WARNING: Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead ahead. Much like a zombie apocalypse: Proceed with caution!
While across the country Rick Grimes slumbers, the city of Los Angeles crumbles, and to be honest, it's all pretty terrifying. After a two week hiatus for Labor Day weekend, Fear the Walking Dead has returned for a third episode titled 'The Dog.' As the title promised, we did meet a canine friend, though his time on the show was short lived due to a hungry home invading walker.
Aside from doggie dinners, we saw the city of Los Angeles dive deeper into chaos, with riots, instability of utilities, and finally, a military presence as the national guard moves in, saving a life in the process with their impeccable timing.
The episode took things up another level from Episode 2 with more gore, and finally the understanding from at least one character that this is no temporary thing and it will get worse. Did you catch all the details in 'The Dog?' Take a look at these 5 things you (might) have missed and find out:
1. Daniel Salazar has lived through civil war
We were introduced to the Salazar family last week when Daniel Salazar reluctantly let Travis, Liza and Chris take shelter in his barber store. This week we learned a little more about the family, including that they were originally from El Salvador. Daniel seems like a pretty harsh character, making some rough comments (telling Ofelia, "Good people are the first ones to die," as well as calling Madison "weak" when she couldn't kill her reanimated neighbor), though if there's anyone this group needs, it's him.
Being from El Salvador, there's no doubt that Daniel and Griselda would have grown up during the Salvadoran Civil War which lasted over 12 years from 1979 until 1992. Daniel was possibly even in the El Salvadoran military. Early in the episode Daniel hints that he grew up in turmoil, making comments that all of their family are buried back in El Salvador. Griselda also alludes to the war when she tells their daughter, Ofelia that "Your father and I have been in worse situations." Despite Travis' annoyance that Daniel started teaching Chris about guns, this knowledge will undoubtedly come in handy later on, maybe even saving lives.
2. People are still in mega denial
Despite the world literally going to the dogs in this episode, there was still a lot of denial from characters about just how bad this situation really is. First of all there was the anger at Nick when he told the group that the walkers were all dead people (why hasn't anyone explained the situation to Alicia yet?!). Following this there was the scene when Travis, and his neighbor still tried to cling to the notion it was all a bad dream when they both put their trash on the curb. Let's face it, no one is ever coming to empty those cans. Finally the blind faith in the armed forces also showed just how much people wanted to believe the situation wasn't out of control. Sadly it looked like Daniel Salazar was the only one who has some sort of a clue about what is to come when he spoke the final line in the episode: "It's already too late."
3. Strong leaders are shaping up
It looks as though Madison is fast shaping up to become a pretty decent group leader in the series, with Nick also proving his worth (though his addiction still dictates a lot of his actions), and Daniel as well.
In Episode 2 we saw Madison take down principal Artie with a fire extinguisher, and in Episode 3 she was close to putting down her neighbor and friend Susan, as well as shoot the intruder walker (that Daniel eventually double-tapped). While she eventually chose not to kill Susan, the fact that she recognized that she was now a threat, and not a friend is a pretty big turning point for a characters in a survival show. As we've seen time and time again in The Walking Dead, people who chose to believe the walkers aren't extremely dangerous usually do not fare well.
While Daniel is showing survival smarts, he seems reluctant to take a leadership role. However, the fact that he is quietly teaching members of the group (such as Chris), skills to survive shows that he's willing to help, and perhaps over the course of the season he'll warm to the group.
Nick is also another character who will likely develop into a great leader or key group member. Though he's mostly using his sneaking and breaking-and-entering skills to try and find drugs at the moment, he has proven that he is quick thinking and has the know-how to survive and keep others safe.
4. There was big attention to detail with military scenes
At the end of the episode we finally got the huge military presence that the show has been building to. Attentive fans of the series and The Walking Dead should have been expecting this, given that we've seen quite a bit of evidence that suggests there was a huge military presence until the outbreak became too overwhelming.
Interestingly with the military trying to document names and check houses, we saw a fair representation of what a military presence during a disaster would be like. You may have noticed the soldiers spray painting giant X's on houses, this was actually the United States FEMA marking. The marking is used to tell search and rescue groups a number of things about a premises which has, or is being, searched. In Fear the Walking Dead you even saw the solider beginning to spray paint a 'C' on the left-hand side of the X, this would have been followed up by 'Ca' or 'CaTF' to indicate the California Nation Guard Task Force had searched the house. Pretty cool attention to detail by a show about zombies!
5. The plane, boss!
As I mentioned back in this article, the show is having fun teasing the upcoming standalone 30 minute special that will take place entirely on an airplane. While the plane we saw last week was a little more steady in the sky, this week it's obvious that things in the air, are just as shaky as things on the ground. Airplanes were also mentioned earlier on in the episode when Madison's neighbor, Patrick returned home due to LAX being shut down.
The shutting down of borders is quite a cool thing to see in this series given that it was all glossed over in The Walking Dead due to Rick being in a coma through that whole period. Not to mention that the fact audiences are getting to see a perfectly functional city slowly be taken over by zombies is extremely unnerving - how many of you have gotten a little spooked since the series began, just by walking around your town or city imagining what would happen if there was an outbreak? Fear the Walking Dead certainly seems to illicit these scary feelings a lot more than The Walking Dead has done.
Take a look at what we can expect to see in episode 4 of Fear the Walking Dead:
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