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The Little Prince – Fear the Walking Dead Review – “Pablo and Jessica”

Every time I hear the name, Pablo, I think of Radiohead’s, Pablo Honey. I just need to get that off of my chest. I associate that name with awesomeness.

So I had high expectations for “Pablo and Jessica”, despite all Walking Dead history where the mid shows tend to suffer a bit thanks to the bone headed move of splitting seasons. This episode was pretty good and just the filler FTWD needs more of, a necessity in order to get viewers to buy into new characters. Too bad none of these new characters are very interesting…with one exception.

I wasn’t thrilled to return to Nick’s compound, despite liking him. It feels as though the clock is winding down on its inevitable demise and we won’t remember hardly anyone who was there one season from now. Alejandro has become more intriguing as he tells Nick the story of getting bitten and not turning into a walker. Something about his story stinks but actor, Paul Calderon, gives a great delivery, almost making you believe his sincerity. Much like Daniel, he is the quiet father figure you wouldn’t want to see angry. I like how the writers are layering him and I wouldn’t mind if this bad guy escaped the upcoming attack by the gang or walkers or whoever.

 

In apocalyptic Mexico, Dad jeans are plentiful. 

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If you think Nick appears to be walking with a spring in his step next week, it’s because this is also the episode where he gets laid (Luciana) and good for him. Nick Clark, the patron saint of Mexican children, deserved a break but the entire arc feels like it exists only so when she gets eaten, he feels badly about it. They played soccer, had one serious conversation (we find out her brother was a now dead, Pablo), and they have nothing in common except that she’s used to snapping and he’s used to getting snapped at. As a one note Mexican stereotype, I won’t feel bad when Luciana dies and I’m not alone. My friend who wants to see her naked, calls her, “a dispensable hottie from a horror movie”. It’s time to bring in some really great female character actors, FTWD. Ones we can attach ourselves to. Borrow a casting person from TWD if you have to. They always hit a home run (see TWD episode, “The Same Boat”).

Here’s hoping that Luciana’s lovin’ keeps Nick out of trouble.

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“My brother was just found in pieces. Let’s make out.”

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A big to-do is made of Nick’s skills as a former junkie as he figures out how to stretch out the commune’s supply of medication. It is clear that Alejandro sees something special in Nick who strong armed one of the grocery store gang members into giving the religious community more supplies in exchange for said medication. Nick’s street smarts seem to be obvious to devious men, from Strand to Alejandro, and the latter believes (or acts like he believes) this young man to be his successor or at least, an important member of the community. He even gives Nick the fanciest trailer on the block.

Nick has made quite the impression at the compound, with his playfulness, quick thinking, and good intentions. FTWD is really fighting hard to sell the Clark kids as half Mother Teresa, half Rambo this portion of the season and it’s working.

Speaking of, my girl, Alicia, has just been reunited with her mother and Strand under the hotel and now they are banded together with members of the last hotel wedding ever. Let’s see. There is Elena and her nephew, Hector (hotel employees who had initially locked the wedding party in to control the outbreak), O’Henry candy bar heiress and mother of the bride, the groom/widow, and a few red shirt wedding guests. Oh, and there’s also the titular Jessica, the bride who is now trying to eat her new husband who has holed her up in a hotel room.

I’m not even going to bother learning any of these character names because if history has taught us anything, it’s that FTWD will kill them off next week after they learn a valuable lesson.

I’m glad that they showed us how Madison and Strand got out of their barroom situation as last week I felt a little gypped that we didn’t get to see more of their drunken fight moves. I was hoping I could totally put on Dropkick Murphy’s “Devil’s Dance Floor” and enjoy myself but it turns out, instead of an undead brawl, they both decided to take a page out of Nick’s playbook and cover themselves in walker. It was a smooth move and they were lucky to then run into Alicia and her new crew.

Unfortunately, it’s not a smooth move for FTWD. They’ve made this trick an easy way out of bad situations, giving the show even less tension than it already had.

Now that there’s a group and shelter, Madison takes it upon herself to make some decisions. This half of the season, the writers have cooled off her usual bossiness and nagging. Now she’s trying to argue her point in a diplomatic way instead of telling people, “it’s my way or the highway” and I’m pleased. Less pleased is the one person who has a problem with Madison’s decision to make the hotel a permanent home and burn the walker bodies.

