Fear the Walking Dead: We All Fall Down
April 18, 2016 5:23 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

The group seeks shelter with a survivalist family; Madison searches for the family's true motives while Salazar tries to uncover Strand's.
posted by tobascodagama (26 comments total)
 
Hope nobody minds that I posted the thread this time.

The thing with the fence at the beginning was an unnecessary fake-out, and it's a bit unclear to me what the Hell happened to George after the gang left him behind. (Did he kill himself? Why didn't he put down his wife first?) That and, as usual, nobody is watching their fucking kids during the apocalypse.

That said, this episode delivered on most of what I want out of this show. Namely, lower stakes and people who are still coming to grips with the whole apocalypse thing rather than having it all figured out. The ranger network aspect was an interesting angle that stories like this don't normally take advantage of. It was a pretty natural way to do an exposition dump showing our characters the bigger picture.

And then there's Strand, who's been talking to mysterious people via radio and satellite phone, is strangely insistent on sailing to San Diego despite hearing that it's been burnt down like LA, and has maps of Baja, which is presumably his ultimate destination. So do we think he worked with Mexican cartels? It'd be funny if he was the Saul Goodman of insurance: the guy the criminals call when they need an insurance guy who knows their business. Would explain why he knows so damned much about Abigail if he turns out not to actually own it, like Daniel suspects.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:33 AM on April 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Too much cheap manufactured angst. The show has still not lived up to being on television, and remains at webisode quality. In the opening days of not knowing what was going on, Rick wandered around and tried to figure things out and there was a genuine sense of confusion. Of wondering what was going on with the world. Not here.

This episode had some good points that could have been memorable - where they talk about noise and light pollution, or where survivalist guy is talking about things as they are now. But it never rises above CW level.
posted by cashman at 7:35 AM on April 18, 2016


This show is so bad it makes TWD look good.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:56 AM on April 18, 2016


Somebody last episode was wondering about a cruise ship full of old people, and someone else called out Cockneys vs. Zombies. I will submit here that it's basically the same idea as FTWD except with a bunch of old people, who are, funnier, smarter, tougher, less wildly incompetent, and generally all-around better at being badasses when the shit hits the fan than the entire cast of FTWD.

I enter this clip into evidence.

The woman on the right in that clip is in fact Honor Blackman, better known as Pussy Galore. I rest my case.
posted by Naberius at 11:07 AM on April 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I endorse CvZ. If you've decided you're more Z Nation than TWD then CvZ will for sure fit the bill for you; earnest as a zombie movie but willing to be goofy.
posted by phearlez at 1:49 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Strand and Salazar left alone on the boat while the derp squad was off having their stupid adventure was distracting, because it kept dangling the (admittedly remote) possibility of those two sailing away and leaving everyone else behind in my face, which would go a long way towards fixing this series.

One of the commenters over at the AV Club has pointed out that Chris looks and acts exactly like how you would imagine a live-action version of Joseph Gribble from King of the Hill to be portrayed, and I cannot unsee it.

I can't stop thinking about how Kim Dickens held her own as an actor with the cast of Deadwood, which I consider easily one of the top five ensemble television casts of the last twenty years. I'm hoping that AMC backed a truck full of money up to her house to get her to do work that is this far beneath her.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:31 PM on April 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm posting this just a few minutes in, after the little girl does the 'ring around the rosey' rhyme, and I had a thought. What if you had a series set 100 years after the zombie apocalypse? You could have small settlements that have managed to survive, and retcon the zombie virus to keeping human flesh alive and vibrant many, many years after it should've decayed. Having a civilization that's been built on two generations of terror would be genuinely interesting. You could tell fun stories with it. Instead we have Walking Dead 2.0, rehashing the same fucking boring modern day morality plays that Rick and his gang of idiots have been tracing in the dust for 7 seasons, or whatever. Same, same, same. Same sorts of dumb people doing dumb things in dumb situations.
posted by codacorolla at 4:49 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The first season focuses on the ruins of Martha's Vineyard, 100 years after infection. You have three main characters:

