Tagged Apocalypse

American Horror Story – Apocalypse, Episode 2: “The Morning After”

Michael Langdon begins interrogating the survivors at the outpost. A familiar face(/mask) from Season 1 returns.

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THE SEVENTH SIGN’s Psychological Book of Revelations Horror

Need a dose apocalyptic, biblical horror?

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Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 10: “Do Not Disturb”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 10: “Do Not Disturb”
Directed by Michael McDonough
Written by Lauren Signorino

* For a review of the previous episode, “Los Muertos” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Pablo & Jessica” – click here
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This episode starts with a wedding reception. Might look familiar, as it’s likely the one that happened right before the zombie apocalypse broke out. Everyone is happy, having a good time. Or at least most people are, anyway. Such is life. The world went on turning while the infection came on strong. And some guests start to get wary of sticking around too long, no matter if it’s a wedding. When the bride’s father collapses mid dance with his daughter, the phone lines go dead, nothing’s looking too good for any of the guests. Dear ole dad comes back to life from the dead, and then one of the women from the hotel locks everybody inside the reception hall to let things take effect. Nasty, creepy opener.
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We’re finally back with Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) and his son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie). They’re not exactly bonding, as you can tell Travis has trouble relating to his boy. Nevertheless, he lets Chris head off on his own to check out a nearby building. Voices and walkers send him into survival mode. Several men inside are shocked to see Chris, who takes off with his father quickly, not waiting to find out what the men were up to, or what they were like. With a new-to-them car they’ve stolen, Travis takes his son “away,” he says, wherever they can manage. He lets Chris take the wheel to learn to drive.  They have a normal moment for once.
After their car runs out of gas, Travis and Chris start a fire, camping along the highway. They start to figure out what’s next. At least Travis tries to make it seem positive. “It might not be perfect, but itll be ours,” he tells his son. “And then what?” Chris replies hopelessly. Soon, a truck comes by; the men who Chris ran into earlier. They don’t seem dangerous, although they do feel sketchy. For the time being they all relax.
Back with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) in the hotel, she watches zombies stumble through the hall. Waiting for her time, counting how many of them there are nearby. When she feels ready Alicia walks out into the dark hallway, undead lurking not far. Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) is nowhere to be found. So Alicia goes it alone, down an elevator shaft. Narrowly missing being eaten. The hotel employee from the wedding helps her up, then questions Alicia frantically: “Where is he?”
Where is who?

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Chris and Travis get to chatting with the trio. Lots of tragic stuff, as they recount to the men about how California’s basically been decimated. They roast Spam over the fire, talk about killing the “wasted” – what their group calls the zombies. But Travis doesn’t like having his boy around people like them, eager to trade tales about murder and mayhem in this new world. More and more, the father-son duo bump horns.
The hotel employee, Elena, let zombies into the halls. To contain the problem, so she says. She’s searching for a man named Hector. Only Alicia wants to get to her mother, Madison (Kim Dickens), who’s trapped with Strand (Colman Domingo) in the bar. Trouble is this woman seems pretty dead set on keeping Alicia right where she is, and until Hector comes back she isn’t totally thrilled about going anywhere else.
Father and son can’t get on the same page. Travis wants to keep his son non-violent, he doesn’t want him swept away in the carnage of their new existence. “I want to take care of you,” he tells Chris. But the kid doesn’t care. He wants to be with who he sees as strong people. However, Travis finds them too dangerous. And they are, you can just tell.
Alicia and Elena take their chances together. They lure walkers into a room then trap them inside. What I dig in this episode is how Alicia is becoming a big time bad ass. She’s stabbing walkers, dangling from hotel room balconies, she’s just owning it. This is how things are now, and she doesn’t hesitate anymore. Well, Elena and Alicia get downstairs, first to the reception hall. Elena’s no slouch, either. She “contained” that problem and she will continue to contain them all until she’s dead or there are no more problems left to worry about (like that’ll ever happen). “Ive seen worseWeve done worse,” Alicia assures her.

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Meanwhile, Travis is still highly unsure about being with these new men they’ve met. Chris is right at home laughing and talking with them. His father’s uneasy. “The end times made us gods,” one of them says to Travis. They’re somehow pleased with the evening effect of the apocalypse. Seriously? Fucking idiots. Coming across a farm, Travis suggests they stay there, but Chris thinks they need to be with a group.
Things at the hotel get tense. Other survivors have a hold on Hector and they want Elena out, along with Alicia if she’s on her side. But the sly women make their way out of the situation, down into the bowels of the hotel. There, they find Strand and Madison hiding behind a locked door; reunited and it feels so good!
At the same time, Travis realises someone owns that farm and he’s still around. He has a shotgun, too. Now the men they’ve met want to take the farm. Travis can’t let that slide, even if his son isn’t too bothered. And then Chris shoots the guy, killing him. He and his father have officially been separated, this act made sure of that. There’s no telling what happens next for them.

