty amazing last episode when a full blown riot started moments after an incident with the police. Fine, it’s LA. There are a lot of people in the city with brewing hatreds toward authority and the littlest thing could set them off. However, that’s stretching it a bit. Even the Rodney King riots took a trial and a verdict for the city to ignite.
Now I’m more impressed with the fact Travis’s truck was still where he left it when he went to look for Chris. There was a lot of time between finding Chris and returning to the truck yet it was still right where Travis left it. What about all the shots of rioters turning over cars and setting them on fire? What was wrong with Travis’s old reliable truck? I guess these rioters had more discerning tastes when it came to what cars to destroy.
What about the treacherous hike back to the truck? Not a problem when you have trusty Travis leading the way. Except, for the police hosing down the crowd causing some girders to fall on top of Griselda’s leg. The showrunners could have had all sorts of tense shots leading from Daniel’s barber shop to Travis’s truck. Instead the only thing they did was set up a scene in a later episode where Daniel is going to have to kill Griselda. It’s pretty obvious she is going to die from the infection setting in her leg.
Things must have gotten better after they got out of the city, right? Sort of. The panning shot of LA going dark was pretty neat. But why? Why did the power go out? According to a quick Google search, LA draws 36% of its power from Utah, but the great majority of electricity powering the city is generated by the Hoover Dam. Unless something happened to the Hoover Dam there should have been plenty of lights on in LA. If you saw the episode of Live After People on the Hoover Dam, you would know the dam was built so damn good it will keep generating power for thirty years without human intervention.
I know why the writers decided to kill all the electricity in the greater Los Angeles area. As humans, we are suppose to fear the dark. It’s hard-wired into our DNA. Way back before the discovery of fire, the night held some terrifying beasties. Fear kept our ancestors alert and on guard from these beasties that wanted to make a meal of Uncle Gronk.
Somewhere the fear of the dark is still with us. Except, in Fear the Walking Dead. It was run-of-the-mill in the Clark/Manawa house. A dog, for which the episode is named after, does some scratching at the back door until Nick checks the noise out. It wasn’t scary or haunting and didn’t send out chills. It was typical.
Not even the scene of Madison’s neighbor trying to squeeze between the backyard fence did anything to get the heartbeat racing. It did provide the spark for Nick to let Alicia in on the fact people were coming back from the dead. Other than a brief tantrum she took the news rather well. She didn’t even ask any questions. Personally, I’d have a lot of questions. The first question would be, “ How long were you going to wait to tell me the dead were walking around LA?!”
Travis, on the other hand, decided to have a change of heart about what’s going on in the city. He’s seen with his own eyes a person being shot, run over by a car and keep coming back for more. It’s only now he’s not sure if the people are dead or not. Sure, because under normal conditions some people can just brush off being hit by a truck.
It’s obvious Travis is going to be Fear the Walking Dead’s Hershel Greene. Hershel, if you can remember back to season two of The Walking Dead, was keeping walkers in his barn because he thought they could be cured. Hershel eventually got a rude awaking and somewhere along the line so will Travis. It’s just a shame we have to see the same thing twice.
To play off Travis’s Hershel is Daniel Salazar. The scenes with Daniel were the only scenes worth watching. While everyone was talking to the neighbor zombie, who somehow got into the house, Daniel took action. He showed Chris how to use the rifle no one else seemed to know how to use. Daniel seems to be the only one who knows what it’s going to take to survive. In this way, Daniel is much like where Rick Grimes is now in The Walking Dead and where Shane was at before he zombied out at the end of season two. Again, it’s a shame we have to see this character again.
It should be interesting to see what happens when the two have a real clash of wills. However, we know what’s coming because we’ve seen The Walking Dead. All we are seeing is a rehash of The Walking Dead set in pre-zombie apocalypse world.
It should be okay because the military arrived to save the day. How though? A few hours before Nick was upset no one was doing anything about the dead roaming LA. That was a quick reaction for no one knowing what was going on. Heck, the world knew New Orleans was underwater after Hurricane Katrina hit and it took days for a response.
Don’t even try to say the quick response was because the National Guard was deployed. Deploying the National Guard would have meant recalling a bunch of weekend warriors, arming them up, and then deploying units. This is a process that would take at least a day if not more, but certainly more than a few hours. Without anything else to go on we can only assume the government knew about the virus long before Nick woke up in the abandoned church. Maybe.
One thing is for sure, based on scenes from next week’s episode, it doesn’t look like the military is bringing good intentions. If anything it looks like a gung-ho officer is starting to become the Governor before there was a Governor.
Why not? Storywise there hasn’t been anything too original about Fear the Walking Dead. It’s a shame too because the idea of a world sliding into zombie madness was a great idea. The problem is there is no execution to the idea, no sense of doom, and nothing original.
Until next week, I’m going back to the couch.