Finally! ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ is here to let us know how the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ came to be, and boy did it really set the tone for it’s first season! Click inside to read all about the fresh walkers, family drama, and more we have in store.
On the Aug. 23 series premiere of Fear The Walking Dead, we are introduced to a broken family living in Los Angeles at the very beginning of an apocalypse they definitely do not see coming. With a junkie son who thinks he’s hallucinating his friends eating each other, and hundreds of kids missing from local schools due to “the flu,” the first episode reveals how every day people were first introduced to the living dead.
We are off to an uncomfortable start when Nick Clark, played by the uber handsome Frank Dillane, wakes up in an abandoned church all alone. His girlfriend, Gloria, is missing, and I have to admit I like that I already know she’s probably eating people on another level of the church. See, that’s what will undoubtedly be the best part of Fear The Walking Dead… we already know what these poor, innocent people do not. The dead are not dead.
When Nick finally finds Gloria, she’s munching down on one of the other junkies who was sleeping in the church, and it’s startling to see a walker look so fresh. She’s covered in the blood of other people, but she still has all of her skin, she’s not missing any limbs, and she’s fully clothed. In fact, the only thing that shows us something is wrong (besides, you know, the eating people thing) is that her eyes are no longer human. Oh, and she also has a large knife sticking out of her chest, but that isn’t really her fault.
At first Nick tries to grab Gloria so they can get out of their, but once she reveals her creepy eyes and blood covered face he runs for his life. As many The Walking Dead fans know, it’s not every episode we get to see someone go running for their life without having to be on constant watch for other walkers. Nick makes his way out of the church, through a back alley, and into a street while only concerned about one threat: Gloria. He has no idea what’s coming… especially when he gets hit by a car and thrown into the road.
Living people crowd him, call 911, and talk to each other as the camera pans out to show us an active Los Angeles. Their are helicopters flying overhead, electricity, and living, breathing people everywhere. But this? This is the beginning.
Next up we see Madison Clark and Travis Manawa (Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis) going through their normal morning routine. Madison is trying to get her daughter, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) ready for school, and Travis is repairing a leak under the sink. Their morning is disturbed only by the phone ringing, which alarms the couple of Nick’s accident. Can we even call it an accident?
Madison, Travis, and Alicia arrive to the hospital to find that Nick is being interrogated by the cops. The doctor tells Madison that Nick, her son, was being delusional, and when she gets to his room he is also being restrained to the bed. It seems as if he doesn’t remember what happened in the church, because he tells the cop that he decided to go for a run. Unfortunately he’s barefoot, high, and the cops think this all happened just because he’s a junkie. Madison eventually kicks the cops out and tries to talk some sense into Nick, but he forces everyone to leave. There’s some definite tension between Nick, Alicia, and their mom’s boyfriend, Travis, but that’s to be expected. He just moved in and he seems really involved in their lives which they are clearly not happy about.
Before leaving the hospital, Travis gets a phone call from his ex-wife about visiting his son. His son is also a teenager, and it’s apparently his dad’s weekend to take him. It’s no surprise the kid doesn’t want to go, and he even has the balls to get on the phone with his dad and tell him that. This family is broken, like many families across the country, and it’s safe to assume the impending apocalypse will eventually bring them all together. Or, it could completely destroy them. We’ll see.
Madison’s Student Warns Her About The Future
Travis sticks around to stand by Nick while Madison brings Alicia to school and goes to work. When Madison, a guidance counselor, arrives at the school she works at, the principal tells her that a lot of kids are out sick. Foreshadowing much?
A moment later one of her usual students sets off the metal detector at the entrance, and Madison swoops in to save him before the principal catches him. She pretends that it’s the change in his pocket that set off the alarm, but once she brings the kid into her office she demands he give her what really set it off. He isn’t happy to, but he hands over what appears to be a knife that he was hiding in his pocket. Madison doesn’t seem surprised that he was hiding such a dangerous weapon, but the kid tries to defend his actions by explaining his theory about why everyone’s sick. He tells Madison that it’s not an epidemic, it’s not the flu, that it’s something bigger and that people are concerned. Madison’s response? Telling him to stop spending so much time on the internet. Ouch.
Nick finally tells Travis what he saw, but he still thinks it was a hallucination because of the drugs. He tells Travis that Gloria was his friend, and that they scored together and later nodded off together. When he woke up everyone was dead, and he found her with blood all over her mouth. “She was eating them,” he tells Travis, to which the man is obviously appalled. Nick tells him that if it’s the drugs talking, that’s one thing, but that if what he saw is coming out of his own mind? Well, then that means he’s crazy. Travis sympathizes, but it only leads him on a dangerous path.
