Fear The Walking Dead: ‘So Close, Yet So Far’ Review


The Shape Of Things To Come

The Shape of Things to Come

Now that is what The Walking Dead should be all about. It looks as though shit is about to hit the fan in LA and after watching So Close Yes So Far, I feel satisfied. I think the entire premise behind this series is absolutely great and, after last week’s lackluster premiere, I think we’re back on track to seeing just how people react in a crisis situation.

The whole idea of what people would do in an apocalyptic situation is what makes this series so great and it is a pleasure to finally get to see how this all plays out at the beginning, something that did not happen in the original series.

I also really loved how they used that bouncy castle at the neighbor’s house to really emphasize that things were going to shit. I mean, the neighbors were all set for a birthday party and instead they end up dead. It made things seem real and that certainly needs to happen in order for this show to be effective.

That said, grab a fire extinguisher, a knife or a crow bar and let’s doing some looting! Enjoy the recap.

Modern Family

Our episode begins where we left off last week with Maddie, Travis and Nick realizing that something very wrong is going on in South Central while drinking your juice in the hood. They head over to Matt’s place, where Alicia is with her now ex-boyfriend (due to the fact that he is turning into a zombie) and he’s feeling a bit under the weather.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

He’s staying home from school to watch re-runs of The Price is Right (just like we all used to do), but it becomes very clear that this is not your ordinary flu. When her parents arrive, they instantly tell Alicia to get the hell away from Matt so she doesn’t get infected, much to her dismay.

Of course, upon further inspection, Matt doesn’t have the flu. He’s got a nasty gash below his neck and even though we’re not entirely sure how it got there, it’s fairly obvious that he has been bitten.

Walking Wounded

Matt thinks he’s going to be just fine once his parents get home but clearly that is not going to be the case…if they ever make it back. Alicia is now dating a zombie.

They head back home and it’s all very surreal. The neighbors have a giant bouncy castle set up for a birthday party and we already know this is going to go to shit very soon.

Later Gators

They also make a note of their other neighbour, Peter, who is packing up and hittin’ the road.

later-gators

I’m not too sure why he’s coughing, maybe he was infected somehow, but ole Pete’s got the right idea unlike the rest of the neighborhood. Of course, no one really knows what’s going on but Nick says it best, “it’s like no one is paying attention.” He is also picking the WORST possible time to try to overcome a drug addiction.

I have to admit, having the neighbors going about their usual business while the zombie outbreak is just beginning really set the tone for this episode because by the end of it, we all know things we’re going to get crazy. And they did.

Back at home base, Alicia decides that she is sick of babysitting her brother and wants to go visit Matt which is obviously a terrible idea. Nick makes an attempt to stop her but he’s not doing well with his withdrawal symptoms.

Barf

Luckily for Nick, he starts having a seizure which actually prevents Alicia from leaving the house. And it’s a good thing too because Matt is probably now a zombie who would have murdered the crap out of Alicia.

Meanwhile, with Nick trying to overcome his drug addiction at the onset of the zombie apocalypse, easily one of the dumbest decisions ever made, Maddie heads to the school to find some drugs for her son in order to help ease him off the drugs without having to go cold turkey, which makes sense. Not sure why they have Oxycontin stashed away in the school but let’s roll with it. Besides, someone had to start the looting…this is the end of the world as we know it after all.

Let The Looting Begin

So far, Maddie is easily my favorite character, possibly due to the fact that she seems to be one of the smart ones. Kim Dickens is killing it as Maddie and her looting adventure at the school was awesome, especially after meeting up with Tobias…who wants his knife back.

Tobias 'The Geek'

Who doesn’t like this kid? He already has a sense of what is going on and, just throwing this out there, has a close resemblance to our man Eugene from The Walking Dead.

Connections?

I’m sure it’s probably nothing but maybe some of our characters will have connections to those from the original series…but probably not because that would be way too cool.

Maddie and Tobias head to the school’s food storage, apparently someone had made some terrible budgetary decisions, and Tobias is explaining to Maddie how everything is going to end…and end fast. It starts with looting, especially for drugs, liquor and guns. Things will start falling apart…no Internet, no cellphones, no communication. Oh man, it’d be like going back in time to the ’90s…a much simpler time before everyone was brainwashed by technology. Maybe a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all! I mean, if this actually happened, what would you do? That’s what makes this series so great because it really makes you think about how we would react if this was really happening.

Before Maddie and Tobias can leave the school, however, they are attacked by Artie the principal who is now a zombie.

