Fear the Walking Dead: ‘The Dog’ Review (S01E03)
When there is a break, a week off for a show, I normally don’t care that much. Maybe for something like GAME OF THRONES, but really nothing else, not even when the mid season break for THE WALKING DEAD comes along. I like that show, but when the break comes I am normally pretty ready for it. But when FEAR THE WALKING DEAD took a break last week, I was disappointed. Genuinely so. Maybe that could be attributed to the show being so new and that the story was balancing on the precipice of some huge things, but I realised it was also because I just really like this series. I really do. There is something about it that just clicks, the vibes are all there and they are in all the places I want them. So when FEAR came back this week, and with its best episode yet, boy was I happy.
“And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention”.
It’s truly fascinating to see the collapse. The relatively quick dismantlement of all the rules and order we have come to know and trust as people. Some may be peeved that we are not in full blown zombie apocalypse mode as yet — the world of Rick and the rest of the Walking Dead clan — but I for one am loving the ride to that point, experiencing just how things got so bad and seeing exactly where it all went wrong. The riots, the insane behaviour of people breaking the shackles of the lives they have always lived, are shown to have provided the perfect cover for the outbreak to spread. Nobody it seems noticed — not until it was too late — that the dead were rising and eating the living. There were other things to worry about. Chaos had ensued and this episode did a fantastic job of wrapping us up in it, showing us that there isn’t much difference between the living and the dead.
What FEAR is pulling off so well is making it easy to see how humans will become the real threat in this world, not because of the animals they become, but because really, they always were the main threat.
This third episode showed us more than ever how people are always on the brink, how we are always standing just on the edge of eating each other, and that the world – given the right circumstances — falls apart very quickly, allowing our true nature to come out. Humans are survivors, we survive, that’s what we do, but as individuals it’s a rare person that is capable of thinking of survival in the broader sense of the word, beyond their own self or at the very most their family.
So everyone is out for themselves, doing what they need to do to survive. The cause of this behaviour is irrelevant. All these people need to know is that the rules are now gone, the law is not there to protect them anymore and now they have to deal with a world without order. This show does a lot of things really damn well, but portraying this particular aspect of the human condition is what it does best of all.
“People are getting sick”.
There were many great moments during ‘The Dog’. From the atmospheric music, to driving past the Hospital where the dead were being gunned down, to seeing the lights of the city go out, going out on civilisation, going out on the world. These moments were presented beautifully to us, proving this show to be really quite stylish and pleasant to consume both visually and audibly. I was impressed by a number of things in ‘The Dog’ but the level of tension that the show managed to create was really quite something, especially considering we’ve only had two previous episodes to connect with the players at hand.
The scenes at the family house where they encountered some of their infected neighbours while trying to grab a gun from next door, all the while waiting for Travis to make it home with a woman destined for death (and rebirth) along with him, made for some fantastic and nerve racking viewing. It got to the point where it was a matter of when and not if one of these core characters might die, and it was quite a surprise when they all managed to make it to the episodes end in one piece.
There are many themes at play in this show, but very few of them are surface level. This show is about a lot of things and like TWD, zombies are just one of them and it’s the most aesthetic of the bunch. This is a story about the world, about what people do, and in this sense it is not very different from its parent series but by the nature of its premise and set up it feels very different indeed and innately more interesting because of it. The first two episodes of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD were an introduction and one that I thoroughly enjoyed, but this episode was the coming out party. This was great. This was really great and I know it sounds messed up but I can’t wait to see what this world does to these people, how it breaks them and what they have to become in order to survive. It’s going to be great TV.
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