Friday, September 18, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead: 1:3 "The Dog" (SPOILERS)

Better late than never, right? Listen, it's draining to take two four year olds and a nine year old to Disney. Not that I'm complaining cause I'm blessed enough to be able to make that trip. But, I got home Tuesday and didn't even get to watch the episode till Wednesday. So, In my mind, I'm early!

"The Dog" oh, I wonder what that was a reference too? I remember watching a movie with my buddy Joe in high school. In the opening scene, two young boys walk into a bank and it explodes. He starts freaking out, "You don't do that! You do not kill little kids or pets in the opening scene!" Let me get an, Amen to that, and let's pour a little out for Hedwig.

But wait, this is the Walking Dead universe. In the opening scene of the pilot, Rick puts a bullet in the head of a little girl. Why would this episode be titled, "The Dog"? Even when a beloved character bites it

(Get it... Puns)

I believe this episode is an extended metaphor of the title "The Dog". Not the beloved pet that Peter decided to snack on, but the Alpha Dog. Who is going to become the leader of this group? I felt that this episode had the characters throw their hats in the ring with each vying for that leadership role. Let's meet the candidates:

The obvious choice:
Daniel Salazar. This man seems to know what it takes to get the job done. In the image above, he is looking at Maddy and Travis when they don't kill their infected neighbor. Putting the pieces together, we know that Daniel and his wife Griselda are survivors of the El Salvadorian Civil War. This was one of the most brutal civil wars ever.

He wants to keep them at an arm's length away, but he is still willing to help them:

He even takes Chris under his wing and explains to him how to use a shotgun properly.

We, of course, saw Mr. Salazar is not all talk. He was the one who took out Peter:

A little side note. I know this is a blog on zombie and all, but I try to refrain from using really gruesome images. I don't know who's reading this, so I try to keep it somewhat PG-13, and Daniel's first kill was far from PG-13. Don't forget that Daniel also told Travis to burn the body so the disease won't spread.(By the way, I called Travis by the actor's name all last post, Cliff. I went back and edited it. Where were the peeps on the comments! JK) Daniel is definitely the front runner for the group's leader. He knows what it takes to survive, and has the stomach to do what needs to be done. Looking at it's predecessor Rick also had some survival skills being a police officer. So did Shane. We all know where that ended up. 

The major complaint that I've heard so far is that the show moves too slow. Yes, it is, but this is what we wanted. We wanted to see the world fall from the beginning. After watching six seasons of The Walking Dead we have become desensitized to the violence and gore. We also watch Rick move further and further away from what he was in the pilot. The apocalypse changes people. We want our protagonists to go "full shane", but how many of you could do what they are doing on the show? Fear the Walking Dead is showing us how everyday, blue collar people, can descend into the maelstrom. I'm loving every second of it. 

Another side note: Robert Kirkman once said that he doesn't mind having characters with the same name because in the real world you're always bumping into someone with the same name. Seriously, I have three friends named Sean. When I'm talking to my wife about going somewhere she's like which Sean is that. (Oh, for those keeping track, that's my name too). 

The Frist Lady: Madison Clark

This girl gets it. She saw Nick run over his best friend/dealer (That's a paradox, no?) Then she had to take out her friend, Artie, with a fire extinguisher, nonetheless! In the scene above, she tells Liza that if she becomes infected, she needs to take her out.  She gets it, she really does. Then we see her neighbor, Susan. 

Could this be a nice little allusion to Tyrese?

