Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC(NEW YORK) — SPOILERS AHEAD: The second episode of Fear the Walking Dead shows the outbreak swiftly starting to spread, though it’s the survivors — not the walkers — who kick-start the end of the world.
The episode kicks off with the high school’s Principal Costa (Scott Lawrence) walking through his eerily empty school.
Meanwhile, after he didn’t answer her texts towards the end of the pilot, Alicia walks over to her boyfriend Matt’s house, to find the door open, place apparently ransacked. She comes upon something gasping and says, “Oh my God.”
After Calvin was shot dead — then rendered undead — at the end of last week’s episode, Madison, Nick, and Travis are panicked, driving through increasingly chaotic streets when they get a call from Alicia, who’s hovering over a fever-wracked Matt.
They all meet at Matt’s house and Travis discovers Matt’s been bit.
While addict Nick raids the family medicine cabinets, Matt tells Alicia she has to leave him to be with her family. Hesitantly, she complies.
Back in the city, Travis’ son Chris is on a bus, its windows on the world showing the unfolding emergency in the streets. The bus stops after word spreads that cops shot an unarmed man nearby. Chris and some of the other outraged riders pile out to join a growing protest.
Travis and the family return to their suburban home to find neighbors blissfully unaware; one family across the street is even readying a bouncy house for a birthday party that has a lot of cancellations, “from that bug that’s going around.”
As Nick starts going through withdrawal at home, things are worse in the city; cops are battling unfolding chaos.
Knowing what Nick is about to go through, Madison heads to her empty workplace to raid the school nurse’s office for medicine, only to be discovered by Tobias, the troubled student she helped in the first episode. Appropriately, given the situation at hand, she gives him his confiscated knife back.
In the city, Travis sets off to find Chris, who is filming the growing protest of the cops’ killing what we know was a walker.
At home, Alicia is supposed to babysit a withdrawing Nick, but stubbornly wants to visit Matt; a seizure from Nick turns her back.
Travis heads to the home of his ex, Liza, in an effort to find Chris, who they later discover in a phone call is part of the a growing apparent Walker Lives Matter demonstration in the city.
The couple puts aside their bickering and decide to meet their son there.
Back at the school, Maddie’s student Tobias shows her the value of stocking up on food; together, the pair run through the halls and run into the principal, who’s by now has been zombified. Maddie doesn’t understand his condition at first and tries to tend to him, only to find out the hard way: he attacks her.
Tobias jumps into help, handy pen knife in hand, only to have the walker turn on him. They tussle and Maddie learns an apocalyptic survival tip; she brains the walker principal with a fire extinguisher.
Meanwhile, the Walker Lives Matter protest is, on cue, turning into a riot.
Looting and chaos lead Travis, Chris, and his mom Eliza into a barbershop owned by Daniel (Ruben Blades), who only takes them in because his wife (Patricia Reyes Spíndola) insists. They all set about trying to ride it out behind the store’s shuttered gates.
Madison returns home to find Nick recovering and Alicia by his side. Madison gets a call from Travis, who fills her in on the riot and insists she takes the kids and go to the desert without him and his group.
By nightfall, however, hell reaches the burbs. The bouncy house is down across the street and Maddie blocks the door to prevent Alicia from helping as their neighbor is attacked; the episode ends with the pair reacting to the neighbor’s screams.
Fear the Walking Dead returns next Sunday night, September 13, at 9 p.m. Eastern time on AMC.
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