In the latest Fear the Walking Dead recap, Travis and Madison prepare to get out of L.A. but first they have to separate before gathering everyone together…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Tension and anxiety are two of the key elements of any good horror film.
Ask anybody who is a fan of scary movies and they will (or should) tell you that the makings of a truly great horror film isn’t just the monster jumping out from under the bed. It’s the terrifying notion that something is hiding under the bed in the first place.
Through two episodes of AMC’s new series Fear the Walking Dead, tension and anxiety are at an all time high and this show has been truly frightening thus far. Maybe it will all change when this group of survivors reaches the same level of desperation and depravity where Rick Grimes and his people are currently living as they head into The Walking Dead season six.
For now, Fear the Walking Dead has been nothing short of perfect with both episodes ratcheting up the intensity in each passing moment.
Whether it’s seeing a sick boyfriend and knowing his fever is only going to get worse or hearing the eerie quiet of a school hallway and just waiting from something bad to come creeping around the corner, Fear the Walking Dead has managed to do something the main series hasn’t really done through six seasons — make us truly afraid of what’s coming next.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead titled ‘So Close, Yet So Far’….
Get to the Desert
The second episode picks up just moments after the first ended with Travis, Madison and Nick making a mad dash across Los Angeles after killing Calvin (twice technically) and realizing that what’s going on in the city isn’t some flu virus that’s making people sick.
Travis realizes that the best course of action is to gather everybody in the family — including his estranged wife Liza and their son Chris — and go to the desert outside of L.A. and wait for this madness to die down. With people getting sick, dying and then coming back to life, being in a city as crowded as Los Angeles probably isn’t the best place to survive.
Before they can head home, Travis and Madison first have to find Alicia, who has gone to her boyfriend Matt’s house after he ditched a rendezvous they had scheduled the day before. When she arrives and sees that Matt is sick and running a dangerously high fever, all Alicia wants to do is take care and comfort him. Of course, Madison and Travis realize that’s the worst thing she could do so they rush to the house to pull her out.
When they arrive, Travis checks on Matt and finds that he’s somehow been bitten and clearly within a few hours he’s going to die and turn into the same kind of monster Calvin did just minutes ago. Thankfully, Matt still has enough sense about him to tell Alicia to go home because his parents will be back soon and they’ll take care of him.
Begrudgingly, Alicia agrees to go home while Madison prepares to help her son Nick through his withdrawal symptoms, which will start at any moment now that the heroin has been flushed through his system.
Back at Madison’s house, the neighbors across the street are preparing for a birthday party while another person nearby is loading up on water and packing the car for an escape. Unfortunately for the smart guy packing to get out, he’s also coughing and sick so really Madison and Travis are just looking at a bunch of people who will eventually be dead.
Inside, Nick tries to explain to his mother just how bad things are going to get for him as the withdrawal gets worse so Madison decides to get him some medicine to hopefully subside some of the intense pain he’s about to experience in the next few days.
After cleaning the blood off his truck, Travis finally reaches his ex-wife, but not before she basically tells him to piss off because he’s not getting Chris this weekend. Travis knows at this point the only way to get Liza and Chris to safety are to go pick them up and bring them back so everyone can leave L.A. together.
Travis leaves to go find them while Madison decides her best course of action is to go to the high school nurse’s station where she works to find medication to help Nick through what’s about to be a long few days of suffering. She leaves Alicia at the house to help her brother and off she goes while Travis bolts across town to find his ex-wife and son.
Stay in the House, Carl!
With Madison and Travis gone, Alicia makes her brother some soup so he can eat it and throw it up again but really it’s just a distraction because her real intention is to take a thermos full of broth and noodles to her sick boyfriend.
In other words in Fear the Walking Dead, Alicia is totally going to be the new Carl.
Nick pleads with her to stay but she’s not having it. Her boyfriend Matt totally needs her soup and she’s going to give it to him, dammit. But Nick decides his sister roaming around while the black plague of the 21st century is breaking out probably isn’t a good idea so he drops into a full-blown seizure, complete with foaming at the mouth and everything.
Alicia opts not to go see the sick and infected boyfriend and stays to help her ailing brother. Heroin addicted or not, clearly Nick is the smarter of the siblings thus far when it comes to the zombie apocalypse.
School’s Out Forever
Madison makes it back to her high school to find it’s been completely abandoned. She’s in a mad rush to find medicine for Nick’s withdrawal pains so she can get back there, meet up with Travis and get the hell out of Los Angeles.
Inside the nurse’s station, Madison finds oxycontin to help stave off Nick’s pain but before she can get back out the door again she runs into her favorite student, Tobias, who has returned to claim the kitchen knife she took from him the day before.
Actually, Tobias is there for a lot more than a kitchen knife and he starts laying out some harsh reality to his teacher.
