Fear the Walking Dead Episode #101: "Pilot"

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    inferiorego

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    Edited By inferiorego  Staff
    No Caption Provided

    Warning: There are spoilers for this episode in this recap and review.

    Fear the Walking Dead takes place in Los Angeles during the start of the zombie outbreak. You can watch the opening scene to the pilot of the episode here. The opening features a man, Nick, finding a zombie, but as he runs away, he gets hit by a car and tons of people come to see if he's ok. Nick seems like a bit of a drug addict with a lot problems. His parents, mother and step-father, care for him, but apparently not enough to care if he's doing drugs an abandoned building. Nick was apparently missing for some time.

    There are problems between Nick and his family as well. Travis, the step-father, has an ex-partner and child as well. Travis and Madison's (Nick's mother) relationship is moving forward and newer. There's also a teenage daughter named Alicia. Madison works at a local school and as a kind heart for the students, especially those who are problematic. One kid, Tobias, gets busted for having a knife and he seems a tad crazy or super-insightful, since he's believing in the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Nick kinda confirms a sighting of someone eating someone else while talking to Travis in the hospital, although Travis thinks that it was all part of a bad trip from drugs.

    Travis heads to the church where Nick was shooting up and saw the zombie and investigates the area. He finds a lot of blood. Travis really sticks his neck out there for this family, mainly because he wants to do the right thing by Madison and fit into this family unit.

    Nick escapes the hospital and Madison and Travis go searching for him, back at the church. Nick meets up with his drug dealer, Calvin and Calvin wants to kill him, but somehow, Nick gets the upper-hand and Cal gets shot. Madison and Travis go to pick up Nick and Calvin's dead body as gone. As the group leaves the LA River where this all took place, Calvin has become a walker.

    No Caption Provided

    The opening of the show works exceptionally well since fans are so used to humans being alone in this world and seeing other people and the world functioning normally is actually a bit jarring for fans of The Walking Dead. It's a nice kick off for what we're about to have thrown at us.

    The first half an hour of the show is slow. Understandably, the show needs to set-up the characters and the world, but the first 35 minutes of the episode feels like an hour and a half. It's a double-edged sword because with the slow set-up, we get to know a lot about the family dynamic for the Clark family and how Travis fits into this whole situation. This is all mainly revolving around the incident with Nick and what happened to him at the abandoned church, but part of the problem is that the pilot tries to deliver overly-emotional scenes with characters the viewer has no real connection to, like when Madison discovers Nick's heroin needles. If this were even a few episodes in, it would have some impact on the viewer and really worked but here, we're not familiar with these characters yet, so the scene loses a lot of its initial impact. A lot of what makes the first part of the episode slow here will eventually be a better pay off in the series in the long run though

    The show picks up a lot in the last half as there's an air of mystery to everything that's happening in Los Angeles. We get to see a walker take down some paramedics as it reanimates and everyone wonders what it is. It plays out a lot like the events in the real world of a dude hopped up on drugs eating someone's face. At first, it's unbelievable, but since Nick has already seen this happen, Travis and Madison are a bit more alert to what is going on. Those final moments with Calvin turning work exceptionally well because the seeds of this virus spreading have been placed throughout the first parts of this episode. Something that fans can look forward to is characters trying to understand what's going on, as this seems as it will be delivering a great amount of questioning and mystery as the series continues forward.

    The pilot really wants to nail normality onto the viewer, and what these characters were like before everything went to complete hell. It's a slow and drudging push towards total madness, which as we saw for the preview for the upcoming season, will happen pretty quickly.

    What makes this episode great is that it's in the already established The Walking Dead world but has nothing to do with it. This takes place in the past, when the outbreak starts to happen and there's no familiar characters, so anyone, even folks who have left watching the main show or those brand new to the world, can enjoy what's going on here and not feel lost in the woods.

    Overall, it's a good pilot episode and good pilots tend to make for great seasons. Sure, a good chunk of this opening episode is slow, but it will pay off in the long run considering that the show really spends time developing characters and the world, building an emotional investment between the viewer and the show's main cast. This is probably the last time the viewers will see anything that remotely resembles anything they could consider "normal." While The Walking Dead has had its bumps in the road, don't let that take away from the fact this is a stand-alone series and gives the audience a completely different perspective on the same plague that faces Rick Grimes and company. This is a solid start to what hopefully be a great first season.

