‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Any port in the storm

Fear the Walking Dead
“We All Fall Down”
April 17, 2016

The episode begins with two small children on a beach, collecting shells, completely oblivious to the sea walkers that are washing up on shore behind them.

Wait, where are these kids’ parents? They can’t be older than 7, and you’re going to tell me their mother is like, “You know what, guys, I don’t feel much like going out to the beach this morning, why don’t you go play right by the ocean, by yourselves, in the zombie apocalypse. What could go wrong?” I wouldn’t let my kids go play on the beach by themselves when they were this young and there are approximately* zero zombies in my day-to-day life.

Sure enough, the sea walkers snarling and dripping shamble their way up to the children, only to be stopped by a giant chain link fence that was hidden from us earlier because that’s what these Walking Dead shows have become: just one big fake out after another.

ron wanson angry disappointed parks recreation


Back on the boat, Madison gives Nick grief about swimming around under a zombie boat, but he protests that he thought he heard someone and was trying to help.

Travis, who, somehow, magically, recovered the destroyed boat’s logbook and even more magically was able to read the entries therein, determines that San Diego, like Los Angeles, has been fire bombed by the military. Strand’s like, “I mean, maybe, but in the meantime, we’re still being followed by someone much bigger than us, THANKS AGAIN, AWFUL TEENAGE DAUGHTER.” The plan becomes to stick close to the shore to try to lose them, and Travis suggests they head towards a particular cove on Catrina (not Catalina) Island that features a ranger station. Supplies! Shortwave radios! Information! What more could they need?

As they approach the island that evening, a light turns on inside the ranger station – twice, no less – in what is a clear sign of life. Unnecessarily, the entire Travis/Madison clan decides to disembark to investigate, leaving Señor and Señorita Barber on the boat despite Strand’s encouragement otherwise. “Ay, no. I think we’ll stay right here and make sure you don’t vas a San Diego without us. Gracias.”

Meanwhile, Travis and Madison and Nick and Awful Chris and Awful Teenage Daughter make their way up to the house and call out that they aren’t a threat and that they just need help and information. And in no time, the front door flies open and the little boy from the prologue comes running out because his parents LITERALLY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER ANYTHING OR ANYONE. Seriously, you guys, it’s the end of the world filled with face-eating swimming zombies. Maybe try to control your kids.

The kid is the son of George Geary, a park ranger with a self-reliance and Maori fetish, and his wife, Melissa, a woman who is VERY interested in the idea of women having jobs outside of the house, possibly because she’s trapped on this God-forsaken island in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do other than garden and not pay attention to her young children. Oh, and they have a teenage son, Seth, who appears to be really into guns and really sullen because that’s just how all teenagers are on this show.

oh god youths tina fey


While their parents are busy being weirded out by the older Gearys, Nick, Awful Chris and Awful Teenage Daughter hang out with the little Gearys and talk about totally normal kid things, like the Black Death. Boy Child takes Nick to his room to show him his collection of action figures with tiny little bullet holes in their heads, explaining that it’s what happens when people get sick. Boy Child then brags that he and his family have “power pills” which are vitamins that will keep his family together. That doesn’t sound ominous at all! And I’m sure we will not hear another thing about these “power pills!”

Meanwhile, Mr. Geary informs Travis that the military has been bombing every major city up and down the coast with napalm, the interior doesn’t seem much better and they’ve shut down the border. (Somewhere, Donald Trump is feeling very smug. More smug.) Mr. Geary then explains his theory about the apocalypse: the world couldn’t sustain itself so it course corrected.

eloise lost course correct
Eloise Hawking knows what he’s talking about.

And then Mr. Geary starts going on about how cool the Maori are and his own connection to the island and blah blah blah, the point is, he’s not going anywhere, praise Jacob.

As Madison, Travis and the awful teenagers return to the boat, the couple compare notes: Travis tells Madison that Mr. Geary has no intention of leaving the island, while Madison thinks that Mrs. Geary deliberately turned the lights on, because she wants off the island but is scared to say so.

While all this is happening, back on the boat, Señorita Barber tells her father that understanding this world helps her understand him: it’s cruel. OUCH. HARSH. And though the actress who plays Señorita Barber claimed on The Talking Dead that it was supposed to be an empathetic moment, that’s not how it came off, chica.

Senñor Barber then confronts Strand and is all, “I don’t trust you,” and Strand is all, “LOL.”

