Yes, you should fear Fear the Walking Dead. No, you should not fear the series because it’s scary or tense, but because of the potential for how bad it can get.
The One Tree Hill vibe was still present in “So Close, Yet So Far.” Alicia is still the spoiled brat who doesn’t want to listen to her mother when she tells her to get away from Alicia’s infected boyfriend. To be fair, Alicia doesn’t know what the others know. Yet there is still a nagging feeling that even if Alicia did know she would still want to stay with her boyfriend.
The feeling comes from how the character is written, but also because the showrunners have to create conflict where there is no conflict. There had to be some conflict in the series. Conflict moves any story along its path. However, in a series spun off from a series famous for its zombies there was bound to be even more conflict than in a normal story setting. The showrunners had to create this “false” conflict if the story was going to stay away from the zombie element for any period of time.
We can forgive Travis for going after his family. Story wise it was a good move. Travis has been set up as a family man, a good man. It would only be logical for him to go after his family even as LA falls apart. But why did Madison go back to the school?
Explain it away that she needed drugs to help her son get through his drug withdrawal. But she went to a high school! There’s not a school in the nation that has anything stronger than aspirin in their medicine cabinets. I’d be surprised if schools are even allowed to give aspirin. Maybe these were confiscated drugs off students. However, that doesn’t work because those would be turned over to the police along with the student who brought them to school.
Madison had to leave her son and daughter to create conflict in the series. She had to go back to the school so viewers could see another zombie in the series. After all, this is Fear the Walking Dead not a series that would be content with the fear an epidemic spreading through the United States would really bring.
Thankfully for Tobias, who went back to school during a zombie apocalypse for a cheap knife, who explained how society was going to collapse from beginning to end. Why take the time to show us and tell us when one student can do it in a couple of minutes.
Even Travis’s attempt to find his family was cliched. Liza, Travis’s wife, had to fight with him before she changed her mind for no reason. Of course, Travis’s son Chris isn’t at home. No, he’s at the scene of a police shooting that turns into a full-scale riot. I’m not a scholar on riots, but when was the last time a riot broke out moments after a police shooting? Even in the historical riots of the past thirty or so years the mass looting and destruction didn’t occur moments after an incident. It’s okay the showrunners made this gigantic leap in order to propel the story, because Chris kept saying, “This is very important.” So, it’s okay because it was very important.
There were two good things that happened in “So Close, Yet So Far.” Ruben Blades character was introduced after Travis’s family ducked into his barber shop. Blades (Predator 2, Once Upon A Time in Mexico) is one of those actors who you may not know their names, but whatever they’re in they usually make things better. Another “family man” in the series may create valid conflict between Daniel and Travis when both their families are in danger.
The other thing that happened was the last minute of the episode. Zombies attacked Madison’s neighbors and Madison did nothing over the objections of her daughter. Of course, Alicia is screaming to help while Madison does nothing. It’s the look on Madison’s face, after she has slammed the front door closed, that says everything about the series we need to know- Everything is going to hell and nothing will ever be the same.
Although the zombie virus seems to have spread throughout LA in a matter of television minutes, “So Far, Yet So Close” has set the series in the right direction. Hopefully, the series will capitalize on the last few minutes of the episode and start to really scare us.