She has one huge weakness though, and that brings us to our next potential candidate

The Second Lieutenant: Travis Manawa

Travis was the one who went into the church in the pilot, he was the one that went to see Cal when he had turned, he's the one that makes the decisions to save his family. He's Mr. Fix it, but as his ex-wife, Liza realized: 

Travis can go in two directions. If Fear follows the format of TWD, Travis is going to be the first main character to go. What has been the norm of that show? If you show any sort of morals, you're a goner: Tyrese, Bob, and Noah. They were some of my favorite characters, but they wanted to make the world post-zombie apocalypse a better place. Travis definitely shows some of those characteristics: 

 Maddy wants to kill Susan, she has the hammer and is ready to do it. Travis convinces her not to do it. What does he want to do with all these walkers? Put them in a barn? He is very reminiscent  of early Herschel in that respect. Where he is hopeful that there is cure.
We, of course, know better. Every time he spoke in this episode it reminded my of a Bluebeard... what ever you do, don't go in there. What does she do? Go in there.

Every time he says, I'll never leave you, or it'll be ok. I'm like, dude, shut up! Do you want to die?

Or... could Fear be using this as the ultimate character development mirroring the likes of Carol. She went from an abused, submissive woman to a woman who threatened Pete's life while holding a casserole. Is this what Travis is destined for? In season one and two of TWD, Shane was ready to do anything to make sure his group survived. By the time we got to season five, Rick was in the same place as Shane. Is Travis going to show this same transformation? I hope so. The vegas odds makers have him as 3:1 favorite on getting killed by the end of the season. (I completely made up that number... I couldn't find the Vegas odds... but if you can, hit me up!)

The Dark Horse: Nick Clark

There's something about this kid. I praised him in episode one for his acting, and again, he's good. When he starts going through withdrawal it's like he's a different character. Frank Dillane doesn't play it over the top either, there's subtle nuances that he uses to portray the withdrawal. Look at the difference between him when he's playing Monopoly and when he's sitting in the car at the end of the episode:

I don't know if you noticed, but Nick was kicking butt. I'm not sure if you can equate dominating a game of monopoly and surviving the apocalypse, but it's a start.

Nick is also quick to make a decision, and this is the case even with him going through withdrawal. 

He's got the potential. I'm always rooting for the person who's the least likely, so I go with Nick. However, Nick: Change your clothes, bro! You are in the clothes of a dead, old man!

As always, I have a few interesting scenes that I think we should share:

These crystals were hanging in the doorway at the Clark/Manawa house. I cannot pretend that I'm expert on Feng Shui, but crystals usually symbolized balance and harmony, and are hung where the person wants to try and create balance and harmony. Clearly, the mixed family of Clarks and the Manawas don't exactly blend. Ironically, the apocalypse helps bring about the harmony. Liza, Travis' ex-wife, seems to be getting along with Maddy. I guess anyone will get along with the new girlfriend if she says, kill me if I get infected. Also, Nick who must have been a constant cause of heartache in the house is part of the family again. I guess the crystals worked.

Ooops, there goes the electricity!

Always... if you get it, you get it. "Always" gets me every time!

Besides the riot, this is the first time that we see a full attack from the military on someone. This leads me to believe that the hospital is overrun. It makes sense; when we die, we turn. The hospital is going to have more people die than others. Maybe they didn't get them secured "downstairs" (Look at the first Fear blog post)
It's official... the walkers are now called "The Infected"

Here's a plane again, is it the spin off episode? I think it is. Notice the boot of the plane is all red. We'll see if that comes up again when they air it!

For some reason, the military is spray painting something on the house. This was Maddy's house, so I'm assuming this is a symbol that their house is ok.

This was the military spray painting on the Tran's house. I didn't get the screen shot of it, but he started writing a word on the bottom. I was able to make out a "C". It makes me think back good ol' Morgan:

Morgan had the word "Clear" marked all over his town. He was a survivor when Atalnta fell. I'm thinking the military started writing clear on houses that contained the dead and was cleared. Just a thought.

When the group started to pull out, the camera pans to this bloody body wrapped that is laying in the street. This was obviously from someone else. Travis put Peter's body in a garbage can. 

This is horrible. I think this is the house where the party was.

Oh,  Travis, please shut up!

Till next week!  If you get a chance, check out The Walking Dead Forums!!!

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