Fear the Walking Dead, S2 Ep2 – We All Fall Down

Fear the Walking Dead continues with another slow episode where the main characters briefly go ashore and meet another group of survivors. But more and more walkers are washing up on land and there are fewer and fewer options for safe havens as the journey progresses.

Travis and family leave the safety of Abigail to go ashore on Catalina Island where they encounter the mysterious family of George and Melissa, who have managed to survive the apocalypse so far by being as shrewd and practical as the Manawas should have been. But George is hiding a dark secret, of course, and it was Melissa who sent out a cry for help by putting on the lights that had summoned the Manawas in the first place.

Fear the Walking Dead, S2 Ep2 - We All Fall DownThere are some bonding moments with the corresponding members of the family. The parents discuss stuff with each other. Alicia tells little Willa about the Black Plague, and charming Nick takes a look at Henry’s collection of action figures with bullet hole foreheads.

Even brooding Chris bonds with the older son Seth, who shows the former how they are keeping themselves safe by axing walkers that get too close to their metal fence. It’s a morbid house chore but a necessary one, something that even until now Travis does not appreciate.

George’s kids are better equipped to handle the horrors of the zombie apocalypse than Madison’s kids are but because they aren’t the main characters, we won’t be seeing them again.

Fear the Walking Dead, S2 Ep2 - We All Fall DownStrand continues to be the most fascinating character in the show and unfortunately he got the least screen time in this episode. The few minutes we did get to see him, he was busy being pragmatic, warning the others about making more dumb decisions, watching the progress of the mystery threat ship, communicating with an unknown individual.

Strand is a man with secrets, and I’d much rather learn more about him than allow the rest of his passengers to keep making rookie mistakes. He would actually be better off with Daniel and Ofelia, who have a better grasp of what their scary new world is like.

There was a pretty cool moment when amateur anthropologist George recognizes that Travis has Maori heritage (which is true of Cliff Curtis, the actor who plays him.) There were some conversations about the importance of family and surviving (and dying) with your loved ones. George was creepy but way more interesting than Travis. Fear the Walking Dead still has to do more to make us invested in its characters.

Fear the Walking Dead, S2 Ep2 - We All Fall DownNick (the only kid in the group who is becoming more capable by the episode) discovers that George has a stash of “power pills” that he probably intends to use on his family (probably to prevent a more gruesome death.) Melissa, however, wants to give the younger kids a better chance by having Madison take them. But little Willa takes one of the pills, dies, and subsequently eats her mother. We all saw that coming and yet we still had to watch the whole thing play out.

Madison attempts to bring young Henry aboard which makes Strand protest but before they can set sail, Seth follows them and reclaims his brother. And the rest of the group has to watch the sad scene of Seth shooting his zombiefied mother with a pistol because he must. We spent such a short time with this family before it fell apart, but hopefully this serves as a jarring but necessary lesson to the passengers of the Abigail about how they need to  step up their game if they want to survive. They certainly have to do more than just Fear the Walking Dead.