Fear the Walking Dead: Date of Death Review
Fear the Walking Dead, season 2, episode 13, ‘Date of Death,’ might have been worth noting the time for. I won’t break out into a Wizard of Oz number (you just missed out on Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead), but something of a burden was laid to rest, this ep, and I marked the occasion for future celebration. In the event it holds some actually lasting meaning, that is.
Still, there were other frustrations to consider, for musical reference.
There was a light (“over at the Rosarito place”) in the darkness of a lot of weary lives. Naturally, this brought a horde of Walking Not-Dead-Yets to the gates of the hotel. Naturally, that outcome never occurred to Madison (Kim Dickens). Well, one big oops aside, that was okay. She had clearly learned her lesson, now that she had to refuse the pleading throng. A hard lesson that Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was sure to reassure her housemates of, until one person, on the wrong side of the gate, turned out to be Travis (Cliff Curtis). That kind of put a new spin on Maddie’s repentant line-in-the-sand.
That was about as good a place as any to leave Maddie to stew, while the episode took us back over Travis’ course, from point A to point oops. Point A was back at the farm, where Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) had just crossed a hard line. Travis being Travis, the focus immediately went from the dead farmer, to saving the fool, whose fowl foul-play got him shot by the farmer – triggering Chris’ trigger finger.
Quick note to the armchair Road Warriors, who quickly defended Chris & the Wasted Wasters: the farmer only wounded the chicken choker. It was a warning to the intruders – even after one of them had crossed a line – so Chris was not justified, killing him “in self-defense.” You want to call Road Warrior rules, fine; but the law was on the farmer’s side – so don’t use legal rationalization for Chris’ action. Okay – not so quick note, fine.
Travis took the life saving thing seriously enough (no sign of his festering foot pain – he got better); but the only one he was interested in saving was Chris. Unfortunately, Chris was more interested in fitting in with the Wasters. I make a point of never getting between Lemmings & a cliff; but things get complicated when one of the suicide streakers is a loved one. It gets less complicated when the little rat-thing bites you, though. I wouldn’t characterize Lorenzo James Henrie as the worst actor in the World, but c’mon, Travis, Chris was practically smirking when he gave that whole “I get it” spiel. So the score became two lines crossed, and Travis now pulling on a Lemming gone past.
To be fair, once Chris reasoned that he was the functional one (the ‘insane becoming the sane, when the World goes insane’ rationale), Travis was a fool for still playing by civilized family rules. Blood’s thicker than water; but guns & goons spares your blood, by spilling someone else’s. I guess it was Travis being Travis, to just keep trying; but I wish he’d have shown some dignity about it.
On the other hand, Chris’ smug mug, watching Travis eat his dust, would make for some delicious schadenfreude, on the other side of that cliff. Until then, we’ll just have to settle for Chris being dead to his father. Time of death: way too long, and way too symbolic; but a corner was turned, that badly needed turning.
“Hey, Mikey, I think Travis finally got it.”
Well, sort of. His grasp on who left who was a little shaky, and his arrival at the hotel seemed to serve as an out for Maddie. Lighting up the hotel brought in Travis, fine; but try telling the rejects, outside the gate, how lucky that was. Travis couldn’t be bothered by his preferential treatment, either – taking his lucky break to still make a case for Chris.
I don’t think a whole lot of viewers care. Either they hate Chris forever, or they prefer him as a villain – either way, reminiscing about his good points isn’t likely to change that. Get over it, Travis. At least Maddie saw Alicia, as the moral to Travis’ recrimination, and not Nick (for a change). It still wound up being about Nick, of course; but for the moment it was (and Maddie not doing anything else stupid), I’d call that progress.
… Or something. Maddie’s reveal to Alicia begged the question: if her father couldn’t stand the family dynamic, why are we expected to? More bad acting, more drama-rama, and a violent, bloody end can’t come quick enough, to the show’s second season, to break up the family circus. Fortunately, Maddie’s Travis exception made it impossible to justify keeping the others out. I see Red Shirts.
I also see an opportunity to break up the familial cast. Killing off all those waiting list extras, and keeping the (remaining) original cast intact, would be a waste. Then again, there’s something to be said about adding Wasters to that waiting list.
Schadenfreude and comeuppance are two different things. At this point, I’d settle for word of Wasters getting the latter, as an appetizer towards the former; but having both Nick & Chris out in the wind, when stuff goes down (fingers crossed), sounds like the showrunners making a redemption play.
I may have to settle for comeuppance.
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