Fear The Walking Dead SN2 EP15-‘North’

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ ended Season 2 on a high with its best episode yet.

episode-15

Having a two-part finale is an odd prospect for a show such as ‘Fear The Walking Dead’. Due to its serialised nature, every episode links together anyway, but in watching this final episode I understand the decision. Things pick up immediately where they left off at the end of the previous episode and the show is all the better for it. Had there been a week break between the two, much of the impact of this episode’s cold opening would have been lost. Travis is now a completely broken man. No longer the moral compass of the group, he’s now (finally) just another survivor, doing what he needs to do.

Hit attitude throughout the episode was understandable. Following his brutal murder of what eventually turned out to be three people, nothing fazed him. Getting sprayed with broken glass? Nope. Faced with being killed? Not a thing. It places him in an interesting position going into Season 3. As we saw, he doesn’t mind being killed. There’s likely a part of him that wants it, but the only moment in the episode he sprung to life was when Maddison and Alicia were in danger. With Chris gone they’re his top priority, and now that he’s crossed the line I feel sorry for anyone that even thinks about threatening them.

Whilst Travis’s annoying behaviour is now a thing of the past, sadly Maddison’s isn’t. Her unwavering loyalty to Travis, however admirable, was a severe problem here. The way she defended his actions was pitiful, and she added fuel to an already fiery situation. Travis may not have been wrong to kill Brandon and Derek, but it was still a disturbing thing for him to do, and directly contradicted the rules of the Hotel that Maddison herself had laid out. What’s more is that Oscar was caught in the crossfire of Travis’s rage, an issue Maddison seemed to dismiss. Her behaviour throughout the season has been spotty. At times she can seem like the deadliest character on the show, whilst at others the most embarrassingly weak. She has the potential to be so much more, but the way she handles conflict, especially in relation to her family, weakens the character. It’s a trait I don’t ever see her evolving past whilst they’re alive, and so the people around her will always be in danger.

Unfortunately, Maddison’s loyal nature has somewhat rubbed off on Alicia. She’s been one of the strongest characters this season, receiving some brilliant development. To think that at the beginning of this season we were lambasting her for giving away the location of the Abigail, and now she’s developing into a leader with her first human kill under her belt. Whilst I don’t agree with her defence of Travis, I’m more of a Strand type myself, it’s no doubt in keeping with her character. Alicia has always had to help herself, so by nature she wants to help others. Unlike Maddison though she’s more thoughtful about things. She doesn’t immediately rush to defend Travis like Maddison does, instead taking time to mull over the best option for everyone. As such she’s grown into a strong intelligent survivor, willing to do what she has to in an effort to protect those she cares about.

So whilst this storyline had everything going for it to begin with, it stumbled towards the end. Strand’s decision to stay was given very little context. Sure he’s still recovering from his knife wound, and he said he didn’t want to go out into the world and die, but he’d just helped the Hotel’s most wanted escape, threatening several people with a gun in the process. It’s potentially a way to keep the Hotel in the picture, but I think the general gist of where that’s headed is that it’s all falling apart. It’s a way to further split up the group, and as such, reintroducing Strand into the story will have difficulty feeling organic given the direction everyone else is headed in. That’s if he comes back at all, and given he’s one of the best characters on the show, I hope he does.

In addition, Maddison, Alicia and Travis manage to track down the Colonia…somehow. They find the now deceased Francesco, root around in his pockets for a wallet, and his address just so happens to be near that of the Colonia. In the moment I echoed Alicia’s question of “What are you doing?” These people were tortured just a few episodes ago in an effort to find the Colonia, and then these guys look in their pockets and are all set. It was one of the laziest moments of writing the show has seen yet, and there’s been a fair few of them. The scenes where they find a dying Alejandro and learn where Nick went were good, as it gives them a direction for the next season, but there were some questionable moments amidst the excitement.

Speaking of the Colonia, this storyline didn’t have the spectacular ending we were all expecting, but it still had one. The ultimate demise of the Warehouse Bandits wasn’t exactly satisfying. It wouldn’t have made sense for the Colonia to fight them, but it also didn’t make sense that the ambling horde of Walkers killed them all. The bandits had the high ground, as well as a large supply of ammo, so the fact that they were all killed signalled another lazy attempt to tie up a loose end and move the story forward.

Still Nick and the Colonia were still in for a fight. There’s a sense now that Nick has evolved. His gullible nature has been pushed aside as a result of his care for Luciana, and it showed in the way he rejected Alejandro. He didn’t completely give up on his faith however, assuming the role of leader of the Colonia, leading them to a potential safe haven. It again signalled how he’d grown. No longer was he running. He’d finally become a man and was guiding his people to safety. Or so he thought. Upon crossing the border, the remaining members of the Colonia were shot at by what appeared to be some form of militia. The Colonia group quickly scattered, whilst others were killed, with Nick and Luciana being taken captive in one of the truly shocking moments of the episode. I say that, but seeing how happy they all were heading towards what Nick assumed was a refugee camp should have been a dead giveaway.

So much happened in this action packed episode, so other highlights include:

  • After lying from the very start, Alejandro lied once more to the Colonia. His speech was actually quite rousing. With the fact that it was in Spanish I think increasing its effect. It was only right then that he committed one final act of nobility at the end, using his dying moments to rid the world of the Warehouse Bandits.

  • The man who captured Ofelia in the previous episode seemed similarly dressed to the men who got Nick and Luciana. Maybe a reunion is on its way!

  • How awesome were the scenes showing Oscar’s brother cutting into Oscar’s head? I’m assuming it was medically accurate, but after all that did they really expect him to survive.

  • With the exception of Elena, the behaviour of the Hotel people really annoyed me this episode. No one took the time to talk anything over. Just a few episodes Elena and Hector were villains in the eyes of the Hotel guests, and now Hector is enraged over Oscar’s death? I get why they aren’t a fan of Travis, but Maddison and Alicia are the reason they’re all standing in a well-protected haven.

  • With that border shooting it looks like ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ might be about to get political in its 3rd It should be interesting if they do, as there’s a lot of potential for good material there.

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ ended Season 2 with an action packed episode that will see characters changed forever. Gone is nice guy Travis and good girl Alicia as they both triggered the kill switch for reasons of varying necessity. Maddison’s behaviour continues to be erratic and annoying, which doesn’t exactly enamour one to seeing her again in Season 3, whilst Strand’s place in the next season is just one big question mark. With Nick, Luciana and Ofelia sprung upon by a new set of villains, fans have some exciting developments to look forward to in the new season. For now though Season 2 ends on a high note, despite a lot of rocky moments along the way. ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ still has a long way to go to become must see TV, but the potential and excitement are there, so hopefully Season 3 will be when the show really hits its stride.

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