*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*
The beginning of this season saw new characters introduced and a new storytelling format, that being jumping back and forth in regards to the timeline. While the new characters are still pretty interesting and add something to the show, the time jumps are now taking a toll on the overall vibe of the show. Evidence of that was front and center this week as Fear the Walking Dead stumbled and bumbled along through the episode, which is not really the way you want things to be heading into the mid-season finale.
The whole idea of rescuing Mel was a bit absurd to me. I mean, Mel is not a good guy. We all know that from how he’s acted in previous episodes. But the show tries to go out of its way to prove that every life is sacred, even though we know in this apocalyptic timeline that is far from being true. The man is a scavenger and will do whatever it takes to stay alive, no matter the cost, which means killing innocent people if he has to.
I was also scratching my head on how and why he survived two accidents in the same episode, one in a car wreck in the BEFORE timeline, the other in a vehicle that explodes. (he should have bought it right then and there) I did enjoy the poetic justice of surviving these accidents only to be put down once and for all by Alicia, who was more than willing to step up and do what needs to be done. That being said, Alicia is on a clear path of self-destruction, so I pity anyone who gets in her way right about now.
When we left John Dorie last episode he had been shot and was dying. This episode does nothing in terms of deciding his fate, only dragging it on for another week, a poor calling card from The Walking Dead playbook. I love John Dorie and I really don’t want to see him die but if you are going to kill him off don’t drag it on and on. It really takes away from the impact it could have on those around him, let alone the audience. I personally think he’s going to die, truly good guys don’t have much luck in this world but just do it already.
I am also annoyed at the way they are dealing with the girl Charlie. Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice…it seems no one learned the lesson the first time. Yes, she’s a girl, who was hooked up with Mel, but how much of her behavior was because of him and how much was really her? I guess because they continue to forgive Strand and his selfish exploits, at least Madison does, they can’t really turn their collective backs on a girl, now can they?
The jumping between timelines, once a great tool, is now becoming just lazy writing more than anything else. Moments that should be filled with tension are now simply met with shrugs as the BEFORE and NOW jumps give away who is going to live through certain situations and who might not. If they are going to continue doing this they need to tighten things up a bit or all the tension will be sucked out of the show.
I still think this is a great show, far better than The Walking Dead, but this week was the first time I was truly disappointed from start to finish in an entire episode. Let’s hope the mid-season finale brings things back to the way they were at the start of this season.
Two and a half stars out of five
- Characters have some great chemistry together
- Even though gravely wounded, John Dorie is still damn interesting
- Timeline jumping is now becoming a liability
- The 'where is Madison' question is getting boring
- Story jumped all over the place and I can't even blame the BEFORE and NOW plot arcs for that