Say what you will about Fear the Walking Dead, but at least something happened in the finale. It’s been a pretty disappointing season all around, one that I had relatively high hopes for after a decent first season. But something happened in this second season, something that caused the quality of the show to simply drop off. Because of the only real compliment is “something happened”, then there’s certainly something irreparably bad about the show.
Really, I feel the same way about this show that I did about Ray Donovan. That show tried very hard to say something nuanced about he world, but couldn’t get past characters that were irritating and underdeveloped, as well as an inability to tell a compelling story. Fear the Walking Dead, in these last two episodes, really had similar failings, as no character was really elevated to the point that they felt important or really even that necessary. Nick was the only remotely interesting character, but he just couldn’t carry the story, with the majority of the narrative weight falling on a story that could have been decent if the characters were better: Travis and Chris.
The drama between Travis and Chris really was the crux of the finale, because it’s the only multi-main-character plot point that has been actively building all season to a crisis point. The issue with the climactic outcome of this arc (Chris’s death) is that Chris never felt like enough of a tragic character for it to matter. It’s apparent that this is what the show was going for, as Chris is a character who has slowly been eroding and dissolving into chaos as the season went on, but the show didn’t do enough with the death of his mother for us to really feel that pain. As a result, the only thing we can really feel is a small level of satisfaction in seeing Travis beat some deserving bandits into the dirt. And then that feels somewhat hollow, because his relationship with Chris just wasn’t explored to the extent that it could have been.
Everything else is somewhat lackluster as well. Madison never comes together as a character, as she, Travis, and Alicia have to leave the hotel because of Travis’s actions. Nick and Luciana are captured in a cliffhanger that nobody needed, their group fleeing from the bandits that attack them. Nothing is really resolved in a satisfying fashion, even Nick’s storyline, which seems to fizzle because none of the other characters were interesting enough to work alongside him. Not to mention that Nick’s “I’m a junkie” storyline never seems to become anything more complicated or nuanced. Nick never really morphs into something new.
This show had some time to redeem itself and completely blew it. At this point, there really isn’t a Walking Dead show that is operating well. The Walking Dead is coming off of one of its worst episodes ever. Fear the Walking Dead squandered most of its promise by neglecting its characters and never figuring out how to create a plot that has real stakes and tension. The show has another season to attempt to turn itself around, but unless the show makes a massive improvement, it might be best to call it quits with this one.
So what did you think of the finale? Are you going to watch the next season? Let me know in the comments!