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Halfway into its first season, ' Fear the Walking Dead ' has shown its protagonists enough of their new tortured world that they should be very afraid indeed. But not everyone's shaking quite as much as they should.
Take Travis Manawa, for instance. The patriarch of the combined Clark-Manawa clan, played by the prolific Cliff Curtis, knows the world has gone wrong. He has seen unimaginable horrors with his own two eyes — his not-quite-step-son Nick running a friend-turned-zombie over with a truck, for one thing, and the dead-eyed monsters lurking throughout a Downtown LA riot, for another.
Seeing is believing, but believing is not enough to push Travis past the point of no return — putting an end to the new monsters in his life. And pretty soon, if he's not careful, he's going to pay the price for that hesitation.AMC
During episode three of 'FTWD,' elder statesman and total badass Daniel Salazar said the words that might as well have been ' The Walking Dead ' proper's official motto all these years: 'Good people are the first ones to die.' We've seen it happen time and time again on the main show, from The Governor beheading peacekeeping Hershel, to his pure and innocent daughter Beth dying at the hospital, to Tyreese suffering a fatal bite one episode later, and Noah getting eaten alive not long after that.
The good hearts don't make it long on 'Walking Dead,' and if 'Fear' follows suit, you can expect the same thing to happen here — and Travis looks like the entree for that piping hot lesson.
What did Travis get wrong in this last episode? Let's look over the list:
1. He tries to calmly negotiate peace with a man eating a dog.
2. He looks utterly shocked when Nick states the obvious: 'She's not sick. She's dead.'
3. He tells Madison not to kill neighbor-turned-zombie Susan, because they might still be able to walk this thing back.
4. He greets Susan in the morning like she's still a person.
5. He's utterly furious with Salazar for teaching his son how to use a weapon, in a world where weapons will be absolutely essential to survival.
Granted, it's early days yet, and not everyone can be expected to adapt to the new world order of the apocalypse right away. But all this flies in the face of what Travis was preaching in the pilot episode, espousing wisdom about Jack London's literature and the primal need for man to survive. For such a big 'White Fang' fan, Travis sure seems reluctant to become the wolf.
Anyone who casually tries to wrestle with a dog-eating walker is probably going to be proverbial dog meat before long, but what if we're looking at the wrong guy? What if Travis isn't the person we should be worried about — what if we should be worried about Madison?AMC
The Clark-Manawa matriarch killed Principal Art back in episode two, bludgeoning his zombie brains with a fire extinguisher. It did not sit well with her, but she did what the new world requires. Hours later, in episode three, Madison contemplates doing the same to outgoing neighbor Susan, but Travis talks her down. Before that, Madison has a conversation with Travis' ex-wife that doubles as a request and a warning — if she turns into one of them, she wants Liza to take her out, not Travis. 'It would break him,' says Madison.
What if Travis having to come to grips with Madison's transformation is what finally pulls him into the reality of this nightmare world? What if her death and resurrection leaves him with no choice but to adapt to the apocalypse?
With only three episodes left, it's feeling more and more inevitable that one of the two pillars of Team Clark-Manawa will crumble in season one — the question is, which one?