Should I Fear the Walking Dead?


Rodney Jones, Impact Staff

I initially started watching The Walking Dead in preparation for New York Comic Con 2015. I was definitely hooked while watching the actual series, and I was prepared to see the cast with the new knowledge of the show that I lacked the year before. Now for the fun part: they didn’t even show up to the main building. The Walking Dead became such a huge television series over the past few years that NYCC decided to move them to an extension location in Madison Square Garden, as opposed to placing them in the main stage panel room, which seats an approximate 2,000 people. In addition to the move, by the time most people found out, tickets were already gone, as they were sold out in August.

The move didn’t alter my opinion on the show, however. I remained curious about the background information that led to the disease, the lack of information on the subject always being one of the series’ shortcomings. This inspired me to watch their spin-off series that would discuss the topic in detail.

Fear the Walking Dead is an expansion, and prequel to the events of the main series. It follows the stories of a woman named Madison, a high school guidance counselor, Travis, her boyfriend who is also a teacher in the district, and Madison’s children, Alicia, the bratty teen, and Nick the drugged out kid with too much time on his hands.

The first episode opens with a drug fueled Nick roaming around an abandoned building in search of his girlfriend, who is probably also doing drugs. He approaches her hunched over a body on the floor, and she turns her head, revealing her bloody face and crazed eyes. She had been eating the body.

Nick flees the room, and is hit by a car, which was pretty funny. He wakes up in the hospital, and tells the nurse what happened, but the staff doesn’t believe him. Upon Madison’s arrival, they tell her that Nick is likely suffering heroin hallucinations. Travis, however, decides to give him the benefit of the doubt, and visit the church. He sees the massive amounts of blood that couldn’t have been the result of missing a vein while shooting up, and agrees that someone must have been murdered there. He believes Nick following his visit.

Shortly after, Madison confiscated a knife from a student named Tobias, who warns her of some mysterious disease, which would be the reason he needed the knife. The day after, the school closes early because footage is released of police officers shooting a man repeatedly that wouldn’t die.

The story moves to Nick escaping the hospital to meet his drug dealer, Calvin, and ask what was in the drugs he took. Calvin gets angry at first, but then disguises his anger, convincing Nick to get in his car and ride to the river. He pulls a gun, but somehow, Nick prevails in the fight, shooting Calvin in the stomach. Travis and Madison arrive to the scene, and are attacked by Calvin’s reanimated corpse. Nick drives over Calvin’s body repeatedly, but it still turns to face them.

The second episode opens with Nick knocking the body over a ledge with the car. Nick, Travis, and Madison then decide to go get Alicia and leave the city. Alicia is with her fever-stricken boyfriend, and her parents arrive. Travis sees a bite on her boyfriend, Matt, and realizes that is the cause of the fever. Matt convinces her to leave before she gets infected with the same virus he has. The family returns home, and goes to the school to get drugs for Nick to get him through his withdrawal from heroin. Madison goes into the building to get the drugs. She then encounters Tobias, the student who predicted the spread of the disease, as he is collecting food. The principal of the school is reanimated, as he approaches Madison and Tobias. He nearly kills Tobias, as Madison finds a fire extinguisher to kill the principal with. She beats him to death, which was highly entertaining, and they escape.

Travis has a son named Chris from before he and Madison were together with a woman named Liza. Chris is on a bus during the first stages of the virus, and the bus is stopped because of the police detaining a man who is approaching others. They are forced to kill the man, but this causes a riot because the citizens are under the impression that the man was wrongfully killed. Chris films everything as it is happening, as the police kill another who approached without stopping on command. Travis and Liza meet Chris in the riot, and take him out against his will because he thinks he knows what he is talking about. The riot gains intensity when the police kill the second person, so the family departs. They enter the barbershop of the Salazar family, as Travis calls Madison, advising them to leave, and Travis will catch up.

Back at the family home, Alicia sees the neighbors in a fight. She tries to go help, but Madison refused to allow her out, figuring that the husband was likely already reanimated, causing the attack.

Travis’s group remains in the barbershop, trapped at the end of the episode.

Thus far, the series has had an intense start. Family drama is to be expected, considering that Travis’s ex-wife, Liza is very likely going to meet up with Madison and her children. I will say that I am already waiting for someone to die, however. The plot is moving enough for my taste, but I don’t like that the teens are so stereotypical. There is the drug addict, the brat, and the defiant male character trying too hard to stand up for what he feels is right with no situational information except for what he sees at face value. In short, they annoy me. The adults are actually good moral compasses for the children, and thus far I have agreed with their decision-making skills. I am actually moderately excited to watch the upcoming episodes.