The next morning, Awful Chris spies Awful Seth make his way down to the beach fence with a pickaxe and follows. There, the boys axe the beach fence sea walkers in the face because that’s how we do now. However, Travis is all “WAH, MY SON IS LEARNING VALUABLE SURVIVAL SKILLS IN A POST-APOCALYPTIC WORLD, THIS IS WORRISOME TO ME,” because he hasn’t quite gotten his Rick Grimes on yet.

Travis whines at Mr. Geary about it, who is like, “Look, this is what we have to do now,” before encouraging Travis to come help him mend the fence. There, he shows Travis another side of the island where there are infected people, a couple hundred weekenders who were trapped on the island. If they get to the Geary’s side of the island, the Gearys are in huge trouble. Travis wonders why they stay on the island — which, yeah? why? — and Mr. Geary honestly doesn’t have an answer, mumbling something about how this is all there is. Travis accuses Mr. Geary of giving up, but Mr. Geary’s like, “LOL, where do you think you’re gonna go anyway?”

So, Nick goes poking around the Geary house looking for pills because once a junkie always a junkie. His junkie superpowers direct him to a small globe in Mr. Geary’s office which his junkie superpowers direct him to unscrew. There he finds a stash of pills of some sort, but instead of gobbling them up, they give him junkie pause. He’s discovered by Girl Child who urges him to come draw with her, so he places the globe back where it was — which was definitely not in the reach of Girl Child, just so we’re keeping track.

Madison helps Mrs. Geary with her garden which seems to consist entirely of chili peppers, which is one way to deal with the end of the world, I guess. I mean, I’m something of a chilihead, too, but I also like to have some variety in my diet. ANYWAY, Madison tells her they are going to be leaving soon, before asking if Mrs. Geary deliberately turned on the light as a signal. Mrs. Geary is like, “YEP. And I need you to do me a huge favor: My husband and Awful Seth are never leaving this island, I’ve got MS and while I’m not going to die tomorrow (that’s the truth), I don’t have much time, so I need you to take Boy and Girl Child with you on the boat.” “Kidnap your children from your crazy survivalist husband? GOT IT. WILL DO,” says Madison.

Back on the boat, Strand notes that their boat villain is gone and announces that they will be moving with the tide soon before leaving the cabin so that Señor Barber can be alone to root around in it. There, he finds some maps of Mexico and a big gun of one sort or another, and is all, “Sí, this will do.” Strand, meanwhile calls someone and agrees to meet them at sundown.

intrigue momma like new girl mystery


Elsewhere on the boat, Madison informs Travis on her “kidnap the kids” plan, and Travis is like, “I mean, no? I’m not going to kidnap another man’s kids? How about I try talking to Mr. Geary and convince all of them to come with us?” But before they can activate Plan B: Hey, Let’s All Be Reasonable About This, Nick returns to the boat and announces that Mr. Geary plans to poison his whole family. So…. that changes things.

They all run off the boat and back to the house to help Madison with her original Kidnap the Kids plan. But as they are taking the kids’ suitcases and getting instructions from Mrs. Geary, they are interrupted first by Mr. Geary, who is none too pleased to see that his wife if giving away his children, and then by Boy Child who announces that there’s something wrong with Girl Child.

So everyone runs upstairs to discover that Girl Child helped herself to Chekhov’s cyanide pills, — SO THANKS FOR THAT, NICK — and now she’s dead and now she’s turning. Girl Zombie helps herself to her mother’s throat and with that, Mr. Geary is finally like, “You know what, if you guys could take Boy Child with you, that’d be great. Meanwhile, I’m just going to sit down on the floor here and wait for my zombie wife to eat my face, KBAI.”

Travis and Madison run the child to the boat, where Stand is all, “NOPE. PUT THAT THING BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT.” But before they can really get going on an argument about the morality of saving this one child, Awful Seth lives up to his nickname, boards with his rifle and demands the return of his little brother. They try to explain that his father changed his mind before his mother ate it, and wanted them to take Boy Child. They even invite Awful Seth to come along, but Awful Seth is awful, and rejects everything.

So, as Awful Seth and Boy Child disembark, they are welcomed back by Zombie Mom on the dock. Awful Seth directs Boy Child to wave to the nice people as they sail away to (relative) safety while he shoots their reanimated mother in the head. Family time is so special!

*Very rarely, like once every few years rarely, I go to Florida, where zombies, pythons and rabid manatees are common threats. Hence, the “approximately.”

Oh, and before the next episode airs tonight, you might want to check this out. It’s only 15 minutes long, you’ve got the time.

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on AMC.

This post originally appeared on , a Hearst site.

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