Elise - A young woman (25) who can trace her roots back to the founders, the men who successfully sealed the bridge and fortified the island. Her family is middlingly successful, but her father (Marco) is ambitious. Elise is the middle child, and has been following her father's urgings to be part of the Whalers, a paramilitary force that is responsible for scavenging missions on the mainland, and home defense from raiders and walker outbreaks. Marco has arranged for Elise to join the force as a quartermaster (essentially an honorary position for the sons and daughters of the wealthy). However, Elise wants to make her own way, and intentionally breaks the rules to get busted down to one of the hardest and most demanding recon patrols. Her story lets you see how things are in the wilderness of what remains of America, and also gives perspective on how the Vineyard is positioned within that world.

Robert - A boy (13) from the ruins of New York, which has become a brutal, walled city, constantly being fought over by warring Wall Street bandit lords. Robert was an apprentice to a doctor (Emma), who adopted him after his family died in a land skirmish. However, after Emma gave treatment to the wrong person and ended up as the target of a vendetta, they were forced to make a run for it. Initially headed for the theocratic city-state of Boston for sanctuary, they were waylaid by bandits in the dead marshes outside of the Hartford necropolis, and Emma was killed. Robert's story picks up here, as he stumbles into Elise's recon squad. Elise takes a shine to him, and fast-tracks him as a refugee to the Vineyard, where he provides an outsider's perspective to the inner-workings of the Vineyard. As a doctor's assistant once more, Robert sees both the good and the bad of the Vineyard, and his POV follows a boiling insurrection among the lower classes who see their position as glorified slavery.

Gar - An older man (53) who is the charismatic leader of the Vineyard's faction of the Living Dead, a cult that has sprung up in the aftermath of the Walker apocalypse. Vineyard's Catholic church is relatively weak by design, so it was largely unable to fight the rise of the cult, which now boasts approximately a third of the population of the Vineyard. The Living Dead are hedonistic nihilists, who view the walker apocalypse as a means to refine one's character, explore the boundaries of morality, and provide meaning in an otherwise meaningless universe. The faithful are required to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the righteous dead (as they're known) as a test of faith, and are given to dark, symbolic rituals, and quests into the wilderness. Despite the deprivations and trials of the faith, they are surprisingly popular among the Vineyard's upper crust. Gar is seeking to gain real political power, and move The Living Dead from shadowy puppet masters to something else entirely. Gar's story allows viewers to see the high end of Vineyard society, and also drives the larger, overarching story for the season (The Living Dead's attempted take-over of the Vineyard).
posted by codacorolla at 5:46 PM on April 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


One of the commenters over at the AV Club has pointed out that Chris looks and acts exactly like how you would imagine a live-action version of Joseph Gribble from King of the Hill to be portrayed, and I cannot unsee it.

Specifically, Joseph in the episode where he and Connie both start going through puberty.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2016


I'm posting this just a few minutes in, after the little girl does the 'ring around the rosey' rhyme, and I had a thought. What if you had a series set 100 years after the zombie apocalypse? You could have small settlements that have managed to survive, and retcon the zombie virus to keeping human flesh alive and vibrant many, many years after it should've decayed.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth book series is not without flaws but is an interesting look at this. If the first doesn't appeal to you the second is very different; the series reasonably assumes there could be many different ways people lived that long.
posted by phearlez at 6:11 PM on April 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I was hoping when this episode first came on that the cold-open of each episode would be completely unrelated to the show and just be snippets of random people surviving in weird ways. But then those kids showed up again.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:15 PM on April 18, 2016


Now that they're in an actual boat, it's starting to feel like old Star Trek episodes. USS Abigal goes to new island planet, check out the locals, stuff goes crazy, jump back in the ship and run away to next week's slightly different island planet.
posted by p3t3 at 8:07 PM on April 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Now that they're in an actual boat, it's starting to feel like old Star Trek episodes. USS Abigal goes to new island planet, check out the locals, stuff goes crazy, jump back in the ship and run away to next week's slightly different island planet.

