Halloween Nights: Fear The Walking Dead

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It would be a shame to limit Halloween Nights to just films. Television has been a hot spot for storytellers for years now. For most of you out there, that’s the norm; however I come from a generation where the best stories usually weren’t told on the small screen– it’s nice to see that times have changed, because we are getting a lot of great stories that we wouldn’t have ever seen.

There are plenty of examples to point to, and even though there were plenty of shows that were excellent before; we can probably point to Robert Kirkman’s AMC show, The Walking Dead. It’s hard to believe we’re about to begin the sixth year of this show, but I’ve been trying to think about something else that kicked off a generation of great storytelling. Aside from random shows that stand alone, it seems like this was the point were we started getting great stories on the small screen year after year, network after network.

Just like in the world of film, success means networks want to finds ways to make even more money off of their properties. The best way to accomplish this? Expand your universe. In the movie world, we’ve seen this have varying degrees of success; though I’d imagine the percentage is higher in that world than in television. It was only a matter of time before The Walking Dead expanded / spun off.

Potential Spoilers Ahead.

Which brings us to Fear The Walking Dead. I wasn’t too keen on the name of the show at first, but after watching the first season I think it makes sense. The first episode wasn’t nearly as good as the first episode of it’s predecessor; but it was enjoyable and showed a promising story. The entire season felt like this (up until the season finale, which I finally watched tonight; and that’s a good thing); while also giving me the fear that they were perhaps moving too quickly. At the pace they were going, it seemed like we were going to be caught up with The Walking Dead.

Fast forward to the season finale. Where Fear‘s pilot wasn’t as good as TWD‘s pilot, it’s season finale was amazing. The military has officially given up on fixing and containing this threat and has left town. Travis and company decided to go back to their original plan and head east, but first they have to rescue their family. The way this is done is fantastic. We see one of the largest walker hordes, in either show, to date. I’ve been relating Daniel to Rick a lot in this season, but I think we’ve seen that Madison can fill those shoes too.

And then Travis had his crazy Rick moment. That solider, the one that was tortured by Daniel and Travis let go, comes back… pissed. Spoilers ahead. Knowing that shooting Daniel wouldn’t be a revenge that matched the pain he received, she shoots Ofeila. Travis looses it and won’t stop pummeling the solider. It was very Rick like.

It seems like the writers decided to make this story feel singular, in case Fear wasn’t picked up for a second season. Season 1 feels like a self contained story and can either continue on in Season 2 (which is happening) or just end in a totally satisfying way. It wasn’t a forced cliff hanger like we got with TWD Season 1, but is totally left open for more story.

I am very happy with how this turned out and look forward to seeing these characters again. There aren’t any that I care about like I care about on The Walking Dead, but there was also a comic book to give me a head start. I feel like after another season, we may end up with a group that we care about as much as Team Atlanta.

Fear The Walking Dead Season 1 scored: ★★★★☆

Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
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