The filtration system on the survivors' yacht becomes clogged so they stop to clean it up, they see wreckage from a plane crash and decide to do a little scavenging, a large number of zombies appear and our heroes flee. That's the 10-or-so minutes worth of plot that was stretched to fill the entire hour of "Ouroboros," tonight's installment of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.
Throughout the last season of TWD, AMC aired FLIGHT 462, a series of short, short films showing events on a commercial airliner near the beginning of the zombie outbreak. Its final installment reveals this is the plane seen by Nick back in the first season of FTWD, flying over his neighborhood in obvious distress and about to crash (it had been heading back to Los Angeles International Airport). Tonight's ep shows the survivors of that flight immediately after the crash, struggling to get on a lifeboat. The Annoying Kid from the plane is now badly burned and Charlie, the woman who met him in flight, is taking care of him. The effort tonight to tie this to FTWD introduces some big problems of timeline and geography.
Our heroes, still on Strand's boat, have been traveling away from Los Angeles this entire season. They should be well clear of it and of any plane that crashed while heading to LAX yet when they come to a stop for repairs, there's what's left of Flight 462, scattered on and near the beach before them. The opening sequence placed the crash in the water rather than on land
but it could, I suppose, have broken apart. Our heroes shouldn't be
anywhere near it though.
The younger characters decide to go ashore and scavenge through the wreckage, which features plentiful suitcases full of potentially useful items. Mind-numbingly, the adults object and there's some idiotic drama over it, present for no other purpose than to consume some running-time, but with Daniel joining in, the away-team finally departs. Upon landing, they pull their boat ridiculously too far ashore, so as to render impossible a quick departure in the event of an emergency. Astute viewers will immediately deduce from this that there's going to be trouble.
And, of course, there is. The away-team talks about making haste in their search but just spend most of their time dicking around, opening a case here, toeing another there, trying on this-or-that item of clothing. With an abundance of clean clothes available, Nick opts instead to put on a shirt spattered with blood. Daniel tells everyone to stay in sight of one another, so Chris immediately decides to leave the others--there seems to be a rule in the writer's manual that all plotting on a TWD series must be a consequence of characters behaving like idiots. No one notices Chris has left. He goes poking around in some wreckage, Daniel realizes he's gone and goes looking for him then Charlie from Flight 462 comes charging over a hill with a brigade of zombies on her tail.
It would seem politic to beat a retreat at this point but the writers decided the series needed some action, so instead of simply having the characters return to their landing craft and depart, they have our heroes decide to stand and fight against this impossible army. For a while, anyway. Nick, fresh from a zombie kill and covered with gore, discovers the dead can't see him when he's in this state--the old zombie gore camo trick the parent series introduced then always has the characters forget when remembering would interfere with the arbitrary story they want to tell. Once the action quota portion of the running time has been met, the characters charge down to the beach and, after a way-too-long interlude in which Alicia, with zombies bearing down on them, takes a long pause to hug her brother, start lugging their craft to the sea.
Meanwhile, back on Strand's boat, Madison sees the landing party fighting zombies and declares "We have to move!" Everyone goes into motion. The boat isn't yet repaired, so running it risks ruining it and I didn't see the need for the sudden urgency. As I was watching it, I thought Madison was meaning they were going to have to get the boat underway so they could quickly leave the area when the landing-party returned and was WTFing at the implied fear that these zombies were going to swim out to them. When the boat instead came about and headed for shore, I at least got a laugh--entertainment value missing from the rest of the ep. The yacht, of course, can't go ashore--it sits too low in the water to go into
shallows and the large, craggy rocks sticking out of the water
well before the beach make even approaching land a deadly proposition. These moments with the characters trying
to get the yacht underway aren't there to make any sense though--they're there to try to add some "suspense" to the
scene and to ensure the characters on the yacht don't have eyes on what's happening ashore so the writers can try to fudge another matter.
