Sunday, August 23, 2015

FEAR: Pilot

Fear the Walking Dead

For most of us The Walking Dead fans, this has been the anticipated event of the summer - Fear the Walking Dead on AMC. My initial thoughts are, I've never lived on the West Coast let alone LA, but I'm thinking things are quite different out there (I'll elaborate later). I figured this episode was introducing us to the family unit we'll be following. However, my initial reaction is that I don't care for the mother or daughter, I liked the boyfriend/father/parental unit, and the zombie apocalypse would suck even more as a junkie apparently. The previews for the rest of the season do look promising in Walking Dead fashion. I did watch The Talking Dead special before the premiere episode and I agree with them, that since we know a lot from watching The Walking Dead, that we can see all the mistakes and can sort of me be like "you shouldn't do that!"
**Spoilers Ahead**
If you do not want to know anymore details about the premiere episode do not continue reading

The pilot opens on the son, Nick (Frank Dillane), as the camera pans out you can collect that he's in a drug-den. He's alone and looking for the people he was with often calling out "Gloria", as he's searching the building you see it's an abandoned church. Nick finds someone who has already been the victim of a walker's appetite. Not understanding exactly what's going on, he continues to search for his friend, when he finds her she's hunched over a body feasting - but Nick doesn't realize this until she gets up, turns around, and the horror unfolds. She has a piece of long metal protruding out of her chest cavity, her eyes are turned, and she makes her way to start feasting on Nick's face as he turns and bolts out of there. In his frantic state he's not looking and it hit by a car, as pedestrians are coming to his aide, the camera pans out to show the stuffy smog filled air of the LA landscape.

Meet The Family Unit: Madison the Mom, Travis the Boyfriend, Alicia the Teenage Angst, and Nick the Addict

Next scene opens on mom and a typical family morning routine, she's gathering laundry and attempting to rush her daughter to be ready for school, as she puts the laundry in the washer she banters with the man in her life as he's fixing the kitchen sink. As they are having an intimate moment the phone rings. The rough life of an addict spans around and you can see the toll on the family as they anticipate the call. My only problem with this scene is why in the hell is their teenage daughter coming out of the bathroom in her towel while her mother's boyfriend (Travis, played by Cliff Curtis) is there? I get it, they're concerned for their family member who has been in and out of clinics to help with his addiction and this early phone call is evidently about him and they want to know what's going on, just didn't seem right to me. But, anyway - they go to the hospital where they are being informed about Nick's condition, and while I understand the mother and her concern, I just thought she could be more thankful and not such a bitch at this point. When Nick see's the boyfriend there the mixed family drama begins. He doesn't want him there and in the already stressful situation erupts. Another problem I have is why is the boyfriend staying with the son? I get it that the mom has obligations... and even later when they finally do decide to call the police about something else Travis is the one who calls, not the mother - just didn't make sense to me. Anyway - it's decided that since Travis is a teacher and the mother is a counselor at the high school and she has certain obligations that day, that she would go to work.

By the time we're at the scene with the kid explaining what's going on to Madison (the mom), we get it. Nick isn't saying anything because he would be labeled crazy and they would put him in the psych unit, which would be 100 times more difficult to escape from! And the kid talking to her didn't want to tell her at first what was going on because people would think he's crazy. A great line that literally made me chuckle out loud was when Madison states "If there's a problem we'd know about it. The authorities would tell us." Keep dreaming cookie. Meanwhile we're also introduced to the daughter (Alicia, played by Alycia Debnam-Carey), it's made very aware that she has a year left of high school and then she wants to get away to Berkeley where she'll be attending college (so she thinks). We're also introduced to her boyfriend, they seem close and later when they make plans and he doesn't show, which is about the time things are slightly escalating - I'm already thinking he's either somewhere trying to survive or he's among the walkers beginning to tear our society apart.

When Travis and Nick start a dialogue, Nick opens up about his experience and his perception of the events told through a junkie's eye. Since Travis is a nice guy and wants to get to the bottom of things, he goes to the church where it all went down. As we know, those of us that are well educated in the universe of The Walking Dead, when walkers are involved, it's best not to go into a building where said walkers were seen and start yelling "anybody here!" This made me chuckle too, thinking how different it would be. I kept anticipating that walker to come stumbling toward him, however the suspense bolts through when Travis finds a surviving junkie who's been hiding and he yells something like "don't kill me!" In the meantime the mother arrives back at the hospital and Nick is asleep. Meanwhile, the patient next to him isn't breathing too well, the whole scene unraveled in my head about the guy dying and turning. But, that would have to wait. Travis is back at the church looking around and finds a huge pile of blood and bits. This is my problem with this scene - once he found this and knew something violent happened there - why didn't anyone call the police?

