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Fear the Walking Dead

TV Show
Drama, Horror
run date
Kim Dickens, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James, Garret Dillahunt, Jenna Elfman
Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B+

I’m bored. It’s not to say that the actors on Fear the Walking Dead are boring; Alycia Debnam-Carey gave one of the more impressive performances as Alicia on the show to date with this week’s “Close Your Eyes.” It’s not to say that the premise of the show is boring; I’m still trying to figure out a catchy equivalent of Sharknado but with walkers. I’m just getting to that point — a point I’ve reached with the Walking Dead universe multiple times over the course of the show — where I have to ask myself, How much more of my life can I give to a show that seems to be trapped in a loop of its own making?

With “Close Your Eyes,” we find Alicia seeking refuge in a remote house from the violent storm. She purges the foundation of the four walkers that used to be its residents and rids the walls of old photos depicting the family that was versus the family that now lies dead in the mud on the lawn. They remind Alicia of the family she once had who have already met the same fate.

On its own, this episode is a contained (both in terms of episodic structure and the actual setting) character study on Alicia dealing with her trauma. In the grand scheme of the Dead-verse, it’s another predictable installment that chooses to milk the “dark and gritty” tone instead of keeping the energy moving along. Also, it’s just super depressing all the time. I can’t spend a lot of time with glass-half-empty type of people, and I don’t want to spend a lot of time with glass-half-empty types of shows.

That’s my vent. Now to the glass-half-full portion of this recap…

“Close Your Eyes” plays out in one location: the house. Alicia physically can’t leave, as she found when she tried to get in the car and the wind knocked her both off balance and unconscious. The space becomes even more constrained — there’s flooding in the basement, there are walkers that come along to bang on the windows, and people are locking themselves in rooms — until she’s finally forced to face what she’s been running away from. Last episode, we saw Luciana drowning out the rest of the world by blasting music, but as Charlie snuck into the house through an unlocked door, there came the symbolic realization that she can’t lock herself away because that brings other problems.

Charlie similarly sneaks into the house through a door Alicia broke when she first busted in. Finding the girl who killed Nick and brought the Vultures to the baseball field brings up emotions Alicia has been putting on pause. She attempts to leave because she fears she’ll kill Charlie if left in a house with her, but, as I mentioned before, that doesn’t work out so well. She wakes to find herself back in the house, where she unleashes a speech on Charlie, who locked herself in a bedroom, about how she’s “garbage” and a “waste of a person,” not realizing that Charlie has been contemplating suicide. Alicia keeps trying to do the “right thing” by making sure Charlie’s okay because that’s what her mother would’ve done — that feeling is all Alicia has left of Madison. Plus, she needs help securing the rest of the windows against the storm.

Alicia becomes tempted to kill Charlie again. However, when she offers to dry Charlie’s jacket by the fire she’s making. She grows suspicious when the girl, still mute, won’t give it up. So Alicia threatens her to give it up. She finds a gun — the same gun Charlie used to kill Nick — and puts it to Charlie’s head, thinking she meant to use it on Alicia. Both of them shaking and in tears, Alicia lets her run back to her room. Charlie, however, after glancing at the family photos she saved from Alicia’s purge, decides to go visit a walker that’s been impaled on a tree branch outside her window. Alicia runs up and pulls her back just as she gets close enough for the dead to bite her.
(Recap continues on the next page.)

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