BWW Recap: Set an Open Course for the Virgin Sea on FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

Remember the first six episodes of THE WALKING DEAD where we were like "oh this is pretty good" and then season two started and we were like "Holy Crap, this is great!" The tradition holds true as FEAR THE WALKING DEAD begins with an explosive premiere.

Mere hours after Season One ended, bombs have dropped on the gang's safe house on the coast and Strand has relented and let them all aboard his safe haven, the Abigail. Travis has brought along Liza's body as Chris refused to leave her behind. As they take off and watch the shoreline burn behind them, Strand's plan is to head to San Diego to see what's going on there.

A few miles out, they come upon a boat filled with survivors. Madison and Alicia desperately want to save them, but Strand denies them as they have no way of knowing if it is safe. Travis reluctantly agrees causing tension amongst all the shipmates.

Alicia makes a new friend over the radio, Jack, who is stranded with his brother and his brother's wife in a cove. He is looking for someone to talk to and Alicia fills the void. She inadvertently fills him in on how they are traveling and all the amenities they have aboard. He tells her they have begun sinking. She offers their location and realizes they aren't that far and promises to come rescue him. Her request is vehemently denied by Strand who reminds everyone that this is his boat and his rules and they'd all be dead if it weren't for him. She sadly tells Jack over the radio that she cannot help him. Jack tells her not to worry, he has found her and will see her soon.

A grieving Chris spends time alone in the room with Liza's corpse. He decides to fish a little with Salazar and confesses that he is mad he didn't have time to say goodbye. Salazar assures him, it would make little difference to how he is feeling. Salazar later advises Travis that someday Chris will come to see how much mercy it took for Travis to shoot Liza.

Nick offers aid to an ailing Ofelia who denies it, but appreciates the gesture. (I mean, that's gonna be a thing, right?)

They hold a small funeral for Liza as Travis eulogizes. Chris, still very angry, violently pushes Liza's body into the ocean. When Travis tries to talk to him, Chris punches him in the face. Madison speaks to him and tells him they all understand he's angry, but also, they're all he's got now. As they sit down to dinner, they hear Chris jump overboard. In a panic, Nick jumps in to save him, but he really just wanted to swim, so Nick swims with him. Floating underwater (in a beautifully shot scene) Nick sees a walker (can we call them walkers if they're in the water?) who tries to attack him. He and Chris notice wreckage, clearly the result of an attack, that they are near filled with dead bodies. Travis races out on the motorboat to save Chris as Nick heads into the wreckage to see if there are any survivors. He fights off another walker (?) and finds it vitally important, for some reason, to steal the logbook from the wreckage. They all race back to the Abigail where Strand points out that there is another boat racing toward them. Jack?
So talk about action right out of the gate. This episode was better than the entire season one and I liked season one a lot. But now that all the exposition and the rules of the world have been set up, the actual stories can begin. Nick, who I could not STAND in season one, has instantly turned into one of my favorites. He's protective, he's logical, he's a negotiator, he's brave... who is this guy? Chris, on the other hand, boy... your grieving is only going to get you so far...

This whole setting on the water is amazing. I don't know if it is sustainable, especially since Strand keeps reminding everybody that the Abigail is good in small doses, but it sure made for some original setups in this episode. The shot beneath the water with Nick was just remarkable with the perfect creepy music to set the tone. And now having to deal with pirates? And underwater walkers? Yes, just yes!

That was a very high bar to set for the season premiere. I hope they can keep it up so we can stop thinking of this show as just a distraction until THE WALKING DEAD returns and enjoy it on its own merit.
Here's a preview for next week's all new episode:

Photo Credit: AMC

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From This Author Jennifer McHugh

TV and Film Freelancer, Jennifer, received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Kutztown State University in Pennsylvania. Jennifer works for a Cosmetics Company in Los (read more...)

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