After a four month break, Fear the Walking Dead is gearing up for a return to screens on Sunday, August 21 with the second half of Season 2. Season 1 attracted mixed responses from some fans, but so far Season 2 has hit all the right marks, blending in the right amount of action, character development and intriguing storylines to keep us on the edge of our seat right from the premiere episode.
The second half of Season 2 is due to get underway with the series' very first mid-season premiere (Season 1 was too short to have a mid-season premiere), and it will do so with a rather unique episode titled "Grotesque." The episode is different than anything else Fear fans have seen thus far, and there's no doubt it's about to become a favorite episode. I've been lucky enough to watch an advance screening of "Grotesque," so take a look below at these spoiler-free reasons why Episode 8, "Grotesque" deserves your attention on August 21.
A fan favorite in the spotlight
In April's mid-season finale we saw the heart wrenching moment when Nick opted to leave his mother and sister behind and set off on his own. In fact the episode ended with our entire group totally split: Nick on his own, Travis and Chris together in the hills and Madison, Strand, Ofelia and Alicia together in the truck (not to mention Daniel presumably burning in the farmhouse). Although we'll undoubtedly touch base with the rest of the characters later in the season, "Grotesque" specifically focuses on Nick. Check out the trailer for Episode 8, which gives us a great overview at what Nick's solo journey looks like:
Nick's mental state has been precarious for awhile now, and in a recently released featurette, Frank Dillane — who plays Nick — explains why Nick left, saying "[he's] trying to get to a safe place, or where there might be more people who empathize with the dead, or at least just don't go around killing them." But while you might be confused as to why Nick feels so differently about the dead than his sister or mother, fear not! The root of this will be explored throughout "Grotesque," as the episode gives us a generous amount of flashbacks to Nick's pre-apocalypse life as a junkie.
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Now with more Mexico!
After fans settled into The Walking Dead, the question of how other states, countries and continents were coping with the zombie apocalypse soon arose. While Fear the Walking Dead initially offered us a glimpse into Los Angeles during the collapse of civilization, our group swiftly moved to Mexico, where it looks like we'll be holed up for the foreseeable future, and certainly in Episode 8 as Nick makes his way towards Tijuana.
But if you thought that Travis's bloody trek through the hills earlier in Season 2 gave us a good look at the harsh and barren landscape of Mexico, "Grotesque" will show us just how unforgiving it can be. After all, you don't try to get water from a cactus unless you're pretty damn thirsty.
An array of new survivors
At this point in the series our group have done pretty well for themselves, but unfortunately they're not the only switched on survivors out there, and as we saw with Connor's group in Episode 5, many of the other groups are extremely organized and ruthless.
Despite being a Nick-centric episode, "Grotesque" will definitely introduce new survivors and by the end of the episode expect to have a whole new idea of what surviving in the zombie apocalypse can look like - and I don't just mean smearing yourself in walker guts!
New look walkers
The great thing about returning to a time period so close to the outbreak of the zombie virus, is the sheer amount of walkers. While Walking Dead fans are now used to the decaying sacks of rotting skin that comes with years of exposure (and lack of blood flow), the walkers from Fear still have a little life left in them. In the second half of Season 2 expect to see walkers look decidedly more dead than we have in previous episodes, as time begins to take its toll and they get more gory than ever.
Unfortunately there's still almost two weeks left until the mid-season premiere, however one thing is for sure: if Episode 8 is an indication of where the show is headed for these next eight episodes, prepare to strap yourself in for a gory, violent and and all around thrilling ride. Forget The Walking Dead, because Fear the Walking Dead is about to take the zombie apocalypse to new levels.
Fear the Walking Dead returns with Season 2b on Sunday, August 21 on AMC