Once Nick falls back asleep, Travis decides to take a drive down to the church where his girlfriend’s son apparently saw someone eating another person earlier that day. He breaks in through a window with nothing but a flashlight, and then makes his way through the dark, empty halls. It is definitely a good idea that someone go and see if Nick is crazy or not, but why did it have to be Travis? Why couldn’t he just ask the police to check it out?
Just when it seems like Travis isn’t going to find any proof of what Nick went through, a junkie jumps out of a corner and scares the crap out of Travis (AND ME). It sounds like the junkie is trying to tell him something, but he’s so freaked out that he goes running before Travis can make any sense of it. When Travis follows him it takes him to the main part of the church, but it’s empty. He yells out to see if anyone responds, but, of course, no one does. He decides to check out the pews and that’s where he trips and falls into a puddle of blood. When he looks to see what he’s touching you can see that their are guts, or maybe even brains mixed in with the puddle. But, interestingly enough, there is no body.
Meanwhile, Madison returns to the hospital after work to find Nick still fast asleep. She takes a moment to herself in the hallway, and the last thing we see from that night is her crying hysterically.
The next morning, Travis wakes up Madison who is fast asleep in the bed next Nick. He brought her a fresh pair of clothes, and when she goes to chance Nick gets a moment alone with his little sister, Alicia. He tells her that he knows she thinks she’s better than him as she helps him eat some breakfast, but she tells him that’s not true. Even better? He tells her that he’s “ending” his run as a junkie, and this time it’s for real because he chooses too. Apparently, what he saw in that church was enough to scare him sober.
When Travis tries to tell Madison that he went to the church and that something really bad happened there, she doesn’t want to hear it. She doesn’t care about what happened in the church, even if it means Nick really saw what he thinks he saw. Which, as we already know, he did.
At school, Alicia and her boyfriend are talking about their futures together, as she’s headed off to Berkeley in a year and he’s still unsure what’s next for him. They are sure they can make it work, and it’s sad to watch them hope so high for the future. They have no idea the future isn’t coming.
Nick Makes A Great Escape
Back at the hospital, Nick hears the old man that he’s sharing a room with start to make weird noises. To be honest, he’s making walker-like groans, but Nick couldn’t possibly know that. A nurse comes in as if on cue, and Nick asks her if the old man is okay. She dismisses the old man and instead lets Nick manipulate her into untying one of his hands so he can go to the bathroom. When she leaves the room to give him privacy, he unties his other hand and gets free, but that’s when the old man finally codes. A bunch of nurses and doctors rush into the room to try to save the old man, but it doesn’t work. When the wheel his bed out of the room the nurse from earlier tells Nick she’ll be back for him, but he barely waits 30 seconds before making great escape. Apparently his speech about wanting to be clean was nothing but bull.
When Madison finds out that Nick escaped the hospital, she berates the nurse into telling her how it happened. The nurse tells her she has to call the police, which doesn’t sit well with Madison. Instead, she demands Travis take her to “where it all started” which is probably the worst idea ever. Again I have to ask, why won’t they just tell the police?
Travis tries to get Madison to stay in the car while he goes in the church to look for Nick, but she refuses. Instead they go inside together, and they find the very same spot of blood that Travis fell in. Madison tells Travis almost the exact same thing that he said to her after seeing it: “something bad happened” here. They continue looking through the church, and Madison finds the room Nick likes to sleep in. When she pulls out a book she recognizes as his, she finds drugs inside of it and breaks down crying.
Next they try one of his old friends, Calvin, in hopes he might know where Nick went. Calvin is very obviously sober now, and even though he tells them he hasn’t seen Nick in a long time, he offers to make some calls and try to find him. Madison tells Travis she’s worried that her next phone call will be one from the morgue, but he assures her that won’t happen. They don’t know it, but we see Nick pick up a burner phone and find a quiet place to crash after making a cryptic phone call.
As they are searching for Nick, Alicia is waiting to meet her boyfriend, Matt, in Venice Beach. He’s a no-show. She texts him repeatedly, including a message that says he “better be dead,” and then she finally leaves. Prediction: he is totally, totally dead.
Travis and Madison get stuck in major traffic on their way home, and they don’t realize how bad it is until more cops go speeding by to whatever is ahead of the jam. Travis thinks it’s just a chase gone wrong, but they get even more uncomfortable when they see the helicopters hovering above them. Instead of waiting it out, Travis pulls off the exit where the jam is and speeds away as fast as he can. They were definitely spooked!
