Fear the Walking Dead: "Not Fade Away" (Season 1, Episode 4)

Flabbergasted

You know how you sometimes see a zombie movie where they spend 5 -15 minutes showing the world go to hell. That's okay because it's only 5-15 minutes. Heck, even the movie itself is two hours max. But suppose you stretch those 5-15 minutes out to four hours with no end in sight?

That, my friend, is "Fear the Walking Dead." And yes, it's dull.

On top of that, tonight we get a paint-by-the-numbers cliché of an inept and sinister military takeover. Nothing original about that. It makes you long for the original "Walking Dead" pilot. Remember how that worked? Rick just woke up in the hospital with the world already having  gone to hell. You slid into the narrative like it was a good novel; here they're still clearing their throats after four episodes.

It's been nine days since the lights went out. Our protagonists are at home in a conveniently fenced off neighborhood protected by the military. People will get increasingly suspicious of the military over the course of this hour, even though they'd be dead without them. That's your episode. As Rodney King once said, "can't we all just get along?' For nine days at least,

Travis is dufus. This is established by showing him jogging along the fence, oblivious to both the larger world situation and how obviously sinister his protectors are (yawn). Lt. Moyer is a dick. They establish that by having him hit golf balls into abandoned neighborhoods. We're suckers. They establish that by writing this tedious stuff, all the while knowing we viewers will line up at the trough.

What else happened? None of it really added up to a narrative, so we're back in list mode.

  1. Travis's son Chris sees a flashing light from an upstairs window beyond the fence.

  2. Domestic squabbling.

  3. Nick the addict lounges in a pool.

  4. Moyers asks Travis to talk down a neighbor who won't submit to examination. His name is Doug, which also is the entirety of his characterization. Oh, Doug also has a treasured old muscle car. That's nice.

  5. Alicia breaks into an abandoned house.

  6. Liza is helping sick people, including setting up a morphine drip for some guy named Hector.

  7. Nick the addict steals Hector's morphine drip. So he's a dick, too.

  8. Madison and Travis have sex in a car. Seriously. That happened. It must be deeply symbolic of something.

  9. Doug runs away in his muscle car.

  10. Travis finds the muscle car at the fence.

  11. Alicia choreographs a swim dance team number in the pool that involves the release of 1000 colored balloons. No, that didn't happen. Just checking if anyone made it this far.

  12. Madison flashes a pen light at the house where Chris saw the lights. She does this for a long time.

  13. A Dr. Exnor shows up to take patients to some nearby military hospital. That's where Doug was supposedly taken.

  14. Madison sneaks through the fence. She finds a lot of dead bodies, some of whom didn't look like they were infected. She and Daniel have a boring conversation about it.

  15. Dr. Exnor checks out Daniel's injured wife, Griselda, and Nick the addict.

  16. Alicia carves her dead boyfriend's tattoo design into her arm. Lovely.

  17. Madison finds Nick searching for drugs and beats him up. Good for her.

  18. The military take Griselda and Nick to their nearby hospital. They take Nick at gunpoint. Liza goes with them and Dr. Exnor.

    The end. Seriously.

 That wasn't very interesting, now was it?     

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