Fear the Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 3: “The Dog”

 

ftwd-ep-3-the-ride-homeYour zombie apocalypse up close and personal.

Out in the mean, soon to be dead streets of L.A., hell is all around. Everyone in Daniel’s Haircut Emporium is safe for the moment, but this is L.A.—or its stand-in *coughVancouvercough*—and it won’t be long before things go straight to hell. Eventually some dudes break into the joint next door and set it aflame, which means Daniel’s place is gonna burn, which means get out in the street—

It’s not at all pretty. Cars on fire, people beating people, cops getting ready to drop the hammer—and, oh yeah: there’s a cop chewing on a SWAT guy’s neck. Someone get that officer’s PBA rep . . .

RT: Was it just me, or did the riot — at times — look more like a street party? And what were they rioting about? I know Chris was there when it started, but I’m not really sure how it escalated so quickly into what we saw in this episode.

CF:  Those scenes did remind me of some goofy street party, but it’s Vancouver, and those Canadians simply don’t riot as hard as the real thing in L.A..  I would have to say that at some point the cops got real trigger happy, but they couldn’t show that because of budget.  Maybe they don’t need a reason to riot when the zombies come out.

Travis and Company make a run for it, and eventually find Travis’ truck, which isn’t burning, upside down, or has even been broken into, which means they’ll make their way out of the downtown unscathed, right? Well, almost: a scaffold falls on Griselda and crushes her foot, which renders here incapable of walking and, as Liza points out, in need of doctor, fast. Travis puts the truck in gear and they drive off.

RT: So glad you made a point of Travis’ truck being unscathed. In the midst of the riots? Really? I mean they looted a Barber shop.

CF:  That was totally a what the fuck moment.  “Oh, hey:  thanks, rioters, for not burning my truck!”  Then again, no one broke into Rick’s police station and ripped off their guns.

RT: Good point.

Back at Casa Clark the power’s on once more, but it doesn’t stay on for long. Nick needs his ween fix, and he’s starting to become a bit of a dick about not getting it fast enough, Alicia thinks she hears scraping here and there, and Madison decides the best course for everything is—MONOPOLY! One can sense that the only reason Madison is going this route is to get Alicia’s mind off Matt, and give everyone a sense of family bonding, but with the power off, the phones not working, and Nick being a dick because he got Broadway and Park Place, the mood doesn’t stay for long. Alicia wonders when Travis is going to return, and it reminds her of the time she had to wait for news of her father . . .

Travis reaches a hospital, but it’s a complete war zone: the grounds are lit up, there’s smoke coming from the roof, and cops are everywhere because, well, where better place to find the recently dead who are reanimating into zombies. They leave the hospital behind—

Which is really a school administration building in Surry, BC, Canada, where your zombies are cheaper.

— Which is really a school administration building in Surry, BC, Canada, where your zombies come cheaper than those found in the Real L. A..

As they drive along on a hillside they see L.A. going dark as the city begins shutting down. Like it or not the city is dying, and everyone in the truck sees it happening.

Wondering when Travis is going to return, Nick tells his mom that he when to get his ex-wife, and mom calls her junkie kid an asshole. With more sounds outside Nick becomes adamant that they need to tell Alicia what’s going on. The outdoor sounds become louder, and Nick discovers there a dog at the back sliding door. A dog spotted with blood, and it’s not the animal’s blood, for sure. Alicia looks out side and—hey, zombie neighbor in the street! Nick comes up with the bright idea that since the woman over the back yard fence has a shotgun in the house, he decides that it would be best if they ALL RUN OUT OF THE HOUSE, climb the fence, go into the other house, break in, and get the gun. Which they do, but in an act of total lunacy Alicia leaves the sliding door open. This is Dumb Ass Moment #1 of the night, because I won’t walk a few meters from my back door without shutting it, and with shit getting nutty this one is left wide open, which means the fucking ZOMBIEwandering the streets just walks on in like he owns this shit and kills the dog. Thanks, Alicia! How could this become more of a shit parade? How about Travis getting home right now? Yeah, that’ll do it just fine.

RT: I was yelling hardcore at the screen at this stage! Seriously, who leaves their door open? *SMH* And I think Nick agrees with us, after all, he sent her back for ammo…

CF:  I started thinking that Nick was covering for his own fuck up, that he would have known to get the shells, but he was starting to jones and knew he couldn’t get back over the fences.  Notice he didn’t do a hell of a lot after they got back home—  But the door being open was really stupid.