This is basically The Last Ship.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:43 PM on April 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Somebody last episode was wondering about a cruise ship full of old people, and someone else called out Cockneys vs. Zombies. I will submit here that it's basically the same idea as FTWD except with a bunch of old people, who are, funnier, smarter, tougher, less wildly incompetent, and generally all-around better at being badasses when the shit hits the fan than the entire cast of FTWD.

I'm the one who brought up CvS, and I approve of this message. Haha. It was the feel good zombie movie of the year when it came out.

That said, this episode delivered on most of what I want out of this show. Namely, lower stakes and people who are still coming to grips with the whole apocalypse thing rather than having it all figured out. The ranger network aspect was an interesting angle that stories like this don't normally take advantage of. It was a pretty natural way to do an exposition dump showing our characters the bigger picture.

... yeah, actually. I didn't expect to like this episode, especially not after the cold open, but it was all right. Salazar was fun. Strand's subplot, while looking sort of dumb right now, is making me hope that FTWD learned something from Z Nation and will maybe have an analogue to the Zeroes. (I didn't like the execution of the Zeroes much, but the notion that the Mexican cartels would survive a zombie apocalypse? Yeah, of course they would.)

Travis and Kim disagreeing about whether or not to help the kids was the sort of discussion I wished TWD would ever engage in in good faith. I feel like this was a slightly better effort than TWD offers. The solution here was, again, pretty dumb, but I appreciated Salazar's 'the boy has a rifle' quip.

The teenagers were... well, still too numerous. Ofelia and Not-Lexa were completely wasted, but Nick and Chris actually did all right. Nick's even growing on me - his junkie ways are still proving reasonably clever, and he's self aware about what a screwup he is. I still think they could stand to lose about half of the kids though, just because it's clear they don't know what to do with so many.

Anyway, weird to be expressing even a mildly positive opinion, but credit where it's due: this is, at least, a lot closer to what I was hoping for out of the show.
posted by mordax at 10:55 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only episode in the entire thing I've somewhat enjoyed - but it's obvious the creators don't "get it."

That beginning - so beautiful, such a sense of suspense - and then SLAMMED away from the viewer, haha, we tricked you! There is a fence!

Same thing later in the episode, with the forest ranger man - he had the BEST THINGS TO SAY SO FAR about the apocalypse, we finally have some realizations and emotion (although WHY wouldn't they have realized and CARED MORE about the apocalypse that is CLEARLY happening, or be, I don't know, a LITTLE scared about the dead coming back to life? Is this just bad acting or terrible direction?), and then Travis leaves that guy's house and discards the man's eloquent knowledge with some comment about how he's a nutcase. Thanks for dismissing the only interesting thing so far anyone's had to say!

I think that to top TWD, a new zombie film/series would have to go WAY artistic with it, dreamlike, out of one person's mind who is struggling with sanity while fighting off the undead. Surrealistic. This little petty meh meh meh with a million characters and no real fear (the series title is laughable considering no one seems scared, EVER) is a super dud. I expect it to be cancelled after this season.
posted by agregoli at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I may have spent the entire episode talking to the TV.

"That's not your boat."
"That's not your problem."
"Seriously, that family's drama is not yours."
"Oh for fuck's sake, that's not YOUR BOAT!"
"AND THOSE AREN'T YOUR CHILDREN."
"YOU HAVE ENOUGH DAMN PROBLEMS WITHOUT ADDING MORE!!!"
"Sigh."
"I told you so."
posted by teleri025 at 12:40 PM on April 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


and then Travis leaves that guy's house and discards the man's eloquent knowledge with some comment about how he's a nutcase. Thanks for dismissing the only interesting thing so far anyone's had to say!

I actually really liked Travis discarding it. George was being pretty creepy - all the talk about Travis' Maori background is super racist and in Travis' shoes, I would've wanted to rinse off afterward.

