'FEAR THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 6, EPISODE 2 REVIEW

Credit: AMC

Fear The Walking Dead is, without a doubt, already off to a better start in Season 6 than it was last season. At this point in Season 5, our heroes had crashed a plane they didn’t know how to lớn fly in order to lớn save someone that didn’t actually exist, and then found themselves stranded in the middle of Texas because for reasons we never fully understood, they needed a plane lớn get back. In Texas.


This time around, we’re still in Texas. Virginia, the leader of the Pioneers (though they should just be called the Rangers, I think?) has separated our band of heroes into smaller groups. She tried và failed to lớn kill Morgan, whose fate was revealed in the Season 6 premiere last week. She’s still trying khổng lồ kill him now.


And this is really what Season 6 appears khổng lồ be doing. It’s improving in big, important ways (so far, at least) over the past two seasons but still retaining some of the sloppy writing and direction. It’s still not as good as Season 3, but it’s more watchable than it’s been since the end of Season 4A when everything started khổng lồ fall apart with the death of Madison. I hope that sticks. We shall see.

In tonight’s episode, Welcome khổng lồ The Club, we learn the fates of three more main characters: Alicia, Strand & Daniel. All three are in the same place, working for Virginia at the Pioneer’s home base, Lawton. Alicia và Strand are cleaning latrines. Daniel—who has apparently lost his memory—is back to working as a barber. When Alicia và Strand are brought before Virginia after an altercation with a Ranger, they see Daniel cutting her hair.


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Daniel the barber.

Credit: AMC

We suspect that he feigns ignorance, và at first so vì chưng Strand and Alicia. But Daniel is acting different. He doesn’t remember anybody. He flinches when Strand gets in his face. He’s convincing. It isn’t until the end of the episode, when he rides out of Lawton on a donkey-pulled cart with a Ranger, that we learn the truth.

When the Ranger goes back inside for Daniel’s scissors (he pretends khổng lồ have forgotten them) he whistles & we hear someone else repeat the tune from the bushes. Daniel creeps to lớn the edge of the dark road and a walker appears. Somebody kills it from the trees và then Morgan emerges, bearded & decked out in the cowboy hat we saw him in last week. I must say, while I find all this uber-cowboy stuff a little hokey, Morgan does look rather dashing. Daniel jokes that he needs a haircut, but I hope he keeps the beard.

In any case, Daniel immediately drops the act with Morgan. My only guess is that he was pretending in front of Strand specifically because he doesn’t trust him still. He might have dropped the act if it had only been Alicia, but Strand is a snake in the grass và Daniel has never liked or trusted him, except for briefly in Season 5 when his character, along with everyone else, was essentially turned into a ridiculous Morganite.


Daniel & his donkey.

Credit: AMC

Strand can’t be trusted, though, even when his heart is in the right place. At one point in the episode we learn that he made a khuyến mãi with Virginia to take her lớn the SWAT van in order to lớn keep him & Alicia together. He did that not to lớn look after Alicia, but because he wanted her khổng lồ act as his Jiminy Cricket—the angel on his shoulder to counter his demons. By the over of the episode, after he’s rewarded by Virginia, he’s sending Alicia away because he’s realized that the only way he can vày what needs to lớn be done, is if he has no lingering angels.

This episode is a good example of how all the various pieces can work fairly well until you try to địa chỉ them up into a coherent whole. Strand is great. When he uses one of the other prisoners, Sanjay the coward, to lớn lure the zombies away from Alicia và Charlie (who they run into when they arrive at the warehouse full of zombies that Virginia sends them to lớn as “punishment” for assaulting the jerk Ranger) he does so by stabbing the poor guy in the leg & then quite literally throwing him khổng lồ the horde. It’s as cruel a thing as Strand has ever done, but it gets results. Alicia & another prisoner are able khổng lồ get to lớn the fallen Rangers’ guns and rather awkwardly mow down the zombies.

But here we have the little cracks in the narrative start lớn form. Why didn’t the Rangers themselves simply mow down the zombies as they started to escape? Why let themselves get dragged down & eaten? Surely they could have simply sprayed-and-prayed & taken them all out, experienced warriors that they are. And were there suddenly no more than two Rangers at the camp? What happened lớn the others? If there were really only two, they could have taken them out và then used their guns to kill the zombies to discover the “weapon” that was inside the warehouse.

(Edit: One of the rangers in the building called an evacuation when the zombies broke through. I guess I thought this meant evacuating any other civilians, but it was actually just telling the rangers to run away? What? Why? This makes no sense.)

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We learn of said weapon from Dakota, Virginia’s younger (and apparently much nicer) sister. She says Virginia has been sending people here to clear out the warehouse for a long time now to discover this weapon that she can use to kill somebody she’s trying to lớn kill (Morgan, though nobody says his name). Now it’s up khổng lồ Strand và Alicia and their crew lớn clear the building, and they decide that they’ll use whatever weapon is inside lớn take out Virginia & the Rangers.

The plan they come up with is a clever plan that the show then makes less clever because the writers & directors continue khổng lồ not think everything through. This is why I keep saying that the show needs somebody to act as chất lượng control over scripts.

