Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 8 Review

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“Grotesque”

was the name of the mid-season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead. It’s appropriately titled, if I do say so myself. We begin after the events of the previous episode: Daniel burning down the Mexican villa, Travis leaving to go search for Chris, Madison, Strand, Alicia and Ofelia fleeing in the pick-up truck. None of them, however, make an appearance, as throughout the entire episode the only person we follow is Nick.

In the mid-season finale we see him leave his friends and family. In this one, following the instructions of one of the villas denizens, set off in the Mexican countryside looking for one of the communities that share the same fundamental Christian views on the dead as Celia.

The Walking Dead has alluded to religion in the past. Yet in this episode they finally bring their underlying messages to the surface. Nick’s journey could very much be described as a pilgrimage. In my opinion it is similar to the Muslims that crossed through the Arabian desert to get to Mecca thousands of years in the past. Unfortunately,  Nick is one of the last of our main cast members to go on such a quest. Furthest from God he could be, and never showing signs of any religious view previously, in only a handful of short conversations suddenly accepts Celia’s explanation on why death is no longer a part of life.

Why would Nick go so against his character? The same reason why Chris shot Conner’s brother back in the Abigail: insanity. In the apocalypse, a writer could explain away any irrational or downright psychotic behavior with just the explanation of them “losing their marbles”. The only character who was justified in going insane was Daniel. He lived through the El Salvador Civil War in his adolescence. Yet, Nick is now a member of this new sect of Christianity, and, with very little water and even less food, treks through the sand and heat to find his own holy land, his own Mecca, if you will.  

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amc.com

At one point in the episode we are shown a flashback of Nick in a rehabilitation center. Here we see Gloria, the girl in S1E1 seen eating the flesh off another one of the druggie’s face, alive, and the relationship she had with Nick, what little there was, as the only thing the two had in common were their love for artificial stimulation. The flashback ends with Madison entering and informing Nick of his father’s untimely death via car accident, and in the next scene we see him and Gloria back to injecting themselves with chemicals.

He comes across a horde of dead shambling down the highway and decides to join them. At this point Nick is close to death. He has no water and has very little food in his stomach. Specifically, Nick also has a festering calf wound, giving him a very prominent limp. He looks very much like the walking corpses around him. In another episode, in the Abigail, Nick confesses to Madison that he

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dailymail.co.uk

always felt lost in his life. He says that now he feels that everyone has “caught up with him”. Here he is aimless just like the dead, and this scene is meant to parallel what the two have in common.

Lastly, after an encounter with a band of marauders, Nick collapses from exhaustion on the highway. He comes to consciousness up in the rain. At the end of the episode comes across three strangers. Miraculously, they take him exactly where he wanted to go.

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