There’s going to be a lot, and I mean A LOT, of complaints about “Cobalt.” “Nothing happened,” critics will say. “It was slow,” others will say.
Personally, I like episodes like “Cobalt.” These slower paced episodes usually build up to bigger events. We also learn more in slower paced episodes like “Cobalt” than we do in the high-octane episodes viewers always demand.
We didn’t necessarily learn that the military was up to something shady. The military in the series has always been positioned as a the bad guy and the writers have done nothing to convince us of the contrary.
It’s natural to have the military as the bad guy. They have the power and the guns. Many movies in the “end of the world” genre set up the military and its members at the bad guy.
So, when we learned was what the military is plotting in Fear the Walking Dead was not necessarily a revelation. I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen the latest episode, but it won’t or shouldn’t come as a surprise that the military doesn’t have the best interest of Los Angeles’s citizens at heart.
My guess is this is not the military we had before the zombie virus spread through the country. Lt. Moyers (Jamie McShane) is your stereotypical military officer who shouts testosterone filled commands and speeches at people. He could easily be the Governor if it weren’t for the overall looming presence of the military. Someone is in control and it’s not Moyers. So, who is it?
We also saw the start of the military unit guarding the fence starting to fall apart. The soldier telling Travis his new mission is to get back to San Diego should be the start of the whole thing falling apart. It should be the beginning if there is enough time in the last episode to show the disintegration of the unit. The showrunners could skip straight over it and just show the aftermath.
The bright, shining light of Fear the Walking Dead has been and remains Ruben Blades’s Daniel Salazar. Salazar saw the writing on the wall before anyone else. He had said if “it” weren’t going to happen “it” was going to happen fast. Of course, viewers were lead to believe Salazar was talking about the virus.
With only two line of dialog and the way Blades delivers the lines, we know he wasn’t referring to the zombie virus. If the show is to survive it rests on the Blades’s shoulders.
For all the small little details and revelations revealed in “Cobalt” perhaps the biggest thing we learned was Fear the Walking Dead may end up a Walking Dead clone.
The series had been billed as a “what happened before the end of civilization.” Eventually, maybe even next episode, our little band of survivors is going to leave the barricades of suburbia. Then what? What can Kirkman and company possibly do that we haven’t already seen in The Walking Dead, especially without a comic book for a template to follow?
Will Fear the Walking Dead end up being Fear the Walking Dead: Los Angeles?