Fear the Walking Dead returns with a strong mid-season 2 premiere. Here is our review…
Season 2, Ep. 08 – ‘Grotesque’ | Aired August 21, 2016
by TS Alan
I Walk with Zombies
“Grotesque” is the journey of one man, Nick Clark. This episode focuses on his harrowing travels through the Mexican badlands toward Tijuana, a place where it is told the dead are not monsters and where he hopes find answers to things from his past that still haunt him. And as Nick takes his journey we do get revelations to his past through flashbacks of his girlfriend Gloria (the very first zombie from the pilot episode), their time in rehab, and Nick’s father’s death in a car accident. We see Nick has daddy issues that were never resolved, which might be part of his recurring addiction to drugs.
Nick’s first run in with danger is with a bat wielding mother, who is protecting her daughter. For some reason Nick doesn’t even attempt to fight back, which leads to being whacked like a pinata and losing his backpack and water. Tucking tail and fleeing into the arid land without supplies was plain stupid. He should have sorted himself and then gone back and reclaimed his supplies, but Nick is too passive. This is a guy who believes one should have compassion and understanding for the undead.
Walking along a paved road, Nick comes to some abandoned cars where he finds a nearly empty bottle of water inside one of them, walker included. He doesn’t kill the walker but does manage to get the bottle and the last ounce it contains. As he’s putzing around with a portable radio he scavenged, he is discovered by some marauders who chase him into the desert. Now thoroughly dehydrated from his run, he attempts sustenance from a cactus. Somebody forget to tell him you only suck the juices out and not chew the cacti up and swallow, vomiting quickly follows.
Next we find Nick being attacked by ravenous wild dogs. He escapes atop of an abandoned truck but not without incident. One of the dogs chews up his leg. The dogs in turn attract the undead, who quickly make a meal of them, much like the zombies eating the deer in the first season of The Walking Dead. The undead are eventually attracted to the noise of distant gun fire, allowing Nick to escape. He subsequently decides to walk with the pack, once again smearing himself with zombie blood to mask his scent. The pack eventually finds their way onto the road and into the path of the marauders Nick previously escaped from. The marauders do target practice, killing the undead around Nick. However, Nick is fearless and continues forward. The head idiot sees Nick and is struck with fear, believing that Nick sees him and is coming for him. The man drops his pistol cartridges as he attempts to reload and is seized by the pack, followed by a second marauder, leaving only one to flee.
Nick continues to walk with the pack, but exhaustion and dehydration overtakes him and he collapses. Lucky for him someone was watching. Unconscious the group takes him to a town, where Nick gets medical attention after the three determine he’s no threat. By the episodes end, Nick finds himself in a town much like Alexandria from The Walking Dead. Children play, townsfolk barter goods, guards stand atop walls on watch. Nick walks the streets, smiling. He has found a place to get a much needed respite before moving on to Tijuana.
The actually enjoyed this episode, it basically shows you what you shouldn’t do in a zombie apocalypse. I also like that we got some background on Nick, finally fleshing out one show character. The only issue I have with the episode is that Nick is a hypocrite. He preaches understand and compassion for the undead but he goes around with zombie slime rubbed all over him to walk with the undead. And exactly where is Nick getting it from? Certainly not the corner drug store. There’s a thought to chew on.