‘Fear the Walking Dead’ season 2, episode 8 review: Nick’s past and present

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The second season of “Fear the Walking Dead” returned to AMC on Sunday nights with new episodes, though we’d consider the midseason premiere a little bit more of a simmer than a full boil.

The flagship “Walking Dead” over the years has made a meal out of giving you isolated episodes that focus almost entirely on a single character. Tonight, we had that for the most part in Nick, a wayward soul who left the family he knew at the end of the first half of the season, and opted instead to go his own way and see what else was out there for him in the world.

Here’s the issue with this as opposed to the flagship show: We don’t think that “Fear the Walking Dead” firmly has a grasp on its characters just yet. There’s just some missing gear of power and resonance that isn’t there with Nick just yet, and it’s not a problem that is there when it comes to Frank Dillane’s performance as the character. We just feel like the show could benefit from spending even more time away from the violence and on the people. We get enough zombies over time that we really don’t mind.

Meanwhile, Nick’s journey eventually took him to a new thriving community-of-sorts in Tijuana, one that allowed us an opportunity to eventually meet Luciana and her crew, who at first were certainly ruthless in their treatment of him. We don’t know if we like them or trust them just yet, but we’ll at least say that they are interesting and worth watching as we move into everything that is coming up.

Interestingly enough, to us this episode shined the most when we looked back at Nick’s history with Gloria, the woman from the series premiere who was the first walker we saw. Her history with him in his addiction better explained his fascination with the dead, and his inability to fully let her go. We almost wish that this was a better part of the hour. Episode Grade: B.

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