In the opening sequence of tonight's ep, set moments after the crash of Flight 462, the Annoying Kid was badly burned--in such a state that it seemed unlikely he was going to survive. As the landing party is dragging its away-craft off the beach and back into the water, Charlie informs the others they had to make a stop before leaving. The "stop" was to pick up Annoying Kid, who was still lying in that inflatable raft. Our characters had gotten a good view of the shoreline before they'd landed and there was no big yellow inflatable raft anywhere in sight. The "stop" happens off-screen and in a matter of seconds--Charlie apparently casts a spell that made that raft appear from somewhere and the others tow it to the yacht.
Strand is adamant about not allowing Charlie and Annoying Kid aboard.
Faced with stiff resistance from his crew, Strand agrees to give the
pair some food and water and tow them to a landing but in the final
moments, he appears and cuts the line to the raft. Since Michelle
Ang--Charlie--has reportedly joined the cast, I guess we'll see where
In that raft, though, Annoying Kid is in exactly the same condition as he was when we saw him in the opening sequence. His wounds are still unbandaged, he's wearing the same filthy, gore-covered clothing, still unable to sit up, still in that raft and still in the immediate vicinity of the plane crash and the problem with all this, the one FTWD's writers clearly hoped viewers wouldn't notice, is that the plane crash happened over two weeks earlier. The victim would, in that length of time, have either had his wounds cleaned and treated repeatedly and be showing signs of significant recovery or he would be long dead. When Chris is poking around in the plane's wreckage, he finds a survivor, a fellow still belted down to his seat and with his back broken! According to the established timeline, he's been sitting there for over two weeks.
FTWD continues to learn all the wrong lessons from the parent series.
 There seems to be some confusion over the name of this character, played by Michelle Ang. On FLIGHT 462, she was Charlie. On FTWD, she's apparently listed as "Alex." Until FTWD figures it out, I've stuck with the original name here.
 The ep is full of this sort of arbitrary drama. The characters have learned Strand plans to go to Mexico and this randomly causes a major fuss among them, with characters eating up that running time by arguing over whether they should trust him, though absolutely nothing about the revelation should have inspired a breach of trust. Ofelia reveals to Daniel that her gunshot wound is infected and that she's out of antibiotics. Instead of telling everyone, Daniel instructs her to keep this from the others, another pointless, random move. So when the chance to pillage the plane crash arises, he's slipping around looking for drugs without any knowledge of them instead of having everyone on the lookout for them.
 Nick, being the bright guy he is, walks to the edge of a steep crevasse where his footing is unsteady and discovers a half-zombie down below. And, of course, he immediately falls in. He manages to kill the creature but one of TWD's patented teleporting zombies suddenly appears above--it somehow managed to appear on a wide-open beach among the characters without anyone noticing--and tumbles in on top of him. That's how he winds up covered in gore.
I have no words to describe how empty and pointless this episode was
Well, here goes, it was a 60 second segment of Flight 462 expanded to fill a one hour time slot. Perhaps they'd be better off reverting back to 60 seconds, which is about all the time necessary to detail what actually happened in the third episode of the second series, the rest is just boring nonsense and like watching paint dry.Delete
The didnt even show any real gore. I cant belive this is made by the same people the effects look horrible.ReplyDelete
This is starting to smell like 'Lost', a series I'm still trying to forget.ReplyDelete
There seems to be a lot of pointless diatribe between characters which you've already pointed out, seems to be fillers to fill gaps between plots. Problem is, I'm not seeing much of a plot or story.
What a shame, I had so much hope for this series. I've already given up and no longer rush to watch an episode like I do with TWD.
Just so you know, I am just reading your reviews instead of watching the episodes. You're saving me a ton of time. :)ReplyDelete
Ha! Well, this particular review feels to me as if it was pretty lame (though I haven't comprehensively re-read it yet). You aren't missing anything by not watching.Delete
There is an off chance that I'll watch it when it hits Netflix... but I'm starting to doubt that. Not "consuming" FtWD is my own little protest for the fall-on-your-face failure of TWD finale.Delete