That person is the mother of the bride who is also what my friend Jayshan calls, an “alpha”. I understand that most of these bodies are people she cared enough about to invite to her daughter’s Mexican wedding but Madison is making sense. As the mother of the bride demands Elena to be banished because she thinks the woman killed her daughter, Madison is more patient than I would be as she tries to explain to her that the disease killed the bride and bad men are out there and won’t ask for resources. The bad guys will take what they want and that’s why they have to fortify the gates. She convinces the bridal party.

Never the less, mother of the bride refuses to help them but she does watch Madison with interest as she leads the others in an ambitious plan to get the hundreds of walkers out of the hotel. Madison had the balls to do the toughest job: lead every “infected” out onto a large pier and jump into the ocean. Perhaps our main character will influence mother of the bride to start thinking more clearly.

Image result for fear the walking dead pablo and jessica alicia madison

I’m really liking the mother daughter scenes between Alicia and Madison. The younger woman came up with the idea to lead the walkers into the riptide. Madison is slowly starting to accept the fact that it may just be her and her daughter from now on and it’s bringing them closer. As they heal years worth of wounds, from the suicide of their patriarch to Nick’s Magical Mystery Tour, it’s wonderful to see this sort of bonding on FTWD. I have to say, their interaction was my favorite part of this episode.

At the end of the show, Strand goes up to the honeymoon suite and finds the groom guarding the room where his now dead bride, Jessica, resides. Colman Domingo runs with the scene, sympathizing with this now widower and comparing their loss with his and Thomas’s. The groom is eventually convinced into having Strand put her out of her misery, though it happens off camera.

I expect most of the hotel people to be gone by the end of the next episode and I’m feeling pretty confident that the Kavorkian compound’s days are numbered. Unless they grace us with Daniel’s presence (please?) or they give us another taste of crazy Chris next week.

B

 

MY TWO CENTS:

  • When it came to Nick, Luciana went from zero to 100 in record time. Faster than a freshman sorority girl with daddy issues. When she pops up at his room in the night, it comes off as rushed…by AMC execs who want more saucy moments on the show. Or feel like they want a Maggie and Glenn. I’ll save you the trouble. Nick and Luciana are no Maggie and Glenn.

TWD won’t have this problem if Glenn is on the receiving end of Negan’s bat because they had the foresight to tie up new power couple, Rick/Michonne. My fingers are crossed for Morgan/Carol.

  • Honestly, if I’m worried about food, water, and survival, I don’t care how cute or nice the guy is. Getting it on in the hot Mexican desert is going to be the last thing on my mind.
  • Didn’t those wedding party guests die the last episode when Alicia released those walkers? It was a surprise to see them show up like nothing happened.
  • I’m a little concerned that one of my favorite characters, Strand, is out and about without a real story arc. Colman Domingo is one of the best actors on this show and I’m hoping they’ll attach one to him soon or he may be in danger. They’re pushing him now as an equal opportunity seducer (bisexual?) according to Strand himself so perhaps he and Madison could end up being that power couple FTWD is looking for.
  • Mother of the bride seems to be a ticking time bomb. I’m eager to see how this plays out.
  • It’s so odd that out of all of the places this season (the island, Celia’s farm, Strand’s boat, the church of death, the pirate ships) that they chose to focus on the Mexican commune which to me, is the most boring. If Alejandro wasn’t around, I would zone out.
  • Why are there always so many sick people at the commune?
  • “Look. You’re a pharmacist. I’m a junkie, okay? Trust me.” Nick looks positively giddy as he uses his drug skills to combine Oxy and powdered milk. I realized during this episode that Nick will truly adapt in any environment that he will be thrown in during his time on FTWD.
  • Alicia, using her book smarts to come up with creative ways to escape or take care of business, is impressing the survivors around her. It’s as though Madison is seeing her daughter for the first time or falling in love with her all over again. I hope FTWD keeps this going because it needs more sentimental moments. This one feels natural.

 

Nicolina Torres
Nicolina Torres

Nikki worked for Barnes & Noble for 15 years, in seven stores. She is the author of This Red Fire, Young Nation, and Girls Who Wear Glasses. She prefers to live in the country and is a new aunt to a potential bookworm.

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