And here we are, the final episode of season one of Fear the Walking Dead. Officially, this episode is called ‘The Good Man’ but I think we should just go ahead and call it “Well, that was a terrible plan…” because there are just so many levels of wondering what the characters/writers were thinking here. That being said, I enjoyed it well enough. I could even see myself rewatching the first season before season two starts (it was picked up for a second season before the pilot even aired) because by the end I did somewhat care about some of the characters, even if I don’t think there would actually be a realistic chance of many of these people surviving the apocalypse.
So remember when at the end of the last episode the big reveal was that the soldiers were abandoning L.A. and planned to kill all the civilians before they left. Well, that never happened. The main cast of characters snuck out of their own neighborhood for no reason at all. There was no one there to stop them. And even then, no one could be bothered to let the rest of their surviving neighbors know that there was even a chance they were about to be murdered in their sleep. I get that it’s every man for themselves, but most of the characters aren’t even close to being in that headspace yet. And since we had Strand making basically the same decision later on, there was absolutely zero need for the soldier storyline at all (especially since the military killing what was left of the human population was a terrible plan to begin with). Rescuing Liza, Chris (and Griselda) should have been reason enough for them to head to the compound. Of course, before they leave, Travis decides to free their prisoner in an attempt to save his life.
Making the opposite decision, Liza is doing well for herself as a makeshift nurse, and has the opportunity to have the government go in and save her people. She chooses Chris and Travis, deliberately leaving out everyone else. But that didn’t matter because part of the big rescue operation was apperently to release all of the walkers that had been in the stadium as a distraction. Say it with me now… THIS IS A TERRIBLE PLAN! Yes, it made for a zombie filled finale. But who would actually think releasing two thousand of the living dead was the best possible way to save the missing members of your group? Stay tuned, because this brilliant idea will eventually lead to the death of one of the people they were trying to save.
The group makes it into the parking garage of the facility with minimal issue, leaving Chris and Alicia in the car because they’d just get in the way otherwise. But Nick has already gotten out of his cell, thanks to Strand. So there’s a bit of running around, close calls and zombie fighting. Because drama! Meanwhile, a few soldiers decide to abandon ship and quickly find Chris and Alicia hanging out in their SUV. And because there are apperently no other vehicles in this facility that would be better for surviving out in the big bad world, they end up taking the keys and leaving. But it was really just to give the youngest members of the group something to do, since everyone will eventually comfortably escape in only the two remaining cars.
After Travis and Co. free all of the caged people that Strand left behind, Nick and his new fearless leader are leading the pack in their escape with everyone else staggered a few minutes behind (but also somehow in front of them, even though they all came from the same place). After a close call, the group is reunited back in the parking garage. Shocking no one, Chris and Alicia opted not to leave with the three car stealing soldiers. Time to go! At least it should have been. Instead, Andrew (the captured soldier/Ophelia’s exboyfriend) somehow made it through all the chaos in order to get his revenge on Daniel. But then shoots Ophelia instead? I’m not entirely sure if he shot her because he was startled (soldier of the year) or because it would be better revenge against her father, but it looked deliberate. Either way, it happened entirely so Travis could “break” and beat him too a pulp.
At first, I was a little bummed because Ophelia is far from my least favorite character, but he only grazed her. By the time the group got back to Strand’s super fancy home (because he’s calling the shots now for whatever reason) Liza had declared that she’d be fine. Alas, the same could not be said for Liza as she’d been bitten during the escape (again, a terrible plan). Now, instead of saying goodbye to her son or explaining anything, she goes out to the coast and asks Madison to be the one to shoot her in the head so Travis wouldn’t have to do it. Yet another terrible plan. Except Travis ends up doing it anyway, so that by the end of the episode he is well and truly broken, and no longer feeling like the titular good man.
Now, is it just me or does this storyline make his beating up Andrew once again completely unnecessary? Maybe there’s more to be said for Ophelia being shot because Travis had let their captive go, but the pieces just didn’t seem to come together well enough to really emphasise the character development that the show had been going for.
Overall, this was an okay first season. I know I had a lot to say in the criticism column for this last episode, but it was far more action packed than most of the episodes in either franchise, and if nothing else, there were some interesting character moments. We will see where everything ends up going with the next season and the hunt for Strand’s boat, though somehow I don’t see them pulling off several episodes of everyone sitting around in the middle of the ocean.
The Walking Dead is back next week, and I’m more than ready to get back to characters who at least know the rules of this particular apocalypse.