The “Grotesque” Cost of Survival on Fear The Walking Dead


nick-ep-8On the last episode of Fear the Walking Dead our team was split up in the melee of Daniel’s death and the burning down of Thomas’s home. While Travis tries to keep Chris from hurting himself and others, Nick is more comfortable living among the infected.


Before I review tonight’s episode I just wanted to point out how helpful Robert Kirkman’s zombie series is to the multitude of fans that turn in each week to watch The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Thanks to Mr. Kirkman we are now prepared for the End of Days. We have learned many valuable and lifesaving tricks, the most important one being: don’t get bitten. Thanks to Kirkman we’ve learned that the stumbling bags of flesh called walkers will be the least of our problems when civilization is swirling the drain of extinction. Yes, walkers can be scary, and yes, they love to snack on survivors, but people can be so much nastier. Two months have passed since the start of the apocalypse. Will our lovable and free-spirited Nick know how to survive in a forsaken world without his family?


Nick is one of the most misunderstood characters in the show. A lot of my friends don’t like Nick. They think his drug addiction made him an unsuitable survivor. They think he’s selfish and self-centered. They are wrong. Frank Dillane plays his Nick as a loser who has finally come into his own.

What my friends don’t get is that Nick is the idea survivor especially because he’s a drug addict. If you’ve ever dealt with drugs yourself, or have a family member who is on drugs, you soon learn how damn resourceful they can be at getting their daily fix. I’ve seen a family member leave the house with absolutely no money on him and he’d come back high. How is that possible unless the dealers give credit on the street corner?

Three Stages of Death

Nick shocked his mother by choosing to live among the infected instead of with his family, but she really should have expected his decision. He had to die to understand life. In tonight’s episode, Nick goes through the three stages of death; death, burial and forgotten. Nick might as well be dead after his supplies and water are taken from him by the bat-swinging mother. If you’re wondering why Nick wears the same clothing, then you might need to do some research on the plight of refugees. When a person is left with nothing but the clothing on his back, those shreds of cloth become very important if only as a means to remember their past.

In the desert, death comes in many ways and if dehydration doesn’t kill you, eating a cactus plant will. After being attacked by dogs, Nick watches as the infected are attacked by the same hungry dogs before the horde feast on the dogs. By Nick feeding on the dogs, he has gone through the second stage; burial. Nick thinks of himself as dead and he shuffles right along with the infected. Is it because he really does connect to the dead? I get the feeling from this episode that he does. Due to the infected bites and lack of water, Nick does hallucinate and not only does he hear their promise to take him to safety, but he sees his old girlfriend Gloria, better known as patient zero.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-208-walkers-935Why is Nick so comfortable with the dead? He doesn’t think they’re monsters even after seeing the outlaws ripped to shreds. What is Nick searching for? Through several flashbacks, we learn that Nick’s drug use may have been a way to cope with his father’s neglect. Nick’s dad was just too exhausted after a long day on the job to pay attention to his son. There was a close bond between Nick and his dad, but the long hours spent at work, and later, the fatal car accident, robbed Nick of the one person he respected. In these flashbacks and with the journey Nick is on now, we see the useless drug addict go through an evolution. Nick’s addiction to drugs has been transposed to the dead.


Tonight’s episode was one of the best for this season. Frank Dillane was given a chance to show us what his character was capable of. From the start of the show when Nick wakes up in a strange house where a woman tells Nick that there are others who view the dead the same way as Celia did, to the beginning of Nick’s journey to Tijuana, we are on the edge of our seats.

ftwdIs Nick a survivor? I say yes. Does Nick have a death wish? Hell yes, but it’s his lack of fear that makes him able to survive. Nick became a living zombie when he stayed with the horde. He stayed with them until he couldn’t walk another step. His collapse on the road was as close to death as he could have come, but the rains came and the water washed away the blood and gore. After finding his was into a new community, Nick is ready to join the living.

Tonight we were treated to new characters; some good and some not so good. When Nick is first spotted by Luciana (Danay Garcia) she’s confused as to why he is willing to be part of the horde, but she knows right off that Nick is the ultimate survivor. After Alejandro (Paul Calderon), the town pharmacist/doctor, tends to Nick’s bites, Nick tells the doctor that he is looking for a place where the dead are not seen as monstrous. The community of Colonia might just be that place.

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