Fear the Walking Dead: Pilot Episode
Actually, I had no expectations. We all knew the show is set prior to the outbreak, so mass zombie herds and all that business was always going to be unlikely, but now I’m wondering how many episodes will be used to get the outbreak properly underway.
Things started well enough with the lovely Gloria eating the face of a poor guy and her boyfriend (whose about to get very clean and sober very quickly)running for his life. It was interesting because He thinks the drugs were messing with his head and that he was tied to the bed had echoes of The Exorcist. His drug problem is convenient way to have the first infected away from public sight by having them turn in drug dens where the majority of the public don’t visit, but – and this might change as the season progresses – we have the faintest suggestion that junkies might be the scum who started the outbreak; that it started with the scum first.
The son’s a junkie, so the daughter’s a ‘brain.’ Opposite ends of the achievement spectrum, similar to the Soprano kids. We’re told – for no reason whatsoever in respect to the pilot – that the sister could teach her own class and is off to Berkley. There was no reason to tell us this so her intelligence must be something the shows uses later on, or maybe actually relies on.
There’s two broken families, broken thanks to Travis who we see at the beginning of the episode, fiddling with his new woman’s plumbing. It makes sense
For him to have recently left one family, this way he will have to worry about his estranged son and also his ex-wife. This will provide ‘I’ve gotta make sure they’re safe’ type drama, but also can be a source of conflict with his teacher girlfriend – Madison, the woman whose son’s the junkie. How is she going to react, not when Travis leaves her to save his son, but when he brings the son and ex back with him? I want this to happen.
There wasn’t much wrong with the pilot episode – I found only two things objectionable. The first was the ‘I signed up for this when I fell in love with you’ line given to Travis – which was pure corn-from-the-gob.
The other thing which didn’t work was Madison’s breathy ‘take me to where it started’ line. And there wasn’t really any need for them to go to the junkie church. She knew her son ran from the place so it might be unlikely he’d go back there; that was a little odd – why have two scenes back at the church, one with just Travis, the other with them both?
The church was where Gloria turned and ripped the guy’s face at the beginning, so we were meant to be wary of this, but if she wasn’t there when Travis went by himself, we weren’t really thinking she’d be there even later on, knowing these walkers….walk. Well, I wasn’t.
With the filming by the helicopter of the road accident, the guy turning an attacking the paramedic, there’s just the beginnings of mass panic starting.
So long as Episode 2 isn’t some sort of arty flashback nonsense, and the panic begins to grow, we should be in for some serious gore because the whole point of a zombie outbreak is more and more people turn quicker and quicker…