Reviews: Fear The Walking Dead - Season One Episode Five - Cobalt

This week, on Fear The Walking Dead, things happened!

"Wanna go for a ride? And I don't
mean the bike."
Unfortunately, this being a website that prides itself on spoiler-free reviews, this review will not contain a whole lot of detail about what precisely these things were.  But as far as furthering the plot and learning interesting things about our characters goes, progress has definitely been made.  The truly sinister motives and pasts of some of our characters are finally beginning to come to light.  But on a show with pacing problems such as the ones this one has had in just five episodes, is it too late?

Ruben Blades has shown hints of being FTWD's potential breakout character, and on this episode he finally shows why.  Talent-wise he's probably the shows best actor, and he brings an extensive history of playing shady characters to troubled barber Daniel Salazar.  We learn a lot of about his character on this episode, but just enough to make the audience anticipate the revelations likely coming next week.

As penultimate episodes go, tonight's episode of FTWD set things up reasonably well for what should be tense season finale next Sunday.  But it's hard not to think that the audience has waited long enough for things to really get interesting.  Instead of giving us hints at what the show could be for the last several weeks, why not throw the audience a bone and actively keep then engaged instead of promising excitement to come?  Why wait so long to set the wheels in motion and finally start unraveling the show's most interesting mysteries?  Perhaps next week we'll get a satisfying enough conclusion to justify the earlier episodes' pacing issues.

Fear The Walking Dead has more or less been coasting on its pedigree thus far.  The plot is finally beginning to move forward toward a satisfying conclusion, with what appears to be a few big payoffs and the possibility of a much-needed thrilling climax.  But even The Walking Dead doesn’t take this long to reward its viewers for sticking around.  Even though there have been flashes of greatness, they've only been flashes, and certainly nothing worth getting too excited about.  There is still something satisfying about knowing that the viewers who have remained loyal these last five episodes could finally be getting something substantial next week.  So why did they make us wait?  Next week we'll be faced with whether the destination was worth the journey.  Until then, at least we have some interesting things to think about.


-Mike Stec

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