Fear The Walking Dead – Monster (Season 2/ Episode 201 Review)

Fear The Walking Dead – Monster (Season 2/ Episode 201 Review)

In its second season, AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead kicked off right where we last saw our characters, at Victor Strands (Colman Domingo: Freedomland 2006, Lincoln 2012) house, getting ready to board his yacht Abigail. Only a mere few hours have passed and Los Angeles is already up in flames, bombed by the military. With little time to prepare, they grab what they can, including Eliza’s body, and start their journey, currently en route to San Diego. Not too long into their apocalyptic tour, questions are raised from every corner with little to no answers for the time being.

Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, Alycia Pebnam-Carey as Alicia Clark - Fear of the Walking Dead_Season 2, Episode 01 -  Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC
Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, Alycia Pebnam-Carey as Alicia Clark – Fear of the Walking Dead_Season 2, Episode 01 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC

Soon into their voyage, they encounter a boat with 20+ refugees calling for help. With instincts to do the right thing, Madison (Kim Dickens: House of Cards TV series, Sons of Anarchy TV series) and her daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey: Into The Storm 2014, The Devil’s Hand 2014) protest to help them. Strand and Travis (Cliff Curtis: The Fountain 2006, Trauma TV series) claim the situation not safe and press on, a first hard lesson on their survival.

Attempting to make contact with other survivors, Alicia uses a radio and eventually begins a conversation with a man named Jack, claiming to be on a small fishing boat with his brother and sister in law. After engaging in small talk for a while, he cries out that they are sinking. Of course Strand refuses again, not willing to trust anyone other than who is already on his boat. Upon breaking the bad news to Jack, he replies that he understands and adds a chilling “I’ll see you soon.” Surrounded by danger, it is hard to pinpoint what the bigger threat is – the undead, open water, or people.

Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar - Fear of the Walking Dead_Season 2, Episode 01 -  Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC
Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar – Fear of the Walking Dead_Season 2, Episode 01 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC

The first season was slow moving, and the premier of season two, titled Monster, was no different. It was highly focused on Colman Domingo, who plays Victor Strand, as he holds the most mystery. His cool tone attitude is hard to read, as it is a wonder why he saved this group of strangers but refuses to help anyone else. Needless to say, Daniel (Ruben Blades: Predator 2 19990, Safe House 2012) reveals to Madison that he does not trust him, which she agrees. On a mission to survive together, a divide amongst the group could prove dangerous.

Not quite shaken from their teenage normalcy, Alicia and Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie: Star Trek 2009, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 2015) stir up other problems. Grieving the death of his mother Eliza, Chris refuses to leave her body, a decision that nearly gets himself, his father, and stepmother killed. His recklessness only continues, angrily tossing Eliza’s corpse overboard during a memorial, despite his father. Soon after, he sneaks away from everyone for a swim, and unknowingly lures himself and Nick (Frank Dillane: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2009, In the Heart of the Sea 2015), who was attempting to rescue him, into a capsized boat surrounded by a few floating undead.

Alicia’s attempt to reach out via radio basically turned into a typical teenage girl moment of being on the phone. The man on the other end, who goes by Jack, could easily sense this and there is a strong possibility he would attempt to manipulate her. Being it was his suggestion, it raises the question of why Travis did not bother to check on the progress of this situation.

Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, Mercedes Mason as Ofelia Salazar, Kim Dickens as Madison Clark; group - Fear of the Walking Dead_Season 2, Episode 01 -  Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC
Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, Mercedes Mason as Ofelia Salazar, Kim Dickens as Madison Clark; group – Fear of the Walking Dead_Season 2, Episode 01 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC

The mood of season two’s opening episode was very stagnant, the lines of dialogue bleeding into the next, the characters floating around on the boat, trying to keep themselves occupied. There was never a climactic moment, just insinuations of danger not being very far. Hopefully, all these minor moments lead to more excitement in the episodes to come.

Signed on for fifteen episodes, the second season is expected for more character development, hopefully hand in hand with an edgier story. It is understandable that most fans may be tainted by the elements of the parent show, and should be open to expect something different with Fear The Walking Dead. Nonetheless, both are spun from the same wheel, and writers hopefully took into consideration to deliver something not only new, but exciting as well. CrypticRock gives Monster 2 out of 5 stars.

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For more on Fear of The Walking Dead visit AMC

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Shannon Montalbano
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A former marketing representative of Koch Entertainment, Shannon Montalbano worked on a multitude of album releases in her time with the company. With an irresistible passion for music and Horror cinema, Shannon pours her thoughts into each piece she writes.

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