WASHINGTON, April 11, 2016 – On last season’s “Fear the Walking Dead,” we watched as the zombie apocalypse unfolded from the perspective of Los Angeles urbanites.
Young heroin addict Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) is among the first to realize that something is wrong when he sees a girl eating a fellow druggy and wonders if it is a heroin-induced hallucination or the real deal.
Not willing to take a chance, he flees, barefoot, in a blind panic.
The next witness to the growing apocalypse is young Christopher Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie), who along with a boisterous crowd of bystanders, witnesses officers gun down several zombies. Only they do not realize that the police are killing the undead.
Outraged, the mob riots at what they perceive to be another example of L.A.P.D. brutality.
The cops, even in an apocalypse, can’t catch a break.
In Sunday night’s second-season premier, we witnessed the continuing saga of three families faced with a problem greater than a collapsing civil society, a city’s dead power grid or even decaying, flesh-eating monsters: the real monsters are the pampered, overindulged, drug-addled, angst-filled teenagers.
And it is a testament to the awe-inspiring power of said teens that Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades), who was, once upon a time, part of a ruthless Central American death squad is virtually powerless to stop them.
Daniel and his daughter face one life-threatening situation after another, manufactured by actions of the willful juveniles whose guilt-ravaged and divorced parents, Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis), do little to stop.
Daniel is one of the more interesting characters in the show and he will gladly toss the juveniles overboard to save his daughter.
The refusal of Clark and Manawa to tell their offspring to stop engaging in self-destructive and stupid behavior that threatens, well, everyone, is frustrating. That may explain why Salazar observes, “If this is the end of the world, then it’s already over.”
When the cool, collected and together Victor Strand (Coleman Domingo) eventually gets this hysterical and disorderly bunch to the safety of his luxury yacht, the Abigail, the teenagers once again get busy undermining the wellbeing of all aboard.
Teenager Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey), daughter to Madison and sister to Nick, seems lost without her cellphone and, we are led to believe, is feeling isolated from the world of mindless chit-chat and narcissistic selfies.
To fill the void, she finds a portable radio and reaches out to anyone that will listen. She finds a boy, of course, and precedes to give him a rough estimate of her location. As well as a listing of the items on board – a water desalination unit in particular – that any apocalypse pirate would want.
Adding insult to injury, she not only reveals their location and their wealth, she fails to tell anyone.
Meanwhile, young Christopher, son to Curtis Manawa and the now swimming with the fishes ex-wife, is angry at his father for shooting his zombie-bitten mother in the head, slugs his father in the face, and decides to take a dip in the ocean – fully clothed – while everyone else is enjoying a lunch of eel, caught by Daniel.
Nick, on of the few pragmatic souls on board, dives in after him only to encounter a swimming, chomping zombie.
As Nick takes a reflective underwater swim, the fog bank lifts to reveal a capsized and bullet-riddled ghost ship, its undead passengers paddling toward Christopher who instead of heading for the Abigail, heads for the zombie-filled waters and the listing ship.
As his extended family comes to his rescue, the Abigail’s captain notices a fast-moving boat heading their way on his radar, one that appears capable of outrunning his ship. No surprise to viewers it appears to be Alicia’s new radio BFF, who likely shot up the ghost ship and murdered its now un-dead swimming passengers.
When all is said and done, Daniel and Victor may survive this. Not so sure of the rest.
Bringing some much needed clarity to the situation an exasperated captain Strand feels compelled to remind his passengers – adolescents and perpetual adolescents alike – of his rules:
“Rule number one, it’s my boat. Rule number two, it is my boat. And if there remains any confusion about rules one and two, I offer rule number three – it’s my goddamn boat. If it weren’t for me, you’d all be burned. You’re welcome.”
And if they don’t shape up, and soon, he’ll turn that boat around and drop them on the nearest beach head. If they don’t toss him overboard first.