I wasn’t completely sold by the first episode of the season but it was far from being terrible. With the outbreak now very obviously happening it is only a matter of time before real panic sets in.
A lot more managed to happen in this episode then it did in the first one.
Alicia is torn away from Matt who she’s found ill in his house. Nick starts to go through withdrawal so Madison goes to ransack the school for OxyContin. Meanwhile Travis is on his way to tell his ex-wife and son what is going on. His son, Christopher, has found himself in the middle of a protest as people think police have shot a innocent homeless man. At the school Madison runs into Travis and has to kill Artie after being attacked by him.
I can not like Madison. As much as I try, and I have, I can not warm to her as a character. She seems to have her head in the clouds the whole time, nothing is truly fazing her, and she’s got no control over anything. Travis’s ex-wife Liza immediately is much more likable, reacting to the world in a more natural way.
The addition of Travis’s ex and a family that they barge in on, the Salazars, is a good step for the show because instantly there are people I actually care about.
Episode two did what episode one tried to do and failed. It made you cautious over what was happening, around every corner something bad could be happening. It made you closer to a few of the characters, though not close enough still to be too worried about them, and actually gave you a idea of just how fast things can escalate. People completely obvious to what is happening trying to go about their business, like the Cruz family trying to prepare a party for their daughter, they made themselves a target for infection when the likes of Mr Dawson from next door turned. Similarly when the police are unable to explain what is happening all shooting infected people did was make normal people who are unaware of the situation angry. What happens next is that the small group demanding answers turns into a bigger one, the police who are trying to contain something they don’t understand calls in for help which pisses the now growing crowd off and starts a riot. Now infected can run free amongst chaos slowly killing or turning people left right and centered but it all being seen as part of a rally for freedom then anything else.
I did after seeing the riot police arrive wonder how so many people did get infected when you think of how easy it should be for police who are covered in head to foot in armor to calm a crowd down and get them to listen.
Then I remembered how police aren’t the most forthcoming in real life and that calming down a crowd usually doesn’t mean the same in practice as it does on paper.
So then it made me realize how whole crowds of people can get infected very easily in panic and whole communities wiped out without any real effort. One or two of those rioters get bit and decide they want out, get past police barricades which aren’t infallible and make it home to their local community putting a risk in amongst innocent people.
With no information forthcoming from anyone in power people will just get angrier, the world will go crazy and people will be picked off one by one or in giant groups.
That was the kind of thing I wanted to see in this series because it is easy to look at what Rick woke up to and even with slight flashbacks not being able to comprehend just how this got so out of control.
With no information no one knows what is happening so they panic and in the panic the infection spreads faster then ever. Its a clever way of showing this having the kid at a rally that goes bad.
What I also like was that it showed how in the modern day we are so used to pranks that when the kids at school were watching the video of what happened the night before they all thought it was a prank which would obviously be the first thing you’d think of. It raised the great question of how would we react. Most people would look at someone like Tobias and think they were crazy to suggest it could be zombies but in reality that is exactly what it is. People won’t think when they see their neighbor slowly make their way across the road to them that actually he’s going to kill them, they’ll see if they need help because they obviously don’t look well. Even with zombies at the forefront of popular culture if you came face to face with one would you believe it was a zombie or would it take them attacking you to figure out what is happening? Even if they did attack it could just be some crazed person trying to kill you.
I did prefer the second episode to the first and feel like its going to be a slow burner.