And just like that, season one of Fear the Walking Dead is done. I really really want to say that I enjoyed the ride, but after six episodes, this series has left a lot to be desired. The season was mostly plagued by pacing issues and odd writing choices, some of which improved in “The Good Man”…but overall, the plot holes and predictability did not allow me to suspend belief enough to be entertained.
WARNING! This post contains major spoilers from the season one finale of Fear the Walking Dead!
“The Good Man” did have some good parts, and those should not go unnoticed. There was a lot more exposition than ever before – the characters actually communicated with each other! We also actually saw some zombies. I know that the goal of the showrunners was to tell a story where the zombie threat was on the side, but I feel like if you are going to have a zombie show, you can’t go two entire episodes with zero zombies. I also loved the military leaving the medical unit, not only because it felt realistic, but because we got to see some nice angsty acting between Elizabeth Rodriguez (Liza) and Sandrine Holt (Dr. Exner). Unfortunately, those were about the only good parts.
What I noticed the most in this episode is just how little the writers seem to know about their characters. Left and right the characters were doing things that were so out-of-character that I hoped we had stumbled a couple of seasons into the future. Travis beating someone up? Nick making sense? It was such a strange episode that I barely know where to start. This Strand person just showing up out of nowhere and really adding nothing to the plot other than to let our group of survivors crash luxuriously for a few hours before heading to a yacht? (How are they even going to get the yacht?) Also, a yacht? Really? Every zombie movie has ended with a boat as the escape plan. And why did Strand even need Nick in the first place? He already had the key and a plan – one which could have gone even smoother without an extra person. This was incredibly frustrating to watch because it felt like the writers didn’t think the viewers would be smart enough to notice the gaping holes in the plot.
The worst part of this episode (and I am sure a lot of you will agree) was that the writers chose to kill off Liza. She was one of the characters that I actually cared about on this series, and probably the best-acted role. I hated that the only goodbye that Liza initially gave was a sort of drawn-out hug to Chris, and stocking Daniel up with supplies for Ofelia. She just took off without saying anything. And I know that she was bitten and she knew that it would just be a matter of time before she died/turned, but her death just felt super contrived. Sure, it must have been painful, but she could have lasted another day or two probably at least, and could have really been a major player in the escape plan. It was just another incredibly frustrating part of the episode, and subsequently the series.
I have to give one more frustration shout-out to Madison. I felt like she played a very secondary role in this episode, but I had a lot of hope there at the end when she followed Liza and agreed to shoot her. But then she let Travis do it which was EXACTLY what Liza asked her not to have happen! Ugh, this was terrible, and clearly a decision to only increase the man pain for Travis in season two. Even if shooting Liza had been necessary to the plot at this point, it would have been so refreshing to have Madison follow through on her promise to Liza. Instead her death just fell flat, and the ending with Travis and Madison collapsed on the beach was just weird.
Overall, this episode was the best of season one, but it was too little too late. Throughout the season I have had problems with lack of exposition, pacing, characterization, casting, and plot holes, and unfortunately, the season finale fell victim to the same problems as the rest of the episodes. I sincerely hope that the writers spend the hiatus working out the negatives and come back strong next season.
What did you think about this episode and the entire season of Fear the Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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