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Fear the Walking Dead - Blood in the Streets - Review: “Death Is a Way to New Life”

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Previously on Fear the Walking Dead - Strand is getting even more mysterious (and continuing to be a class A dick by refusing to help anyone), Daniel and Madison are worried about Strand’s mysterious past and destination, and things are finally starting to get exciting.

     This episode starts off with Nick running errands for Strand. Nick is roaming around a camp site seemingly unsure of where to go. After falling in the ditch with the walker and subsequently getting covered in its blood in the last episode, it appears that Nick has found a new addiction to top all the rest: Bathing in blood and guts. For some reason, Nick always seems to run away from the rest of the group, and while it can be a bit repetitive, I must say that I really enjoyed Nick’s scenes in this episode.

     Back on the boat, Madison and Travis argue about the situation with Strand. Travis and Madison spend more time arguing and fighting than the rest of the walkers on the show do. I realize that in a zombie apocalypse, you’re probably more likely to get in arguments, but these two argue so much that I have a difficult time seeing them as a couple. In the first few episodes of last season (before the world went to hell), it was easy to see how they were trying to build a new combined family. Now, I’m just struggling to see it.

     Meanwhile in another section of the boat, Chris (the most boring character on Fear the Walking Dead) exchanges forced dialogue with Ofelia (the least explored character on Fear the Walking Dead) about each other’s past love lives. Luckily, a random trio of survivors saves us all from complete boredom and immediately board the boat. I watch more television than the average viewer and, as such, I like to think I can see big twists coming, but I did not expect this trio to turn on the group so quickly. This was a great twist and made for an excellent hour of entertainment.

     I really enjoyed seeing the group under a certain amount of pressure. While the attacking group may seem evil to them, having seen the likes of the Governor and Negan, experienced Walking Dead fans know not to think too poorly of the invaders. All the same, once shots started getting fired, it was fun to see Madison and Daniel jump right into the violence that is required in this new world.

     Additionally, I did not expect Strand to leave the boat so quickly. This was surprising given the three rules that he established back in the first episode of the season (1. It’s my boat. 2. It’s my boat. 3. It’s my goddamn boat). This was a smart move for the writers because it gave us plenty of time to learn more about Strand's backstory through the use of flashbacks prior to the outbreak. I did not expect Strand’s background to involve a romance. This should create an interesting dynamic assuming Strand lives long enough to meet up with Thomas Abigail.

     I really have to commend the writers for taking such an unexpected twist with Strand's character. He’s easily the most layered character on the show. While The Walking Dead does not use flashbacks as a story telling device, I think Fear the Walking Dead would greatly benefit from more use of it. A Daniel Salazar flashback could make an extremely entertaining hour of television.

     I’m very excited for Strand’s group to make it to Mexico. With a lot of light shone on Strand’s backstory, the new mystery surrounding him is where his true loyalties lie. We know he likes Nick, but he doesn’t really seem to care for the rest of the group members, especially Daniel and Madison. I have a feeling that Thomas Abigail is not going to be exactly pleased to see that Strand has brought a whole team of guests along with him so Strand could easily turn into an antagonist for this series. Unfortunately, before any of that happens, the group is going to have to find a way to reunite with Travis and Alicia.

Rating: 8.4 /10 - A massive improvement over the premiere and even better than the last two decent episodes. Strand’s flashbacks gave us more information about who Strand is and Nick’s side mission gave us the entertainment of zombie apocalypse violence. It’s still not quite as good as anything The Walking Dead has done (except maybe all that time on Hershel's farm in season two), but it’s getting there.

About the Author - Brandon Rowe
Brandon is a sophomore in college and enjoys watching a lot of TV. Brandon likes to write articles about his favorite shows which include Fear the Walking Dead, True Detective, The Americans, and more than can be written on this page. Brandon also managed the "In the Hot Seat" competition here on SpoilerTV in 2012 and would like to do it again in 2016 if possible. Feel free to use the Facebook, Twitter, or G+ links below to contact him.
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