Back at the hospital the family is there as Travis comes in the mom had slept there with her son, and he brought her a change of clothes. While they go and have their adult talk about how he went to verify what Nick was saying, and the mom telling him he was being manipulated by her addict son, Alicia and Nick have a nice brother-sister moment as they discuss their mom's relationship with her boyfriend (Travis, and apparently he's newly moved in with the family), and she feeds him red Jell-O. He promises to get clean and you can tell Alicia's heard it all before and definitely has her doubts.

As the day progressed and the son is now alone at the hospital, the nurse comes in to tend to his needs and he's able to turn on that charm. He had been in restraints because of the events and he was able to talker the nurse to untying one of his hands, as he's frantically trying to undo himself as she left (to give him privacy) his roommate codes blue and they rush him out. He takes this opportunity to steal the dead man's clothes and things and escapes the hospital. When Madison and Travis (the parental units) arrive back at the hospital, they're confronting the nurse about Nick and she says he's over 18, their only option right now is to call the police because they're too busy with people dying. Madison tells Travis to take her to where it had started - meaning the church Nick was talking about.

Meanwhile, they tried contacting their son's friend Calvin to see if he knew where Nick was or could be. They made it seem like he had once been an addict too, was not on the straight and narrow, but he was willing to help them look for Nick. I didn't expect Calvin to actually be Nick's supplier! When he does meet up with Nick it gets pretty interesting and their relationship is questionable. When they "take a ride" Nick seems relaxed and I knew Calvin had other plans. When they reached a secluded place and he told Nick that he would be safe there and proceeded to his trunk, I knew it! He opened Nick's door and Nick got a glimpse of the gun he was trying to hide. They fight and Calvin ends up shot in the middle of his chest. Realizing he just shot Calvin and he's dead, Nick takes off.

With nowhere else to go and no one else to confide in, Madison and Travis arrive to Nick's aide and when they go to verify what Nick was telling them was true, Calvin's dead body was nowhere to be found. His car was there and you could tell Travis noticed that there was blood on the ground. Nick's questioning his sanity and his mother is trying to help him as they get back in their truck to leave, Travis is backing up and then there's Walker Calvin coming toward them. The parental units get out to investigate, while Nick is pleading for them not to and even tells them that he'll kill them. I couldn't tell, but it looked like Calvin bit Madison's wrist, or tried to at least, she had on long sleeved apparel, so she might be safe (for now). Nick puts the truck in reverse and hits Calvin, but the walker gets back up so Nick runs him over again, slamming on the breaks he sends Calvin flying through the air and smashing down on the pavement to a twisted demise - they're all in shock and dismay when Calvin moves his head and does the walker-chomp with his jaws, no longer able to physically move his body.

Overall, sure there were some questionable things, but human nature is quite questionable. I also think, as for a pilot it was a great episode, and I'm highly anticipating the rest of the season! In the previews that they aired after the episode there is a character that explains how people can do evil things out of fear - it was a great line! The pilot was 90 minutes, which was a nice treat, but I think it could have been less. However, it did do a great job introducing us to the family unite that we'll be following. Also, we were introduced to Travis' ex-wife and his biological son and their relationship seems complicated as well. Of course in AMC and The Walking Dead fashion, there will be great character development, amazing writing, and awesome cinematic experiences leaving us thirsting for more.


Talking Dead Special

There were great commercials during The Walking Dead Marathon that aired before the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, where they had three characters from TWD series addressing questions about their characters and what we can look forward to in the next season six! It was great to have Chris back and they were able to get out of Scott (Gimple) confirmation that Daryl will be safe. He even said he would fear for himself if anything happened to Daryl because he felt Norman would take him out - hilarious. Another confirmation was that Rick did in fact shoot Pete - there was some confusion an speculation that Rick could have shot Deanna's husband so they didn't have another walker situation. They also stated that The Walking Dead premiere will be huge and it will also be 90 minutes!! Just some goodies in case you didn't know. I heard the show was up for an award and I hope they win, I for one am a fan of Chris and what the team does!! I hope that they continue for Fear the Walking Dead too.