I am three episodes into Fear the Walking Dead, which is a spin-off of The Walking Dead. I started watching The Walking Dead – I never read the comic – when it first aired and enjoyed the first season. The second season was a snooze fest and was so massively disappointed by the ending of it that I gave up on the show. I figured I’d give Fear the Walking Dead a shot.
Basic plot of the show is following a dysfunctional family (guy, his ex-wife and son, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s daughter and heroin addict son) in LA as the Zombie outbreak begins and society falls apart.
So, like I said, I am three episodes in and think my tolerance is reaching its limit.
Dad/ex/son have just spent the night hiding out in a barber shop in downtown LA with the El Salvadorian barber who owns the shop along with the barber’s wife and daughter, as a five alarm riot is going on outside. Everybody escapes the shop and makes it to the Dad’s house in the burbs to unite the dysfunctional family.
Meanwhile, girlfriend and her two kids decided the need to be prepared to defend themselves from zombies and so drug addict son, going through withdrawl, suggests they go over to the neighbor’s house to steal his shotgun they the son knows he has because he tried to steal it once before. Neighbors are already zombies.
Dad and crew arrive home and zombie neighbor attacks. Dad, DOES NOT WANT ANYBODY TO SHOOT THE ZOMBIFIED NEIGHBOR, even though it is on top of him trying to eat him. El Salvadorian barber blows its head off.
Next day, bout 45 into the episode, scene opens with the barber showing the son (ex’s not the drug addict) how to load the shotgun, shoot it, how it patterns, and which shells to use – buckshot and No. 8 bird (actually pretty accurate). Son is very interested in learning safe gun handling in case of further zombie confrontation.
Dad walks in and gets all pissy and demands the son put down the gun, which leads to one of the best exchanges in any TV show I’ve ever seen.
Barber: “The more the boy knows, the safer he’ll be.”
Girlfriend: “I didn’t see the harm in it.”
Dad: “You know how I feel about guns.”
Barber: “The gun doesn’t care how you feel about it.”
Dad: “That’s enough.”
Dad than stops girlfriend from delivering the coup de grace to another zombiefied neighbor as El Salvadorian barber looks on in disgust.
Dad just escaped full on downtown LA, building being torched, cars flipped over, cops in riot gear firing tear gas, looting, etc. Nearly gets killed by at least one zombie. There is no power. Phones are out. Bodies of neighbors are lying in the street outside his home. Civilization is collapsing and all hell is breaking loose around him and Dad still has the audacity to be smugly anti-gun.
I have never wanted to see a protagonist in a show die a horrible death so badly.
I’m a father, I believe to the core of my being that my first duty is to protect my family. This Dad can’t get over his left-wing, LA suburb, smug, anti-gun attitude to do his duty!?! Did I mention Dad is a LA public school guidance counselor? I want this guy to be munched on.
The funny thing is, I’m not the only person to feel this way. Barber’s daughter says they should tag along with dysfunctional family as they head out of the city to the desert where they thing it will be safer. Pleading to her father she says “they are good people.” Barber dad says (and I love this) “good people are the first to die.”
If I continue to power through this show, I really want El Salvadoran barber to start kicking ass. I am predicting that he was a fighter in the El Salvadorian civil war. He’s got that 1000 yard stare and has no compunction against shooting zombies.
There is an old expression: there are no atheists in foxholes. In times of extreme stress, people who ordinarily have no faith will still appeal to a higher power for help.
I have postulated a corollary: there are no anti-gun activists during a zombie apocalypse. When you find yourself to be the main course in a zombie buffet, the basic human instinct for self preservation will override any ideology. I think that my corollary is accurate but not for the reason I originally thought. There are no anti-gun activists during a zombie apocalypse because they all got eaten while moralizing about how bad guns are.
God do I want Dad and heroin addict son to get eaten and El Salvadorian barber to adopt the rest of dysfunctional family.