It's the end of an era, folks. No more painting trees. We no longer need to make up for all the bad things we've done. No more scathing reviews of the worst show on TV.
I have written reviews for Fear The Walking Dead since it first aired in August 2015. I was 34 years old, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. My 16 year old daughter was 8 years old. Her little brother was 5. Trump had never been elected president and COVID-19, like the zombie virus itself, was still being cooked up in a lab somewhere (kidding! Too soon?)
Here is my first review of the show. I wrote, in that review, that I had "high hopes" for the show mainly because I immediately liked the characters. I was a bit lukewarm on it for the most part and thought it was a slow burn (I've since rewatched the finale and am amazed at how much better it is than anything since season 3). For the first two seasons, my opinion of the show went up and down like a see-saw, zig-zagging as the show had its moments of greatness and many, many moments of outlandish stupidity.
When Season 2 ended — airing a 2-part finale like last night's 2-part series finale — I was annoyed by the direction the show had taken and the strange decisions characters like Madison were making. I argued that he suffered from Rapid Conflict Resolution Syndrome in my review of the finale. Too many conflicts were introduced and resolved too quickly in these first two seasons. Nothing it didn't have time to ferment and become interesting (something that changed quite a bit in Season 3, for the better).
I was actually quite critical of the Season 2 finale, but after a long discussion of its flaws I wrote:
The thing is, Fear The Walking Dead it still manages to be enjoyable despite all that. Not enjoyable as in a really good show with characters we care about and one story that keeps us on the edge of our seats, but enjoyable in a visceral, immediate, unimaginable way. Another strong, slow zombie sneaks up on some group of unwitting survivors and kills them horribly. This is fun, even if it's dumb. Our characters do something really stupid or come up with some stupid plan or something, and it ends up being a bloodbath, and that's fun, even if it doesn't make sense.
It sounds kind of like how the show ended up when the new showrunners took over—though Goldberg and Chambliss stepped up all the Φόβοςthey are inherent flaws in 11 and then some. It amped up the stupid to the point where you couldn't enjoy it anymore unless you watched the hate to see how absurd it would get.
I also called parts of the season 2 finale, like Travis' murderous revenge on his son's killers, "great television," which I don't think I ever said about the show when the new showrunners took over for season 4 (or at least not after the first few episodes of season 4, which I enjoyed).
But in a way, I think I might have been doomed Φόβος with my review of the season 2 finale. In it, I concluded that season 3 should be the end of the series and that they should start fresh in season 4 with a brand new cast:
Season three should be his last season the particular Fear The Walking Dead. The fourth season should start with a new batch of characters, right after the apocalypse breaks out, but in some other location.
What I had in mind was just to finish Clark's story and go to, I don't know, Alaska or something and start again from Day 0 and tell another story from another point of view about the early days of epidemic.
Instead, we got a shockingly good Season 3 followed by, well, the end of that particular series and the beginning of something completely different, with a mostly new cast and the complete character assassination of all the remaining original cast members (either killed off, killed off fake or just dramatically changed into little Morgan clones).
In my review of the season 3 finale I said that this is how you bring a show back from the brink and that the main show should follow Of fear example. And after season 4. And then everything went to hell, and for five long, incoherent, increasingly pointless and poorly written seasons the show continued its downward spiral.
I didn't think Anything it could be worse than the airplane and the beer balloon in season 5, but then they showed the documentaries about helping people. Then the nuclear warheads exploded over Texas and were left there fighting over an office building. And yet, miraculously, Season 8 managed to be even worse, bringing back both Madison and Season 3's devilishly wonderful Troy Otto — only to completely destroy both characters in the process (which I said I would happen, many times!)
Now it's over. And I'm not sure what to do with myself. I've been writing about this show for almost a quarter of my life and it's over. The Walking Dead IT IS DONE. There are these half-decent, half-anemic spinoffs, but they're flashes in the pan and not really that interesting. Oh sure. That's how life works. Things change. Everything ends. And by all accounts, this show should have been canceled years ago. It's a miracle AMC let it live this long, a scrawny husk of its former self, without the one thing all zombies crave: Brains.
Next: Those Who Live. I just can't wait to be dazzled by this non-existent chemistry between Rick and Michonne! (Both great characters, but seriously, no chemistry – although I'll take Dwight and Sherry over them any day of the week. I seriously don't think anyone who writes for TWD can do romance to save their life).
You can read my review of the FTWD series finale here. Watch my video review below: