Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cruisin off the Coast of Cali with My Ex-Wife's Rotting Corpse

Episode 1, Season 2: “Monster

Because Fear the Walking Dead has returned for a second season, I assume that people eventually cared about the main characters, which frankly are less appealing than those on the mother show, TWD. I may have trouble recalling the names of all the characters, so bear with me as I resort to referring to them as “Angry One-Armed Guy,” “Mad Mom,” or “Rich Rando Black Guy.” Actually, the rich black man in question is the enigmatic Strand. He has a small yacht named Abigail that the gang has been invited to stay on. The issue, however, is getting there. Strand’s goal is to get to San Diego. He mumbles something about “Coronado,” and I don’t think he’s referring to the luxury hotel but a military base.

Why is everything on fire when stuff goes down? L.A. is on fire, and zombies don’t have matches, so this doesn’t make much sense. The L.A Unified School District literally burns to the ground and nobody misses it. On the beach at what could be Malibu (seems highly exclusivo), Chris refuses to leave his mother’s corpse. Last season, Travis’ current wife shot his ex-wife to death, at her request. This will no doubt make for some interesting dinner convos when life returns to normal.

Travis & family in "happier" times. 

 Walkers can’t swim, but they are avid beachcombers. As Travis begs Chris to leave with them, a few zombies overtake the older man. Damnable parasites! They haven’t paid the high taxes it costs to live in Malibu, and yet here they are, enjoying the pleasures that a midnight stroll on the beach has to offer. Come to think of it, Travis et al. didn’t either, so I suppose it all evens out in the end.

They finally clamber into a rubber dinghy, but a few walkers pop out of the shallower waves to grab a bite. An enterprising young man uses the boat’s propeller to shred the walker’s head—ingenious! I believe it was Nick, whose years of associating with seedy characters have finally paid off. As the group reflects on what used to be their home, we see L.A. all aglow with burning fires and hovering fighter planes.

The yacht, Abigail, is quite luxurious. Trouble looms as they spot a raft close by holding a number of people. Mad Mom insists that Strand save them, but he isn’t having it. They can return to land, he retorts. And, hello—he’s right! This is the same man who guided Nick through a burning military compound. Travis, who apparently has been reunited with his testicles (yay), agrees with Strand. Eventually the people drift further out to sea, and that is that.

Nick chides Strand. Nick is smoking. One great thing about an apocalypse is that you can smoke with abandon. It does not matter if you get cancer because treatment options no longer exist, and if someone dares to complain about the hazards of secondhand smoke, you can be all like, “Hashtag: First World Problems!” as you make the sign of an “L” on your forehead.

Nick models the latest in yacht wear for J. Crew's fall catalogue.

 The interior of the Abigail resembles the rooms of a W Hotel. Perfect place to wage a marital disagreement about epidemiology. Thanks, Mad Mom and Travis. In the meantime, Mad Mom’s Berkeley-educated daughter is tooling around with a ham radio. There are other people out there, and some of them are playing horrible acoustic guitar riffs that make my ears bleed. Just before I can takes it no more, the mellow voice of a male millennial reaches out to Alicia across the airwaves! She demurely responds. Blossoming romance? Potential problem?

Chris remains by his mother’s side, whose corpse is on the yacht. Teenagers! In life, she annoyed the heck out of him. Now that she’s dead, he can’t let go. The Mad Barber, ever the unflappable psychopath, is fishing off the side of the yacht. I’m sure that Strand has stocked the boat with enough Cheez-Its, juice boxes, and canned food to last for a while, but a fresh fish would do nicely. He snags…a large eel, which he promptly clubs to death.

Alicia continues to chat with the mysterious millennial. He’s on a boat too. She shares her story with him. Ruben Blades is swabbing the deck after his fishing venture. Travis comes by, and the Mad Barber reassures him that shooting his ex was a merciful act, whereas when Ruben’s wife died from her injuries, the Mad Barber simply felt like an inadequate husband. Travis says nothing but gazes meaningfully into the infinite ocean. Infinite until they get to San Diego, man! I hear La Jolla is lovely this time of year.

Mad Mom, ever suspicious, hears Strand’s mumbled voice in the yacht but cannot locate him. The yacht seems to be on autopilot. Sweet. Mad Mom tells him she hears music playing in the distance. Nah, Strand says, impossible. Mad Mom sounds like she’s eager to dump the corpse of Travis’ ex, because, ew, there’s a dead body on the boat. Plus, she’s taking up a really nice cabin. Plus, how long must a woman drag around the corpse of her ex-husband after she shoots her at her request to prevent the ex from turning into a zombie? Standard etiquette dictates no more than one week.

Travis’ ex, Eliza, is wrapped in a sheet as they prepare for a burial at sea. Travis offers a decidedly mixed eulogy (“She was fierce”= “What a bitch”). Chris unceremoniously dumps the body. Whatev; he just wants to get it over with.

Prius commercial. Bank robbers use a Prius to make their getaway, which is utterly ridiculous, because every single Prius I’ve encountered on the road has been manned by the most annoyingly cautious, overly accommodating drivers. Instead of gingerly threading their way through pedestrians on turns on green they wait until every single person has crossed the street—wrong! They come to a complete stop at intersections right BEFORE the light turns yellow, and often they slow down when the light is green. And don’t even get me started on their “CO-EXIST” bumper stickers, which shockingly have contributed little to the advancement of world peace because ISIS prefers the decals that depict Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes peeing or those realistic-looking metal testicles that hang down from the backs of pickup trucks.

Chris and Travis have a scuffle. Apparently, he’s a bit upset that Travis (I thought it was Mad Mom) shot his mom. Alicia tunes into her ham radio. His boat is taking on water near Santa Monica. Alicia of course wants to save the three people on the boat, including the millennial named Jack. Strand finds out and he is pissed. She could have revealed info that could endanger all of them. He reiterates that HE is the captain and they need to listen to him. Captain Stubing he ain’t, but he does know what he is talking about.

Nick still hasn’t washed or combed his hair. He sits with Strand for a convo. Strand notes that as an addict Nick was “fearless.” Nick replies that it’s just part of addiction, no big whoop.

Mad Mom reaches out to Chris. I foresee that this will not. Go. Well. Chris has a shiner from his tussle with Travis. She tells him that if Travis had not shot her, she would have, because it’s the right thing to do. The crew sits down for dinner, complete with wine. Chris skips dinner and goes to the deck by himself. Everyone hears a splash. Chris has jumped in the water and takes off swimming. Nick follows him. Chris says he just wanted a swim. Mmmmmmkay. Sharks, anyone? You’re in the middle of the ocean. Alicia, in the meantime, speaks with Jack, who assures her that he’s in the vicinity. Nick is floating around in the ocean and looks up to see…a swimming zombie. Now you know: They CAN swim! Sort of. No Michael Phelps action here.

Nick swims away in a hurry because he wisely is not interested in water ballet with zombies. There is a whole bunch of them doing the zombie paddle in the ocean. It looks as if a boat capsized. Nick swims under the capsized boat, which is riddled with bullet holes. He thought he heard a person crying out. No one there except a wet, very mad zombie Nick has to fend off. He grabs a plastic bag containing a “Yacht log” that he holds up triumphantly.

An alarm in Strand’s yacht sounds off. Strand scolds Alicia for inviting trouble; they could have been the ones who sunk the capsized boat. Alicia’s “friend” could be headed straight for them. The moral of the story is, deebags on land remain deebags on sea.

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