Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear The Walking Dead: “Ouroboros”

In which crabs eat zombies eating crabs and most of the best things are the promos for upcoming shows.

Shawn: When I saw the really awkward title of this episode, I should have thought that maybe there was something a little different here. And there was. Just a little. But the bar is so low that I need to examine if there was really actual entertainment happening here.

1.) THE LOST DEAD. I guess I was most excited about getting closure from all of those 30-second spots we watched during the last season of The Walking Dead. I was afraid that this was going to end up being some “log on to X-Box Live or play the online game on your phone to see how this ends” thing. They actually worked it into the story and it made a little bit of sense. I think my credulity would have been challenged that anyone survived the crash if Lost hadn’t already proven that in TV logic a handful of passengers can survive a fall from 10,000 feet. Searching the plane was one of my favorite moments of me feeling some kind of dramatic tension this whole season. Of course he had to kill the passenger but it at least seemed to wake us up. Zombies with oxygen masks are fun too.

2.) THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB. Daniel, you had one job. Don’t lose the kids. You better put them on one of those kiddie leashes next time because you turn around and you’re like “Kids? Hey, kids! Hello?” I’m less and less impressed with this guy each episode. I think that he had his shit together in the first season but now there’s only one guy I “trust.”

3.) STRAND(ED). I don’t care if he ends up being a bad guy once we get to Mexico. I really don’t. Right now he’s the only one making the hard-ass decisions and making any sense. Cutting Alex and Jake loose makes sense on so many levels. We can’t be towing a zombie lifeboat behind us the whole way South. And the group size to resources has to remain relatively constant. He has a plan and he’s sticking to it. I don’t think he’s interested in explaining it or convincing everyone because this isn’t a democracy. Strand said it best when he simply stated, “It’s my boat.”

4) GUMMING UP THE WORKS. I’ve said before that one of the things I like best about either of the Dead shows is just how the day-to-day stuff works in the Zombie Apocalypse. The “we have a body in the ship’s plumbing” made perfect sense and it’s the type of real plot device that made the “we aren’t just getting to Mexico fast enough” plot make sense. It gave us a reason to take the time to go Thrift Shop our way through the baggage on the island. And then Teenage Wasteland popped some tags on a perfectly good Captain’s uniform, nice and pressed white after the fall from the sky before blooding it up and learning what our boys in Atlanta learned. Next episode, the crapper is backed up and our group has to stop by Lowe’s for another plunger and a drain snake. Speaking of snakes…

5.) EATING ITS OWN TAIL. I was too curious about the title of the episode afterwards. I thought it was maybe some name for those crabs that the zombie was eating. Turns out I wasn’t far off. It’s the symbol of the snake eating it’s own tail. That shot of the zombie eating the crabs that were eating him was a pretty cool symbol. The show has lacked this kind of self reflection. It wasn’t a scene accompanied by a Mumford and Sons or Lumineers song. It was just a simple symbol of what the characters are currently doing. They are circling and their conflicts are eating away at their strengths. Now, the looking back over your shoulder as you are standing on the ledge of that zombie is just plain stupidity. And so the best and the worst of the episode happen within seconds of each other. That’s where I’m at – there’s some good, we have a structure I could see myself enjoying and we have some really questionable moves. It’s like the group has cornered themselves on a huge beach at the only spot where they can’t escape…wait? They did that?? Damn.

Kim: Oh. My. God. I may have experienced some nervous energy during last night’s episode. It lasted all of 30 seconds. I felt a familiar pang of anxiety as mopey Chris checked to see if anyone was watching him and took off over the hill. I felt it when Druggy Depp lost his footing at the pit. If I’m being honest, I wound up being really disappointed that neither of those boys died.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. It only seems like they’re stupid because this is all relatively new for them. We, as viewers, have the edge because we’ve watched six seasons of The Walking Dead, so we know it all. We should probably shut our dirty little mouths and stop complaining about everything and try to go with it.

OK. OK. But you’re hearing that entire cities have been burned by the Army. You’re hearing that there isn’t much left. You know people die and turn into these creatures, even if you aren’t aware that they’re zombies. You know you are on an island with pieces of a crashed airplane and luggage. At some point, you have to know that this means there are an awful lot of the undead milling about looking for a snack, because I don’t think they eat peanuts. So why on Earth do you decide it’s a good time to be a little dick and go wandering off?

Let’s also discuss this whole going to Baja thing. Why, exactly, are they so pissed? The only decent dialogue in this episode was when Strand was all, “this is my boat and I let you on it and I get to go wherever the hell it is I want and I can kill you or take you with me.” Why? Because he’s 100% right. It’s his boat, his choice where they go. Screw you, blondie, and your “we rescued you, so you owe us.” He paid that back when he let you on the boat and when he didn’t leave while you were exploring Jonestown Island last week.

Just so you know that I am not completely devoid of any excitement during each hour of this trainwreck, I will now give you three positive takeaways.

My big hope for this episode came when they opened with the crash survivors. My hope was still alive when Alex got to the boat with them, even if she was only being towed behind while taking care of Blurry Face. Then, just like that, Strand wordlessly cut them loose and my hopes of an interesting character were sent back out to sea, floating on that emergency raft. Why do you gotta be such a dick, Strand?

Preacher looks pretty damn amazing. I’m really itching for that to come out. It’ll soothe my poutiness over the early departure of Constantine last year.

Oh Oh Oh! Did you see the promo for Norman Reedus’ new show? Ride with Norman Reedus? I’d like to ride him. Or with him. I mean I don’t have a motorcycle or even a bike, but I’ll sit on the back of his and take him to all of the local breweries in the area. Better yet, I’ll take him up to Charlottesville and we’ll hit the Brew Ridge Trail and try all of the beers! That would be a perfect episode, don’t you think? And I certainly won’t need any of the Fear characters telling me what to do. I’ve got years of experience.

So two out of three had nothing to do with the show. You can’t win ‘em all. Just ask the stripey shirt dude on the life raft who wound up messing up the boat after he threatened to kill burnt kid. I wish we’d seen him bite it. He was a whiny jerk, much like me right now.

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Shawn Bourdo

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