Weird thing about this show: maybe it’s just the difference in the number of seasons, but I have a heck of a time finding more than a handful of images from any given new episode that has aired for this show so far. This hasn’t been a problem with my Walking Dead recaps– I can frequently find a screencap somewhere, if not an actual .gif file, of any scene I might want to actually show in a review. That’s been very difficult so far with Fear. So I decided for this episode I would can the idea of using images specifically from this episode and instead go with a theme. See if you can guess what it is.
The episode begins with Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, because of course it does, and really every episode of every show should begin with Perfect Day. Nick floats lazily in the pool, which is full of mildew and other gross, like seriously people, maybe you have trouble getting chlorine right now, but toss a net in that damn thing before you go swimming. Travis jogs. Daniel… uh… looks out a window. Chris voice-overs. It’s day nine, and apparently Donald Trump is president because the military’s built a wall around the neighborhood. Chris’ voice-over is needlessly portentous even though he is actually describing the end of the world. Then he sees someone outside the safe zone flashing a light at him, and credits.
Maddie yammers at Alicia about repainting. Left out of this conversation is the part where there are bloodstains all over the wall that they probably want to get rid of. Travis comes back from his leisurely jog and Maddie gripes at him about how stressful life is, managing to toss in that she doesn’t know where Eliza goes during the day. I think you probably do, Maddie. Alicia shuts everyone up, because bickering is boring and shut up, grownups. Meanwhile, Chris is on the roof trying to get his buddy to flash lights back at him. He succeeds.
Travis climbs up on the roof, and Chris tries to catch his interest in the light. “There’s someone out there! They said there wasn’t anyone alive out there!” he says. Travis is needlessly dickish. He does that a lot.
Maddie, meanwhile, is yammering at Nick and trying to get him to take his Oxy. She’s apparently found a pill just sitting on a counter. Nick counters that he’s clean, and his mother tries really hard to get him to take more of the drugs that he says he doesn’t have to take any more. ‘K.
Outside, a soldier is reading an announcement at a crowd that even given the circumstances seems weirdly defensive and hostile, like, they’re giving me teacher flashbacks as they’re hollering irrelevant questions at him. I’m sure he’s around at some other times than right now while he’s trying to disseminate information. Maybe wait until the end of the speech? Or something? Eventually he loses his temper and stops. They’re in one of twelve safe zones, apparently, and they’re supposedly “infect-free” for six miles around the perimeter.
“Be nice, before I have to shoot you,” he says at the end of his speech.
The soldier goes looking for Travis, who is apparently some sort of liaison now or something like that? Somebody’s refusing to submit to a health screening, and Travis needs to talk him off the ledge. Travis tries to decline at first until the guy basically tells him that he’s going to shoot Doug if Travis doesn’t go fix him. This proves convincing, and Travis heads off to try and talk sense into the guy.
Alicia brings back a toy wagon full of… I dunno, food or something. Maddie paints.
“It’s gonna be okay,” Travis tells Doug, and tells him that that’s what he has to tell his kids. “Will they know that I’m lying?” Doug asks. Note that Travis doesn’t know he’s lying, so his answer to this is kinda obvious. Doug’s teary-eyed and not dealing with this well. No surprise there.
Elsewhere, Alicia breaks back into the neighbor’s house, and wanders around, and we see that jar of pills on the table again. She pulls a framed picture off the wall; apparently Susan used to babysit them? And held onto a thank-you note for an inappropriately long period of time? She finds a note from Susan, presumably to her husband, and sobs as she reads it, rubbing the faded Sharpie mark on her arm as she does.
Elsewhere (I feel like I’m going to run out of transition words quickly today) Eliza is checking on an old man in a hospital bed. He’s got an IV in him and she reassures him that he’s got plenty of morphine (uh-oh) and he’ll be fine. The patient’s wife does her best to give Eliza food. Nick, nearby, hops out of the pool. Wait, is that even their pool? How many neighbors do these people have? He looks through the fence at the neighbor as she leaves.
Chris is now arguing with Alicia about his lights. Why doesn’t anyone pay attention to Chris? No wonder he’s so sullen.
Cut back to the old man, who is clearly struggling to breathe, possibly because Nick is hiding under his hospital bed with the morphine drip jammed between his toes. Jesus, Nick.
We come back after commercials to the weirdest scene of the episode, as Ofelia makes out with some random soldier in his Humvee. He tries to take off her bra and she stops him. Is he seriously supposed to be on patrol alone right now? She asks him about medicine, so maybe she’s playing him for medicine for Mom, and he finally answers his radio call and says he’s heading back.
Nighttime, and Travis and Maddie are screwing in their car. “Is that make-up sex?” Travis asks? Dude, you don’t know? I feel like you should be certain. Maddie hops out of the car, denying her husband post-coital snuggles. Travis hounds her about what’s wrong with her, like, again, you don’t know? Dude there is seriously no reason at all to be confused about anyone acting stressed out right now, stop being dumb. She tells him to be nicer to Chris. He gripes about the light again. That is obviously a person flashing a light. It’s right there. Stop being dumb, Travis. You’re the dumbest dummy on this show. The two of them argue about the benevolence of the soldiers for a few minutes, only interrupted by Doug’s wife, who has lost Doug. He’s missing. Travis is sure he’s clearing his head. Sure he is.
Morning, and Maddie is flashing a flashlight at the building in the distance, and Travis has found Doug’s car. Somebody flashes a light back at Maddie. Commercials.