The police aren’t reporting everything that’s happening because they can’t contain it and when the world falls into peril, society is going to crumble in a hurry. Everyone will go into a panic within a few days because electricity, cell phones and internet will all stop working without people manning the factories or watching the servers. The first places to get hit will be pharmacies, gun stores, and liquor stores. When civilization ends…it ends fast.
He tells Madison that they need to get to the school cafeteria because as much as Taco Tuesdays might suck, the food that’s served here is so saturated with preservatives that it will last for months at a time without going bad. Tobias stocks up on canned goods and tells Madison to do the same but she brushes him off and says they have plenty of food (anyone want to take a bet on how many more episodes until someone in that family is starving?).
Madison and Tobias are ready to get out of the school but then a strange sound rings through the hallways. At first, Madison finds the speaker system buzzing — the same speaker system where the principal used to spy on his teachers. Then Madison hears the metal detectors set up at all the entrances start to ring. People are starting to flood into the schools either to loot them or find refuge — either way Madison doesn’t want to be there to find out.
Unfortunately on the way out of the school, Madison runs into the principal, who is now bleeding from the back, his eyes glassed over and he’s got a hunger for flesh.
She fights him off initially and Tobias jumps in to try and help, but eventually tumbles down the staircase with him instead. Finally, Madison grabs a fire extinguisher and bashes the principal’s head in to save Tobias while also realizing that whatever killed Calvin and brought him back from the dead just did the same thing here. And just like Calvin, it’s going to take a lot more than just a few hits to get these things to go down.
Madison drives Tobias home where he’s currently alone with his parents gone. She invites him to stay with them until this thing blows over, but Tobias already knows the inevitable is coming — this isn’t going to end. He goes home although it’s almost like he’s walking the green mile because Tobias is well aware that nobody is getting out of here alive.
Listen to Your Mother!
Travis tries to bob and weave through traffic to get to his ex-wife Liza, but with cars piling up and more people flooding the streets, this isn’t going to be easy. Halfway across town, Travis sees a cop loading up his cruiser with bottled water — it’s clear the authorities don’t even really know what’s happening and rather than protect and serve this is quickly turning into every man for himself.
When Travis finally arrives at Liza’s house, she gives him the business for not listening to her about their arrangement. Finally, Travis just unloads and tells her what’s happening while calling Chris from her phone to find out where he’s at.
See, Chris wasn’t answering dad’s calls on the bus ride home from school and now to make matters worse, he stuck at a protest after cops shot an unarmed homeless person in excess of 20 times to put him down. The onlookers are pissed off at police brutality — little do they know what’s really happening.
When Chris refuses to come home, Liza turns on the television and sees the growing crowd after the homeless person got shot and she knows exactly where to find him.
Travis and Liza arrive and find Chris before dragging him out of the crowd to get to safety. While he’s pissed off his parents aren’t allowing him to protect the first amendment, Travis and Liza are recognizing that this situation is about to boil over and get wore real quick.
As police show up in riot gear and start tossing gas into the crowd, another ‘infected’ person turns the corner as a cop shoots her in the face as well. Before long the looting and rioting begins and Travis knows he has to get his family off the street or they aren’t going to make it out of here in tact.
Travis is able to convince a barbershop owner with metal security doors to let him and his family stay there until the chaos stops. It’s nearly impossible to ignore what’s happening just a few feet away as looters grab and steal anything that’s not nailed down while turning over cars and setting fires. Travis and his family are trapped here for the time being and there’s something this barbershop owner isn’t telling them. He refuses to allow them in the back of the shop and when his daughter emerges from that same place, Travis knows there’s more to this building than just a few chairs where men get haircuts.
But he can’t be concerned with that right now — Madison is out there and he’s not with her and the way things are going, he may never get back to her again.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Madison gets home in a panic after literally bludgeoning her old boss to death with a fire extinguisher. She tries to hide her blood soaked jacket from the kids because deep down, Madison doesn’t want to believe this is all actually happening.
She rushes to the bathroom to wash out the stains from her shirt and just when she’s about to break down, the phone finally rings!
It’s Travis and he’s explaining their narrow escape from a bad neighborhood where things devolved into chaos just minutes earlier. He implores her to pack up the car and the kids and head to the desert and they will catch up. Madison refuses and says that if she goes, they all go, or no one goes.
Before Travis can argue with her any further, the phone line gets cut off just like Tobias predicted. The lights flicker and fade, just like Tobias predicted.
And across the street, the neighbor who was throwing a birthday party is being attacked and bitten by the neighbor who was packing his car to leave town. Alicia cries out and pleads with her mother to let her help, but Madison explains that it’s already too late.
Just like Tobias predicted.
The song that played during the final few moments this week was ‘Wait For Me’ by Moby. You can listen to the track below:
Don’t forget to tune into episode three of Fear the Walking Dead in two weeks time — next week is Labor Day so the show will be off for a week!