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What a great episode. I often say that, but this one really put the screws to us, emotionally and viscerally. A couple nice zombie kills, plus lots of intrigue. The drama between Travis and Chris is what interested me most, and of course the unstoppable Alicia.
Next episode is “Pablo & Jessica” and I can only imagine what we’ll have in store for us.


Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 2: “We All Fall Down”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 2: “We All Fall Down”
Directed by Adam Davidson
Written by Kate Barnow

* For a review of the previous episode, “Monster” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Ouroboros” – click here
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After the premiere sets us out on the ocean, Fear the Walking Dead‘s Season 2 continues on as this episode begins with a couple children on the beach. In the water nearby a zombie washes up. It spies kid meat; oh boy. All of a sudden, more zombies appear from out of the water. But luckily, there’s a fence separating them from the children now that we can see it from a better perspective. Whew. So is this a preparation? Was this fence put up specifically for this purpose? We’ll see.
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Back to Strand (Colman Domingo) and the others. Madison (Kim Dickens) isn’t impressed with Nick (Frank Dillane) jumping right into the ocean. However, the logbook he found on the downed boat gives them a better idea of what’s going on. So Madison and Travis (Cliff Curtis) bring it to everyone’s attention. Daniel (Rubén Blades) and the rest of them try to figure out their next way forward. Strand suggests they hide.
Travis and Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) still aren’t on the same page. The son isn’t so sure of his father anymore, simply because he’s now seen his mother die. The hopelessness is already there. But everyone else tries their best to forge on. Later at night, the group sees a light flashing on a nearby shore. A signal?
While the others go ashore, Daniel keeps a watchful eye on Strand. He isn’t fully sold on the guy yet, and I don’t blame him. Meanwhile, Travis and Madison go to where they saw the flashing light. Everything is dark, quiet. A kid runs outside and then Travis finds a family in one of the houses. They introduce themselves, the father of the family does the same. For now things feel all right.
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George (David Warshofsky) invites them in. He and Travis actually have a beer together. They bond over books and reading. Travis talks about the bombing of Los Angeles, and George explains the same’s been happening all over, even up into Canada, as well as further down south; the border is shut, everything sealed. Things are looking damn bleak. Upstairs, Madison and George’s wife Melissa (Catherine Dent) bond, too. They chat of more pleasant things trying to act like things are normal, if only for the time being. The family seems like they’re definitely survivalists; George has a bunch of maps, a radio, all types of things, the son carries a rifle. So maybe these people will be of help, if only for a while.
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Travis: “Cant imagine havintime for it now.”
George: “Youve got nothinbut time, man.”
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Daniel and his daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) also talk. She’s worried, obviously, about where they’ll go next, or if they’ll stay, whatever happens. Her father does what he can to be positive, though, it seems she’s all but given up. Likewise, Nick is a bit of light in the midst of things, whereas Chris is all gloom and doom. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) ends up talking to one of the kids about “Ring A Ring O’ Roses”, which is a perfect parallel to the current situation. Creepier still is one of the younger kids of the survivalist family whose knowledge of things is firm, yet child-like, and that really affects Nick when witnessing this personally – from “power pills” to an action figure doll, it is an unsettling sequence.
On the boat, Strand and Daniel chat a little. The latter is incredibly suspicious. Strand is a smooth talker and as always manages to deflect. Back inside, George and Travis debate the zombie virus, what it is, why it’s happening. Travis is Māori, which George guesses, and he talks a bit about his own family in relation to their people’s practices. A new friendship is budding, as it appears George is more than willing to extend his books and his land to Travis and his group. But this is only the beginning of the outbreak. We’re not yet to the point where it’s completely dog-eat-dog. Right now there are still soft souls willing to extend themselves to others.

Nick: “Hey you wanna know what the most underrated perk of the apocalypse is?”
Alicia: “Yeah
Nick: “No planes. No noise pollution, no smog. Just stars.”
Alicia: “Yup. Well, we definitely stopped the climate crisis. Awesome.”

