Fear the Walking Dead S01 E03: The Dog

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When humanity goes down the drain, will you know how to defend your family from the looters, or the walkers? Travis and Maddy are separated from each other. On the last episode of “Fear the Walking Dead,” Travis, Chris and Liza were trapped inside the Salazar’s Barbershop. Maddy, Nick and Alicia were at the family home. Neither have any idea that hell is waiting right outside the door. They will soon.

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We’re so conditioned to thinking in terms of what happened in “The Walking Dead” after Rick Grimes awoke from his coma. But, when Rick awoke: the shit had already hit the fan; the power grids were already down; the rioters already dead or changed and, the government including police, fire and National Guard nowhere in sight. We weren’t there to see how civilization circled the drain. We are now. The before is much scarier.

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I’ve been talking to friends and family about Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson’s new series. They are definitely enjoying this companion series to “The Walking Dead.” They’ve all agreed that this show has a great cast and a great storyline with a common theme. When disasters happen, we humans don’t know diddly squat.

Daniel Salazar is more than just a barber. He and his family come from El Salvador. They’ve survived their own hell, their own civil war with death squads at their doorstep and people disappearing to be tortured or killed. We understand his distrust and his keen observations. Travis does not yet understand the futility of his thinking that the government will save them. When his son Chris realizes that the building is on fire, they make their escape. Griselda is injured in the mad dash to the truck, but as they flee, we see one cop feeding on another. Travis heads to Maddy’s house.

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Maddy is a little more aware of what she’s dealing with because she had to save her student, Tobias, by smashing in the brains of the school principal in the last episode, so you can imagine my frustration when she and her family spend the time playing Monopoly instead of boarding up their windows and locking their doors. We can’t really blame her. She’s dealing with her son’s drug withdrawal and the lights flickering on and off.

When a dog covered in blood seeks shelter at their home, they see an intruder heading their way. Nick knows where there’s a gun. They make their way over to a friend’s house. Susan used to babysit Alicia and Nick when they were little. How many of you had deja vu of Tyreese’s death on “The Walking Dead” when Alicia was looking at the pictures on the wall?

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That walker is now inside Maddy’s house and it’s going after the dog. Dogs and cats will have a hard time surviving and it’s because they’ve been domesticated by us. That will be their downfall. Travis, Liza and Chris enter the house to find a neighbor, Peter, munching on the dog.

While Travis struggles with his neighbor, Alicia is fleeing from Susan. Nick knows that Susan isn’t sick. She’s past sick. He may be a recovering drug addict, but Nick’s mind is crystal clear about the condition of his neighbor. Nick’s recognition of the truth is probably due to watching lots of zombie movies. Hey, let’s be honest. As a fan of “The Walking Dead,” I’m pretty sure I’ll know a zombie when I see one. Wouldn’t you?

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Daniel

Travis is trying to keep his blended family alive and so is Daniel, but Daniel might be better suited to leading this little band of ragamuffins to safety. I like Ruben Blades. His Daniel may have been in the military when the civil war broke out in his country, or maybe, Daniel was a member of a guerrilla group. It doesn’t matter because whatever happened to him in El Salvador, it made him a survivor. He tells Travis to burn Peter’s body. Good advice if you want to stop an epidemic, but we, the fans of “The Walking Dead,” know better. He refuses to go with Travis and the others. He thinks Travis too weak.

Susan

We’ve all witnessed on the news the shocked reactions of neighbors who’ve just learned that the nice man living on their street was really a practicing cannibal. How were they fooled? Why didn’t they notice how many people entered the home, but never left? What if that neighbor was a walker who hungered for your flesh? Travis didn’t understand why Maddy wanted to bash in Susan’s brains. He doesn’t believe she’s dead, only sick. Would you be able to kill a neighbor if they changed, if they hungered for your flesh? What if it were a family member?

Conclusion

As the power grids flicker on and off, so do the emotions of the people trying to survive in a situation they don’t or refuse to understand. Susan’s husband has returned home. He doesn’t know what happened to her, or why she is slowly shuffling towards him. Before Susan nibbles on hubby, a soldier puts a bullet into her head. Daniel’s daughter, Ofelia, wants to leave with Travis and Maddy, but Daniel refuses.

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Daniel’s survived his own form of the apocalypse during his country’s civil war and because he’s survived he knows things. Good people are the first to die and, even though the cavalry has arrived, it’s already too late.

The Greek interpretation of apocalypse means a revealing. A revelation can be good, but when the dead don’t stay dead, it can be a bummer. See you next week, my little zombie snacks.

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