Fear the Walking Dead “Ouroboros”: Baggage Claim Chaos

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Review of Season 2, Episode 3, of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead

Remember that little mini-series throughout last season’s The Walking Dead?  The one with everyone on the plane that ends up crashing?  Well, this is the episode where the survivors are revealed along with the fate of the plane as a whole, finally bringing Flight 462 and Fear the Walking Dead together.

The cold open focuses on Charlie (awesome Asian chick) and Jake (teen boy she was seated next to), who have been tossed into the ocean after the crash.  While Charlie seems unharmed Jake is badly burnt as they are saved by two other crash survivors in a small raft.  Things are immediately tense as one survivor demands they get rid of Jake before he inevitably dies and turns, but Charlie refuses.  Later in the night that survivor attempts to kill Jake, but Charlie wakes up and kills the man instead.  Down to three the lone man insists Charlie put Jake down as much for all their safety as for Jake’s own comfort as the boy continues to alternate between passing out and wheezing.  Even Jake groans through burnt lungs and face that it’s okay to kill him, that Charlie did all she could…

Meanwhile Travis can neither sleep nor get busy with his lady, Madison, as the boat grinds to a halt before going dead in the water.  With the help of manuals and his own basic knowledge Travis figures out something must be clogging the ship’s water-engine thingy (I don’t know mechanics) causing the whole system to go down.  Then, because Travis is still a decent guy, he offers to scuba down to find out what’s in the pipes even though it’s the middle of the night and probably stupid-dangerous.  Surprising only Travis, there’s a dead guy with his arm sucked up into the ship’s underbelly causing all the problems…One that looks suspiciously like the last guy that’d been on the raft with Charlie and Jake — wonder if she killed him too and if it was before or after he, well, died.

Because a dead guy isn’t something you can just yank out of a tiny hole and move on from, no matter what Strand thinks, getting the yacht back up and running will be an all day project.  With all that time to spare Alicia comes up with the idea to go scavenge a nearby island where a bunch of luggage has washed ashore — it’s the smartest idea she’s had all season, if not the entire series.  Chris also wants to go and then Nick says he’ll join them.  Madison and Travis are understandably not fond of their children wandering an island alone during the apocalypse, but they declare they’re going anyway.  Alicia even points out the idea of the adults sheltering them now is ludicrous and they might as well start contributing.  In the end Daniel offers to accompany them, which seems to settle things all around.

Things start off relatively well.  Alicia gets Nick a nice pilot’s shirt, Nick picks out a hat for Alicia, Daniel hunts for meds for Ofelia (hers either aren’t working or ran out), and Nick lends a hand because he knows his pharmaceuticals.  He even tries to get Daniel a new shirt, but Daniel shuts him down saying that it’s bad luck to steal from the dead.  Daniel seems to hold to his belief concerning the dead’s belongings as he finds a rosary, but doesn’t take it.  However, Nick does take the rosary when he finds it before moving on to find a whole case of medicines.  Things only go bad for him when he gets a little too close to the edge of a hole while watching half-an-Infected and crabs fight to eat each other (which is awesome and gross) and falls in.  Nick kills the Infected with a pocketknife found in the wreckage just before another Infected falls into the hole with him.

Chris continues his turn as the teen who might get them all killed when he wanders out of sight just like Daniel told them not to.  He finds a section of plane with Infected inside and, after picking a nice heavy plane-part, heads inside to express some rage on the undead.  After killing one who’s strapped in with an oxygen mask on, thus relatively harmless, he goes to examine another.  Only this one is a living, breathing, man who promptly begs for help.  Still a good person deep down Chris immediately goes to help him up, but the man collapses immediately revealing a good portion of his spine sticking out his back (ew).  The man begs for help again, clarifying to both Chris and the audience that he wants to be put out of his misery.  Now things aren’t so simple.  Killing a living person is very different, even if they request it, and Chris has to decide if he will, can, do it.  Despite shakiness and sobs Chris can and does put the man out of his misery, bashing his head in.  As he steps out he comes upon Alicia who worriedly questions if he’s okay.  Chris states the blood’s not his and lies that he’s fine.

Upon discovering Chris is missing Daniel goes to look for him, but only finds Charlie and the mini-herd chasing her.  Charlie wisely tells him to run and Daniel foolishly stands to open fire.  Really Daniel?  Not only does gunfire attract them, but you don’t have anywhere near enough bullets and you have to know that.  The only good thing about firing the gun is that it alerts Alicia, Chris, and those on the boat to trouble.  As Travis rushes to get the boat working those on the beach start grabbing whatever they can to fight off Infected.  As Alicia gets swarmed a gory Nick pops up to bash everything in sight.  They clear out enough to rush through and head towards their speedboat, Charlie joining them.  Having remained unnoticed by the Infected Nick goes stand face-to-face with one confirming his hunch that, covered in Infected guts, they don’t recognize him as food.

In the end everyone, Charlie and Jake included, make it to the Abigail, without being bit.  There’s an argument over what to do with Charlie and Jake with a middle route of giving them some supplies and towing them behind the main vessel being taken.  …It doesn’t last long though as, after a good pacing, Strand takes a machete to their tether leaving they adrift in the ocean once again.

Interesting Asides:

Anyone else reminded of Jaws when all the blood bubbled up as Travis cut the guy free from the boat?  I appreciated the image and all the early childhood terrors of the ocean and sharks they brought up for me.

Normally I like Strand.  Sure he’s hardcore, but he’s definitely a survivor.  This episode not so much though.  If there’s any time to turn on the charm it’s when you’re talking to the only guy who can fix your busted yacht; yelling at and making snide comments to Travis is not helping you or your situation.  Honestly, neither is cutting loose Charlie and Jake.  They already have the supplies you gave them and this is just going to horrify and offend about half those on the boat.  It could cause a mutiny.  The least Strand could’ve do is give Charlie an ultimatum — “you and you alone, or neither of you” — that makes cutting them loose her decision instead of his.  …Yes, I may have thought a lot about how to survive these apocalyptic situations…

Speaking of Charlie and Jake, I hope they come back.  At least Charlie anyway (I’m a realist about Jake’s condition), otherwise what was the point of all that?  Make a mini-series focusing the Walker apocalypse on a plane, get the audience attached to characters, save and reintroduce said characters, only to cut them the main show in the same episode?  Unless Charlie becomes some sort of Morgan-style, crossed-fates, character the whole Flight 462 was almost annoyingly pointless.

It’s kind of sweet that Nick gave Ofelia the rosary, looks like he might have a crush on her.  Also nice that she doesn’t seem to mind that he comes to her covered in Infected and smelling like death to give her the gift.  I hope Nick remembered to grab all those meds he found so these two crazy kids have a chance.

So, they’re headed to some fortified palace in Baja?  …Sounds like a bunch bull to me and good on Travis for stating as much, but I guess we’ll see.  We still have no idea who Strand’s talking to either.  Something tells me those issues will take awhile to fully address and, given the promo for next week, the group has bigger things to worry about anyway.  Whether it’s random pirates or that “Jack” guy Alicia was radioing it looks like the Abigail’s about to be under attack.

Additional, non-show, related note:

I will be away from televisions and (for the most part) the internet next week so will be unable to post a review of May 1st’s episode.  I will return the following week to review May 8th’s though.

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