Episode Title: Not Fade Away
Original Airdate: 9/20/15
It’s been nine days since the National Guard moved in to clear out the infected. They’ve put up a fence to create a safe zone, promised doctors, medicine, food and eventually, electricity. We know all this because the episode opens with a painful expository scene of Chris talking to his video camera, while hanging out on the roof. At this time, he also glimpses a flashing light reflected in the danger zone, which he believes to be signaling that someone is trapped. Travis doesn’t believe him, but Madison cuts the fence to go investigate. She sees many dead bodies that have yet to be cleared out and some that were shot in the head that were not infected, but must hide when the Guard comes through and therefore cannot find the light source.
Meanwhile, Travis seems to be the middle man between the National Guard and the survivors in the safe zone, upsetting Madison who already doesn’t trust the soldiers. Liza is providing medical care for anyone she can. Alicia is delivering food rations. Ofelia has fallen in love with a soldier. And Nick is pretending he has kicked his habit, but really sneaks morphine from one of Liza’s dying patients. When Dr. Exner finally shows up, she determines that Griselda needs to have surgery on her foot to survive, and she will be taken to a military post fifteen miles away. The doctor also examines Nick, suspicious of his claims that he is clean. At night the soldiers come for Griselda and Nick, refusing to allow their families to come to the medical facility with them. The doctor also convinces Liza that her services would be put to better use there and, without even saying goodbye to her son, Liza leaves with the soldiers.
I can’t fight it anymore: these characters just aren’t that interesting, which is dragging the show down. And though the story is unfolding in a believable manner at a reasonable pace, there just isn’t much happening. So we have no real character building, little plot, and zero action, which isn’t enough to keep most people coming back.
And now the writing feels like it’s getting sloppy. There hasn’t been electricity for almost two weeks, but Chris can sit around and film things with his camera, which I thought required charging (ours does), unless he’s stealing regular batteries, but even that seems like too much of commodity to waste on a kid’s apocalyptic video diary. And Liza’s been pilfering neighbors’ morphine to redistribute to the sickest? Most people don’t keep IV morphine at home. Not to mention everyone looking neat and clean without their usual utilities to rely on. Honestly, The Walking Dead has probably had some equally ignorant writing as well, but it hasn’t register with me, because I’m too engrossed in the characters and story. Except Rick surviving in a coma for at least a month with no medical attention. Pfffttt…right.
So with the military involvement, we’ll surely start to see a more corrupt side of the remains of humanity. And when the survivors try to fight against it, the next wave of outbreaks will likely occur and everything will completely fall apart. Here’s hoping it becomes more intriguing in the last two episodes of the season as this happens.