The Walking Dead is nothing short of a force of nature. It’s the kind of thing that is so popular that it’s become a part of the cultural lexicon, even for people who have never seen the show. And with that kind of success, it’s no wonder that AMC decided to create a spinoff to maximize their exposure. And, well, make more money.
Regardless, season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead is nearly upon us (Sunday, April 10, 9/8c), and so we thought it’d be a good thing to give a season 1 primer for those who might have missed it.
…or those who saw it but thought it was forgettable.
…or those who hated season 1 but are considering giving it a second chance.
Because the truth is, FTWD is, at least at this point, a second-tier addition to the Walking Dead universe. Here’s a quick recap of season 1…
An Episode-by-Episode Recap of Fear the Walking Dead
We’re introduced right off the bat to Nick Clark, a 19 year old heroin addict and heart attack source for his mother, Madison Clark, and her boyfriend Travis Manawa. Nick wakes up from a heroin binge to find his girlfriend eating a corpse.
Everyone is convinced that Nick didn’t really see his girlfriend eating a corpse, but that he’s just a crazy drugged-out adolescent who’s seeing things that aren’t there. However, things change when Nick, Travis, and Madison hit Nick’s drug dealer with a car. Three times. And then watch his corpse turn its head towards them.
Travis and Madison decide that they will take their family and run to the hills, so to speak.
Problems: Alicia (Madison’s daughter) can’t leave without her boyfriend, who has been bitten; Chris (Travis’ son from his first marriage) gets stuck in zombie traffic and decides to join a protest against police brutality (remember, no one knows what zombies are at this point); Madison has to go to her school to steal Oxycodone to help Nick with his withdrawals; Travis gets stuck in a barbershop with his ex-wife and son, along with the slightly menacing barber, Daniel Salazar, and his family.
The Manawas and the Salazars manage to escape the barber shop and get to Travis’ truck, but not before Daniel Salazar’s wife Griselda is severely wounded by a collapsing scaffold. They arrive at Travis and Madison’s house, where Daniel proves to be the get-things-done type when he shoots their zombie neighbor in the face. Travis, Madison, and their families decide to try to head for safety the next morning. Daniel is insistent with his daughter Ofelia that they will ride it out there.
However, the next morning, when the Manawas and the Clarks are leaving, the National Guard shows up.
TIME HOP! It’s unclear exactly how long the hop is, but it’s long enough that the people in the quarantine zone have gotten back to “normal” enough to elect Travis as civilian liaison to the National Guard.
In the midst of the new normal, Madison manages to exchange mirror signals with someone in the “Dead Zone,” the parts of the city outside the quarantine zone. Daniel gets paranoid about the National Guard’s true intentions. He recalls his time in El Salvador, where the sick were taken and killed instead of healed. Travis sees the signal from the dead zone just before he hears gunfire and the signal goes dead.
Having been taken by the National Guard, Nick finds himself in a cell with Strand, a smooth operator who talks another cellmate into a breakdown before bribing a guard to save Nick. Madison discovers that Daniel is holding a Guardsman captive in their basement. It proves fruitful, however, when they learn from him that the “Cobalt” order has been given – an order which will result in the death of every civilian, regardless of whether or not they’re infected.
The Group prepares to evacuate before the Cobalt order can be executed. They head to National Guard headquarters to try to rescue Nick and Liza. Daniel, acting on info from his captured Guardsman, releases a horde of 2000 zombies from a local arena and leads them to the headquarters. The walkers manage to breach the perimeter, and the Group is able to reunite with Nick, Liza, and Strand.
Travis’ inner Rick Grimes comes out when Adams, the captive Guardsman that he had released earlier, shows up and shoots Ofelia. Travis beats him half to death and leaves him to die. Strand, as it turns out, is filthy rich and has a beachside mansion with a view on his yacht parked offshore. Liza reveals to Madison that she was bitten in the escape, and Travis goes full-Carol on her, shooting her in the head.
There is your recap of season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead. Now CLICK HERE for a look ahead to season 2.