Up for eight more episodes of flesh-eating TV?
Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson’s AMC horror drama show “Fear the Walking Dead” returns Sunday night.
Following a split-season format like its sister show “The Walking Dead,” “Fear” will be comprised of eight episodes during Season 2B.
The final three episodes of 2A — “Captive,” “Sicut Cervus” and “Shiva” — featured an uptick in action and of course drama. For what is any scripted show without some hammy, soap opera-esque moments?
There was a teased romance between Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) and Ofelia Salazar (Mercedes Mason), familial trouble between Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) and Chris Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie) and some unrest in the Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) – Cliff relationship.
These more underlying thematic elements sometimes trump the episodic zombie material that Kirkman and Erickson toss viewers’ way.
Even still, the next half of Season 2 looks to be a lasting physical and mental grind, one which will see a presently disbanded group wage an apocalyptic war against: Mexican street raiders, the haunting zombies of a high-rise hotel and Nick’s psyche, to reel him back in.
Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, “Fear The Walking Dead.”
(Richard Foreman Jr/AMC/Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC)
In the latest trailer for the season’s closing episodes, Nick appears to be the most prominent and highlighted personality. A deep, complex character, Nick is ripe with opportunity for those penning the show’s teleplays (Kate Barnow grabs the torch for episode eight).
Conflicted, addicted and philosophical, Nick will certainly see more of the world than Madison and company in the coming weeks. Nick is also worldly, and that tends to shape his viewpoints. The more he sees and learns, the more he will eventually be able to offer the group (because he will return to his mother before season’s end, we predict).
See for yourself what the showrunners have in store, but here are a few fleshed out theories.
Madison, played by a believable Dickens, will be coronated as the next leader of the eclectic group. She will be replacing Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), a reluctant leader in Season 2.
Shrewd and forward-thinking, Madison is wholly familiy-oriented and will stop at nothing to protect Alicia and Nick — and to some degree, Travis.
Turmoil at “la colonia”
Danay Garcia as Luciana, Alfredo Herrera as Francisco Scout, Carlos Sequra as Scout , “Fear The Walking Dead.”
(Richard Foreman Jr/AMC)
As we learned earlier in the week, Nick will head toward Tijuana and reach a compound called la colonia , seemingly run or swayed by the powerful pharmacist Alejandro (played by Paul Calderon). An aside: a former addict and pharmacist “concoction” could spell danger for the brazen Clark boy.
But we digress. So, there will also be the constant threat of a raid by street gangs dead set on robbery and murder.
But Nick, upon meeting the new character Luciana — who’s played by Danay Garcia and is prominently featured in the trailer — will fall for her unavoidable charm, helpfulness and her “pull” at the new compound. Still, he will be forced to choose between her and returning to his family. All of which, we predict, will be known to Alejandro, who is said to be an almost “mythological” figure in the community.
Alejandro calls Nick “foolish” for seeking out death in the trailer, and will almost certainly have other useful life advice for the fledgling zombie walker.
The remaining members of the group — Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Ofelia, Madison and Strand — who seem to have reconvened near a large, resort-like hotel, will find all the trouble in the world inside the building.
Alicia suggests that it’s “better inside.” But so far, she hasn’t really helped her own cause in the apocalypse.
They’ll squabble with hordes of zombies and watch others fall to their (second) death, but they’ll also find a surviving clan somewhere inside and receive some wise life advice.
Strand, disillusioned after the death of his boyfriend Thomas, appears to be luring in zombies in a clip from the trailer. However, he will not die and instead will become even more numb to this societal breakdown.
Don’t be surprised if Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) reappears during the half-season, for his character was built up too high, fortified even, to crumble in one conflagration at Celia’s (Marlene Forte).
The lost soul
Chris Manawa, perhaps the show’s most unlikable character, is now left to the company of his father, both ostensibly nomads in this cold world.
It’s been hard for Travis to see his son slip into depression and near lunacy, but through and through, he’s been a father.
They seem to have taken to the road, without a direction, plotting, mending and most importantly surviving.
However, we predict Chris won’t survive this half-season.
In an August 18 article, Erickson told Entertainment Weekly that the human dynamic will be more prevalent in the back half of this season. Survival and mediation become pivotal with the threat of new human groups.
“The infected will remain an obstacle, but it really becomes more about negotiating with some of the new cast we’re going to meet, negotiating a way through, finding shelter, and then surviving,” Erickson told EW.
And as for Nick, Erickson said, “…his education will continue in the back half, when Nick is hopefully going to return to life a little and embrace life a little bit more than he has the dead…”
“Fear The Walking Dead” airs Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. on AMC.