Captain Anger Management is playing golf, much like… well, somebody, and he and Travis argue about Doug, who the Captain claims they’ve picked up and taken off to get him some help so that he doesn’t go crazy inside the safe zone. Travis tells him about the lights. The Captain claims there aren’t any lights. What the hell is wrong with you people?
We note that someone has taken the time to put the words “REV 21:4” into the fence using Styrofoam cups. I do not approve wasting of Styrofoam cups in this fashion during the zombie apocalypse. Incidentally, the text of Revelation 21:4 is as follows:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
This is obviously nonsense, as there’s going to be a lot more of all of those things. Sidenote: it’s called Revelation, people, as in The Revelation of St. John. Stop calling it Revelations. It makes the eyes of people with degrees in Biblical studies all twitchy, and that’s not nice.
Later, there’s an actual doctor, and the old man is missing, and it turns out that Eliza’s not a nurse after all (is she training to be one? Yes, right?) and the doc is totally on to her but wants her to keep faking it anyway. Meanwhile, Maddie’s sneaking out of the safe zone because I already called Travis a dummy in this recap and she’s jealous.
She walks past a wall covered with missing signs– dudes, the best place to find someone in a zombie movie is clearly right next to these walls, because everyone in LA has a picture up there. Meanwhile, there’s a piece of cardboard on a fence nearby with a Bible verse on it. It’s… Revelation 21:4! Because there is only one Bible verse in Los Angeles.
There are bodies in the street all over the place. Shot dead bodies, with head wounds, and then there are soldiers, and Maddie dives underneath a car to wait for the commercial break. They somehow do not notice her despite it being their entire job to notice things while they’re walking around.
The doctor’s checking out Griselda, and suggests they head off to a nearby medical facility. Daniel, naturally, is somewhat untrusting. He says he’s going with her for the surgery she needs; the doctor doesn’t argue. A moment later, she’s checking on Nick, who may need Methadone, but says he’s fine.
“When’s the last time you used?” she asks.
“Uh… I dunno, when did the world end? A couple days before that,” he says. Which is awesome.
Nick’s heart rate is elevated. “You’re a very attractive woman,” he deadpans.
Next door– how long has she been over there? Alicia is trying to tattoo the symbol onto her arm. Bye, Alicia, that’s all the screen time you get this episode. Maddie gets home and Daniel knows immediately she went outside the fence. She also admits it immediately, like it’s normal, and tells him about the bodies, which surprises him not at all. His reaction is worth actually embedding:
Daniel’s becoming my favorite character, behind Nick but closing in. Note also that this is the second “it happens quickly” moment in the series. And it’s clear that he really doesn’t think he’s ever coming back from this hospital.
“Look after your son,” he says.
I feel like this would be a good time for hell to start breaking loose. Maddie magically locates Nick in the neighbors’ house, rooting around for drugs, and proceeds to slap the crap out of him, then turns around and stomps back out of the house. Nobody ever locks their doors in this neighborhood.
Nighttime, and Nick is trying to keep Alicia out of the bathroom, because he doesn’t want her to see the bruises. Oh, okay, I guess she does get another scene in this episode. She’s being Caring Sister for the moment and gives him a hug and tells him it’s going to be all right. Maddie’s downstairs in the Sex Car drinking what may or may not be booze out of a mug.
Soldiers outside. They take Griselda away, but won’t let Daniel go with them. “We only have two names,” they say. “Griselda Salazar and Nicholas Clark.”
“Run,” Alicia says to Nick.
He doesn’t get very far.
There’s lots of yelling and fighting, but the soldiers end up winning, which isn’t terribly surprising, and Nick is hauled off in handcuffs. Meanwhile, the doctor is somehow convincing Eliza to go with them and help at the hospital. We see her mouthing “I love you” to Chris, who is– you guessed it!– watching through the blinds, and they take her away.
Maddie gets manhandled by the soldiers until everyone else is gone, then comes back and blames everything on Eliza. Sure.
“Eliza. She did this,” she says, and it’s the last spoken line of the episode. Maddie reads Susan’s letter again in voiceover as Travis climbs to the roof. Susan clearly thought the world was ending, and appears to have killed herself after all.
Travis, on the roof, sees a light off in the distance. Then a few more, only these aren’t so much signal lights as muzzle flashes. The signaler, whoever he or she was, is dead.
Two more episodes, kids. Is it next Sunday yet?
SPECIAL WALKING DEAD BONUS WINDOW SCENE!
This probably should have gone in the recap, but I was tired and stressed out last night and wanted to be finished, so: this episode is taking a LOT of crap for being light on action. There’s not a single zombie in it anywhere, much less a messy shotgun-decapitation like we got last episode.
The folks complaining are dummyheads. There MIGHT be some room to criticize the show for what seems to be another “we think we’re safe but we’re not” scenario, which TWD has done a million times, but hey: zombie apocalypse. That’s kinda how it works now, and safety is temporary. There’s *also* a lot of room for the show to set up a completely different dynamic in how people live and survive than TWD does, and we aren’t going to know what direction the show’s headed in until the season’s over. I really like the fact that we *don’t know* what’s coming here, and if you can’t handle the fact that there aren’t enough head-bashings four episodes in you need to recalibrate your expectations for this program. It’s not TWD. That’s on purpose.
LikeLiked by 1 person