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    StarBrand1

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    i want to like it, and i will watch it. But i find it had for me to care. All i want to see is our groups endeavors. I have so many other shows im watching and want to watch. I dont think i want a show about something that i like, but never show the only people i give a crap about. We will see tho, its gonna have to be amazing for me to keep up, with so many other great shows coming back, and starting.

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    deactivated-5edd330f57b65

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    2 black guys down already

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    skyroid

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    If this is slower then the walking dead... It's a dead end for me. For some one like me who reads the comic which is fast faced, and the show is slow with tons of fillers and this is gonna be slower???

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    MadeinBangladesh

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    I feel for u Infoego. You but you missed and hour of SS to review this?

    Now wheres my ENDLESS PROMO AT!?!??! This one is a MUST!!! THe ARROW!!!
    ~MiB

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    the_stegman

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    #7  Edited By the_stegman  Moderator

    Okay, here goes. The show was f*cking boring and I will struggle to keep interested in it.

    And I know what people are going to say, "Oh, it can't be just zombie killing for the entire thing." I'm not asking for that extreme, but I don't want the other extreme of it being completely dull either. It was an hour and a half of some druggy kid running around and his idiotic parents looking for him.

    It started out great, the church scene was creepy, then it quickly went into mediocrity. The main problem was trying to tell EVERY family member's back story in the first episode. We focused on everyone and it ended up slowing the show down to a crawl.

    Another problem was that every single character was a cliche (should be called Fear the Walking Cliches). We have;

    1. The step dad who is distant with the kids who insist on calling him by his first name. AND we add another cliche to him, he's a regular dad who had a divorce and is distant with his OWN kid. And if that's not enough, make him a teacher who will win the hearts of the inner school kids by being kewl.

    2. The teacher mom who is worried about her children being delinquents, but not worried enough to talk to them, noooo, just worried enough to worry.

    3. The teenage druggie who won't listen to anyone but instead constantly running away and heading to the streets, only to be overwhelmed by what the streets really are

    4. The teenage girl who is smarter than her boyfriend and will be going to college and leaving him behind, oh, no, what shall they do??

    It made me completely uninterested in any of them.

    I mean, why are they all so stupid? You see an obviously unkillable person come at you and you just stare at it and ask 'What's going on??" How about running? Screaming? Acting like a human? No? Kay then.

    Finally, enough with the gosh darn teasing! We know the show is about zombies, we know zombies will eventually exist, enough seeing them through news footage, or having people walk through homes, building up suspense for nothing, or having a teacher not paying attention so we may think he's a zombie only to find out....NOPE! He's just hard of hearing! Felt like I was watching Shaun of the Dead.

    I know people are saying "it's just a pilot, give it time" but there are plenty of good pilots who can get you interested while introducing you to the world they are building, being new is no excuse for being mediocre. The show better pick up next week or I'm gonna just skip it and wait for TWD to come back and do tv some justice.

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    CaptainMarvel4Ever

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    Interesting choice for an image

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    Spideycap

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    #9  Edited By Spideycap

    I actually really enjoyed it. It's got a much different feel than the walking dead, good acting overall, good setting...should be fun.

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    ARMIV2

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    That preview image is killing me.

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    pikahyper

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    #12 pikahyper  Moderator

    Interesting choice for an image

    That was originally the promo image AMC used for the FtWD pilot section of AMC.com, they updated to a new one for the premiere.

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    Cloakx14

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    its alright.

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    Sternfan99

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    An hour and a half of meeting the family.

    4 stars?

    Typical Comicvine...

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    HandOfPrometheus

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    @skyroid said:

    If this is slower then the walking dead... It's a dead end for me. For some one like me who reads the comic which is fast faced, and the show is slow with tons of fillers and this is gonna be slower???

    I stopped watching TWD after they left the prison couldn't do it anymore.

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    Cloakx14

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    @jayc1324: that didn't Surprise me at all. i knew they were going to die.

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    MadeinBangladesh

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    I enjoyed it since I'm a BIG sucker of seeing an Apocalypse AS it happens. I love stuff like that

    The writing could have been a lot better though.

    ~MiB

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    Ruvik_

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    Great show.

