Fear the Walking Dead Review by John Keegan

Fear the Walking Dead 2.05: Captive

Fear the Walking Dead 2.05: Captive

Written By:
Carla Ching
Directed By:
Craig Zisk

In a recent discussion on Fear the Walking Dead for The Critical Myth Show, the debate came down to the following: the series is definitely improving over the course of the past few episodes, but the rate of improvement may be too slow for some to justify continuing to watch.  A big part of that is the inaccessibility of many of the main characters, who still come across as bland and closed-off to the audience.

              


 

That factor plays a part in how much “Captive” is held back.  We should care a lot more about the struggle against Connor’s gang than we do, especially when we discover that Alex, the sole survivor of Flight 642, is the reason why Connor was able to find the Abigail in the first place.  A lot of decisions are coming back to haunt the crew as they get ever closer to a decision point about how to get into Mexico, but when you don’t particularly invest in the fate of the characters involved, the tension that ought to be present is drastically reduced.

 

And it doesn’t help that the threat is already resolved.  This had the potential to be a solid band of antagonists with more than a few twists and turns in their interactions before all was said and done.  Instead, it’s pretty much over.  I appreciate the continuity that has been demonstrated this season thus far, but I need more of those Lost-esque flashbacks to get me invested in more than a couple of the characters.  Right now half of them could get left behind at the Mexican border, and I really wouldn’t care at all. 

 


 

In fact, most of the tension in the episode had less to do with the fate of the characters per se, and more to do with the growing vagueness of answers from Connor, Jack, and Reed.  The one intriguing piece of action was Chris’ decision to kill Reed, which looked like it would be the catalyst for much of the future complication.  And it was, at least until the final act of the episode.  In the end, Connor's pirates were a two-episode adversary, which is a bit disappointing, to say the least.  There was potential to turn them into the “Others” of Fear the Walking Dead.

 

Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if the plot was a little more extended, and Alicia was given a reason to consider defecting with Connor?  Wouldn’t that have given the writers a huge opportunity to delve into the character of Alicia a lot more thoroughly?  For example, one can clearly see how Travis’ encounter with Alex, and coming face-to-face with the consequences of his moral decisions, might change him going forward.  Do we have the same clarity with Alicia?



 

That said, the exchange was awfully tense, and there was some potential for one or more of the characters to end up dead before all was said and done.  That everyone survived was a bit hard to swallow, but probably not too surprising this early in the season.  And Maddie’s “momma bear” attitude was a nice nod to Mother’s Day, wasn’t it?  And technically, Jack and Alex remain, so it’s possible that the threat posed by the pirates is not entirely over.  But the mid-season finale is nearly upon us, so unless they chase Team Abigail to the Mexican border, this feels like a missed opportunity.


Our Grade:
B-
Your Grade: A-
(Based on 2 grades)
The Good:
  • Nice use of internal continuity with the return of Alex
  • The exchange sequence was pretty tense
The Bad:
  • Conor’s pirates were seemingly dealt with far too quickly

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Fear the Walking Dead by - 5/9/2016 11:08 AM152 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: B+
Despite also being disappointed the Conor group was beaten so quickly I really enjoyed how the episode ended. I have a feeling the big cliffhanger for this half season is going to be getting to Mexico and things aren't as cozy as they had hoped. I too would like more Lost style flashbacks, because even though that makes it more like Lost, it makes it less like the parent series, The Walking Dead, and I like that idea a lot.
SElliotFisher
SElliotFisher
DISSENTING OPINION

Grade: A-
A good episode but the last ones introduction of Thomas and Louis set the bar a bit higher then what the show achieved this time around. Also with Nick and Victor somewhat sidelined it’s become obvious that the rest of the cast has to step up their performance to maintain the same captivation. I really did enjoy the use of zombie Reed to bait the raiders into an exchange. While it does seem like the raiders are now a done deal, three alpha characters were left alive; Jack who now has an axe to grind with Alicia, Vida who just has a type of crazy going that needs to be revisited and Alex the last survivor of Flight 462 whom we know is a reoccurring character. There are also most likely other hunter teams that Conner would dispatch to raid ships. So we could see this adversary again. Remember the Governor came back from nothing and really put a hurt on Team Grimes. Also I’m starting to like Travis more and more as he comes across as to me as what would happen to a character from Sesame Street if the zombie outbreak occurred there. I wonder then if that would make Daniel the Mr. Hooper of this show.

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