Reviewing Fear The Walking Dead’s seventh and final season is going to be difficult for me.
You have to understand that I’ve only seen a few episodes of Fear The Walking Dead. I watched the first two or three episodes of the first season. Then I got bored. I tried to watch the second season. I got bored. I was determined to watch the third season but I changed my mind halfway through the season premiere. Again, I got bored Seasons 4, 5, and 6, I didn’t even try. I was exhausted with zombies and, even more importantly, I was exhausted with the world of The Walking Dead.
But I am going to try to watch season 7 because it’s the final season. With both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead reaching their conclusions, a pop cultural era is coming to an end. And so, despite not having the slightest idea what’s going on or who the majority of the characters, I’m going to attempt to watch and review Fear The Walking Dead.
Fear the Walking Dead‘s seventh season premiered last Sunday. I only got around to watching it today because I may be determined but I’m not particularly enthusiastic. “What,” I asked myself, “can this show possibly provide me with that The Walking Dead and countless other zombie films haven’t?”
As if to answer my question, Fear the Walking Dead opened with several atomic warheads exploding. Certainly, there have been other zombie films that have opened with nuclear bombs going off. Fear the Walking Dead, though, may be the first television show to do so at the start of its seventh season. On the one hand, the people incinerated did not return as walkers. However, those who died of radiation poisoning did. Seriously, that’s a terrifying through. Radiation poisoning is a bad enough way to die without spending the entire time knowing that, once you do die, you’re going to return as a zombie.
The majority of the show’s regular cast did not appear in the first episode, which was fine with me since I don’t really don’t know who any of them are. Instead, the episode centered around Strand (Colman Domingo), a regular character who had kind of set himself up as a warlord over the radioactive landscape and Will (Gus Halper), a wanderer who was eventually picked up by Strand’s men. At first, Strand had little use for Will but then Strand discovered that Will knew Alicia. I, of course, don’t know Alicia but this is all stuff for which I’ll have a better understanding after a few episodes. What’s important is that it was obvious that Alicia was important to Strand.
Fortunately, I didn’t really need to understand all of the backstory in order to enjoy this episode. The Beacon, as the premiere was entitled, was a visual triumph, with the nuclear hellscape becoming as important of a character as either Strand or Will. The inevitable battle between Will, Strand, and a group of walkers was also nicely handled, with the shadowy walkers emerging from a dark mist in a style that brought to mind John Carpenter’s The Fog. In this episode, the walkers were frightening in a way that they rarely were in the recent episodes of The Walking Dead.
As for Strand and Will, Domingo and Halper did a good job playing opposite each other. They’re both intriguing characters. Unfortunately, the script was full of clunky dialogue, which seems to be an issue on all of the shows that make up The Walking Dead universe. Still, the episode was visually impressive and well-acted so I’m going to continue to watch the final season of Fear The Walking Dead and, after a few more episodes, I will hopefully actually know what’s going on.