Nick Makes Another Grave Mistake
The next day we see the principal counting kids as they get off the bus, but only five get off. He makes a joke about the police officers outside of the school getting their flu shots, but his sense of humor sucks. When Travis and Madison get into the faculty lounge they find all of the other teachers standing around watching a video on a phone. It appears to be whatever was holding up Travis and Madison in traffic last night, and it’s pretty graphic. It shows a man on a stretcher attacking an EMT guy. You can’t really tell that he’s eating him, but he totally is. When he gets up he starts attacking other EMT people and officers, and no matter what they try they can’t fight him off. They finally shoot him, and even though he falls to his knees he manages to get right back up. At this point, Madison and Travis decide to walk away because they can’t keep watching.
In one of the classrooms Alicia and her friends are watching the video from a different angle, and they very clearly see the cops shoot the walker square in the head. At that point he goes down for good, obviously, but Alicia swears the video is fake. At the same time Alicia is still trying to text Matt, but he hasn’t responded. Right when she tells her friends this their teacher tries to take their phones away, but at that exact same moment the principal announces that the school is closing for a half day. Madison walks into Alicia’s class to find her just as the bell rings, and she tells her that people are worried about the shooting. Alicia asks her if it was fake again, but Madison just tells her to go straight home.
As Madison is leaving the school, she makes eye contact with her student from the other day who warned her that something wasn’t right about everyone being sick. Realization smacks her in the face at that moment, but she tries to play it cool by smiling and waving. The kid just glares at her in return as the bus pulls away.
We finally find out who Nick was calling when he walks into a diner and meets Calvin. At first it seems like Calvin could be meeting him to help him out, but then we find out that Calvin is actually Nick’s drug dealer. Ouch. He played us all. Calvin is obviously paranoid about the way Nick has been acting and how his parents showed up at his door, but as Nick breaks down in tears Calvin tells him he can hook him up again. Something feels really off about his offer, but Nick takes him up on it because he’s kind of a sucker.
Calvin drives Nick into an isolated underneath a bridge, and he tells him to sit tight while he gets whatever drugs he is pretending to have for him. Calvin gets out of the car, goes to the trunk, and then he walks around to the passenger side and opens the door where Nick is sitting. He asks Nick to get out of the car, but Nick isn’t stupid and he sees the gun in Calvin’s hand. Somehow Nick musters the strength to lunge at Calvin, and they struggle over the gun for a bit before it goes off. When Calvin collapses to the ground, Nick completely freaks out and tries to wake him up. It’s not until Nick turns Calvin’s body over that he sees the blood pouring out of his chest, and he realizes what he’s done. Calvin’s a goner.
For once, Nick is smart enough to call someone for help: Travis. Nick is pissed when Travis shows up with his mom, Madison, but once he starts telling them he did “something bad” it no longer matters. Nick tries to explain that Calvin was going to kill him, but none of it really makes sense. Travis packs the three of them in his truck and drives down to where Nick says it all happened, and they find Calvin’s car… but no Calvin.
Madison & Travis Finally See What Nick Saw
Nick completely breaks down because he doesn’t understand how Calvin could be gone, and it’s clear he thinks he’s losing his mind. Madison tries to console him, and Travis continues to scope out the scene in hopes of finding Calvin. Once they finally get Nick back in the car, it seems like they are going to go home and pretend none of this ever happened, but no such luck. As Travis is backing through the tunnel he used to get to Calvin’s car, he sees a body lurking towards them. Travis is quick to pull the car to a stop, and then both he and Madison get out to see if Calvin is okay. When they approach him he is unresponsive, but then he tries to bite Madison’s wrist. That’s when they finally realize that he’s not really Calvin anymore, and they try to fend him off. Nick is watching in horror from inside the truck, and without even thinking about it he jumps into the drivers seat and punches into reverse. Madison and Travis step back, and Nick runs Calvin over with the truck.
But, it’s not that easy. When Nick pulls the truck to a stop Calvin gets right back up on his feet and comes towards the truck again. Madison and Travis watch in horror as Nick puts the truck in drive and punches it again, this time letting Calvin’s body get stuck on the hood as he flies through the tunnel. Nick slams on the breaks at the end of the tunnel which sends Calvin’s body flying, and that’s when Travis and Madison come running to see the results. It’s not until Nick gets out of the truck that Calvin’s seemingly lifeless body moves, his head turning towards them and his bloody, disgusting jaw moving in a chewing motion. Gross.
This is the start of something terrible, and it seems like these two families just got a real taste of that.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers — Did you enjoy Fear The Walking Dead? Do you think it lives up to the hype, and will you keep watching? Who is your favorite character? Comment below!
— Lauren Cox