Los Angeles sits on the San Andreas fault-line and on the edge of America. If a 7-magnitude earthquake struck and rattled the city of angels, it would wipe out a large part of our media and entertainment pipeline. Other than New York City, LA is the only domestic metropolitan hub that houses our most influential bankers, producers, movers and shakers. What a great place to set the zombie apocalypse.
Fear the Walking Dead takes advantage of the smoggy landscape and builds on the AMC franchise that kicked things off in Atlanta. We’re six episodes into the mythology of FTWD and hot off last night’s finale. There’s a lot to love, but as with all great relationships, once you taste the sweetness, you start asking for a whole lot more.
Here are The 10 Things We Want To See In Fear The Walking Dead Season 2:
10 Use the word “Zombie.”
The idea of walking, moaning, running, flesh-eating undead isn’t new to people. Zombies are practically a running cultural joke nowadays, but they've been around for quite some time. He wasn’t a zombie in the purest sense of the word, but the biblical Lazarus definitely qualifies for “oldest known walking dead.” So how can it be that none of the characters, not even the camcorder-toting hipster Chris Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie), dare to drop the Z-bomb.
Pre-viral breakout, life in Fear The Walkind Dead looked just about normal, but everyone in town apparently lives in an alternate universe where zombies have even never been discussed. If the showrunners want to keep their characters in a bubble, that’s understandable, but at least write a scene where Madison (Kim Dickens), Travis (Cliff Curtis) and any other curious adults brainstorm theories for why everyone has suddenly become cannibalistic ghouls. If the audience is doing that, so should the characters.
9 Zombified Main Characters
Who will be the first to go? With a large principal cast and several disjointed storylines, someone is bound to get the axe. Sure, poor Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) had to be taken down, but a fully zombified character could really kick the show up a notch.
While we’re only six episodes into the story and don’t have much of an emotional connection to the characters, it won’t take long for a walking human to become the walking dead. The question remains if FTWD will have the same randomized executions of its characters that its parent show has became known for (though Game of Thrones's ruthlessness makes The Walking Dead look like child’s play).
Fear the Walking Dead gave us a taste of that devastation with Susan Tran (Cici Lau), who clearly had a maternal effect on her neighbors. Given all his heroin-induced antics, a zombified Nick Clark might not be too different from his living state, but if Alicia (Alycia-Debnam-Carey) and Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) get bitten or catch the virus, that will undoubtedly add some pathos.
8 More Zombie Carnage.
When you turn on the Food Network, you expect to see a lot of gourmet items. So if you booted it up one day to watch the latest Emeril special and saw an empty kitchen, you would probably be upset.
Season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead is the empty kitchen. Sure, there’s a can of soup here and there, or maybe a small bag of almonds, but there’s no buffet. Case in point: the zombie body count is way too low. The deluge of dead in the season finale almost seemed like a hastened reminder that this is, indeed, a zombie show. We're hungry for more zombie kills, more creative slayings, and more of the general esprit de corps we’ve come to expect from The Walking Dead.
In fact, let’s get a little bit of that trendy and humorous bloodletting from Zombieland while we're at it. Who says every walker kill has to be super-serious? Madison’s fire extinguisher smash over zombie Principal Costa (Scott Lawrence) gave us a taste of things to come, so we’ll have to trust that the producers have more in store for the show's macabre audience.
7 More Destruction of LA Landmarks
This is a must. With the Santa Monica Pier, Staples Center, the Hollywood sign and downtown LA at its disposal, Fear the Walking Dead should be painting a portrait of an apocalyptic Los Angeles. Turn it into the city of devils and completely level the landscape.
That’s one of the things that makes Fear The Walking Dead so interesting: Los Angeles is a dichotomy, a tale of two cities. The show sets the stage for the end of civilization in one of the most idyllic places on earth. At the same time, Los Angeles has a seedy and selfish underbelly, qualities which the show has exposed in certain characters like Chris and Alicia. Their bonfire of the vanities vandalism encapsulates the class struggle in a city where the rich literally overlook the poor from their Hollywood Hills vantage.
Regardless, the posters show some walkers in the sand out by Santa Monica. Let’s make that a reality and light the ferris wheel on fire next season, shall we?
6 More Norman Reedus’ Crossbow
Fear the Walking Dead needs a lose cannon. If it’s not Norman Reedus and his weapon of yesteryear, then bring on some kind of crazy kook out of Deliverance. The cast of Fear The Walking Dead is too damn good looking and perfect (minus our favorite heroine addict, Nick Clark). Humor has been drained from their consciousness, and in general, they seem helpless and lacking vigor.
It might make zero sense for Daryl Dixon (Reedus) to show up in season 2, but there’s a 100% chance that fans wouldn’t mind. Look at everything a guy like that can offer: fascinating zombie kills, unpredictable mood swings, and a heavy dose of survivalism that makes everyone around him feel better. The closest thing we have to that at the moment is Strand (Colman Domingo), who seems to have the kind of raw physical and mental prowess to kick the show up a notch.
