Can Luciana be trusted?
On Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 8, Nick found himself in some frightening predicaments and we are introduced to some new faces along the way.
Below, TV Fanatic panelists Paul Dailly, Jennifer Harold-DeShields and yours truly weigh in on the mid-season premiere.
What did you think of the show's decision to go with a character centric episode for its premiere?
Paul: It was a bit off putting. Ensemble episodes are usually the best way to premiere a new run of episodes. It was almost as if the writers had no idea the season would be broke up.
Jenn: Sometimes I don’t always like character centric episodes but using Nick was a good choice. Nick’s past life with drugs and surviving on the streets makes him perfect for a zombie apocalypse. I think to choose any other character would have been boring, I’m glad the following episodes don’t appear to be character centric.
Steve: I was surprised. However, since the group is now split up, it likely benefited the show by focusing on one story and not feel the need to jump around from character to character while trying to catch up with everyone. That being said, these character focused episodes can get old very quickly, so they need to keep the ball rolling.
Did you feel any sympathy for Nick during his struggle to survive?
Paul: I did feel a little sympathy, but he kind of tried his best to make sure he survived. His biggest mistake was walking on the main roads. He should have at least tried to remain hidden.
Jenn: I think I always feel some type of sympathy for characters when they go off alone. But Nick is a survivor he knows what to do. I knew he would survive so I didn’t feel too bad for him. Nick will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.
I think the flashbacks during the episode made me feel bad for him. Nick has loved and lost and its proven he has been through a lot. To lose your dad in recovery could make anyone spiral out of control. So I think watching him survive with these inner demons is compelling to watch.
Steve: I like Nick, and he is obviously trying to deal with his issues in a new way without his vice to fall back on. But it was his decision alone to head off on his own. So, while I don't necessarily feel bad that he inevitably ran into trouble, I couldn't help but feel sorry for his string of bad luck throughout the hour.
Your first impression of Luciana, her people, and the Alexandria-esque community.
Paul: This will be a welcome addition to the show. The thing this show lacks is really great, likeable characters. Nick is growing on me, but the others just seem like dead weight at this stage. From the few scenes Luciana was part of, it's apparent she gets stuff done and will stop at nothing to get it done.
Jenn: Luciana reminds me of Rick. But clearly it didn’t take her long to realize you can’t trust everyone. I think she is probably someone who either has lost during the zombie apocalypse or maybe well before to make her so strong. I think she probably does speak English but doesn’t use it yet, so she can feel Nick out.
I think Luciana and her people are trying to keep folks safe within their community. They go out get supplies and help people who can help them. I think Luciana didn’t want to help Nick at first because she didn’t feel they could use him. Let’s see how long it takes her to use the questions Rick and Co. use when finding new people.
Steve: I'm interested to learn more about Luciana. I agree that this show needs more likeable characters. She has the potential to become a core member of the group down the road similar to how Michonne joined Rick. This show along with the group are in desperate need of a leader. I'm looking forward to see which way the show goes with this new and intriguing character.
It's too soon to say anything regarding the rest of the people in the community, but I think they will all be welcoming. The fortress they have apparently thrown together seems to serve its purpose in protecting them from outside threats. However, nothing is really sustainable in this world.
Who were those thugs in the jeep? Could they be part of Luciana's group?
Paul: I doubt they were part of Luciana's group. Luciana could have left Nick to die, but I didn't see her actually taking shots at him. The thugs are probably part of another group, or maybe they've been ousted.
Jenn: I think those guys in the jeep were a governor type group. I don’t think they are in Luciana’s group. I believe they take it upon themselves to police people. I think Luciana’s group is probably allowed to do their own thing as long as they stick to some rules that group implements.
Steve:I agree that they are likely not part of Luciana's group. But, that's not to say that they weren't at some point. We were only introduced to three of them, but they could be part of a larger and dangerous group. With the exception of the fellow who was apparently on the dinner menu, it's likely not the last we've seen of that group.
Do you believe Nick's experiences in this episode will have a positive impact on him going forward?
Paul: For sure. He's proven on several occasions now that he has survival instincts and that's what you need in the dog-eat-dog world of Fear the Walking Dead.
Jenn: I think Nick always tries to see the good in people and wants to help them. Maybe he sees himself in people in need. I do think this will be a positive impact on him because, he saw there is good and there is bad.
I think Nick seeing those bad men killing the old man showed him the world he is now dealing with. Which I think he needed to see more of. As we learned in The Walking Dead, it’s the people who aren’t dead we should fear the most.
Steve: I'm hopeful it will at the very least give him purpose. He was physically and spiritually lost going into this episode. Aimlessly walking among the infected, and to what end? Hopefully the is numerous brushes with death and the community doctor's words will have a lasting effect on Nick.
You're foolish. Death is not to be feared, but it shouldn't be pursued. There's a difference.Alejandro
Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 9 airs Sunday, August 28 at 9/8c.
In the meantime, you can always watch Fear the Walking Dead online.
Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.