Fear The Walking Dead SN2 EP14 – ‘Wrath’

The build-up to several climactic battles made for a tense and explosive episode.

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For much of the duration of the show, Travis has stood out as the one person least suited to life in the apocalypse. His reluctance in Season 1 to take up arms made sense, as it was reflective of the confusion the characters found themselves in. As the season ended, his merciful killing of ex-wife Liza signalled a potential shift in his approach to the apocalypse. If he could shoot dead a woman he loved, then surely he would be able to face fresh horrors each day. That unfortunately didn’t ring true, and Travis clung to the only person he felt he had left in the world, Chris. Fast forward through a series of turbulent and testing trials for the two, where Chris became more and more suited to the new world, and Travis less and less, to meet a man truly broken by what the world has become.

However much he didn’t want to admit it, a small part of Travis must have known he needed to let Chris go, but this didn’t prevent him from regressing into the husk of a man we once knew. This episode showed Travis as a man who has nothing left to lose. Whilst he might have refrained from violence and clung to the idea that the Walkers were just sick in earlier episodes to set an example for Chris, as soon as he learns Chris is gone he snaps into the person the apocalypse always wanted him to be.

Speaking of Chris, I was truly surprised that they decided to kill him off like they did. He was being built into a potential villain that I assumed Travis would have to face in the finale, so it was surprising instead to see the tables turned and Travis become kind of a villain himself. I’m sure for many though, Chris’s death was somewhat satisfying. A brutal car crash causing a mangled leg just to then be ungraciously shot in the head and left to rot in the middle of the road. I’m sure for many who felt disdain for Chris it could’ve been a lot worse, but there’s no denying how unexpected the event was. I believed Chris would die in the finale at the hands of Travis, but instead his death fuelled Travis’s transformation into the very thing he was trying to prevent Chris from becoming all this time.

The murder sequence of Brandon and Derek was disturbing from start to finish. There was no clean, glorified vision behind the fight, instead it was just messy and brutal and reflected Travis’s want to cause as much pain as possible to the people who had killed his son. It was one of the standout instances on the show where the camerawork and editing really helped to amplify what we were seeing. The multitude of quick cuts and violent nature of the camerawork moving all over the place emphasised the chaos of the scene. The only drawback was the slightly cheesy way in which Chris and Brandon were reflected to have died in the exact same position. The irony of Brandon’s situation was shown in the way he was brutally beaten to death by an enraged Travis, additional imagery wasn’t necessary, and if anything took away from the scene.

We also saw some more of Ofelia this episode and I just have no clue where her story is headed. The opening moments with her were exciting. She’s become one of the chief Walker slayers on the show, and despite my earlier qualms that she had no purpose, she’s now become quite the badass. It’s a shame then that her story isn’t going in a direction that has given us a reason to be excited yet. We now know she’s made it across the border into the US, in turn meeting or possibly even being captured by a man with a gun. It’s the fact that we don’t know which of those options it is, that makes the story fall flat. We can’t be worried for her because the man could be a good guy, and they haven’t even really created a good sense of mystery around it. I think the problem is that there was so much happening this episode. If we get more of this story in the finale it could work, likewise if we don’t the break until Season 3 will give plenty of time to build on the mystery around her story.

This episode also checked in on the Colonia, where things are finally starting to get more exciting. The warehouse bandits are preparing to take the Colonia but in a surprising moment of humanity gave fair warning to Nick so that people could escape. This was immediately subdued by grisly imagery of Francesco’s murdered family, and in all fairness was more as service to the plot than an accurate reflection of the Bandit’s nature as we’ve seen so far.

Nevertheless, Nick delivered the news back to Luciana and Alejandro which was when things really started to pick up. So far the Colonia has been represented as a place of peace, where nothing much ever goes wrong. Uncertainty breeds chaos however, and with the place on the brink of destruction things inevitably start to go wrong. An inside Walker attack signified the loss of control Alejandro has over every aspect of the Colonia, whilst it also brought about the truth of his immunity to the infection. As suspected, he wasn’t bit by a Walker at all, but by the drug addict he had tried to save when the apocalypse kicked off. In a feat of cunning and intelligence similar to what Eugene did in ‘The Walking Dead’, Alejandro used the bite to encourage people’s faith within him and persuade them to build up the Colonia around him. It was a satisfying reveal, set in motion by the fact that he is now truly bitten, so it will be interesting to see whether he will actually help protect the Colonia now that he knows he doesn’t have much time left.

Such a pivotal episode of the series must have more than a few standout moments, so other highlights include:

  • It was nice to see Strand up and about again, but in the likely event that things go south at the Hotel, the effect of his injury has me increasingly worried about his ability to escape.

  • The refugees were starting to get rather angry, so it’ll be interesting to see whether they cause trouble at the Hotel, or if something even more dangerous is on its way.

  • I couldn’t tell who, but Travis looked like he caused some nasty damage to one of the Hotel group trying to stop his rampage. Hopefully whoever it was isn’t dead, but it’ll no doubt call into question his place at the Hotel. Well that and the fact he just beat some guys to death with his own two hands. That tends to make people a little uneasy around you.

  • Alicia continues to prove herself as the best of the bunch. Her apology to Travis over the way she treated Chris was completely unnecessary on her part, but she did it anyway. Her diplomacy and general badassery are building her up to be the ultimate survivor, which of course makes me very worried for her going into the season finale.

  • Walker Kill of the Week:

           Nick: ‘You Poked My Eye!’ Walker

So the penultimate episode of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season 2 delivered on all fronts. Tensions between characters at the Colonia came to a dramatic climax as the group faces immediate danger both within and outside the walls. Meanwhile the shocking death of Chris transformed Travis into a raging death machine that further signalled his deterioration in this world. Heading into the finale, with the Colonia facing destruction, Travis’s place in the group in serious question, and Ofelia facing a mystery man with a powerful gun, you can be sure it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.

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