Except, like Nick says, something is off about this little survivalist home George has going on. He has these beautiful notions about family and about life. However, there is an odd, strange aspect to what’s going on.
In the morning, Travis heads out with George’s older son Seth (Jake Austin Walker). They’re down taking care of walkers on the steel fences. Tons of them are lining the sand at its foot, many having already been cleared. Seth takes one out, then offers Chris the chance. It’s a cathartic experience for him. We also get a better look into the survivalist nature of George’s family. They’ve lived like this “for a while“, admittedly from Seth. When Travis finds his son there’s an obvious aggressive tension still thick over their relationship. No telling how long it’ll go on. Travis has a problem with how things are now, how his boy has to live in this post-apocalypse world, and no matter how much George tries that’s not something that’s instantly going to change for Travis. Not quite yet, not fully anyways.

Out on a walk, Alicia makes a mark of a spiral continuing into itself, as if an ominous overall statement on the eternal existence of human beings, coming back even beyond the dead. At the same time, Nick searches around the house, going through the medicine cabinet, everywhere else, before finally coming upon those pills – the ones George will most certainly be using on his family when the time comes. Little yellow and green pills, very poison-looking, cyanide maybe. This is worrisome. Something bad might happen if Travis’ people come in the way of George and his endgame. Furthermore, Strand sees the radar clear up, and wants to get sailing again.
Madison’s busy trying to figure out if Melissa intended to signal somebody with the light in her house, which George called accidental. It was indeed intended as a signal. She knows there’s no hope there in their little compound, with the fences, the vegetables. “Were just biding our time,” says Melissa: “Biding our timetill its over.” Things are worse than expected, she’s ill, and most of all she wants the little kids to get off their island. Now there’s a situation set off, as Madison tries convincing Travis to save the kids from George and that desolate landscape.
And Daniel, he’s busy, as well. he tries hard to find some evidence of who Strand is really, what he’s up to. He finds a secret compartment with some weaponry, documents, other interesting maps, so on – one of which involves Mexico. Simultaneously, Strand calls someone on his phone, seemingly setting a meeting at sundown. Who’s on the other end of that call? And what does that mean for the other survivors?

The worst of all, Nick believes George is planning on “Jonestowning” his family. He found the pills, he knows they’re not some uppers or downers. So where to go from here? Well, they start by trying to get the kids out of there. But George interrupts things, he isn’t happy either. Upstairs, little Willa has already taken her pill. And this begins a terrifying moment, as Melissa finds her daughter, dead, zombified, and it all gets really ugly then. Melissa dies, they get the boy out of there, and George is left behind to deal with the fallout. A nasty, unnerving scene. On board his boat Strand doesn’t like having another passenger. Crazier confrontation ensues when Seth boards with a rifle trying to take his brother back. They reluctantly give the boy over. Spooky moment on the wharf, as Seth and the kid are confronted by their undead mother shuffling towards them.
Everyone watches from the boat, as Seth has to kill his mother. A grim parting, as the survivors head out on the ocean, no more and no less than when they’d arrived. Onward to darker horizons.

Next episode is titled “Ouroboros” and I’m excited – this was a great one. I can only hope the season builds on this disturbing chapter.

The Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 7: “Pretty Much Dead Already”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 7: “Pretty Much Dead Already”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by Scott M. Gimple

* For a review of the previous episode, “Secrets” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Nebraska” – click here
Beginning at the farm, the seventh episode of The Walking Dead‘s Season 2 gets underway.
Tensions are high. For Glenn (Steven Yeun) there’s the new tension with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), after he spilled the beans about the barn to Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn). Even more than that, Glenn decides he has to tell the whole group. When Daryl (Norman Reedus), Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Shane (Jon Bernthal) and the rest hear about it, trouble begins.
Instead of going to Hershel (Scott Wilson) they head down to the barn. Inside, naturally, they find a bunch of walkers. Shane wants to leave and get away from the danger. Carol (Melissa McBride) doesn’t want to leave on account of her little girl, neither does Daryl. Rick doesn’t want to leave, but only Dale and Glenn know his motives. An infight is brewing, with Shane already questioning Rick’s leadership before now.
Who will win out? They have to tell Hershel. If not bigger trouble is on the horizon.

