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Fear the Walking Dead is back and apparently zombies can swim now

Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead picks up very shortly after the events of season 1’s finale - which is to say our group of would-be survivors are making their way to Strand’s boat, the Abigail. His thinking is that the safest place for the foreseeable future is well the hell away from other people, and the middle of the ocean is a fine place to ride out whatever this catastrophe might be. Given that the armed forces have begun bombing the hell out of LA, his companions aren’t arguing, and so they pack up some gear and hang tight on the beach while Strand preps the boat.

Nick, who still hasn’t managed to comb his damn hair, hurries back from the Abigail in a dinghy to collect everyone as zombies find their way down to the shoreline. Chris is mourning his recently-deceased mom and is super pissed at his dad for shooting her, ignoring the fact that she asked him to because she’d been bitten. He declares he won’t leave his mother’s side, because that’s his best plan for maximizing his ability to be a pain in the ass at this incredibly dangerous juncture. After clubbing some zombies with rocks (not entirely sure how they got past the fence around Strand’s house and made it all the way down to the beach, but just go with it), Travis, Madison, Alicia, Daniel, and Ofelia lug mom’s body into the dinghy and zip away to the boat… after delivering some propeller to the face of a swimming zombie.

Once on the yacht, which holy wow is swank as fuck, the team decides to head south, maybe to check out San Diego and see if it’s safe. As they begin cruising, they see a bunch of survivors in another boat and the expected argument takes place. We should save them! Uh, no, we’re not doing that. But we can help them! Good lord, are you really that stupid? Travis, for his part, does see the wisdom of maybe not assuming every stranger you see is a nice, totally not infected and completely unarmed person and the yacht continues on its merry way.

Alicia starts scanning the radio to see if she can hear any chatter about what areas may or may not be safe, and of course because she’s a teenage girl still mooning about her boyfriend dying, she finds a boy who sounds cute and she spills all the details about where the yacht is, where they’re heading, and what they have on board. Excellent plan.

Chris, meanwhile, is still cheesed that his dad shot his mom, because he’s sure that he “could’ve said something to fix it.” I’m not sure how one verbally magics away being bitten by a zombie, but Chris apparently has the scoop. After abruptly committing his mom’s body to the sea, he pops his dad Travis in the gob and sits glowering in his state room. Madison comes down to tell him he’s being a chump and that if he gets bitten she’s gonna shoot him, too, because that’s the right thing to do. In response, he does what any teenager in that situation would do, and goes swimming. It’s the universal sign for “I’m over it, but I’m not going to admit you’re right, so let’s just move on and pretend I wasn’t a total jerk, ok? I don’t do apologies.”

Swimming would be a rad idea if it weren’t for the capsized yacht nearby, chock full of the recently reanimated. The water is teeming with biters, so Chris is forced to beat a hasty retreat out of the water. Nick, who’d gone in after him and was also having a lovely little paddle, grabs the yacht’s logbook, noticing as he does that the boat is riddled with bullet holes. He also nearly gets bitten in the face, but there’s been so much “almost getting bitten in the face” this episode that it’s kind of a non-event. Everyone makes it back to the boat in one piece, but not before Strand sees an alarming blip on the radar: someone is coming for them, fast, and the Abigail can’t outrun them.

So, let’s recap: someone is shooting up boats, Alicia’s radio pal has coolly informed her that he’d “see her soon,” and someone is making a beeline for our survivors. Yeah, I’m sure everything’s gonna be juuuust fine.

Let’s pause for a moment here and declare this the first warning sign that Fear the Walking Dead’s second season may not live up to its first. What was most interesting about the first season was that it was mostly about how people behave when the thin veneer of civilization slips away. There were zombies, yeah, but they were kind of incidental to the real horror of the show, which was what people were willing to do to each other out of fear or greed or selfishness. Last season was about gradually realizing that something is very wrong and that you can’t rely on the authorities to put it right. It was, perhaps, too slow-paced for fans expecting more head-stabbing and less family drama. If Monster is any indication, it’s about clubbing walkers in the head and figuring out what humans you can trust. And we’ve seen that show already. Perhaps the rest of this season will play out differently, and this won’t just become The Walking Dead: When Looting Was Still Pretty Easy.

Fear The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the US on Sundays, and on AMC (exclusive to BT) in the UK.

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Image credit: AMC

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