Fear the Walking Dead Review by John Keegan

Fear the Walking Dead 3.09: Minotaur

Fear the Walking Dead 3.09: Minotaur

Written By:
Dave Erickson and Mike Zunic
Directed By:
Stefan Schwartz

The first half of the third season gave me very little desire to delve into it; after killing Travis in almost perfunctory fashion, it seemed like the writers had very little idea how to progress things forward.  For every instance that they further empowered Madison, to be benefit of the series as a whole, they left important characters like Strand literally stranded.

 


 

I don't know that this is a vast improvement, but it’s better than the clumsy social commentary that dominated the mid-season finale.  Having moved on from that, the characters have the time and opportunity to focus on the fallout and the more pragmatic issues of survival, like water shortages and the ticking time bomb that represents.  I have my issues with the decision to focus all the action at the ranch, but the tension between staying at a stable location and remain mobile has always been at the heart of extended apocalyptic survival stories.

 

In particular, I’d like to see how Madison’s leadership style evolves.  I don’t want her to become a Rick Grimes clone, that’s for sure.  Instead, I would love the writers to explore how far she can take her “at all costs” attitude before she starts looking less like a hero for keeping her squad alive and more like the kind of “villain” Rick would want to bring down.  It might risk turning Maddy into someone less than sympathetic, something that can unfortunately backfire with female characters (for reasons beyond my understanding), but I think it would be worth it to give Fear the Walking Dead a bit of edge.

 


 

Meanwhile, even if it feels like Nick’s character motivations have become rather muddled this season, one cannot deny that he brought a nervous energy to his scenes with Troy.  It helps that Troy isn’t quite the annoyance that he was in the first half of the season, but it also seems like a bit of the old madness could be seen in Nick’s eyes towards the end of the episode.  Nick remains one of the most watchable characters on the show, but frankly, it’s the clarity of Madison’s “mission” that makes her more compelling.  Nick needs to be more than a convenient wild card.

 

It’s nice that Daniel and Ofelia are more or less dealing with concurrent events that promise to intersect, but there is still the trouble of making those side plot threads equally meaningful to the audience.  I tend to tune out far too often when watching Fear the Walking Dead, and a big part of that is the lack of interest in the majority of the ensemble.  It feels like this episode could be a springboard to correcting that somewhat, but there is still much work to be done to get me invested as much as I am/was in the parent series.


Our Grade:
B-
The Good:
  • Madison has become my favorite character on the show
  • The Nick/Troy scenes worked better than one could have hoped
The Bad:
  • Side plot threads still struggle to grab my attention

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 - 9/12/2017 1:26 PM56 views

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