Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear the Walking Dead: 'The Good Man'

Includes the answer to the question, "was the ending enough to bring me back for another season?"
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In which questions are asked and answered by Shawn and Kim about the season finale of Fear the Walking Dead.

Shawn:

1.  Was sitting through five mediocre episodes worth that ending?  In short, yes.  I watch too many shows where the arc is just the opposite - the best episodes are at the beginning and there's a slow decline to the end of the season.  This build felt like they pay off was worth it.  We got to see actual walking dead doing their walking-dead thing.  They are "new" walking dead and seemed to be much more aggressive going about their brain-eating business.  The stress of a zombie being around the next corner is what I was missing in this show.  I'm glad to get to this point.

2.  Was the ending enough to bring me back for another season?  Again, yes.  I was half convinced last week that the whole cast was going to survive into Season Two.  Liza's death was just the topper that this show needed.  There needed to be a reality that loss is going to happen.  We aren't all going to miraculously reunite with each other when people are dying all around us.  Asking Madison to do the shooting but having Travis step in gives him a nobility and strength that I was doubting until that point.

3.  What is family now?  Dr Exner asked the question early in the episode.  It's a key to both series.  In some ways, I've always viewed the groups the way I view a platoon or company in a war movie.  They are very close because they are brothers in arms against an enemy.  But they are also family in a way that many of them never knew family before.  Dynamics will change without Liza - Travis and Madison become very important parental figures to the remaining children.  I'm anxious to see how Madison steps up to being a leader.  She seemed out of character this episode to me because they were building her up early to be such a leader but she was much more of a follower here.

4.  Will the next season take place on a boat?  I like Strand.  I don't trust him completely but he has the right idea.  Obviously it can't be as easy as just hopping on a boat and sailing off into the sunset.  The Abigail looks pretty awesome and could transport us to a fun non-Los Angeles setting.  This boat gives the show flexibility to tell a different story than The Walking Dead.  If I'm going to keep watching a summer zombie show it better not just be a copy of the other show set on a different coast.  Strand has a plan and he's persuasive.  That could turn into another Governor or worse.  But for now he's just the breathe of logic that the group needs.

5.  Daniel is still likable?  I can't help but be drawn to that little torturer.  He is totally bad ass for being the Pied Piper of a couple thousand walkers from the Sports Arena to the camp.  I think there's going to be an interesting cross between Strand and Daniel.  Strand has a bigger picture logic to what's going on.  But Daniel has the will to do just what needs to be done in the short term.  Daniel understood deep down that there never would be a "safe zone" especially not with the military in charge of it.  I'm left with a much better taste in my mouth here and willing to saddle up for another season with this group.  That's much more than I was going to say after Episode 2.

Bonus question:  Do you leave your two kids in the parking garage while you go fight zombies and find the rest of your family?  Hell no.

Kim: I'll see your five questions and raise you these five.

1.  Do I like any of these characters after all of these episodes? Yes.  Sort of.  I liked Dr. Exner - likely dead. Partway through this episode I liked Liza - dead.  I liked Tobias from the first episodes - MIA.  I liked Andy until he turned into a raging psychopath - likely dead.  I like Strand to an extent, but just like my poor track record in picking fiancees, I'm sure he will turn out to be a bad person to like.  I do like Daniel again, after disliking him last week.  His foresight would have paid off had Travis not had a bleeding heart.  Then again, if Travis doesn't let Andy go, we don't get to see that Daniel was right.  Everyone else should just jump in the water and swim for that boat.  Maybe sharks will get them.  One could only hope.

2.  Was I happier with this episode than the sum of the others combined?  Yup.  I think you nailed it - there was something to fear, finally, and it wasn't Nick's hair or the old man clothes he's still sporting. Having the huge horde of zombies follow Daniel right up to the gate made me pretty damn giddy.  I think I actually said, "Finally!" out loud while shoving some bite-sized tortilla chips in my mouth.  That last statement is very telling about my feel for this show as a whole - I can't eat during The Walking Dead and I snack throughout this one.  The crinkling of the bag and the crunching of my snack seems to make the hour a little more satisfying.

3.  Do I see them getting on the boat and heading to a new location?  No.  I don't think that's going to happen.  I think they're going to get stuck wherever they are and have to figure out how to survive from there.  Whether the people on the boat are already dead or the boat is going to be destroyed before they make it there, or perhaps there will be some kind of catastrophe should they actually reach it.  I'm not sure, but obviously the boat is not their savior.  I can't help but liken it to the CDC in Season One of The Walking Dead.  It's a great idea, but if you get there, bad shit is going to happen and you just can't stop it.

4.   Have I drawn any conclusions about Strand?  Why yes, yes I have.  He is the freakin' Old Spice guy and I fully expect to see him shirtless and announcing, "You're on a boat, with a man your man could smell like," if he ever makes it to Abigail.  Below is an Old Spice video so you can see Strand as I see him?

We'll also need to get him a horse, just to complete this picture for me.  Honestly, he's got pretty words and a polished appearance, so he's obviously a sociopath, right?

5.   Who would win in a fight - Daniel, Travis or Strand?  I really want to see these three in a three-way (stop it) battle royale.  I think they'd all hold their own long enough to make it interesting, but I think we'd see Daniel as the winner, because he's really not afraid to get dirty and do what needs doing.  Sure, we've seen Travis beat a man to death (maybe) and we assume he shot Liza, but let's not forget he's got a conscience that even the WWE couldn't write out of him.  Strand would probably be able to talk his way out of a solid beating, but at the end of the day, #TeamDaniel will totally destroy anyone in the way.

My bonus question:  Do I want to sleep with anyone now?  Hell no.  In fact, now they're all just irritating in different ways to me.  If I absolutely had to have sex with one of these characters, it'd definitely be Ofelia.  I'll watch a second season though, because I really was intrigued with the destination this horrendous journey brought us to. 

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