Fear the Walking Dead: Let’s Talk About “Cobalt” (S1E5)

fear-the-walking-dead-teaser-129237Fear the Walking Dead is entering the final stretch with the penultimate episode, “Cobalt.” Find out what the Gabbing Geek crew had to say about S1E5 after the break.

[FEAR THE WALKING DEAD SPOILERS BEYOND]

Ryan: I don’t want to jinx anything, but was this a perfect episode?  At times it felt too slow, at times I felt panicked from it moving too fast, but on the whole isn’t that what this show is about–the sense of dread a group would face in the early days of the zombie outbreak?

First we had the amazing introduction to a mysterious new character, Strand, whose subtle manipulations are enough to push a disturbed man over the edge but he’s also gathering strength for “his move.”  He gives up diamonds for a possible favor from a heroin addict–I have no idea what he’s planning but I am intrigued.

The military gets some interesting treatment with both some bordering-on-crazy actions by Lt. Moyers to seeing just the fringe of activity with an assault inside a school (or was it a library?).  The interaction between the Lt. and Travis about sniping the walker was also interesting–besides all of the military/civilian tension going on you had a great moment of conflict between two survivors: one with undead blood on their hands and another who has benefited from the former’s protection.

Daniel’s torture of the soldier I could do without–not only because it propogates the myth that torture works, but it also didn’t feel authentic to the soldier.  I never felt he was manipulative enough to lie yet the episode has him reveal things he knew and was holding back–specifically about the Cobalt plan.  While this part drove the story forward I felt it could have been done in a more authentic way.  It provided us with some gruesome moments, true, but there are a lot of ways to do that in a show about zombies.

And finally you have the evolving storyline of the kids–not just Nick in the medical facility but also Alicia and Chris.  Their teenage emotions finally lashing out at the strange world they now face by destroying a mansion in their neighborhood was a fantastic scene.

Now with the military moving out, we have one episode left to reunite the family before they formulate their own long-term plan.  Will they all make it to the end of the finale?  I don’t think so, and my money is on at least Travis’ ex-wife to die, but we’ll find out in just one week!

Score:   9 out of 10 pneumatic air guns.

Jimmy: I think it says something about this show that the most interesting character just showed up in episode 5 of a 6 episode run.  From the opening scene I was intrigued and wanted to know more about Nick’s cellmate.  I think Nick is a good character and Bad Daddy Salazar has our attention for sure, but this old school salesman with a plan looks like he’s one to watch.  The rest I couldn’t really care less about.

I’m not sure I like the incredibly dark turn of Papa Salazar, but he does bring an aspect to the survivors that most of them lack.  A kill or be kill, do whatever is necessary approach.  They are trying to install this type of attitude with Madison, but are failing miserably.  On the flip side, Travis continues to be potentially too passive.  Ya know what, I’ll cut him some slack for not pulling the trigger on the walker.  I don’t know that I could have either.  It’s easy to forget that less than 2 weeks ago in FTWD time, he was just your every day school teacher.  It also doesn’t help that the infected appear as just that, infected.  They don’t really have the decayed look of walkers that we are used to on TWD.  They still look very much like people.

Also, the characters have two disadvantages.  One, unlike the characters on the Walking Dead, this is all new to them.  No one has any idea how far spread this is nor how bad.  They still have hopes of cures and rescues.  (Something that makes the Army pull out at the end all the more heartbreaking.)  But they also have no concept of walkers/zombies in the fiction of their world.  I don’t know that we’d ever be prepared in the real world either if a zombie apocalypse broke out, but at least we would have some understanding of what was happening.  These people are still figuring things out.

The show is still well under the bar set by TWD, but at least with this episode I finally felt like “hey, I’m watching The Walking Dead”.  Even if, again, the infected were very limited.  And the lack of people/infected around their camp is still unbelievably small.  “Guess how many kills we’ve had…84…company record.”  Please, Rick Grimes could do that in his sleep.  But also, 84 kills…that’s it?  I know you locked people in the auditorium, but there still should be people everywhere.

But I digress.  The show continues to improve and it’s too bad only one episode remains as it is just starting to feel like it is getting going after a slow crawl.  I’m looking forward to the finale and wonder if anyone of significance will bite it?  Keep in mind, there were no real major deaths in TWD in season one.

Score: 8 out of 10 awkward step-brother/step-sister sexual tension scenes

 

 

ryan

Gabbing Geek co-founder, podcaster

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