Principal Zombie

Tobias attempts using his trusty knife but ends up almost getting eaten alive until Maddie comes to the rescue with a fire extinguisher.

Extinguished

She is one bad ass chick! Love Kim Dickens as Maddie so far and we’re only two episodes in. I would also love to see more of Tobias as well because he seems like a smart kid. He was definitely right that the looting was going to start things off.

Hopefully this is not the last we’ve seen of Tobias. And after Maddie drops him off, he let’s her know that this is never going to end and then we see this:

Creepiest Masks Ever

Wait, WHAT!? Why are those kids wearing masks that belong on an episode of American Horror Story? If I saw this, I’d be freaking out and so would you. Now let’s do some looting!

Darn Lootin’

Chris is on a bus ignoring his father’s phone calls about the impending zombie apocalypse, possibly due to the fact that he’s a douche of a kid (and it appears that the kid from The Strain has some new competition for world’s biggest brat). Someone gets on the bus to tell everyone that the cops shot up a homeless dude like 20 times and everyone storms off the bus which I don’t think would have actually happened but let’s roll with it.

Travis gives his ex-wife a call and demands that their son, Chris, get his ass home but Liza is having none of it because Liza is a huge bitch.

Liza 'The Ex-Wife / Bitch'

She is obviously unaware about the impending doom so Travis has no choice but to head over there for a mouthful of bitchin’. Does anyone else already hate Liza as much as I do? A reminder of just how much ex’s SUCK! Here is hoping that she gets eaten by a zombie!

Travis explains to Mrs. Irrational that shit is going down and people are getting sick but Liza is in complete denial. They finally get a hold of Chris and he’s at a protest with a bunch of crazy looters, filming all the action for YouTube.

Protesters Gonna Protest

Obviously Chris takes after his mother and I assume most of us want to see him killed as well, especially after making the dumb decision to ignore Travis and stick around at the protest with his new gangsta friends.

And the looting begins. This totally reminded me of The Simpsons…when Lenny and Carl debate whether looting is stealing.

Lenny and Carl Looting

Let’s go nuts! Travis and Liza finally find Chris as soon as things start getting crazy. The riot police show up to break up the crowd but it’s clearly already too late because shit is getting out of control. And anybody walking with a zombie limp is in big trouble…especially this woman:

Zombie Walk

With all these cops shooting randomly and chaos breaking out, it was only a matter of time before the looting really got started…

Froot Loots

…causing complete mayhem on the streets and leading to Travis, Liza and Chris to seek out shelter at the local barber shop. Meanwhile, Maddie is back with the Oxycontin and is obviously still trying to deal with everything that has happened so far. She starts to cry after cleaning off some blood and it’s a heartwarming moment. And then, the ending…which was absolutely terrifying and brilliant. With Moby’s Wait For Me playing in the background, we get some beautiful shots of the tragedy that is taking place. It’s the kind of scene that sends chills down your spine and it was the perfect song selection.

The episode pretty much ends with Alicia asking her moms what is going on…but they are interrupted by the neighbor screaming and it’s quite possible that Pete’s cough was actually the zombie virus because I think that was ole Pete attacking the neighbor. Scary shit right there.

The Party's Over

For me, this was the perfect end to the episode. The neighbors were ready for a birthday party and instead they end up with a deflated bouncy castle and death. Yikes! But this is what The Walking Dead is all about. An absolutely great ending to a great episode and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Let us know your thoughts about the episode in the comments below and how you would handle this situation if, God forbid, it ever happened!

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT

I absolutely loved the atmosphere, especially that ending scene with the melancholy music playing in the background. Maddie and her family appear to be the stars so far but I am almost certain that more characters will be introduced as we move along. Will Maddie, Travis and company survive this apocalypse or will tragedy strike them just like it did to everyone else? Liza and Chris though…they’re expendable!

As the story progresses, we should start to pick our favorites whom we don’t want to bite the dust (Herschel comes to mind here, may be R.I.P.) and so far Maddie and Tobias are my faves. I imagine Tobias will be back for more action at some point but hopefully not as a zombie because it seems like he is one of the only ones that knows what is going on. Also, I am hoping that there will be some connections to our characters from The Walking Dead. I mean, how cool would it be to find out that Tobias is somehow related to Eugene? I know there are no plans for any type of crossover episodes and I’m okay with that, but I would love to see some random connections to the original series because that would be totally cool!

