#FearTWD Cobalt: Adapt or Die

The positive side of being sick is that I got to re-watch the 5th episode of Fear The Walking Dead yesterday!

Anyways, lets talk about the 5th episode of Fear the Walking Dead.  I had a few predictions for last nights episode:

  1. The military was going to start falling apart & their real intentions were going to become apparent.
  2. Someone was going to die.

Was I right?

*SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE 5TH EPISODE*

I was! Griselda died but, from natural causes. I really thought someone from the main cast was going to die from a zombie attack last night. Oh well, we’ve still got time.

So let’s talk about Cobalt & what the episode revealed.

The Re-Cap:

In episode 5 we learn some “truths”.  The military is going to evacuate in the morning & leave everyone in the safe zone behind to fend for themselves.  Liza learns that everyone turns when they die & you must shoot in the head.   We learn that Daniel is not your average untrusting immigrant barber shop owner  We also learn that Travis can’t kill a zombie because he thinks they are human or he’s too scared to.  And a new big threat looms on the horizon – a stadium full of hungry Walkers!

The Themes:

Theme: The Military Evil or not?

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-105-liza-rodriguez-2-935Turns out the US military is not playing the role of über evil in FTWD.  They are just your run of the hill uncaring government institution that is concerned most about its own survival. This is hinted at in the scene when we first see Liza at the hospital, giving medical aid to wounded soldiers. With not a civilian in sight.  I also wonder if the Doctor only saved Griselda to gain Liza’s trust?  I didn’t see any other civilian patients.  She needs Liza.

In Cobalt we begin to see the cracks appear in the military. Guys are tiered.  Guys are scared.  Guys are starting to talk about leaving.  It starts to become clear through the episode that the Walkers are winning LA & the military is planning to evacuate.  Evacuate & leave the civilians behind in the safe zones they built for them.

What does that mean for the people left behind? I hope we find out next week!

Theme: Adapt or Die

I love that FTWD is showing us this view of the collapse that TWD didn’t.  TWD is showing us how a seemingly average group of people are changed by the collapse of civilization & learn to survive.  With the military leaving the suburbanite to fend for themselves, we now see who will adapt or die in FTWD.

Travis

ftwd5Did we see Travis revealed as a completely weak chicken shit who doesn’t have what it takes to save his family?  Or is this Travis’ biggest fear? Does it matter?  Because fear will kill you in this universe.

The scenes with the military guys was interesting. Travis intended to use his “authority” to get his people back by talking to Lt. Moyers.  Instead Lt. Moyers pretty much humiliates Travis by showing him he’s not a real man. Travis can’t kill a Walker, possibly because he still sees them as human & we all know what happens to those characters.   It remains to be seen if Travis really can’t kill or if he’s just yet been willing to accept that he has to.  Travis is fighting to adapt to the new reality.  He doesn’t want it to be true.  When he finds out the military was going to abandon them, he looks as if his world was destroyed.  Which it has.

Verdict: He’ll survive until Season 2 where we will see his struggle not to die.  I don’t think Travis is the hero of FTWD.

Daniel

I didn’t see thfear-the-walking-dead-episode-106-daniel-blades-935is one coming.  I did not expect Daniel to be on the morally wrong side of the Salvadoran Civil War.  Those guys were nasty.  He was nasty & well-connected enough to get out of it all & be able to hide as a simple barber in LA, so we will only see more of his dark self reveal itself. His own wife called him the devil as she was dying.

This makes Daniel prepared to survive in the new world.

Unlike some of the others, Daniel has no doubt that what is happening is really, really bad shit.  He may not know all of it but he knows enough to be prepared to do whatever needs to be done.

Verdict: He’s got a steady hand.  Not squeamish about doing whatever needs to get done. It will be interesting to see how his wife’s death affects him.  At least he didn’t have to kill her himself.

Madison & Liza

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-105-madison-dickens-2-935Looking at Travis 9 days into the zombie apocalypse I wonder how he could have attracted such strong women?  Then I remember the take-charge Travis of the first 2 episodes.  The Travis that wasn’t fearful of going into a Walker infested Drug Dean.  That Travis was strong in the Starbucks world, not the Walker world.

