Fear the Walking Dead Premiere Review
By Lewis Richards
Although last night’s Fear the Walking Dead premiere kicked off with a high tension build up to an encounter with “patient zero” it was just a small part of one family’s story.
Their unfolding drama perfectly illustrated how in the face of the unacceptable, the world could continue to operate, oblivious or disbelieving of the existence of the infection that would ultimately mean the demise of the human race.
The first episode (watched by a cable tv history-making 10.1 million viewers) offered a good mix of extremely subtle and glaringly obvious clues to the impending apocalypse, as we were introduced to a dysfunctional mixed family, Madison and Travis, and Madison’s children Nick and Alicia.
While Junkie Nick questions his own sanity following a close encounter with recently zombified friend Gloria, the rest of his family struggle to believe Nick’s tales of cannibalism in the local church.
It’s only when Nick reaches out to Travis, who in turn heads to the ‘shooting gallery’ to check the scene of the alleged murders, that the larger picture starts to emerge.
Meanwhile, as Madison convinces a student his conspiracy theories are more than likely false, tensions rise as signs of L.A’s impending doom start to emerge.
The Boy Who Cried Walker
After Nick has a close encounter with co-junkie/zombie friend Gloria he has a hard time convincing his family, and himself, that what he had seen was real. Travis is convinced he may be telling the truth after visiting the church. We have to wonder what made Gloria turn. Surely it can’t be a drug, right?
Nick finds himself playing the boy who cried wolf as his wild stories of cannibalism are waved off as hallucinations due to his recurring drug addiction. It is clear Nick is the black sheep of the family and it’s clearly not the first time he has found himself turning to his family following a spell of trouble. Desperate to prove his sanity, not only to his family but to himself also, he goes in search of answers after escaping his hospital bed restraints.
Nick’s day goes from ‘worst day ever’ to ‘inconceivably worse day ever’ as his dealer (an old friend, Calvin) attempts to murder him to prevent any negative feedback about his product. Nick catches on and successfully defends himself, killing Calvin in the process.
During the episode there are a range of clues given to the characters, and the more astute TV audience, that something is unfolding. the Principal comments on the low attendance of the school and Madison mentions that she has her flu shots. Shortly after this, Madison confiscates a knife from a student named Tobias who claims he brought it in to defend himself from something. He goes on to share his speculative theory with Madison who is quick to dismiss it. Though Madison doesn’t know it yet, this kid is the real deal. Hopefully he has a fully loaded underground bunker stocked with weapons. (Hey, we can be hopeful if we want.
All of the the build up comes to a climax when Travis and Madison meet an understandably shaken Nick, who is currently pondering how to tell them he has murdered his friend, Calvin. The three go to investigate the scene of the crime to find that the body has disappeared. Emotions run high as Nick is left questioning his own sanity for a second time. As the three leave they are blocked by the walking corpse that is now Calvin. After realizing that Calvin isn’t himself anymore, Nick makes the executive decision to re-kill him. Though there is still no sign of Gloria, surely this proves that Nick is telling the truth.