For those who feared that Fear The Walking Dead would be an uneventful slog after the slower-than-normal 90-minute premiere, those worries were likely put to rest during the spinoff's second episode, "So Close, Yet So Far." In the course of one hour, the city of Los Angeles went from quiet trepidation over a series of unexplainable events to full-blown rioting and chaos. By the end of the episode, all of our heroes had encountered zombies, been caught up in protests, and/or made plans to flee to the desert. With events proceeding so rapidly, how long will it take for contemporary L.A. to devolve into the post-apocalyptic wasteland of The Walking Dead? When's the Fear The Walking Dead Season 1 finale?
The prequel series has taken a page from its predecessor's book, debuting with a short freshman season of a mere six episodes. This is just enough time to introduce viewers to the world of the show, tease them with some exciting action, and leave them salivating for more. With two episodes already out of the way (and one week off for Labor Day), that means Fear will be scaring us for the last time on Oct. 4 — just in time for Season 6 of TWD to premiere one week later, on Oct. 11.
In the meantime, here's a list of seven things that definitely need to happen before Fear gives its last scare in four weeks.
1. The Collapse Of The Government
Considering that Rick Grimes was apparently only in his coma for four or five weeks, society must have collapsed pretty quickly in order for the world to be as deteriorated as it was when he woke up. That raises an essential question: "How did that happen??" How was the American military overrun by mindless shuffling corpses in a little over a month? What happened to the police, the emergency service personnel, the government officials? It's hard to imagine the United States falling apart so rapidly, even in the face of a zombie plague.
2. An Explanation
TWD writer and Fear creator Robert Kirkman has already announced that the spinoff won't be directly answering the question of how the zombie outbreak began — but that's certainly not going to stop audiences from asking. It just seems silly to create a prequel and then not answer the single most important question, doesn't it? But while Fear may already have provided enough clues to come up with a few compelling theories, it would be nice to see the series at least drop some concrete hints... even if the exact origin is never scientifically proven.
3. Urban Terror
For five years, we've watched Rick & Co. tromp around the southern wilderness, with only occasional forays into downtown Atlanta for a change of pace. So when the idea of fleeing to the desert was floated in the second episode, I groaned. Rather than another show about characters fighting zombies in the wilderness, it would be better for Fear to contain itself to the claustrophobic environs of downtown Los Angeles. This visual aesthetic would separate it from its parent series, and could make for some interesting set pieces through abandoned buildings and canyon-like streets.
4. Creative Kills
Several months after the original outbreak, the walking corpses have started to severely decay, giving TWD's production team free reign to craft the most disfigured, gruesome zombies imaginable. The zombies in Fear are "fresher," which means they're inherently less interesting in terms of the design and makeup effects. The writers should make up for that by having the characters kill the walking dead in increasingly creative ways. It makes sense, too, since in the early days of the apocalypse, people would be experimenting with the best ways to kill the undead. (On TWD, everyone already knows that a bullet, arrow, or knife to the head is the quickest and cleanest way to dispatch a walker.)
5. A Major Death
Of course, it wouldn't be a spinoff of TWD if there weren't some major character deaths in store. So far, only minor characters like Alicia's boyfriend and Madison's boss have kicked the bucket. There needs to be at least one major character death before the end of these six episodes to let viewers know that nobody's safe. Perhaps a Ned Stark-like death of a central father figure? (Bye bye, Travis.) Or the shocking murder of an innocent Beth-like young woman? (Watch your back, Alicia.) As long as they don't kill Tobias. That kid deserves to live.
6. More Fear
For a show with the word "fear" in its title, there's been a conspicuous lack of that particular emotion in the two episodes so far. There's been a lot of family drama, a couple exciting action sequences, and some tension as the city devolves into chaos — but barely any outright fear. This show needs a few truly terrifying sequences to cement its place in TV horror history. Think the "raptors in the kitchen" scene from Jurassic Park, only with zombies instead of dinosaurs. Something that will truly make us sit on the edge of our seats and afraid to turn out the lights.
7. A Sense Of Purpose
Out of all the horror sub-genres, zombie movies are perhaps the most consistently rife with metaphor. The walking dead can come to symbolize so many different things, from our culture's mindless obsession with consumerism (Dawn Of The Dead), to our country's ugly history of overseas occupation (28 Weeks Later). The Walking Dead has struggled with this allegorical relevance at times, although at its best, it is a compelling examination of human nature and the flaws inherent in our societal structures.
So far, Fear's raison d'être seems to be all on the surface: to show TWD fans how the zombie apocalypse began. And while this may be interesting for a while, it's not enough to sustain the show in the long run. We all know what happens when a prequel focuses too intently on one central question, like "How did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader?" without a deeper reason for existing. Fear needs to develop its own identity and purpose separate from its parent series, stat.
Images: Giphy (7)