Have no fear, because I'm here to give you a full review of the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, just in case you've had your doubts about watching it. Well, let me tell you, your doubts are justified. AMC has done their best to hype this series as much as possible, and because they've built so much anticipation, the beginning result disappointed me. I was expecting this to be a proper beginning to The Walking Dead TV show, but instead I got a series that was mostly watered down with meaningless filler and character introduction. Of course my opinions change through the different episodes, so let's start breaking it down.
Ep. 1: Pilot
In the first five minutes of the pilot, I was actually surprised that we saw a zombie. That was something I thought they were going to drag out as long as they could, but they came right out with it, and that made this whole episode for me. Besides that, we basically just got a basic understanding of each character, and saw our new group learn that when people die they get turned into zombies (oh, I'm sorry, "Walkers"). That's something that didn't break out until season two of The Walking Dead. Since we actually saw two real Walkers, and one viral video Walker in this episode, there's a certain satisfaction that arises in knowing that the world is going to end before our core characters do. That was the main reason I kept watching the show. But of course, I was disappointed later on.
Ep. 2: So Close, Yet So Far
Episode two was not nearly as promising as the first episode. It's pretty much all filler. I don't care about Nick's struggle with drugs, I know that will probably just disappear in the future. I honestly hope Chris gets eaten before Travis finds him, because he's the stereotypical rebellious teenager with no good character traits, and we've already been introduced to our characters enough. We don't need anymore of this AMC, we can make our own deductions of how our characters will act. So in short, the second episode was quite a disappointment to me, and I really wish I had spent my time doing something else.
Ep. 3: The Dog
This episode didn't seem like much at the time, but now I realize that the Salazars play a much bigger role than I thought they would. But let's ignore my knowledge of future episodes right now. At the time, this just seemed like another filler episode. I don't care about this old guy and his weird family, they're just people that made the mistake of taking in strangers off the street. Yes, there's a mystery surrounding Papa Salazar, and we can pick up on this already, but we're thinking small right now. We're asking ourselves what he's hiding in his shop or about his family, and we end the episode without answers. Luckily, they continued this in the future episodes.
Ep. 4: Not Fade Away
This is where things start to get interesting. The National Guard comes in and takes over the joint, expecting everyone to just deal with it and not ask questions. This episode was fairly peaceful, and honestly it just set up for the other two episodes. They focused on the family issues like they always have, and the daughter of the Salazars develops a fake relationship with one of the soldiers in order to find information. Everything is leading up to something else at this point, and we can't wait until we find out what's up. Then in the end of the episode, Nick and Griselda get kidnapped by the National Guard and taken to somewhere they can get "better," and Travis' ex-wife Liza goes with them as a volunteer nurse. An episode that seemed meaningless fully paid off in the final moments, and that has really restored my faith in the series at this point.
Ep. 5: Cobalt
This episode was probably the most climatic, and was full of so many twists that it felt like a regular episode of The Walking Dead. Unexpectedly, the military boyfriend gets kidnapped by the patriarch of the Salazar family, and is tortured to find out where they took his wife. We finally see what Salazar is hiding, and it turns out he's an expert interrogator, and has never opened up about the terrible things he's done, even to his family. While this is all going on, we see where Nick and Liza are, and it's not too pretty. They're at a military base where there are constantly people being brought in that are hurt or infected, most of them ending up dead or locked up. Liza tries to take care of Griselda, which does not turn out too good, finally resulting in the first group member death. Nick, meanwhile, has met this man named Strand that is a smooth talker with the guards wrapped around his finger, and a plan to get out of the base when things inevitably go south. Back where the rest of the group is, Salazar finds out that there is a code word, "Cobalt," that signals when the guards leave, and that there's an entire stadium full of Walkers that's about to bust open onto the streets. Yeah, this is building up to a great season finale.
Ep. 6: The Good Man
As I said before, a spectacular season finale. This episode alone is what made me rate this season as high as I did. After the group finds out what's happening and the National Guard leaves trying to take care of themselves, soldier boy tells them where the base is. Against Salazar's wishes, Travis lets him go free, and they all head out to get the rest of their family. They show up just in time for the army of Walkers to be descending upon the base, and that causes a great distraction for them, as well as a cure for the zombie deprivation I've experienced to this point. Nick and Strand break out of their cell, and start making their way out, as the group makes a rendezvous with Liza, and they all end up making it out in one piece. As they make their way back to the underground garage where they parked their caravan of vehicles, they find out that a group of soldiers stole the SUV from Chris and Alicia, and have a run in with the one that got away. That's right, Ofelia's ex-boyfriend (I guess?) comes back with a vengeance, and a handgun. He shoots his formerly beloved in the arm, and then Travis goes full Rick on his ass and beats him to a pulp. Finally, the main character of the series is learning to survive, and the group goes to Strand's beach house, just leaving the kid alive (which is so not a good idea). Just as we thought everyone was home free for the season, guess who got bit when no one was looking? Liza of course. And who has to shoot her? Poor Travis, who has now snapped and turned into the certain kind of crazy this world calls for.
All in all this series came out with a slow start, but it was all made worth it by the last two episodes. I highly recommend that you at least try watching this show, because even though it's not for everybody, it pays off in the end. I expect a great deal of things from season two, and since this season got better with time, I would imagine that the rest of the series will be even better!