We’ve seen Madison show her balls to-date, with the first Walker kill (which she’s still hidden from Travis .. wonder why?), going outside the walls & her willingness to kill her Zombified neighbor.  She called herself weak in the first episode but she’s proving to have the best instincts out of the whole group. She seems to have changed the most from the first episode, but I think she’s always had this dark side it has just taken time for it to be reveled.  Why is she hiding things from Travis?  What she did at the school & her journey outside.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-105-liza-rodriguez-658Liza appeared to be strong & feisty early on, but turned into Florence Nightingale recently & abandon her son to join Dr. Exner at the military outpost. She mocks her ex for wanting to always save other people as she told Exner about Nick’s drug habit, yet she jumps in the truck with Dr. Exner to save people not related to her by blood.

Curious.

Yet in Cobalt, we see her picking up medical skills quickly & adjusting to new realities, i.e having to shoot dead people in the head.

Verdict: Madison will stay alive as long as she needs to keep her kids alive.  Liza snapped out of it this episode & is regretting leaving her son behind.  But, it would be interesting to see Liza go with the Dr. Exner & the military to see that side of the collapse unfold.

Travis & Strand

ftwdCobalt

So this will be interesting.  The ever lucky Travis finds himself locked up with Strand, a man with a plan & the skills to make it out of a military quarantine camp.

When we meet Strand, he is slowly pushing the hapless Doug over the edge & into his predicted mental breakdown as he paints him a picture of his wife finding an actual man to keep her & the children alive when we first meet him.  Harsh.

It’s clear thought that Strand didn’t do it for sport.  He doesn’t enjoy hurting people but he will if he must.  He is similar to Daniel in this.

Travis is the luckiest character on this show so far & his luck will continue.  Even though he’s a junkie, we’ve seen that his will to survive is stronger than his self-indulgent & destructive tendencies.  He’s an opportunist & a manipulator, similar to Strand but not as experienced.

Verdict: Strand & Travis will make it out alive.  Will they do it to join up with Travis’ family or will Strand form his own group?

Chris & Alice

ftwd1.5.3againWell, who else are they going to hang out with?  They are not related anyways so .. if they don’t die this will most likely happen.  Having these two together would bring the whole family closer.

But  I felt like the destruction scene was about more than just teenagers acting out.  I think these two know what is going on & don’t feel as much pain about it as some of the adults.  They care less.  Maybe they are more able to accept what is happening & move on with life.  They didn’t like their old lives much. Alice lost the one person she loved & Chris is looking for meaning in life.

Verdict: Alice is showing a dark side so she’ll either get far or sacrifice herself for her brother.  Chris, may lose his virginity. They both may adapt surprising well to the world falling apart.

Ofelia & Adams

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-105-ofelia-mason-935I don’t know how I feel about Ofelia.  She’s clearly been protected & coddled by her father.  She might be a virgin. Yet, she’s got enough spunk to use Adams clear attraction to protect her mother & to throw bottles as soldiers.  I don’t know if she knew in how much danger she really was, but maybe she didn’t care.  Maybe we’re seeing a bit of her dark side emerge?

Verdict: Ofelia’s world is slowly crumbling as she learned what her father is really capable of.  Her reaction to her mother’s death will be interesting. Her attachment to her mother is very strong, so what will she do without it?  Adams.  Will he live or will he die?

What makes a Family

We continue with the theme of the family dynamic on Fear The Walking Dead in Cobalt.

The dysfunction of a blended family with moody & troubled teenagers continues to unfold.  It seems that Liza & Madison won’t be able to form the bond that would make their families one unit.  Madison doesn’t seem like one to forgive & Liza has shown she can make tough choices.  Travis is not strong enough to keep the unit together.  Maybe it will come down to the Chris & Alice dynamic to keep them all together?  Will Ofelia forgive her father for what he did to Adams?  She’s old enough to create her own family & with her mother gone will that draw her closer to her father or push her away?

The finale is entitled “The Good Man”, which can mean we get to see the chaos & death we’ve been waiting for.  The good man is the first to die so who is revealed to be the good man in the finale?

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