Lastly, check out the promo below for the next episode, not airing until Sept 14th. Why AMC airs the first two episodes only to take a week off already is beyond me. Maybe the execs have had their brains eaten by zombies, who knows. Check out the promo for The Dog below. Enjoy!

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4 responses

  1. So you’re recapping this one too. Great! I’ll be here.
    I have to say this was much a better episode than the pilot. Lots of action and the tension is really ratcheting up as things are getting more out of control.
    I think those drugs that Maddie was getting out of the locker were drugs confiscated from students. That’s why they were in those bags and why they were all mixed together. Considering this is a school in South Central, I’m guessing she knew that there would be a nice variety of drugs available in that locker.
    I was also not found of Liza at first but I am starting to warm up to her. She was very quick to get on board when she saw what was happening and she seems like one who will do what is needed when things start getting tough. Chris though can be a zombie snack any time now. Really, I hope that kid is the first one bit.
    The previews look really good and I do hope we see Tobias again.

    Just wanted to add I loved Zombieland!

    1. Regarding the drugs at the school, that makes a lot more sense! LOL, we couldn’t figure out why they decided to go to the school for those but I think you definitely figured it out 🙂

      Zombieland was awesome too!

  2. OK, first, this is my 3rd comment in one visit and I have to say, ‘brah-vo’. Rarely do I do such a thing but I really like what you’ve done with the place (and 3 glasses of cheap, red wine doesn’t hurt.)

    Tobias/Eugene? I don’t see that happening and frankly I wouldn’t want to.

    If they keep pulling these fake ‘gotchas’, I’m gonna get ticked. Yes, thanks to TWD, we know a lot more about ‘the shape of things to come’ (nods to BSG and BSG musicman Bear McCreary who I’d like to commission to write my funeral dirge) than do the denizens of FTWD but it’s starting to turn into a Scary Movie-level fakes that aren’t funny or scary and just lame. Stop it.

    Bouncy castle deflator? This is the way it should be done. You know what’s coming. You can see the writing on the wall (‘Don’t Open’, ‘Dead Inside’) it’s just a matter of when and how and, as is usually the key element with TWD shows: how do characters react. And that’s really been the driving point for me. I can’t get my wife to watch this show — much in the same way I couldn’t get her to watch Zombieland (but I did get her to watch Sean of the Dead [‘it’s a love story with zombies — you’ll love it’… she did grudgingly like it]) — even though I’ve droned on about how it has the key ingredient missing from all other zombie shows: ok, you’ve ran from the zombies and you’re safe for the moment, now what? And ‘now what’ means, ‘you left your friend to get eaten, now what?’ or ‘your husband isn’t dead so you did kinda cheat on him, now what?’ or ‘was that really a mercy killing, or were you just a dick?’

    I lovelovelove TWD universe (except the TellTale games which can take a long walk off a short peer) because they largely don’t cheat or take shortcuts with the tough decisions.

    I look forward to seeing how society goes out with a bang, rather than a whimper.

    However, I do have one little nagging itch… it’s like that song stuck in your head… apparently, in TWD universe, there has never been a thing called a ‘zombie’ because no one, at any point, says to themselves (or anyone else): they don’t stop… they just keep coming until you destroy their brain — THEY’RE ZOMBIES! Because, I’m sorry but, if you asked 10 people off the street about these symptoms, they’re sayin’ ‘zombie’. My daughter saw some homeless guy shuffling down the road and she called ‘zombie’. But no one in TWD/FTWD. I understand initially there’s going to be shock or denial… but, come on, years later in TWD, if I run in to a group of survivors and they talk about ‘walkers’ or ‘biters’ or ‘roamers’ or ‘shufflers’ or whatevertheheck lame name they come up with, I’m going to look at them the same way I look at an adult calling a male sex organ, a ‘willie’ or a ‘hoo-hoo’: How old are you? They’re zombies. Grow up.

    Oh, and, once again, thanks for your reviews. They’re great, I love the multimedia aspect and I appreciate the hard work that goes in to finding juuuust the right pic/clip.

    1. Thank you so much for the amazing compliment and I am very happy you like the recaps and the images that go with. I’m actually redesigning the blog into a media site so expect that to launch soon, and it looks even better, so much excitement is coming.

      I’m not the biggest fan of The Walking Dead myself, but I do watch it religiously, hoping that something good is going to happen. Sometimes it does (the Season 5 premiere comes to mind), most of the time it doesn’t. I completely agree with you about the scary movie fake-outs too, it’s annoying. Hopefully they build up these characters as shit hits the fan and we see how different people react to the impending doom!

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