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    mikeg1965

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    #19  Edited By mikeg1965

    It was just bad. I tell you I saw some horrible batsh_t crazy stuff go down in a abandoned Church and instead of you telling the Cops right there in the Hospital, you decide to go there...on your own...in the middle of the night...thru a window...and then you bring your wife the next day...GTFO. The characters on this show is bad, hoping it will pickup as this was just the pilot.

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    IAmNotGroot

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    About to watch this. I hope I like it

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    IAmNotGroot

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    About to watch this. I hope I like it

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    webofthornns

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    I understand why it was on the slower side, what I found frustrating was that I felt all the characters were unlikable (except for Travis) I was actually rooting for them to be eaten/bitten.

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    DD208

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    Could have made this an hour, ninety minutes was too long.

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    Tyger

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    #24  Edited By Tyger

    Awesome first few minutes.

    Pointless drivel after that.

    It's like there was more effort to show a 'hip and trendy' portrayal of family than get to the point of the show.

    What it was really short on was things like newscasts, newspapers, youtube videos, conversations, etc. More detail about why the kid with the knife was so afraid.

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    Kesho_Ronin

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    I gotta say,i really liked the first episode.The scene in the school when they are looking at the video from the sceen and when they say kids can go was crazy reallystick.and i gotta say it's cool to see who would a janky see a zombie apocalypse

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    MultipleMan

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    I enjoyed it other than it was too long. I know they need to set everything up but I don't think the extra 20 minutes or whatever was needed to do that.

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    Surza7

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    #27  Edited By Surza7

    I thought the pilot was ok,wasnt that great,but wasn't bad,just an ok start.I felt the 1hr 30 or so min run was a bit long,but like any show I will give it a 3 episode shot before I drop.

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    The Impersonator

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    #28  Edited By The Impersonator

    It was epic. Can't wait for the next meal.

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    Mrfuzzynutz

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    deactivated-5edd330f57b65

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    Knightsofdarkness2

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    @jayc1324 said:

    2 black guys down already

    Saw this coming from a mile away.

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    Groovy_23

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    A little too slow paced

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    TheLurker

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    klaguerre97

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    #34  Edited By klaguerre97

    Jeez people are so critical of this show after 1 episode. I personally give shows at least 5 episodes of my time, and if i don't like it I'll drop it unless its recommended to me like a year later. With Gotham i gave it a chance with a couple of episodes and deemed it trash after I gave it a shot. I did the same with agents of shield because i thought it was too corny (which it definitely was the 1st couple of eps.). Then I picked it back up this summer from hearing about how it got better online and its one of my favorite shows now. End of story, just give things a chance you might surprise yourselves sometimes.

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    Nmlx

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    #35  Edited By Nmlx

    The pilot was awesome.

    A zombie tv- show that can actually afford to make us know characters before the hell came there.

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    Flashbacks could not do the same so well.

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    superior_prime_maybe

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    so.. how is this different from Walking dead?

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    kfabz-23

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    #37  Edited By kfabz-23

    Loved it, didn't want it to finish.

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    ThomasElliot

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    "Nick seems like a bit of a drug addict with a lot problems. His parents, mother and step-father, care for him, but apparently not enough to care if he's doing drugs an abandoned building. Nick was apparently missing for some time"

    Could this recap be any lazier? Horrible.

    All the haters though... its ok. The way you feel about FtWD is probably how I feel about the Gotham , so it all balances out.

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    ForeverMan

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    #39  Edited By ForeverMan

    @jayc1324 said:

    2 black guys down already

    LOL

    But seriously from the moment my local paper's advance review described this premiere as a "slow burn", I knew people would be howling "boring" from the rooftops. Just like they do for most any TWD episode that isn't wall to wall action.

    Seems to me that the point of this spinoff is to take us through the outbreak, which was skipped as we followed Rick in the original series. The entire city of LA and the world still have to fall. I'm sure there's plenty of action and carnage to come.

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    Catwalker464

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    #40  Edited By Catwalker464

    Check out the review me and a friend did on this episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzAJkZFPD-4

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    TheValiant

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    Im with @the_stegman on this one...

    It was so slow... so boring. I think one of the biggest issues was that its a "build up" to something that we have already seen. I already know there are zombies coming dude, been there seen that. Why be coy with it? I'll probably check out at least one more episode to give it a chance, but man that was brutal to sit through. I wasn't looking for 'splosions and violence, but it was like a bad family drama show (I felt like I was watching a freaking Lifetime movie with like 5 minutes of Horror spliced in...)

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