It's no secret that I really enjoyed season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead. There are lots of reasons I found it enjoyable, despite the vocal backlash against the pacing. Part of what was so good about the first season was meeting these characters who are very much like the regular people we know and work with in everyday life before the world turns into a zombie-infested shit-show. Below, I list 7 of my favorite moments from the first season.
7. Opening Scene Of The Series
We meet Nick Clark, but we don't know if he is a major character or just zombie kimble to kickstart the series. Considering the circumstances surrounding him when we meet him, he looked more like kibble. This scene sets the tone for the series - the kind of disbelief (what am I seeing?) that Nick experiences in this scene is also what, on a larger scale, allows the zombie apocalypse to spread from something that is probably containable to a worldwide catastrophe.
6. Madison Slaps The Shit Out Of Nick
First of all, I love Madison's character. To me, she is the quintessential mom. The way she tells the cops to back off Nick at the hospital, the lengths she goes to in order to help Nick cope when she realizes things are getting bad, the way she compromises morality and sides with Salazar when it comes to torturing a man to get information on where her son is being kept. She is so real to me.
When she finds Nick rummaging for drugs, and he realizes he is caught he says, "What do you want me to say?"
And she slaps the living hell out of him, multiple times, telling him, "You have no idea!" That scene was so great. The lack of appreciation for his mother coupled with the frustration of dealing with a junkie just made this scene so good to me.
5. Strand Locks Nick and Himself in a Bad Spot
When Strand and Nick escape captivity and work their way through the compound, Strand closes a door that he doesn't realize locks behind him. Shortly thereafter the pair find themselves face-to-face with a shambling horde of walkers moseying down the tight corridor. Strand goes to open the door and realizes it is locked.
This scene is pretty intense. Again, we don't know these characters and there is no canon to tell us who is safe and who isn't, so the prospect that these two could be eaten alive is very real. Fortunately for them, Liza comes running with a keycard to open the door. Great scene.
4. Tobias and Madison Kill Artie
This is the first time Madison has to face a zombie and she is fortunate to have Tobias, the only character who felt the impending dread of the apocalypse since our first glimpse of him. This scene is great because Madison is forced to accept that her friend is a monster now and that she must kill him to protect herself.
3. Double-tap Daniel in "The Dog"
Travis's first encounter with a zombie face-to-face comes in the third episode, "The Dog," and he does NOT handle it as well as Madison handled her first walker-meeting.
Since Travis is unwilling to accept that he must kill his neighbor, who is now a zombie, Daniel steps in to handle business. This highlights Daniel as a man of action, comfortable enough with a shotgun to blast this zombie's head into little pieces. Daniel's badassery (it's a word as long as we aren't playing Scrabble) is part of what gives hope to this ragtag family thrust into a zombie apocalypse.
2. Daniel Takes A Zombie Horde For A Walk - To The Compound
Speaking of Daniel being a badass, the scene in the season finale when Daniel walked a horde of zombies up to the gates of the compound to serve as his distraction (so he can rescue his wife from within) was awesome. This scene was incredible. The zombies are so slow that someone who isn't dominated by fear can use them to his advantage - and Daniel Salazar is the man of the hour here.
1. Travis's Breaking Point
My favorite moment of the series so far came close to the end of the first season, after our group is reunited in the parking garage of the military compound. When Adams reemerges from obscurity, seeking revenge on Daniel, and shoots Ofelia, Travis loses his mind.
Travis is solely the guilty party in this scene because of his good conscience. Dragging Adams along for the ride to the compound, knowing that Daniel would kill Adams after he no longer needed him, was something Travis could not stomach - and he lets Adams loose, presumably saving his life.
When Adams comes back later and shoots Daniel's daughter, Travis finally reaches his breaking point and he pummels Adams into a pulpy, broken mess on the floor of the parking garage. The intensity is palpable as is the regret Travis feels for allowing his conscience to put good people in danger. The world is changing and Travis has to change with it to survive.
Matt is a writer/filmmaker in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Follow me on Twitter @Matt_InTheWoods