TV Show Review

TV Review: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Season 1, Episode 6: The Good Man [AMC]

Cliff Curtis The Good Man

AMC‘s Fear The Walking Dead The Good Man TV Show Review. Fear the Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 6: ‘The Good Man,’ is the final installment of the series’ first season. One of the biggest knocks against Fear the Walking Dead so far is its lack of…. walking dead, and The Good Man seeks to make amends by offering viewers more over the top zombie mayhem than the previous five-episodes combined.

The Good Man’s opening moments teased fans with the potential for all the zombie carnage that Fear the Walking Dead’s first season has lacked, and the rest of the episode didn’t disappoint. Daniel’s (Rubén Blades) plan to unleash the “skin-bags” upon the military installation was not only another example of the shrewd pragmatism that has made him the most interesting character on the show, it also serves to show the audience how the American military could fall to an enemy that can’t outpace a Segway. While the military may theoretically possess the training and technology to ward off a zombie invasion, the past few episodes have provided the audience examples of how susceptible an army is to human weakness within its ranks. Similar to how a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; a line of defence is susceptible to collapse as the soldiers within its ranks begin to fight for themselves and their families rather than their brothers and sisters in arms.

Fear the Walking Dead spent a great deal of time this season examining the moral ambiguity that comes with deciding who to look out for during a time of crisis. Daniel and Strand (Colman Domingo) frequently turn a blind eye to the suffering of others in order to maximize their chances at surviving — and they both come off as heartless bastards — while Travis (Cliff Curtis) tries to look out for everyone and only seems to be handicapping his odds of survival. After six-episodes, it finally appears Travis understands that he can no longer get by “being a good man.” Travis cathartically beating down Ophelia’s (Mercedes Mason) shooter shows the audience that he is struggling with the consequences of his poor decision making, and his choice to be the one to kill Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) is symbolic of him taking ownership of the new rules that govern the post-apocalyptic world.

Fear the Walking Dead’s shortened six-episode season hindered the show on a couple of fronts. The small number of episodes prevented the plot from gaining traction. The escalating tension between the civilians and the military fell flat in The Good Man and only acted to stunt the progress of the series’ central characters. The last two episodes revealed that in terms of dealing with the outbreak the military was just as clueless as the rest of society, coming off less as a tyrannical threat and more like a group of bullies. When the audience finally saw a military outpost forced to deal with a zombie herd, it crumbled just as fast as some farmers standing their ground with pitchforks. By the end of the episode Travis, Madison (Kim Dickens) and their blended family set back on the path that they had decided upon several episodes ago, only slightly more world weary. The short season also didn’t allow much of the main cast to progress through compelling character arcs. Six-episodes in, only Daniel and Strand have established themselves as being remotely interesting, with the other leads coming off as varying shades of naive and irritating.

The Walking Dead is a fine show that any number of series would zombie-gnash their own limbs off to usurp: it’s a ratings juggernaut and has amassed a strong cult following that will continue reverently singing the show’s praises at comic conventions for decades. However, it still remains to be seen what type of show Fear the Walking Dead intends to be. Right now the series has the same dour tone and cynical view of humanity that permeates its sister series — only with less zombies. If the show’s goal is to depict the collapse of society that Rick Grimes Rip Van Winkled his way through on The Walking Dead, well then mission accomplished — by the end of The Good Man it looks like L.A. is in full on zombie outbreak mode. The show could easily have a successful run by becoming The Walking Dead: California Edition, the zombie equivalent of CSI: Miami  — just don’t expect me to go zombie shuffling along in the show’s wake. I only have room in my life for a single one-hour television block of grief, agony, and despair.

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About the author

Victor Stiff

Born and raised in Toronto, Victor has spent the past decade using his love and knowledge of the city to highlight and promote significant cultural events such as TIFF, The IIIFA awards, and the Anokhi Gala. He is an avid reader of Sci-fi and Horror and constantly sits through indie film marathons in rabid anticipation of the genre’s next great film auteurs. He also contributes sci-fi and fantasy movie reviews to www.zone-six.net

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