Travis doesn’t suspect anything, even when he hears munching coming from the living room. Hey, you having hot dogs, Maddie? No, it’s the undead neighbor, and the dog he’s eating is cooling quickly to room temperature. Dumb Ass Moment #2 comes as Travis tries to REASON WITH THE ZOMBIE. Yo, please: I come home and find my neighbor eating a damn dog in my living room, I’m not going, “Hey, dude, what’s wrong? Bad night tonight? How about we sit and share a brew?” And everyone is standing around watching this shit go down. It’s easy to say he’s in shock, but after coming from Riot Central where you’ve seen cops shooting people in the head, seen cops gunning down patients at a hospital, and—oh, yeah—stood by for a couple of seconds and watch some guys chew on the throat of another, you’d think they’d run from the room and get a damn knife. But, no: let’s chat and share this moment, because I’ve always wondered what dog tastes like.

RT: Yep, I was getting REALLY pissy with Travis in this episode. Let’s not forget he witnessed Nick run over his drug dealer in the truck and the dealer still got up. If Travis hasn’t worked out shit just got real then he should be fed to the zombies to save the rest from his stupidity.

CF:  Any moment now Travis is gonna start keeping Walkers in the garage and Alicia will begin singing . . .

RT: And then there will be a family bloodbath… and that little girl with the creepy doll will stagger out of the barn garage…

Maddie gets back while Travis is fighting with the zombie only she can’t get a shot, and while she runs in, Nick asks his sister, “Where’s the shells?” Shells? The fuck are those? Oh, you mean for the gun! Alicia runs back Over the Damn Fence to get them while Maddie tries to get a shot and can’t. At the point Daniel’s had enough bullshit for the night, takes the shotgun from Maddie, and blows off barrel one into the zombie’s head. But it’s only buckshot, which means it’s only a flesh wound. Daniel puts the shotgun right to the neighbor’s head and shows everyone how the fuck you get business done.

RT: Can anyone say “Rick Grimes Without The Crazy”?

CF:  The way Daniel backed that zombie into the wall, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the first dude he shot like that.  He knew what he was doing.

RT: Absolutely agree!

Alicia finds the shells, but—hey, is that you, Susan, owner of this house? We don’t know ‘cause Alicia decides to book it, and just as she starts to climb the fence Susan shows Alicia it’s not neighborly to stop by without having something to eat, so she decides to try and take a bite out of Alicia. This sets up a whole lot of “almost bites”, which have happened to Mattie, to Tobias, to Travis, and now Alicia is all over that shit until Chris shows up and yanks her over the fence to safety. While Alicia’s pissing and moaning about all this, and Chris is upset about his nose, Nick decides it’s time for the truth: he said Susan’s dead, and Alicia is totally freaking on this, because her thoughts are on Matt, and the idea that he’s like their former neighbor doesn’t set well with her.

"But I can still have a relationship with Matt, right? This is just like he's got Ebola, right? Mom?"

“But I can still have a relationship with Matt, right? This is just like he’s got Ebola, right? Mom?”

Everyone manages to make it through the night, though not without a lot bitching, a lot of mistrust, and a lot of plans that may or may not come to fruition. The plan is that Daniel’s cousin will come for his family in the morning, and Travis and both families are leaving for the desert in the morning. So things play out as such:

RT: Just a thought, is there really any family, or did Daniel just see the opportunity for a brand new free house?

CF:  I don’t believe for a moment Daniel’s got a “cousin”; he’s probably hiding out from people from El Salvador, and that guy is a contact of some kind.  The way his daughter acted led me to believe that she’s never seen these relatives.  And, yes:  I do believe Daniel saw an opportunity and took that sucker.  He knows how to survive.

Travis hauls the body from their living room out to the yard, and Daniel is telling him to burn the body to keep the sickness from spreading. Travis can’t, and Daniel gets that Travis knew the guy, which makes it harder to torch him up. You get the feeling that Daniel wouldn’t give a shit about burning the body, though.

Liza is washing up in the kitchen and admits she knows that when people die they come back. Travis and Liza have a bit of a ex-to-ex conversation, and Liza tells him that Griselda’s foot is doing to die and give her blood poisoning if they don’t get her to a hospital soon—

Or hand her over to Rick Grimes, who knows exactly want to do with a bad foot.

Or hand her over to Rick Grimes, who knows exactly what to do with a bad foot.

