Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The latest Fear the Walking Dead episode, “So Close, Yet So Far,” was decidedly different than the title suggests. In fact, it was right on the mark. Juxtaposed with the pilot, the second episode leapt into action, and detailed the imminent demise of society — by the likes of ravenous people taking on the persona of zombies. (Although, they still look pretty harmless until you see the whites of their eyes, devoid of life.)
“So Close, Yet So Far” is a positive step forward for the series, which has now shown that even season one will be colorful — in terms of the obvious reddening, the bloodletting, we’re expecting to see.
The episode begins where the pilot let off, though this week, both Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) now believe their junkie son Nick (Frank Dillane).
Manama begins to worry about his biological son, Christopher (Lorenzo James Henrie), who resents him for his divorce with Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez). Chris decides to ignore most of Travis’ calls, although he gets the young boy on the line by calling with Liza’s phone.
Both Travis and Liza enter the apocalyptic LA environment, and find Chris filming a riot against the police which killed a ‘sick’ African American in the street. The riotous feel ends when the police barricade all of the protesters, out of fear of the “sickness” spreading. Travis, Eliza, and Chris manage to escape by entering a barber shop whose owner was in the process of lowering the metal gate in front of his store. The barber, Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades), also has his family with him, inside his all-purpose shop.
This angle comes to a close with episode director, Adam Davison, and writer, Marco Ramirez, making productive strides at characterizing Manawa’s immediate, and previous, family. Travis looks through a narrow hole in the shop’s metal gate to see the debacle outside. Two mischievous teens even come slamming on the gate. From this point on, viewers can assume that the Manawas and the Salazars will be inextricably connected.
On the other side of things, Madison Clark becomes separated with Travis and sets out to find drugs that could prevent Nick from going cold turkey. Meanwhile, Nick seizes and nearly dies at home without his fix. His sister, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), luckily nurses her brother back to life.
Shortly before this, viewers also learned that Alicia’s boyfriend, Matt (Maestro Hammell), has come down with whatever illness is going around — closing schools and knocking cities off the grid. Unselfishly, Matt tells Alicia to leave his house so she does not develop symptoms.
On the hunt for the drugs, Madison goes to her workplace, the local high school, and finds it a ghost town. Not surprisingly, however, someone shows up to give her a fright. It turns out that certain someone is Tobias (Lincoln A. Castellanos), who’s returning to the school to stock up on food from the cafeteria. Both Tobias and Madison then run into a real threat — Madison’s former boss, turned zombie, Art Costa (Scott Lawrence). Costa nearly kills Tobias before Madison saves the day with a fire extinguisher.
Madison invites Tobias to ‘ride out the storm’ with her and her family, but Tobias refuses, saying that this plague, this epidemic — whatever it is — does not simply end. Madison returns home with confiscated drugs for Nick. Luckily, by this point, Nick is on the mend.
The Clarks, still at home, wave at their neighbors across the street and next door, but everyone is now on edge, a facet that is exceedingly suspenseful for fans. By the end of the episode, the same neighbors who once waved and hosted a birthday party were now eating each other alive. Everything is truly off kilter, the 21st century stasis destroyed.
Tune in to AMC on September 13 at 9 p.m for episode three.
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!
Follow Dan Gunderman on Twitter @dangun127