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Fear the Walking Dead — The Apocalypse Arrives

Caution, spoilers ahead.

Remember how the characters (all but one, anyway) were slow to understand the world was ending? Remember how some of them were reluctant to embrace violence? Remember how they felt like they were part of a community, where they helped their neighbors endure adversity? Well, all that’s over now.

Last night’s season finale of Fear the Walking Dead was easily the most exciting, culminating in a massive zombie battle and flight to (apparent) safety, but to get there, the showrunners decided that the protaganists had to change — and fast. In the space of two episodes, the adults went from being appalled at the kidnapping and torture of one soldier to being willing to unleash an entire arena full of zombies on a hospital to reunite with family members. Oh, and don’t think we didn’t notice that they left the gate to their old neighborhood wide open when they left.

The Walking Dead franchise does its set-piece battles pretty darn well, so I’m willing to grant a bit of dramatic leeway. Yet that was a bit much even for my glass half-full outlook on the show. I’ve got no problem at all with a zombie herd taking the action to the next level, but I had a hard time with the notion that Travis — Mr. “I don’t like guns” — would (temporarily) spare the life of a single soldier only to help cause total carnage minutes later.

I’ll keep watching, however. I liked the new rich-guy character (introducted last week), I warmed up to some of the central protaganists by season’s end, and the franchise has earned my loyalty. Plus it still has zombies. For all the season’s shortcomings, it was still far better than Season 2 of its parent show. So count me in for the long haul. 

But this was all just throat-clearing for the main event. Next week, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and the rest of the Grimes Gang make their triumphant return. The zombies are rotting, Alexandria is in chaos, and there are Wolves in the woods.

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