Ofelia tells her father they should leave with Travis’ family to the desert. Daniel doesn’t want to go because they aren’t family and he doesn’t want to be in their debt. Griselda says trust Papa.

Liza is chatting with Madison, but they aren’t really talking: it’s more like Liza is going on about supporting the kids and doing what’s necessary for them, and Madison is staring out the window at Suzie. She tells Liza about the history she has with the under woman, and ends by letting Liza know that if she turns Liza better put her down, because Travis would never be able to do the deed.

RT: These two can be my Daryl and Carol replacements as far as I’m concerned 😉

CF:  I don’t want Liza to die now.  Travis, though . . .

Travis is doing the burying the next morning and setting out the trash with the bloody rugs from last night, because what the fuck, the guy next door doing the same, right? At first I thought was one of those crazy-ass moments that didn’t make sense, but this morning, after a bit of conversation with others, the implications were clear: he’s coping, he’s waiting for things to get better. This is probably why he gets pissed when he catches Daniel showing Chris how to use the shotgun—

—And when wanders into the back yard and discovers Madison talking to Susan while standing there with a ball peen hammer in her right hand. Travis speaks, and right before our eyes turns into Hershel Greene! “Don’t do anything dumb; they could find a cure . . .” Unfortunately Madison buys his bullshit and leaves Susan there, growing, while Daniel—who was watching from an upstairs window—says to no one in particular that Travis is weak.

RT: So wanted to use that hammer on both Travis and Madison at this point. I’m still surprised Daniel didn’t…

CF:  For a guy who was in a hurry to get out of there, he doesn’t seem in a hurry to get out of there . . .

It’s time to head for the desert. Ofelia still wants to go with Travis, says they’re good people, and Daniel’s like, “The good are the first to die.” Nick tells Madison he needs more drugs, and he’s really starting to turn on the asshole vibe, particularly when he discovers that Griselda got some of his drugs.

As they pull out there are the helicopters overhead. As they’re driving away Madison sees Susan’s husband pull up, and of course he goes in back and finds his wife . . . so just as Madison shows up to tell him not to kiss her—

Head shot, bitch.

Head shot, bitch.

—solders step in and shoot her ass dead-dead. It’s the Army, guys—you’re safe now! Yeah?

While someone is taking names from Madison and Travis, the cleanup is progressing with the military people loading dead bodies into the back of a garbage truck. She wants to know what happened to Suzie’s husband, and she’s told that as he was covered in blood, he’s getting “checked out”. Military guys find the fresh graves in the back yard, and Madison says their dog died, which wasn’t totally a lie—

Nick is trying to break into a house, and there’s a little girl next door watching him—which means she’ll die soon, because even Walking Dead spin-offs won’t suffer the little girls gladly—and Nick sees a jet kinds coming in for what looks like a rough landing—

"Please return your tray tables and zombies to their upright position."

“Please return your tray tables and zombies to their upright position.”

—which means this is probably the plane that will play a part in the web/mini-television episodes that are coming soon. For why else show this?

RT: Exactly the first thing I thought too when I saw the emphasis on this plane!

CF:  I’ve not seen any other recaps mentioning the plane, but I have see a commentator bringing it up.  I mean, they really telegraphed it as far as I could tell.

It’s quiet and peaceful and sunny. Travis tells Madison, “The Calvary’s arrived; it’s gonna get better now—”

Daniel’s got a different opinion, however: “It’s already too late.”

My money’s on Daniel being right.

RT: While it seems like I was really disgruntled with this episode, I actually enjoyed it. I really do think a lot more people would be behaving like Travis if the apocalypse did happen and there was no word “zombie” in their dictionary. Still doesn’t mean I can’t shake my fist at the stupid though 😉

CF:  I think most fans were (1) pissed at the dumb moves, but (2) excited by the direction the episode took.  And, yes:  when you look at Travis’ actions, he’s confused, he’s unsure.  But after seeing a few zombies up close and personal, he’s gotta get it together, or he’s gonna get someone killed.

 

The Cast:

Madison Clark — Kim Dickens
Travis Manawa — Cliff Curtis
Nick Clark — Frank Dillane
Alicia Clark — Alycia Debnam-Carey

Liza Ortiz — Elizabeth Rodriguez
Christopher Manawa — Lorenzo James Henrie

Daniel Salazar— Ruben Blades
Griselda Salazar — Patricia Reyes Spindola
Ofelia Salazar — Mercedes Mason

 

Fear the Walking Dead airs in the US on AMC at 9 PM EDT.

[Images credits: AMC]

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