At the same time, I really *liked* George's talk from the perspective of both a viewer and as a writer myself. He's presented as the one thing people in the TWD-verse generally aren't: he's complicated. He has a healthy mix of helpful views, bad views, curiosity, a need to engage with people around him. He's flailing at the end of the world in a way that manages to be both entertaining and completely human. Plus, Travis' reactions were spot on - I really felt for him being in such an awkward position, not knowing what to say.

I think it's my favorite scene on the show so far. I laughed harder at Strand's intro, but for once, I actually *believed* a scene that happened on this show. I felt for both men, for the entirety of the talk, understanding something of where each one was coming from.

I never really expected to say that about anything that happened in this franchise.

The only episode in the entire thing I've somewhat enjoyed - but it's obvious the creators don't "get it."

At the same time, I think you're still probably right about this. I'm really trying to temper my expectations here.

I think that to top TWD, a new zombie film/series would have to go WAY artistic with it, dreamlike, out of one person's mind who is struggling with sanity while fighting off the undead. Surrealistic.

That reminds me of something I saw on Netflix a year or three back, actually - a woman getting infected by some rage-style zombie plague and going mad while her husband is out looking for supplies. It was pretty cool, but think it worked better as a movie than as a running show.

Personally, I'd be more interested in an anthology series all set in the same background, more like the book version of World War Z - different people, different takes, same overall world. That way they could kill *anyone* without worrying about it, and we could always just cut to the good parts of everyone's story. TWD/FTWD are worst when they plod along setting stuff up. When they're moving, it's much easier to overlook all the flaws. (This is true of fiction generally.)
posted by mordax at 1:23 PM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I expect it to be cancelled after this season.

I wouldn't bet on that.

Did I miss something? Last episode there was a faster boat headed their way, with what one presumes were some scary, murderous dudes on it. I admit that I was only half-watching this week's episode, but I didn't see how they resolved that. What happened?
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:30 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Strand refers to being trailed by another boat a couple of times. Part of the reason they dock on Catrina Island is to get off the other boat's radar for a while.

(There's a brief discussion about the kind of firepower they must have used to take out the capsized boat, which basically points to police or military.)
posted by tobascodagama at 4:40 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how docking at the island helps them evade Baddy McGunboat, though. Surely, when Abigail's radar signature disappears in the immediate vicinity of the island, Baddy is gonna figure it out?

This episode was marginally promising – one of the better ones so far, I'd say. Maybe the show is starting to find its voice. Whether it's a voice worth listening to remains to be seen – but it seems to be distinguishing itself from its parent show, and even delivering (a bit) on what it originally promised.

They really do need to provide Strand with some intelligible motivation stat, though. He's merciless about kicking people off the boat, because they're "dead weight" and it's "too dangerous" to trust people. So why the hell does he have, like ten protagonists on board in the first place? Why are they okay, but everyone else is a parasite? It doesn't make any sense.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess we're supposed to assume it's ambiguous on radar whether Abigail was sailing to the island or around it. But that doesn't explain why their pursuers didn't check the island anyway, just in case.

Perhaps the "pirates" are actually Strand's compatriots he's been talking to on the radio, and he's using them to keep Abigail headed in the direction he wants to go. It's a handy debate-ender for Strand. "We can't do X, the pirates will find us."

But I'm not convinced the show is that clever.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:42 PM on April 19, 2016 [3 favorites]




"I just can't bear the idea of my kids trying to wait out the zombie apocalypse with their family on an idyllic, reasonably defensible island with supplies and power. Can't you strangers just take them with you and sail out to who the fuck knows where?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:24 PM on April 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm impressed that a Millennial knows what Jonestown is.
posted by larrybob at 5:15 PM on April 26, 2016


Hey! I'm technically a millennial and I know what Jonestown is!
posted by LizBoBiz at 5:41 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's been several days and they still haven't made it from LA to San Diego. Also since both cities have burned to the ground, they must be at least 400 miles offshore those skies are so clear I cant even
posted by iamkimiam at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2017


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