‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 2 Episode 4 Review: ‘Blood In the Streets’ Proves Strand Right
Recap and review of Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 4 – Blood in the Streets:
Fear the Walking Dead has been spending several weeks now building up tension. The group has met people they could have trusted, and others they really couldn’t. But both instances ended with a third party forcibly cutting the group’s ties with any new people they come across. All that tension was building to “Blood In the Streets”, an episode that ultimately proves that maybe it’s best to be openly mistrustful of everyone. If anything, this was the episode that finally proved Strand right.
Or, rather, this was the episode that vindicated Strand’s paranoia. There’s a reason he hasn’t been letting anyone onto the boat. The nature of this new world has people doing terrible things out of desperation. It’s a lawless, Old West mentality. So it’s not all that surprising when a group led by Jack, the man who was speaking with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) on the radio a few weeks back, takes the Abigail by force. It was everything Strand had been warning against, with the men arming themselves and taking hostages, before forcing Travis (Cliff Curtis) to show them how to run the boat without keys. For his part, Strand makes a run for it by hastily escaping on a raft, but it gets shot with holes and starts to lose air, leaving him in as perilous a predicament as the others. If nothing else, it’s an episode that affirms this show doesn’t have any interest in taking a gentle approach, which I can appreciate.
A different show would have gone out of its way to prove Strand wrong, to illustrate that there is still hope in this world, and that you can’t really survive, much less truly live, if you go out of your way to shut out other people. But because Fear the Walking Dead is a prequel, it would ring hollow if we heard the same sort of talk of hope and humanity that we get in The Walking Dead That world is one that’s looking to rebuild. But this world is one in the grips of fear and uncertainty. It’s all-out chaos because not everyone knows what’s going on. So, even more so than it does on The Walking Dead, paranoia makes sense. By the end of the episode, the vandals make off with Travis and Alicia, leaving the rest of the group to debate whether they chase after the kidnappers or continue on to Mexico without them. This essentially brings the story to its logical turning point, where it becomes less about making new connections, and more about whether or not the connections you’ve already made are worth preserving. Naturally, the group is going to go rescue their own, but at what cost will they succeed, if they succeed at all? In terms of potential, this show just got a lot more interesting.
Of course, the episode is also interesting in its own right, in that it gives us a bit of the backstory for Strand. As it turns out, he was a man who, impoverished by Hurricane Katrina, decided to basically just rob people. When a man named Thomas Abigail passes out after a night of drinks, Strand takes the cards from his wallet, and withdraws over $35,000. You’d think this would end badly for him, but Thomas ultimately takes Strand under his wing. Along with his personal assistant, Luis, Thomas brings Strand in on his land development deal, and their relationship quickly evolves into a romantic one. But what happened to Thomas Abigail? It’s anyone’s guess, at this point, but it stands to reason he’s probably not among the living anymore. Regardless, this is certainly a fascinating approach for the character of Strand, who seemed more like some sort of lapsed government operative than a real estate investor. And the flashbacks also tie into the nerve-wracking present day story, as Nick (Frank Dillane) swims to shore (and covers himself in walker guts again! Smart kid) to track down Luis, in order to bring him back to the boat to save the day. Well, in a manner of speaking. Nick needed to get Luis so he could secure their passage to Mexico. It’s simply an added bonus that Luis comes armed and dangerous. Ultimately, if Travis or Alicia have to be sacrificed, you could do a whole lot worse than adding a badass like Luis to your team.
Fear the Walking Dead leaves it all hanging in the air, and the uncertainty adds a nice bit of drama to the narrative. Sure, Travis and Alicia are going to be saved, but it’s hard to imagine everyone in the group is going to make it out of this mess alive. “Blood In the Streets” is a fun setup for what’s to come, so here’s hoping the follow-up delivers.
What did you think of Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4, “Blood In the Streets”? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Fear the Walking Dead, read our thoughts on last week’s divisive episode!