Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Monster

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water!!!

Welcome back Dead fans! I sure hope you enjoyed the swimmers that were introduced on Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1 as much as I did, because they brought a whole new level of enjoyment to the sister series of juggernaut The Walking Dead.

The benefit of being near the water IS the water, and in using it, our families learned the hard way escaping the madness wasn't going to be as easy as riding the waves to San Diego.

"Monster" picked up exactly where the Fear the Walking Dead Season 1 finale left off. The families were scrambling to get to get to Strand's yacht in the wake of sounding a gunshot that killed Liza to keep her from becoming a walker (or swimmer), which is the very thing that drew oodles of them to the water's edge.

We still don't know too much about the virus from their perspective, but the number of dead is piling up alarmingly fast. It almost seems like there are semi trailers full of the bastards and they're let off near unsuspecting families to light fires under their asses.

You know, for entertainment value.

Wouldn't it be a real kick in the pants to discover there was a malicious plan to all of this? That someone somewhere did want to see what happened to society if it started to crumble at this pace?

Yes, I know that's not happening. It would still be interesting.

As it stands now, the families found their way onto Strand's yacht, the Abigail, and to relative safety. There's food, places to rest and utter calm in comparison to what they had been going through in recent weeks.

There was also time to contemplate their surroundings and really wrap their heads around things. Madison especially didn't like the idea they put their lives into the hands of a man they hardly knew. Daniel didn't trust Strand at all, wondering why he was fully packed and ready to go when they got to his house.

What did he know that the rest of them didn't?

All Strand had to do, really, was cop to being a survivalist and he'd have it made. I knew a woman who had a fallout shelter in her basement and a second bathroom full of water full water jugs. She was ready. Not for zombies, mind you, but nuclear apocalypse? Canned goods for years.

And Strand took on less than helpful families, if survival was his key objective. Daniel and Madison should count their blessings overall. Whatever he saw in Nick while they were locked up together meant something to him, enough to save a couple families perhaps not necessarily worth the effort.

Nick: How do I contribute? Why am I here?
Strand: You mean on this boat or here existentially?
Nick: I don't know. Either?

The answer wasn't all that telling. Strand likely has a lot of mysteries to unfold, and that will be an interesting layer to Fear the Walking Dead Season 2

Chris and Travis were at each other's throats over the fate of LIza. That was to be expected. It was still heartbreaking, especially when Chris rushed his mother's body and sent her into the ocean before everyone was finished with their ceremony. 

And when Chris decided to later jump in, in what appeared an attempt to go after her. Nick didn't hesitate jumping in after him, and that more than anything shows how worthwhile he is on a practical level to Strand. He's become quite the hero instead of heroine addict.

Of course, nobody was expecting anybody to be so close to the yacht. They could have guessed if they had taken the time. Strand probably had an inkling. He guessed as much when he asked how much Alicia told Jack about their yacht.

There were two things running through my mind the entire time Alicia was talking to Jack. The first was that she was wasting valuable battery life on a radio conversation trying to connect with someone and she'd only been on the Abigail for a few hours. Hormones much?

The second was that she was so pulling them into dark waters. That's the sentiment that turned out to be far too true.

While Chris and Nick were swimming in the ocean, not only did they find recent wreckage, but swimmers. With that came the realization of how unsafe they were on those waters.

With the little deck Nick had been sunning himself on earlier, a swimmer could easily board the Abigail. So much for rest.

Everyone screaming Get out! was so incredibly reminiscent of Jaws that this viewer started clapping her hands in glee. I saw that on the big screen last summer and there was nothing like it. Thanks FtWD for the throwback. It was totally worth it.

It's also great to remember that not everything from a zombie world has to be dire and depressing. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I watch horror to be entertained. For the Aha! and chuckle-worthy moments. We've come so far from that on The Walking Dead that I dearly hope we get some back here.

That doesn't mean I don't fully expect these characters to go through hell. They're lives are ending. The world they know is being taken away. But can't I have a little bit of demented fun while that plays out before me?

Being on a yacht forces them all to be introspective and see things through a narrow focus. It gives us a moment to breathe and get to know them on a more personal level, too. This is their story, and if all goes well, they'll make decisions that will carry it and not just let life happen to them propelling them to the next event.

Strand is making good decisions, solid and with survival in mind. Alicia is thinking only of herself. Everybody else is somewhere in between. On what side do you think they'll all land by season's end?

Was the premiere a good one for you? Do you appreciate having a new kind of moving dead to get to know? Hit the comments and remember, you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online any time via TV Fanatic!

Monster Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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