Fear the Walking Dead Becomes Shiva the Destroyer of Television

(Ye be not wanting to go no further, matey. Fear the Walking Dead spoilers be ahead.)

When we last saw Fear the Walking Dead our merry band of survivors were still living on Hershel’s farm….I mean Thomas’s hacienda. Celia was  still spouting the same things she was spouting last week. Missed last week’s episode? Watch season two of The Walking Dead. She’s basically saying the same thing Hershel said about the zombies in the barn. The same things, but with more of a whack-job religious zealot feel.

I’ll give it to you in a Cliff’s Note version if you don’t’ have the time to watch the best season of The Walking Dead. Hershel thought all the biters in the barn shouldn’t be killed because they were his friends and family. Hershel also thought there was a cure. Celia thinks the dead in her cellar are her friends and family. She doesn’t think they should because of some divine, overarching God reason. It may be valid and would have been a good reason, but the writers on the show have only managed to make Celia sound like a nut job- a Jim Jones nut job. We didn’t see what actually happened to her at the end of “Shiva” so I’m betting she’ll return. Maybe she’ll return as Fear the Walking Dead’s Governor. Why not? There hasn’t been an original idea in this show for two seasons.

Celia preaches to Daniel

Jim Jones of the zombie apocalypse.

Speaking of nut jobs…Chris runs off after a little altercation with Alicia. Alicia says he was holding a knife over her. Really, was he? He was holding a knife, but not in an I’m-going-to hack-Alicia-to-death way. It was more of a “What’s this?” kind of way. Let’s say for a moment he was going to kill Alicia. He wasn’t standing over her. He was standing on the opposite side of the bed from her. Chris would have had to hack up Madison before he got to Alicia. Chris, like the pouting teenager he is, runs off instead of killing Alicia. I’m not defending what he did, but would a Fear the Walking Dead without Madison and Alicia be a bad thing? Instead, we get a Chris and Travis trekking through Mexico in search of Chris’s maturity and something that will cure his brattiness.

Speaking of teenagers…Nick has definitely gone off the deep end. As Victor said, Celia got her hooks into Nick. She’s created a Jim Jones-like cult with Nick as her newest acolyte. It’s a good idea. During dark times, people turn to religion and sometimes cults, but isn’t one moody, distrusting teenager enough? There aren’t enough interesting characters on the show. Killing off another character may make the show even weaker. but one of them has to go. Oh, wait. Nick did leave the merry band, but not for good. He’ll be back in the second half of the season two premiering in August.

Madison watches Nick

“No, mom, it wasn’t creepy how you watched me take a shower and clean myself off.”

Speaking of characters we like…Up to this point, Daniel was the only one in this band that made any sense. That is until “Shiva.” While Victor is busy burying Thomas Daniel goes into the reasons why he shouldn’t bury him in the ground. The ground at the hacienda. Daniel says they’ll come back, they won’t be the same, and they’ll hate you for it. That’s some deep stuff, right? It’s the same thing we learned during the first couple of seasons of The Walking Dead-the dead return to places and people they knew before.

Daniel could have meant something deeper and metaphysical, but Fear the Walking Dead hasn’t shown that it’s any more than what we see on the surface. No, Daniel meant what he said. There’s something wrong with the ground and it brings people back from the dead. Hey. that’s great logic except for one small flaw. The zombies that attacked them in LA, the zombies at the plane wreck, and zombie Reed were not buried at cementerio de Thomas. By this point in the apocalypse, they should all know when you die you come back as a zombie.

Daniel holds a shovel in Fear the Walking Dead

“Don’t bury me. I’m not dead.”

I don’t blame Daniel. I blame poor writing. The same writing, approved by showrunners, who thought bringing up Daniel’s past in ghosty flashbacks was a good idea or having his dead wife appear. Sure, he felt guilty for what he did a long time ago. But would that really cause him to set himself on fire? Fire, people!

Honestly, it’s not a bad idea. You have a character who at some point in time did some heinous things. The character though some action of his own or someone else’s is forced to remember those actions. The guilt builds up over a period time and at some point in time the guilt manifests itself. However, the writers and showrunners didn’t develop Daniel’s guilt long enough. One episode he feels guilt for one reason or another and the next he’s setting himself on fire in some sort of atonement. As a character, Daniel could have been around for a lot longer. At least long enough for viewers to learn what Daniel was feeling guilty about.

I haven’t forgotten Madison. She was in the episode saying things to Nick like “You’ve changed.” What an observation. The world has gone to the zombies and she notices Nick has changed. I’d coat myself in zombie guts too if Madison was my mother. She did lock Celia in the zombie cage which has been the only redeeming thing she’s done in two seasons.

At the end of “Shiva,” Hershel’s farm…damn….Thomas’s hacienda was burning to the ground with Rick, Daryl….damn it!…with Victor, Madison, and Alicia heading back to the prison….damn, damn,damn it…the boat. “Shiva” wasn’t an exciting mid-season finale, it wasn’t a touching mid-season finale, it wasn’t a mid-season finale leaving us wanting for more. “Shiva” was just another episode in long line of just so-so episodes.

 

The More You Know: Tonight’s episode, “Shiva,” was named after the statue given to the winner of The League’s Shiva Bowl. The current holder of the Shiva is the Coin….no,no,no…

Ruxin wins Shiva

He won the Shiva.

“Shiva” was named after the Jewish mourning practice of “sitting shiva.” In the Jewish faith, families of a deceased loved one sit for seven days in one location to mourn their loss. During these seven days, mourners do not get up from their seats even as they receive visitors….no.no…well, maybe…this is a mess of a show so it’s possible.

I think showrunners were shooting for was Shiva the Destroyer. Shiva, in the Hindu religion, is the god who will destroy the world for Vishnu to rebuild. He will then destroy it again and again and again. Each time Vishnu will recreate the world. Refreshing thought, huh? Shiva also represents change in a person. It was a lofty goal to shoot for, but the show couldn’t deliver on any comparison to the Hindu god.

(P.S. I didn’t forget Ophelia. She was in “Shiva” crying like she does in every episode.)

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