FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Review: “Ouroboros”

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Airtime: Sundays at 9PM on AMC
Episode: Season 2, Episode 3 (S02E03)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: Nick borrows a trick from Rick Grimes’ book on an interesting #FTWD


 

The third episode of the second season of , entitled “Ouroboros” brought us some excitement in a beach battle, as well as some actual advancements in the plot, with Strand finally coming clean about their destination (at least partially).

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The one flaw the show has is, most of America, or at least the 14 million of us who watch The Walking Dead have already learned almost all the lessons that these characters still have to by watching Rick and his gang on the sister series. Some of the characters just make inexplicable choices to the experienced zombie-genre fan. I’ll explain as I recap the episode.

The episode begins with some unfamiliar faces. People on a raft at sea. An Asian woman named Alex pulls a boy named Jake onto the raft alongside another survivor. A mean looking guy in a suit notices the other survivor has a bite on his leg, and immediately OARS him to death, sending him over the side of their raft. Jake appears to be badly hurt. I say this because half his body is basically charred, and when Alex peals off blood-soaked bandages to “see how he’s healing” his entire face is just blood. This kid has no hope.

So when Mean Suit Guy tries to oar HIM to death in the middle of the night, it actually seems kind of reasonable. But Alex of course doesn’t agree, knifing him and sending him overboard. When a third raft-mate, Nice Polo Shirt Guy suggests putting Jake out of his misery, he stops himself from saying “If you don’t, I will.” But Jake then speaks for the first time telling Alex, “It’s okay.” Which I assumed was him saying it’s okay to kill him and put him out of his misery, which means she just shanked a man while looking him in the face the night before for nothing…

Aaaand with that we’re back on The Abigail, where Strand is still making shady phone calls, telling somebody “I’m coming” and he’s not even paying a fee by the minute! A few rooms over (how many rooms does this boat HAVE?) Travis and Madison are about to bump uglies when the engines fail. No that’s not a euphemism for Travis’ erectile dysfunction! The boat engines actual fail after something blocks the water intake, stopping the water from cooling the engine and it overheating. Somebody’s gotta go down there. And with a mysterious killer boat possibly on their tail, they need to be able to move FAST. Travis volunteers to go scuba diving at night under the boat. This should go SWIMMINGLY (I’m sorry).

Turns out the thing blocking the water intake is… Nice Polo Shirt Guy from Alex’s raft. So, like, did she knife him in cold blood, too? How many healthy people is she going to kill for Jake to live another excruciatingly painful day? Anyway, Travis comes up and delivers the news to Strand, telling him it should take a day for him to fix. Strand orders him to make sure it gets fixed and Travis tells him “I’m not the help.”

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Meanwhile, Daniel Salazar checks in on his daughter Ofelia, who is still nursing her shoulder wound. Turns out she ran out of antibiotics, and it’s infected. She tells her father she’ll just ask Madison for some medicine but he objects, saying they take care of themselves. This makes no sense to me whatsoever. You claim to put family before all else, but you won’t ask for antibiotics from a clearly nice woman you’ve always gotten along with to save your daughter?  

At any rate, Alicia spots some suitcases from a downed plane on a beach not far from them and Daniel volunteers to take oversee the kids in scavenging while Travis gets the boat fixed. When Madison tells them to make sure to get some coats, as it gets cold on the water, Daniel drops a “We’ll be warmer in Mexico” prompting Madison to inquire what he meant. He reveals what he discovered last week: Strand has maps of Mexico on board. When Madison confronts Strand about it, he admits they are going to Mexico to a compound that’s safe. But he’s clearly still lying. The exchange ends with Madison threatening to throw Strand overboard if he even looks wrong at her family. Sure, Madison. Sure. I love actress Kim Dickens who portrays Madison, in Deadwood and Treme especially, but I’m not buying her as a bad ass.

On the scavenging mission on the beach, Chris has the bright idea to wander off alone, and tempts fate further by entering the cabin of the downed airplane. Brilliant! Hopefully he learns his lesson, as this leads to him being forced to bludgeon a surviving passenger to death with some scrap metal. He did not appear to enjoy that.

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One inexplicably scene has Madi and Travis fighting about… what, exactly? She tells Travis about Strand’s plan. And after that, they bicker, seeming to get heated, but even after rewinding and watching the scene twice, line by line, I can not figure out what is at the heart of this argument. Why is Travis mad at her? I’m usually pretty good at reading between the lines and this scene just seemed inserted for the sake of having some conflict. Minus points for that one.

Back on the beach, Daniel notices Chris is missing. In a moment I found comical, he mistakes the Asian woman Alex for Chris, as she’s running down a sand dune from a herd of zombies. Soon they are all cornered on a cliff, and they are saved by Nick coming from LITERALLY nowhere. He just appears. Before this we saw him precariously stand on the edge of a deep ditch made of very loose dirt (Brilliant!) and almost get killed by a zombie stuck in the sand and being eaten by blue crabs. Next thing we know his face and upper chest is covered in blood and he’s running undisturbed through a zombie herd. Looks like he’s discovered Rick and Glenn’s favorite trick that they should all totally use more often: if you have the scent of the dead on you, zombies won’t try to eat you, even face to face.

Everyone makes it back safely to the boat, with Alex and burned guy Jake en tow. After some arguing about Strand’s refusal to let them on board, Travis suggests they tow them in their own raft behind The Abigail. They agree to this but soon after, when the engine is fixed and the boat is really moving again, Strand CUTS the line holding them, leaving Alex and Jake adrift in the sea. Will we see them again? We’ll find out next week hopefully.

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Paul co-created and writes for SHOWoff, a game that lets players predict what happens next on their favorite shows, earn points for what they get right, and see where they stack up against friends and the world (free in the iOS App store).  Check out the SHOWoff app at playSHOWoff.com
Twitter: @PaulGulyas

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