Fear the Walking Dead 1×5 Review: Cobalt

Fear the Walking Dead Cobalt

I have to be honest: after last week’s episode, I really didn’t want to review Fear the Walking Dead anymore – and just to warn you, that is probably going to be very apparent in this article.

The problem is, I kept hoping that even if Fear the Walking Dead didn’t show or tell us how the zombie outbreak started or where it came from, that it would show us the breakdown of society. We got a bit of that here and there in the first few episodes, but then they skipped right to the National Guard showing up. And then they skipped forward another week and a half, to a point where everyone was just trying to live as normally as they could. Sure, there was still tension between characters, and for a while there was also the mystery of the flashing light – but then that mystery was extinguished (pun intended).

Fear the Walking Dead CobaltWhile I understand that viewers were meant to wring their hands over the mystery of what was going to happen to Griselda and Nick (and even Liza, in a way) once the National Guard whisked them away, the truth is that I just don’t care. This show and its characters are literally plagued (again, pun intended) by stupidity.

First things first, we met a new character named Strand. Strand might as well be straight out of The Walking Dead. Seriously, even if he hadn’t been sort of torturing poor crazy Doug, I never would have believed that he helped Nick out of the goodness of his heart. I’d say that I’m probably just jaded from having watched TWD for so long, except that – no surprises here – I was right, anyway. Plus he’s African-American so we’ll see how long he actually lasts.

(Sorry not sorry; I told you I was jaded about this show. Thankfully Strand seems to be on top of things for the moment, though I’m still confused about how Nick of all people is going to help him…so we’ll see.)

Moving on – the whole situation with Daniel, Ofelia, and Andrew (Ofelia’s soldier, err, friend) was a bit all over the place but was still probably the most coherent part of “Cobalt”. I honestly didn’t believe that Ofelia really cared about Andrew or his fate, but that clearly wasn’t the case. That said, I didn’t expect Daniel to torture him so badly, and later, Griselda’s rantings – which proved that she knew what her husband was and apparently loved him anyway – were even more surprising. To be honest, that family unit is far more interesting to me than the whole Travis/Madison mess, and while Madison is still being a bit frustrating, I kind of like the idea that she and Daniel are basically seeing eye to eye…although I have to say that I’m not looking forward to watching Madison and Travis argue about that.

Of course, I actually wonder if Daniel really needed to torture Andrew as much as he did to get answers out of him. The kid seemed pretty willing to give up information at first, and only held back regarding the whole “Cobalt” situation. That he held back at all is what really surprised me, because it seemed like a very out-of-character decision for someone who clearly disagreed with a lot of what was going on…but then I suppose this shouldn’t have been surprising because this show’s characters are generally a mess.Fear the Walking Dead Cobalt

I will say that while Alicia and Chris are still slightly annoying because (a) they are teenagers and (b) their characters are underdeveloped, I think we got a better glimpse of them this week and I hope we get to see a bit more of that in the season finale. And you know what else I hope we get to see in the season finale? More zombies. Because they’ve been practically nonexistent the past couple of weeks, and why else would Daniel be hanging around the walker-infested Dodgers stadium?

I’m honestly surprised over how many outlets are saying that this show has finally “come into its own” and that it “got good”. For every decent moment, there are three crappy ones, and I’m just hoping that they pull together for an at least halfway decent season finale this coming Sunday.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.

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