You know how this works. Plot details and events that occurred in the pilot are going to be discussed. Do not read any further if you don’t want to know what happens.
After a summer of anticipation Fear The Walking Dead premiered tonight. Fans have been wondering for weeks if the show would be able to live up the high bar that The Walking Dead has set when it comes to post-apocalypse dramas. Robert Kirkman is an Executive Producer of Fear The Walking Dead, and so is Gale Ann Hurd and both have stressed that the two shows would be very different while taking place in the same universe. Since Fear The Walking Dead is set at the very start of the apocalypse and in LA it makes sense that Fear The Walking Dead would have a very different look and feel than The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead Marathon
In the leadup to tonight’s premiere AMC has been showing one full season of The Walking Dead each Sunday for the last month. Showing 16 episodes of The Walking Dead was a smart way for AMC to get fans excited about the new show. There was a new Talking Dead just before Fear The Walking Dead that gave fans some insider info and sneak peaks at The Walking Dead Season 6 which starts on October 11th. So when Fear The Walking Dead started fans were really excited.
The first three minutes of Fear The Walking Dead was released recently as a teaser so fans already saw Madison’s drug addict son Nick, who discovers the first walker, stagger around the old church where he had gone to get high with his girlfriend Gloria. As he looks for Gloria he sees some recently killed people with bites and pieces of flesh torn off them. There is a lot of blood. Frantic he starts calling out for Gloria. He finds her crouched on the ground over a body, eating it. He sees her from behind at first and calls her name. She turns towards him and she is a walker, with a large knife stuck through her chest. He runs, and the apocalypse has officially begun.
Gloria is Patient Zero, the first infected victim to turn. But according to the showrunner we will learn more about that later on. It’s been rumored that Dr. Jenner from the CDC will have a role in Fear The Walking Dead at some point, or possibly his wife. Potentially they could be studying whatever infected Gloria and made her turn.
Madison and Travis
Viewers are thrown into the middle of the chaotic newly joined lives of guidance counselor Madison and high school English teacher Travis. They have just moved in together and they are trying to blend their families. Madison is dealing with Nick’s addiction problems and she has another teenager, a daughter Alicia who is the total opposite of Nick. She’s a smart, ambitious, driven girl that really wants to succeed. Travis also has a teenage son that lives with his mom and is not happy at all about the situation and doesn’t really want to bond with Madison’s children.
Madison and Travis seem like any normal middle-class couple who are dealing with the chaos of trying to create a new family and maintain the ties of old relationships. Nick’s drug addiction is clearly something that Madison has been dealing with for a long time. They seem like any busy couple trying to make time for family, work, and each other. They are instantly relatable and likeable.
Facing the Undead
There is not a lot of action in the 90 minute pilot of Fear The Walking Dead but the action that there is has a lot of impact. Fans really are just getting to know the lead characters and get a window into their lives. It’s clear that they have no idea of what is coming.
After Nick runs from walker Gloria he runs into the street and gets hit by a car. Madison gets a call that he is in the hospital and goes to the hospital with Travis and Alicia in tow. Travis stays with Nick because Madison has to go to work. Nick tells Travis what he saw in the church but Travis assumes that Nick was just hallucinating because he was high. But Nick is sure that what he saw was real. Travis, wanting to find out the truth, goes to the church. There are no bodies in the church but there is a lot of blood and guts. Travis is disturbed because it’s clear that something bad happened but there are no bodies so he leaves.
When he tells Madison about what Nick had said and what he saw at the church she wants to see for herself so the next day Travis takes her to the church. There are still no bodies and still lots of blood and guts. Both of them are disturbed because they know that something bad is going on but they don’t have any idea of the scope of it.
While they are doing that Nick breaks himself out of the hospital and goes looking to score. When Madison and Travis find out he has disappeared they look in all his usual hangouts and then pay a visit to an old friend of his, a seemingly upstanding boy who says that he hasn’t seen Nick or talked to him in quite a long time. Madison seems to accept that even though she is disappointed.
Later on Nick goes to meet his old friend, who is secretly his dealer. Nick is in withdrawal and trying to process the horrors he saw. He is a mess. His friend drives him down to a secluded spot supposedly to get him some drugs but then he pulls a gun on him and tries to kill him. In the struggle for the gun Nick kills his friend. Panicked he called Madison and Travis.
When they arrive the body is gone and Madison and Travis tell Nick that maybe his friend wasn’t dead, but Nick is not convinced. He knows his friend was dead. As Travis starts to back out of the secluded area they are in they see a shambling figure heading towards them. It’s Nick’s friend, who is now a walker. Travis and Madison get out of the vehicle to see if he’s hurt and needs help, and he tries to bite Madison. Nick, in a moment of clarity, floors the vehicle in reverse and drives right over the walker. When he pulls forward again the walker gets up and comes at them again. So Nick again floors the vehicle and this time catches the walker on the hood. He floors it again and then slams on the breaks so the walker goes flying. Madison and Travis approach the body thinking that he has to be dead, but of course he is not.
The Beginning of the End
While all this is going on there is some viral video footage making the rounds of a man who appears to be dead attacking an EMT and then attacking police. The police unload shots into his chest, and he stands up and keeps coming at them. Everyone is freaking out over the footage and people are starting to quietly become uneasy that something very strange is going on. There are reports of a strange flu ripping through the states and people getting sick and dying very rapidly. There are a lot of ominous details given and a lot of foreshadowing that the characters wouldn’t know about but the audience does, because they know what is coming.
Fear The Walking Dead is definitely an independent show that has a different look and feel from The Walking Dead. But Fear The Walking Dead is off to a good start, and chances are good that AMC will find out that The Walking Dead fandom is just as ready to embrace Fear The Walking Dead.
Upcoming footage for Fear The Walking Dead looks pretty interesting and will no doubt raise some unsettling questions about what would happen in a pandemic or other crisis. The characters and the world in Fear The Walking Dead is the world that we all live in, and it’s going to be uncomfortable and yet thrilling to watch it fall and see how these characters will learn to survive in the chaos.
The pilot episode is a very solid start to what looks to be another thrilling apocalypse drama.