Final Thoughts from the Fear the Walking Dead Episode "The Dog"

by StevenHelmer

Thoughts from the season 1 episode that first aired September 13, 2015.

Synopsis: Madison (Kim Dickens) is forced to protect her home from one of her undead neighbors while waiting for Travis (Cliff Curtis) to return from the city. Meanwhile, Travis and the others holding up in the Salazar barber shop are forced to flee the building and brave the riots outside, resulting in a serious injury.

My Thoughts

1. We're now three episodes into this spin off of "The Walking Dead" and I'm still waiting for it to separate itself and show me it is something unique. So far, that hasn't happened. Yes, there are some minor differences, such as the characters not knowing what, exactly, is going on. But, there are also plenty of similarities. This includes one group of survivors waiting for another group to return from a big and dangerous drive.

2. That being said, there were a couple things about this episode that stood out for me. One of the big ones was the scene with Travis taking the garbage out to the curb. I thought that was an interesting minute or so because, when I think of the start of the zombie apocalypse, I honestly don't think of people living their normal, everyday lives. And, I couldn't help but wonder if there was even going to be an attempt to pick up that trash.

3. Along those same lines, I also liked the family Monopoly time. People sitting down to play a relaxing board game is something, admittedly, you don't see in "The Walking Dead" all that often. I wonder if board games even still exist in that world.

4. One other thing I did like was the cliff-hanger like ending of this episode with the military showing up and securing the area. This did leave me with some questions, such as why they were so insistent on not letting people leave their homes and whether or not they fully understand what is happening.

5. I'm still not sure why Madison was so determined not to tell Alicia (Alyssa Debnam-Carey) the truth about what was happening around her. As I said before, it's not like she's a little kid. And, in this particular episode, I think her lack of knowledge, among other things, is a big reason why she nearly got bitten.

6. Speaking of revelations, I think it's only a matter of time before they discover you don't have to be bitten to turn into a zombie. The episode foreshadowed that with Griselda's (Patricia Reyes Spindola) injury and a pretty detailed description about what they can expect to happen if she doesn't receive medical attention. And, despite the military being right outside their door, there doesn't seem to be much effort to find her a doctor.

7. Am I the only one that is reminded of "The Walking Dead's" Shane (Jon Bernthal) when watching Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades). He has many similarities, including putting his family first, being trigger happy and being willing to do what is necessary, whether it is a popular decision or not. Shows like this need a loose-cannon character to keep them from becoming predictable.

8. And, for the record, I agree with his decision not to leave with Travis and his family (though the military did, ultimately, take that decision away from him by making them stay). In addition to his wife not being in any position to travel, given the circumstances, I don't think I'd be too comfortable trusting my life to a family that consists of a pacifist dad, three teenagers and two women who don't really get along very well. I'd probably take my chances on my own too.

9. Not to mention, I'm still a little confused about Travis and Madison's escape plan. To summarize, they are planning on leaving their house that, while not completely safe, isn't exactly overrun by the infected, is far away from the riots and, with a little work, could be secured relatively well. Instead, they are going to get in their cars and drive to the desert, where they will be limited to the food they bring with them and subject to exposure (it is, after all, a desert) and have zero guarantee hundreds of others haven't had the same idea. This plan doesn't seem like it was thought out very well, especially since they aren't exactly well armed. I think the military saved their lives just by showing up and forcing them to stay home.

Final Opinion

This episode did have some merits. However, as I mentioned before, I'm still waiting for this show to stand on its own two feet and prove to me it is truly something that is unique rather than just a west coast version of "The Walking Dead."

My Grade: B

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Updated: 04/11/2016, StevenHelmer
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StevenHelmer on 09/16/2015

I think the thing that is ultimately going to hurt this show the most is the fact "The Walking Dead" pretty much indicated the downfall of society happened relatively quickly, over a matter of weeks rather than years. At some point, this show is going to have to address that and either become, again, "The Walking Dead-West Coast" or completely ignore what we've already been told.

dustytoes on 09/16/2015

I enjoy reading your take on this series. I'm still not convinced I should keep watching, but the third episode was a little better than the first two. I almost gave up watching Wayward Pines until suddenly everything changed and it became very interesting. I'm hoping FTWD will do the same. Fingers crossed.

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