TV Show Review

TV Review: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Season 1, Episode 4: Not Fade Away [AMC]

Sandrine Holt Frank Dillane Fear the Walking Dead Not Fade Away

AMC‘s Fear the Walking Dead Not Fade Away TV Show ReviewFear the Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 4: Not Fade Away was the best episode of the season so far, escalating in drama, tension, and violence as the episode progressed. This episode is almost the complete opposite of the okay (average) first episode of the series. Not Fade Away had multiple variables working in its favor: quality monologues, foreboding, new characters, a new situation, and evolving awareness.

The reflecting house segments of Not Fade Away were used as an awareness bridge between three characters in the episode: Chris Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie) saw the reflection, Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) saw the reflection and took action, and Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) saw the reflection, a non-believer, and was powerless as a slaughter took place. Travis had been living in a gullible fog, taking everything he was told at face value. The slaughter finally ripped the veil from over his eyes that everything is not what it seemed.

When Madison Clark made it outside of the fence parameter, the viewer thought she would make a beeline toward the reflecting house. That wasn’t the case and it was strange that it wasn’t her destination. Madison’s excursion turned out to be probe into The Forbidden Zone. What Madison saw outside of the fence in The Forbidden Zone was what The Walking Dead fans had come to know and see as normal.

One question that arose when Madison was outside the fence was why she didn’t pick up the handgun and take it with her. There were dead inflected and non-infected all around her. With all of the death she was seeing, it would seem like the prudent move, even if she didn’t immediately need it.

The prudent move is what I believe Dr. Bethany Exner (Sandrine Holt) was up to with her examinations of the walled-in inhabitants of Travis’ neighborhood. It is highly unlikely that “the hospital” that the doctor spoke of is actually a hospital. It is more likely that it is a research facility and the U.S. Army is experimenting on the people brought there trying to figure out: what the virus is, how the virus works, a means to stop the virus, or a cure for the virus.

Dr. Exner is most-likely a cold-blooded pragmatist who sees the situation in black and white terms (like the scientist in The Girl With All the Gifts): survival or extinction. She most-likely has been given all of the legal authority that she needs and knows how dire the situation truly is, being privy to reports from around the nation and probably the world (working in conjunction with other scientists and other research teams). She probably has been authorized to look at the big picture, not individual suffering, not the individual civil rights she is violating.

“The hospital” and all that it encompasses, figuratively and literally, will be the highlight of the next episode (Cobalt), it is almost guaranteed. I bet Travis’ neighborhood is the control group and the people that the Army takes away are the treatment group, the lab rats.

‘The Return’ story that Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) told in Not Fade Away showcased why he is the best character on the show. He had some of the best lines in The Dog and he had the most intriguing and important monologue of season (so far) in Not Fade Away. His monologue was excellent: “They always come home….And I found them. All of them, all at once. All around me. In the water…men do evil because of fear.” Daniel is like Rick Grimes, jaded by the past, looking through that prism at everything in front of him and in the future. Daniel has a perspective on the events of the show that no one else has besides his wife Griselda Salazar (Patricia Reyes Spíndola). Griselda’s lifespan on the show may be short if “the hospital” is what I think it is, which will make Daniel and his sole perspective even more important to the show. If Griselda is experimented on, dies as a result it, and Daniel finds out about it, it will only increase his pessimism and his dark outlook on the world.

The voice-over, closing segment of Not Fade Away by Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was beautiful. Almost everyone in the Travis’ household was betrayed by Dr. Exner and the Army. Blame was cast and retreats were made. Like in the first season of The Walking Dead, some people began to believe what was happening was God’s work. Others saw humanity’s hand at play for the first time (reference Daniel’s ‘The Return’ monologue). They were strong, emotional moments, completing the strongest episode of the season. Lets hope the trend continues.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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