Hey, remember how those idiots on ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ got themselves into a life-threatening predicament last week? Want to see how they get out of that mess? Too bad. The latest episode focuses on different idiots instead.
This is a ploy that the original ‘Walking Dead’ has pulled more than a few times, of course – most notably with last season’s stupid cliffhanger that suggested Glenn had been killed by a horde of zombies, only to reveal later in the season that he slipped out of it (in a most improbable fashion). That was a cheap gimmick and fans hated it, but apparently the writers of the spinoff haven’t gotten the message yet.
Rather than follow up on Maddie and Strand, who were last seen surrounded by zombies in the hotel bar, episode ‘Do Not Disturb’ spends half of its running time with Alicia, who’s trapped upstairs in the very same hotel and can’t get down to her mom. The other half, even more annoyingly, is devoted to Travis and his dipshit son Chris, two characters who really should have been killed off by now.
Cluck Cluck Cluck
Since fleeing Celia’s plantation, Travis and Chris have apparently just been walking down the road, heading… somewhere. They don’t really have a plan. Travis has a vague notion of finding someplace isolated they can stake out and claim as their own, then hunker down and wait for civilization to rebuild. Nothing about that appeals much to Chris.
The two of them soon cross paths with a trio of college-age douchebags who were partying south of the border when the zomb-pocalypse broke out. Travis inherently distrusts them and tries to make excuses to part company, but Chris thinks they’re, like, totally the coolest dudes ever. When the group stops at a seemingly-abandoned farm to search for food and supplies, Travis thinks it would be an ideal place for him and Chris to stay behind and make into a home. Chris has other ideas. He and the three dudebros find some live chickens in a barn and chase them around until they catch one.
Unfortunately, the farmer is still very much alive and doesn’t appreciate these obnoxious intruders stealing his chickens. He confronts them with a shotgun, and the lead dudebro (I think his name is Brandon) pulls a pistol, leading to an old-fashioned Mexican standoff. Travis tries to defuse the situation and pull Chris out of there, but Dudebro Brandon refuses to back down or leave. Just as the situation is really escalating, Psycho Chris shoots and kills the farmer, with a big smile on his face from the rush of finally getting a chance to murder a living human like he always wanted.
I’d say that Travis must be having serious second thoughts about saving or staying with his son, but that would give Travis far too much credit for having any brains in his head.
Back at the hotel, Alicia tries to climb down an elevator shaft to get to the ground floor where her mother is. That doesn’t go so well. She gets cornered by zombies, but is fortunately rescued by a woman named Elena who worked at the hotel during the zombie outbreak. (A flashback that starts the episode shows her heartlessly locking a big group of wedding guests in the hotel ballroom after the father of the bride has a heart attack and instantly zombifies, chomping a big bite out of his daughter’s face.)
Elena at first assumes that Alicia is one of the hotel guests, the survivors of which she’s been feuding with for control of the building. She only agrees to help Alicia get to her mother if Alicia will in turn help her find and rescue her nephew, Hector, whom she believes has been kidnapped by the guests.
Elena and Alicia work their way downstairs by luring zombies into hotel rooms and locking them in. (Elena is the mystery person who tagged the rooms with zombies in them.) Sure enough, as soon as they get to the ground floor, they’re confronted by a group of guests, led by former ‘Desperate Housewives’ narrator Brenda Strong (a.k.a. Sue Ellen Mischke, the braless Oh Henry! candy bar heiress), who are holding Hector hostage and want Elena to turn over her keys to the entire hotel.
Their brief standoff is interrupted by zombies, which chase the guests away. Alicia, Elena and Hector run to the basement (brilliant plan), where they’re almost cornered by zombies until a locked door suddenly opens and Maddie pulls them inside.
Yes, Maddie and Strand apparently survived their zombie encounter in the bar. How’d they do that? I guess we’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out. As if it really matters.
During this episode, my wife commented that this show is just like the other ‘Walking Dead’, except that she still likes a bunch of the characters on that one and doesn’t give a damn about anyone in this one. That sums it up perfectly.
Chris is really just an insufferably annoying twat, and I wouldn’t miss him or dumbass Travis for a second if the show simply forgot to return to their storyline ever again without resolving anything. Alicia is at least somewhat tolerable in comparison, and her storyline here is certainly the stronger part of the episode. (The infighting for control of the building sounds kind of like the plot description for the recent movie ‘High-Rise‘, amusingly). That’s not saying much, of course.
The episode’s attempts to get artsy by rapidly cross-cutting between the climaxes of the two storylines is reasonably effective and could almost pass as suspenseful, if it were possible to feel suspense for the lives of any of these characters.