TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead 1×04 “Not Fade Away”

And, we’re back! And so is civilization, sort of. The military has decended, inflicting rules supposedly intended to keep everyone safe. Nine days have passed since the end of the last episode, and everyone seems to be in a holding pattern while trying to find ways to get things back to normal. Inside the fence everyone is basically just waiting on medication, electricity and communications, but all they keep getting are empty promises. Even from an outsider (with lots of inside information) looking in perspective, we don’t learn much. So without new information, and absolutely zero walkers, what does this episode have to offer? Mostly… a look at what life was like between the initial outbreak and The Walking Dead‘s timeline, which was exactly what I was hoping for, though I could have taken a little more on the action side.

Madison (Kim Dickens) is quickly turning into my favorite character. She’s relateable and seems to have basic apocalypse sense, something way too many people on this show seem to lack. When she sneaks out past the fence to go explore, I was half expecting things to go poorly just to increase the tension. While she didn’t learn enough to really justify the trip from a plot perspective, she still managed to play things smart, and she gets points in my book for heading out there in the first place. Between Travis (Cliff Curtis) telling her everything is fine and to trust the government, and Daniel (Rubén Blades) insisting that people are going to start disappearing in the night, she wanted to figure things out for herself, so points to her.

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Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) got up to a whole lot of nothing this week, and Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) only did marginally more–spending his time sitting on top of the house convinced that someone out beyond the fence was trying to signal him, and then getting frustrated that no one believed him. By the end of the episode both Travis and Madison were on board, so we’ll see how much this plotline actually matters in the long run. Initially I suspected it would be the catalyst that gets things moving again, but thankfully Not Fade Away did bring a little more to the table than a reflection glinting in the distance.

This week introduced Dr. Bethany Exner (Sandrine Holt) who was brought in by the higher ups to check out any sick or injured within the fence who Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) had been taking care of. This includes the neighbour that Nick has been stealing morphine from, but Liza also tipped her off to Nick’s supposed withdrawl. It seemed harmless enough at first, but the ominous tone of the episode ended up leading to a somewhat intense ending where both Griselda and Nick were hauled off for “treatment” by Exner’s people. While we’re clearly supposed to be worried that they’re just shooting any of the injured to mitigate the risk, Liza ends up leaving with the injured group because the good doctor promises she’d be able to help out, so odds are she’s not just being taken to a pile of corpses out back.

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So it looks like next week will either be everyone goes off in search of Nick and company, or they bide their time while Nick and Liza’s new location offers up some new perspective on the bigger picture (what I’m rooting for). Madison and Travis still have that mystery light to track down, so at least they’ll have something to do before everything inevitably implodes in the last episode of the season, two weeks from now.

Until next time!

 

Kellie Sheridan may as well live on the internet or in a library. She is a Young Adult author, spending her time writing and watching far too much Netflix near Toronto, Canada. You can find Kellie on Twitter (@Kellie_Sheridan) or contact her by email at kellie@theyoungfolks.com
  • Brian Snyder

    I don’t think they will be tracking the mystery light down. At the end, Travis saw gunfire coming from the building. My guess is this will lead to tension between the residents and military. They now know they aren’t being given the truth.