Unlike past attempts at clearing the building, they decide to lớn build a ramp/tunnel of sorts khổng lồ funnel the zombies out of the warehouse. They mở cửa the doors và the zombies start pouring out và walk down the ramp in an orderly fashion, or at least as orderly as you’d expect from a bunch of undead. At the kết thúc of the ramp, Strand and Alicia xuất hiện the gates khổng lồ let just a couple out at a time making it easier to lớn pick them off và pile their corpses off to lớn the side.


Just walk up & down the side of the horse trailer and pick off the zombies before they get ... <+> outside.

Credit: AMC

The problem here is that the tunnel itself is open enough that our heroes could simply move up và down the length of it and stab all the zombies in the head without letting them out at all. Or at least this is what they could have done after letting enough zombies out that they were all out of the warehouse. In the beginning, let some out khổng lồ clear up space, but once enough are out of the warehouse, just go down the side of the tunnel—constructed from a series of pallets & fencing & then an open-air horse trailer—and take them out from a safer position.

Things go wrong, of course. The pallets start to lớn tip over from the weight of the jostling zombies. The two (only two?) Rangers guarding the work camp show up và find Dakota who has inexplicably stowed away in an effort to get away from her sister (but just hide out in one of her sister’s prison camps).

The zombies break out và take out the Rangers và there’s a frantic fight to lớn kill them all (though why they open the gate to let even more out that way, instead of just killing them at the fallen pallets, is beyond me). This is when Strand uses Sanjay as a sacrifice, later telling people “I tried lớn stop him but he wouldn’t listen.” Pretty brutal, but also classic Strand, which I appreciate. Milquetoast “I want to be just like Morgan” Strand was a waste of space.

They get it done. They kill all the zombies in a final spray of bullets và then go into the warehouse to find the weapon.

Here’s another little continuity problem. In the beginning, when Sanjay is shown with several other prisoners being taken lớn the warehouse to lớn clear it, there’s a problem opening the door. It only opens a bit, and the zombies start crawling out. There’s also a thick, viscous liquid that comes pouring out that we think at first might be blood. It’s not. It’s molasses. Apparently it’s spilled out of the tanks inside the warehouse & covered everything in sticky, slippery goo. It’s what the prisoners all slip on in the opening moments of the episode, making them easy prey for the walkers inside.

And magically, miraculously, when our heroes enter, the inside of the warehouse is completely clean. The floors are clean và bare. No molasses. No blood. No bits of flesh or zombie parts laying about. It’s like nobody was ever there, including the special effects department—let alone quality control.


Fear The Walking Dead

Credit: AMC

There’s also no weapon.

We learn later, when Virginia shows up, that the weapon was them all along. It was a test! They passed! Strand tries nobly lớn take the blame (for what, I’m not quite sure since they just did what she asked) and is instead promoted. He has his only little army now, which he can lead however he chooses so long as he comes khổng lồ Virginia’s aid when she needs him. I guess this is Texas-style feudalism?

I’m really not sure how all this works, or why he wouldn’t just round up his people and bail. I guess we just have lớn accept the fact that Virginia và her people are all-powerful và escape is not an option, even though Texas isn’t the only place they can go. It’s lượt thích the Saviors in The Walking Dead. For whatever reason, it never occurred khổng lồ Rick & company that they could just leave, set out for greener pastures. Alexandria, more than any other thing, was the root of all The Walking Dead’s floundering và flaws. Everything was so much better before they got stuck in worthless, boring Alexandria.

In any case, overall I think this was a decent enough episode. Certainly better than most of last season, but also full of those annoying little things that keep this show from ever really being great. The warehouse door was oozing with slime when the zombies walked out, but the floors were clean và dry when our heroes went in. That may not be the biggest khuyễn mãi giảm giá in the world, but it irks me nonetheless.

Meanwhile, I feel lượt thích there’s almost no effort going into these smaller characters. Sanjay, Marcus, pretty much all the Rangers, they’re all so generic. I know we don’t need the best actors in the world khổng lồ fill these roles, but it’s just so cringey when any of them is given a line—partly because the delivery is bad, but also often because the lines themselves are bad. “Stay here...you think you can remember that?!” one Ranger hollers at Daniel when he goes to look for his missing scissors. Oof.

Let me know what you thought of this episode on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for reading!


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I write about TV shows like House Of The Dragon, The Witcher, The Rings Of Power, Stranger Things, Yellowjackets, Severance and many others. I also cover movies, đoạn clip games, comic books & novels, largely in the fantasy, science-fiction, horror and superhero genres. Some of my favorite clip games to play và write about include Dark Souls, Elden Ring, hotline Of Duty, XCOM, Mass Effect, Titanfall, The Witcher và many other action, RPG and shooter games. My favorite films include Braveheart, Tropic Thunder, Arsenic và Old Lace, Schindler"s List & far too many others to danh mục here. I often discuss the "pop culture wars" & how shifting cultural values impact our art & entertainment. I prefer deep conversations và debate lớn shouting matches, & welcome readers from all walks of life and all religious and political backgrounds lớn join in this conversation. Thanks for reading!

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