Reviews: Fear The Walking Dead - Season One Episode Three - The Dog

Mike continues his weekly review of FTWD. Beware: blood inside.

Just two episodes in, Fear The Walking Dead did what a show attempting to build momentum should never do: take a week off.  It's unclear how this will affect viewership not only for this episode but also  the series going forward.  But while it's becoming more and more clear with each episode that FTWD is never going to be that action and gore-packed show people were hoping for, it's beginning to show flashes of being something quite interesting in its own right.

"Don't you bitches know who I am?"
As far as the action goes, sorry, still not a whole lot happening here.  Our characters converge at Madison's house (despite a critical injury to one of them) and begin to plot their next move.  That's pretty much the entirety of what happens.  This didn’t do a lot for the overall tension of the show, but it allowed for a few quite interesting smaller moments.  It also gives FTWD a chance to display a heart that at times feels missing from the original Walking Dead that fueled some of that show's most harrowing moments.  Another place where FTWD shines is its cinematography.  TWD is awash in dark, earthy colors that draw attention to the wilderness where much of the show takes place.  The color palette of FTWD is much brighter, better showcasing a recognizable world being spun into turmoil.  This results in some beautiful, memorable shots that drive this changing world home for the viewer.

As for the cast of characters, most still seem a bit bland.  However, barber Daniel Salazar (veteran actor Ruben Blades) is beginning to emerge as one of the more interesting characters, despite not appearing until the second episode.  While most of the characters seem a bit confused (and to the viewer, even a bit naive, which leads one to wonder if the characters in this world even know what zombies are), Daniel's stubbornness begins to come off a bit as toughness in this episode.  Based on some dialogue and a few situations in this episode, he clearly made himself the character to watch, for a number of reasons.

It's a bit relieving for those who've been with Fear The Walking Dead since episode one to finally see some interesting world-building and character development.  Hopefully waiting until the third episode to do this doesn’t backfire on the show and hurt any chances it has to grow its audience.  There is still a lot of room for improvement here, particularly in making the lead characters more compelling and keeping the tension elevated.  But this episode was a much-needed step in the right direction, with an ending that could potentially be a game changer based on previews for next week's episode.  Perhaps Fear The Walking Dead is finally starting to live up to its potential, better late than never.


- Mike Stec

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