Glenn tries talking with Maggie. She’s pissed and does not want to talk much. Their newly founded relationship is on the rocks for now. In other news, Carl (Chandler Riggs) is asking if Sophia’s dead and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) tries her best to keep his spirits up. For his part Carl says “Im not leaving until we find Sophia“, and in general he doesn’t want to leave the farm. His mother isn’t sure how to exactly react. She knows they may not be there much longer.
Daryl’s busy trying to get back out on the road to do more searching, even though he needs to rest up his injury. He and Carol draw closer, though, not in a romantic way. They’re very friendly and are becoming even more so, but it isn’t a sexual relationship. They have a strong friendship budding. Talking together, he misunderstands her concern and calls her a “stupid bitch” momentarily sidetracking their bonding.
Andrea (Laurie Holden) plans on heading out to look for Sophia. She and Dale are still having their own friendship issues. He’s concerned about her and the semi-relationship she has with Shane; he knows more about the man than anyone else right now. “Is that how you wanna belike him?” asks Dale. Andrea thinks she knows the guy, but Shane is a bad, bad dude. After their conversation Dale seems to be planning something with the bag of guns in the R.V., but what exactly?
At Hershel’s dinner table, Rick comes to have a chat. The older man is a tough, solid man, and also stubborn. Rick tells him about their discovery of the barn. Except it doesn’t lead to much productive talk: “I need you and your group gone by the end of the week,” Hershel says. They have more talk of walkers, what they are, what they were and what they’ve become now. Sheriff Rick tries leveling with Hershel about how the farm is sheltered and hasn’t seen exactly what the world has turned into beyond its grassy fields.
However, the turning point comes when Rick drops the bomb of Lori’s pregnancy on Hershel. Their little rendezvous ends on intense, angry terms.
Wilder still, Rick reveals the pregnancy to Shane whose reaction nearly drops his face to the ground. He congratulates Rick, but there’s something else there, something behind the facade. Has Rick ever considered Shane could be the father? I can guarantee Shane is thinking it right now.
In the kitchen, Maggie doesn’t look very happy about her father deciding to cast Rick, Glenn, Lori and all the others out in the road. He tries to tell Maggie the group will be fine. Although, she warns him things aren’t as he sees them. She is beginning to see all that herself.

A confrontation between Lori and Shane sees more of his animosity. He questions how fit Rick is for this new world. How many times he’s saved her life, Carl’s life. Shane seems to be intent on having a life with her, one way or another. Is he going to eventually try and kill Rick, like the moment he had his gun sighted on him? Shane ends up talking to Carl, too. Agreeing they need to stay and such. But the darkness under Shane is always there, ever present. He’s willing to do whatever they need to in order to keep Lori safe. He is turning coat now because of that, only that. And if he’s got to take charge of the place himself, I believe that’s exactly what Shane will do.
He ends up back at the R.V. looking for the guns. They’re gone. With Dale, we assume. Shane heads out to look for him, veins popping out of him everywhere.
Hershel takes Rick out into the woods to show him something. Down by a little pond, two zombies are stuck in the water. Hershel wants to turn back time, to cure the sick. He has a couple rods for grabbing animals, likely from his vet work. He tells Rick this is how it is if they’re to stay on the farm: no more killing.
Glenn and Maggie finally have a real talk. He tells her “secrets get you killed” and hammers home the point that he cares for her, as well as his people. He’d rather her be alive and hating him. But that’s not the case. She does have feelings, they both do. Seeing them both come together is a beautiful thing I hope will last.

Somewhere in the forest, Dale is hiding the guns. He and Shane have a bit of a rigid conversation. The older of the two obviously wants to protect people from Shane. In his mind, Shane is the saviour of the group. The true leader. He wants to take everything by force, deal with consequences later. Dale points a gun at him, but Shane walks right to the gun barrel, letting it press against his chest. A small speech from Dale makes us realize exactly the type of people they both are, if we didn’t already.
Shane: “Hell man, if you think about it, in the cold light of day, you’re pretty much dead already.”
With everybody up at the farm, Shane arrives and puts guns in everybody’s hands. He has decided the rules for himself believing the place to be dangerous. Then, as T-Dog (Irone Singleton) exclaims “Oh shit“, Rick shows up. He and Hershel have the two walkers in tow. Shane, obviously, goes absolutely mental.
This whole preamble leads into one of the most intense, wild sequences of the entire series so far. Only two seasons in, but this show brings it! Shane first fires on one of the walkers they brought back; a couple in the body, finally working up to a bullet in the head. Time slows down. Hershel has clearly had enough and drops to his knees. Shane takes charge then opens up the barn, which lets all hell loose.
Out stumbles walker after walker after walker. Bullets fly, each person with a gun taking down the living dead.
And then the worst of all imaginable happens: from the barn comes one last walker, Sophia Peletier (Madison Lintz). The devastation in Carol is evident, having been there next to the barn all that time, looking for Sophia when she was already dead. Surprisingly, though, it is Rick who owns up and fires the bullet which kills the little girl for good. A brutal, effective moment. Rick does have what it takes, he just thinks more than someone like Shane. Still a very emotionally charged moment, even more so with the way this was filmed. Excellent finish to the episode.

Next up is “Nebraska”, another exciting chapter in AMC’s Season 2 of The Walking Dead. Stay with me, fellow Deadheads!