If the declining quality of my articles in recent weeks hasn't made it plain, it's becoming more and more difficult to muster much energy to write about FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. As with the parent series, FTWD's creators seem to be competing in some sort of private contest to see how little actual content they can use to fill a full hour of television. They're making a game effort to win too. That doesn't leave much about which to write.
Take (please) the plot of "Blood in the Streets," tonight's installment (which is set almost entirely at sea). From beginning to end, pirates fake their way on to our heroes' yacht and hijack it, they make off with Travis and Alicia then our heroes retake the boat.
That's not a plot for an episode of an hour-long drama; it's a pre-credit sequence. To pad out the time, the ep throws in some flashbacks giving us some irrelevant details about Strand's past. There's lots of posturing by the dimestore hood pirates, who wave guns in everyone's faces and talk tough, the way such Cheap Hoods caricatures do in bad movies. These, it turns out, were the pirates with whom Alicia was speaking on the radio back in the first ep (where this matter should have been addressed). Nick, on a mission to reach an associate of Strand, swims to a sort of refugee camp on the Mexican border. The writers seemed confused as to whether it was deserted or occupied, or perhaps there just wasn't money for any extras. A zombie wanders between the zipped-up tents at night but there isn't a living soul in sight. Is everyone asleep? Nick goes inside a tent in order to kill the creature and zombie-flage himself. No one is home but a lantern is burning, so someone was there and recently. Who knows? Travis spends most of the ep going back and forth on the yacht trying to hotwire it for one of the pirates. It's a dull, dreary business.
This was the 4th episode of this season and there hasn't
been enough substance in all four combined to fill a single ep of a
competently-written series. A voiceover at the end of the ep notes there
are only three more eps left. My understanding was that this was to be a
15-episode season. Perhaps AMC is folding the next 8 eps into the
already-announced season 3? Or maybe it's just a mistake. Sort of like