We All Fall Down
Blood in the Streets
Do Not Disturb
Pablo & Jessica
Pillar Of Salt
Date of Death
The spin-off to The Walking Dead returns for a second season that improves over the first in almost every way. Whilst Fear The Walking Dead’s second season certainly isn’t without its flaws, the plot is better developed this year and particularly late on, the show really comes into its own to produce an excellent arc split between three different groups of characters. Concluding with a shocking cliffhanger ending, its genuinely exciting to see what direction the show will take after a really strong season.
The story picks up where it left off at the end of season 1, with the characters on board the Abigail sailing away from San Diego. The season is essentially split into two plot arcs, the first taking place on the open seas and the second half in the sun-bleached deserts of Mexico. The first half is a little too slow paced but as soon as the group land in Mexico, the story blossoms and its here that Fear The Walking Dead confidently takes itself in a bold direction that helps solidify itself as a decent horror franchise.
For vast periods of the episodes this season the characters are separate and these episodes really help develop some interesting character dynamics between the groups. Travis and Chris’ strained father and son relationship is put to the test, Nick’s lone wolf mentality finds him braving the elements alone and the fractured remnants of the main group wind up taking refuge in a nearby hotel. Without giving too much away, the story leads to some really exciting set pieces in each of the stories that end in a climactic finale leaving it wide open for next year’s inevitable follow up.
For all of the positives, its still frustrating to see the characters plagued by illogical choices through the story. There’s several occasions this season that lead to some really stupid decisions and whilst it might be unfair to point this out given The Walking Dead tends to do this a lot, its still glaringly obvious and makes for a frustrating watch.
One of the concerns last season were the unlikable characters and lack of charisma amongst the core group and in many ways, this is addressed this year. The script lends itself to some very interesting scenarios that really blur the line between good and bad. Its refreshing to see this, with a mixture of good and bad actions being taken by every character which helps to bring some much needed realism to the series and flesh the characters out which was sorely lacking during last year’s lacklustre debut season. Its still not perfect, and the characters aren’t as endearing or memorable as The Walking Dead cast, but the way in which the characters are written and developed this season is certainly a step in the right direction.
Technically, the show is solid this season too. The editing in particular is very good and so easily could have become confusing with the constant juggling of plot arcs that intertwine and eventually fuse into one path during the climactic finale. The sweeping shots of the sun-bleached Mexican desert contrasts beautifully with the endless blue sea and seeing the colour palette dull as the season progresses is a really nice touch and one that helps to show how far the show has come.
Overall, Fear The Walking Dead addresses all the issues inherent in its lacklustre first season to produce a surprisingly gripping 15 episodes. The characters are still not as engrossing as those in The Walking Dead and there’s still some illogical character choices plaguing the show but overall its a much improved experience. The clever editing, great use of colour and interesting choice to split the story into three parts for the second half of the season help it stand out from The Walking Dead. Its story is arguably stronger than some of the seasons of The Walking Dead and with its cliffhanger ending, the third season promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Whisper it but Fear The Walking Dead could just surpass The Walking Dead as the definitive zombie show on TV right now.