AMC‘s Fear The Walking Dead Ouroboros TV Show Review. Fear the Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 3: ‘Ouroboros,’ lived up to franchise expectations; but mostly because it picked up where the Flight 462 web series left off. Unfortunately, much of what that brought to the episode was overshadowed by more plot-by-idiocy.
Anyone who followed the web series likely already had Alex (Michelle Ang) pegged as a useful member to have, on a prospective z-apocalypse team; but two of her three fellow survivors didn’t get the full lesson, from their time on the flight. They missed the one about not getting on your resident bad-ass’ bad side.
Alex & her fellow survivor would factor in later.
When an act of Alex inadvertently left Abigail dead in the water, the group split up again. With the kids adamant about scrounging a seemingly clear air disaster site, and Daniel (Rubén Blades) willing to chaperone (for personal reasons), another Away Team versus on-board deliberation dynamic was in order – with Maddie (Kim Dickens), Travis (Cliff Curtis), and Strand (Colman Domingo) being the ones having to deal with the boat (and each other). Strand had a plan. Daniel knew something about it; but decided that was to be someone else’s problem. Daniel had the kids.
There were bodies at the crash site – heads & all – so why didn’t they turn? This seemed like the kind of question that might have an important answer, at least at some point; but ‘Ouroboros’ had more important drama to drum up.
Maddie was a noticeably solitary voice of caution, this time around; but then Daniel decided to make her take point, on calling out Strand on his apparent plan. That confrontation left her & Strand on the same page (though not necessarily on the same side of it), and Maddie forcing herself to be the more trusting of Strand’s stated agenda, between herself & Travis. The outcome to the Away Mission would shake things up again.
After talk about urgent resupply & wasting time, the kids wasted no time wasting time at the crash site. Pirates? Wot pirates? There were fun knick-knacks, all appropriately sized, to play dress up with. This meant that Daniel got careless, of course, taking his eye off a known liability; so when that liability did something reliably stupid, plot happened.
Maybe Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) is slowly finding his way to becoming a serial killer of the undead, as his way of coping with his emo issues; but he was way out of his depths, regarding doing some of the real dirty deeds of Walker World. Don’t get me wrong – I felt for what he found himself having to do (and appreciate that he was there for someone in a real bad situation); but it was still a needlessly precarious position to put himself in.
For a show called Fear the Walking Dead, I’m not seeing a lot of fear out of Chris & Nick (Frank Dillane). Plenty of oops-this-might-cost-us moments; but not fear. Ironically, it was Nick (and his nefarious pharmaceutical know-how) that snapped Daniel out of his own preoccupation; but , somehow, Daniel just wasn’t on his game, this time around.
The first direct contact with Alex made her out to be the more sensible of the two, since Daniel thought it better to make a stand, than follow her lead, round up the kids, and bail. On the other hand, Chris was still unaccounted for (the “little bastard”). Not to be outdone by a grown up’s sense of responsibility, Nick decided to poke fun at a hapless Walker (with a really bad case of crabs – hey, wait, look: animal scavengers! I been asking about those) – so unforced fatal error number… (where are we with that count…?)
Oops – that definitely cost them.
As luck (or the script) had it, Travis was able to get Abigail able, right around the time the latest Nick-up (yup – I’m naming that brand of plot-by-idiocy) got the Away Team surrounded. Why keep Nick around at all? Apparently ‘cause Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) hits like a girl. If you’re going to try to redeem someone like Nick, make sure he comes back covered in gore glory – all 28 Days Later Jim, or some junk.
Unfortunately, some of that glory went away, when Nick inadvertently discovered the secret of Walker camouflage. He did this by essentially giving up & letting them catch up to him. How lucky can one first class Nick-up get?
Ordinarily, I’d expect a stranger’s pit-stop request, under zombie horde conditions, to get a quick veto from someone like Daniel; but hey, if they could afford a tender moment for the brother & sister, while everyone else tries to drag a raft back into the surf….
The infusion of new characters started with some new life breathed into an old argument. Alex deserved better than what she got, of course (both tag alongs did), but nobody on Abigail knew this, at the time (or about getting on her bad side). Still, a tarp would’ve been considerate.
Not that it mattered.
I reckon there are quite a few Strand haters out there (or, at least, more of them), now; and at this point, it would be hard to defend the man without proof of redemption. Strand, man, there better be at least one loved one in distress, coming out of all of this….
‘Ouroboros’ would’ve been just the sort of intense & engrossing episode the show needs; but suffered for all of its Nick-ups & Chris-costs (yup – branding). We are going to need some convincing demonstration that this show can generate the kinds of thrills to make us root for its characters, not yell at them for unforced errors.
If the only ones with sensible survival skills fight among themselves, then that’ll have to do, for now; but there’s no future to those numbers. We’ve gone from two, to three, to two again, and in a single episode. While that made for great drama, it also made for dimmer prospects.
Everything now seems to rest on the last stop for Strand. I’ll figure out what to do with my boarding ticket after that.
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