So far, Fear The Walking Dead has been a slow moving show. You’d think that the start of the zombie outbreak would mean a faster paced show than what The Walking Dead, its parent show, has become, but it seems that’s the opposite. The Walking Dead started fast and got slower as it went on, so hopefully it can be the other way around for Fear The Walking Dead. There’s enough potential there and the show is starting to display signs of improvement in the fourth episode of the series, “Not Fade Away”, which does what not many other zombie-focused shows have accomplished, and that’s refuse to actually show a zombie for the whole episode. This makes a remarkable change from its parents show, but given that we’re still in the fairly early stages of the outbreak, that’s expected. We don’t get swarms of zombies hunting down everybody just yet. Cliff and company haven’t quite gone through all the hell that Rick has dealt with. This show will eventually catch up with its parent show of course, but a crossover, flashbacks aside, looks fairly rare at the moment, and probably won’t happen (if at all) for a good few seasons yet.
Despite the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, things in the neighbourhood of our main characters seem to be going fairly normal, or as normal as things can possibly go when the army has surrounded the camp. As I’ve recently started playing The Last of Us on Playstation 4, I was reminded of the same scenario from that game, where the main characters are facing martial law. It looks like the authorites are the worst people to trust in a zombie apocalypse (unless of course, it’s a Shaun of the Dead kind of zombie apocalypse when the army ends up saving the day), and that’s something that may be pretty clear throughout the series. At the moment, the rations still seem to be coming in thanks to the help of the National Guard, and with Travis as the current Mayor, who is responsible for solving problems, things are going fine. If the suburb toes the line, they get things like electricity for a few hours, but they also have to make sure that their wounded and people with mental problems are handed over to the military, and you can probably guess what’s going to happen to them next. The zombie apocalypse is a bad time to have a drug problem, for example.
This episode also serves up as introducing the plot, something that’s been pretty absent from the series so far. The time-jump, narrated by Chris, allows the military to set up the fence around the perimeter and establish a good layer of protection in Los Angeles. Nobody’s quite sure what’s waiting for them beyond the walls, but at the moment, things are looking fairly bleak and it’s only going to be a matter of time before things go from bad to worse. It helps as well that there’s a fairly big cliffhanger, which is something that usually happens on The Walking Dead week after week, but here we’ve had our first real big one and hopefully this is a sign of things to come as the show continues to develop in the weeks to come. It might just be the time where the show is starting to realize its potential.