FEAR THE WALKING DEAD explores a classic apocalyptic theme in “Do Not Disturb.” There’s a thing in storytelling called the “promise of the premise” and Fear the Walking Dead chose to go in another direction early on. Why would you locate a spin-off of a Zombie show in Los Angeles? The Georgia locations are mainly rural, lots of woods. Maybe they’re going to have fun with LA locations. Nope, for the most part, Fear the Walking Dead could be shot in Georgia too. The locations are not so different. We could easily see anyone from Rick’s team crossover, even though they are set in different time lines.
I don’t understand the choice, but I can respect it because they still explore promised themes. Travis and Chris roll into another group this week. It’s a trio of young American men that went camping in Mexico before the outbreak. Brandon is leader; Derek and Baby James are his two buds. These guys enjoy the end times. It’s a classic theme for any apocalypse or war story, someone is going to embrace the chaos. Brandon loves the freedom that comes with the breakdown of civilization. The other side of freedom is responsibility.
Chris is instantly seduced by this trio of lost boys. They see value in his bravery, they embrace his primal instincts. Brandon wants him on their team. Travis wants to go another direction. He wants to find some nice out of the way place with water, farmland, and defenses. Travis wants to make a new sustainable home for Chris and wait until restoration in peace. Travis agrees to ride along until they hit the next town but they stop when they spot an idyllic location on top of a hill. It’s a farm with a well, garden, and chickens in the barn. The only problem is, someone already lives there. Travis isn’t ready to fight the man for control of the farm, but the boys are. The man bursts into the barn with a shotgun up. Team Brandon have their own guns. It’s a stand off… in Mexico. The man shoots Baby James and Chris shoots the man. This isn’t the future Travis wanted for Chris. He was just teaching him how to drive. It appears at this point in time, Travis actually isn’t as ready for the zombie apocalypse as team Brandon.
Travis represents a fair and responsible position. When everything turns to shit, we all hope it will get better. Travis thinks people are working on a solution somewhere, they have to be. Even if it’s just the Omega Man himself, Colonel Neville. That’s also a promise of the premise. We don’t see how Chris feels about killing the man, he clearly made a choice. He didn’t fire first, that says something about him. At any rate, it’s good energy to gap for the next episode.
Back at the hotel, it’s all about Alicia and Elena. There’s still no sign of Ofelia this week. Madison and Strand don’t show up until the end. Alicia tries to fight her way down from the hotel tower where she meets Elena. Elena worked for the hotel before the outbreak and has been hiding in it ever since. She was the events rep for the wedding reception in the ballroom when the father of the bride turned zombie and took a bite out of his daughter. Elena locked everyone inside in an attempt to contain the situation. She carries a lot of residual grief over that decision, but hey, at the time, it was a solid call.
Elena is ducking the mother of the bride. She’s still alive and has her own group of people staying in the hotel. They want Elena’s keys and hold her nephew, Hector, hostage. Alicia allies with Elena. No judgment about her decisions, they need to team up to find Madison and Strand. They clear their way to the lobby where they run across Hector and the small group led by Ilene Stowe. They give up the keys to get Hector back, then Alicia lets a bar full of walkers out on Ilene’s team. Great move.
Alicia, Elena, and Hector escape and reunite with Madison and Strand. We never see how Madison and Strand escape being surrounded at the bar. I think it’s smart not to waste time on it. It doesn’t really serve this particular story. Elena is an interesting addition to the team. This woman is holding on. When we first meet her, she refuses to lose the hotel. This is also an important theme. While some embrace the chaos, others will refuse to let go of of certain things. Every character has their own private Alamo, they can’t live without it, they’ll die to protect it.
Season 2, Episode 10 (S02E10)
Fear The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 09PM on AMC
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Eric Rodriguez | Contributor