5 More Humor.
It’s not about making the show funny. It’s about acknowledging that even in times of misery and misfortune, humans have an uncanny ability to find a silver lining. Throughout history, men and women who found levity in misery were the ones that lived the longest and survived unfathomable situations. Just read Viktor Frankel's "Man's Search for Meaning" as evidence. One more montage of Madison downing her liquor du jour out of a coffee mug would make even the most devout nihilist go insane. Five bucks to the next Fear The Walking Dead character who laughs.
Watching the Salvadorian bloodletting of Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) remains difficult to swallow, but it would be more tolerable if other characters lightened up. Contrast can make the darkest moments even more significant, and it’s a classic TV kind of mistake when every moment plays out like a dirge. Even True Detective managed to work in some black comedy.
FTWD got it right once, however. When Madison, Nick and Alicia sit down to play Monopoly, they start cracking some jokes. They're being goofy, lovable humans. Sure, we know it’s too good to be true and their fun can’t last long, but that’s exactly what enables the tension to grow. Here’s the formula: dire situations + well timed humor = freaky entertainment.
4 More Romance.
This is always a weird one to request, but if we’re using The Walking Dead as a our template, then surely the zombie apocalypse boosts one’s libido. It’s hard to forget the torridity of Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) and Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) in those first episodes before Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) showed up.
Sure, there’s a backseat quickie shared between Travis and Madison, but that clandestine coitus isn’t going to cut it. Alicia and Chris seem to have an odd connection, with the power clearly in the lady’s court. Maybe those two will add some new daily activities to their zombie-bound boredom. It’s not just about the sex appeal, though. It’s the need for companionship. That upsetting storyline of usury between Andrew Adams (Shawn Hatosy) and Ofelia Salazar (Mercedes Mason) didn’t measure up because it was rooted in deception.
Bring back some old school Bogart-esque courtship. It could very well be the key to keeping the human race alive.
3 Explain Travis and Madison’s Relationship
Even Freud couldn’t figure out why these are two together. When they’re not shagging in the backseat of a 4x4, they’re both at the bottom of their own individually enjoyed bottles. There’s not much of a proper man-woman dynamic here, no clear distinction of leadership from either person. Instead, they’re both kind of milquetoast parents and mediocre lovers.
Madison is one step away from being an enabler to Nick, Travis doesn’t have much sway over his son Chris, and the pair fails to present a compelling reason for their relationship. At first glance, Travis doesn’t have the same kind of prowess that Rick Grimes or Shane could offer, but maybe he has some saltier sides hidden from us. That begs the question: what drew Travis and Madison together? They worked at the same school, so it remains to be seen if it’s a marriage of convenience or true connection.
2 More Global Interaction
Strand's house is bomb, there's no denying that. It seems like the perfect place to spend apocalypse eternity, but for the mysterious man in the suit, that's not nearly good enough. The USS Abigail awaits him and anyone who would like to join (we're assuming the offer's on the table), but is it really that simple? If the cast of Fear The Walking Dead can board a yacht and kiss the zombies goodbye, then that's as interesting as Neo learning to fly in The Matrix.
Cue the last shot of the finale, as the camera zooms over the Pacific Ocean Jurassic Park style, picking up over what's either a coral reef or a very nasty harbinger of viral doom. The fact of the matter is FTWD needs to burn LA to the ground then move on. Strand can go west, but we need a large scale of destruction and involvement to make the show have larger stakes. It's already time to up the ante.
Then again, if the water is as poisoned as the finale seems to hint, then no one is safe. Thank God for Poland Springs.
1 More Greatness from Nick Clark
Finding that brown sugar may prove difficult in the apocalypse, but if anyone’s going to do it, it’ll be Nick Clark (Frank Dillane). Thanks to some great acting chops courtesy of Mr. Dillane, Nick Clark quickly became FTWD’s most interesting character. He has a 21 Jump Street Johnny Depp quality, offering an off-beat demeanor with something more sinister under the surface. He is an absolute thrill to watch, particularly when in the throes of withdrawal.
How Nick got so hooked on the narcotics remains to be seen, but if he can best his addiction and survive the many dangers in LA, his future on the show remains very bright. At the end of the season finale, he finds comfort in his condition, realizing, "I've been living this for a long time. And now, everyone is catching up with me." The zombie struggle replicates his own interior struggles.
Hopefully Nick can rid himself of the old-man apparel and settle into something more comfortable. You’d think that rather than offering him remedial drugs, his mother would have found him some clean clothes first. Apparently priorities are different in the zombie apocalypse.
Those are some of the things we'd like to see in the next season of Fear the Walking Dead. What's on your list? Let us know in the comments below!