Fear the Walking Dead returned this week with its second-season premiere, “Monster,” and while the setting has changed, the show’s DNA has not. The series’ first-season problems haven’t been fixed, no new characters have been introduced, and setting the episode (and maybe the season) in the water feels like a Hail Mary attempt to distinguish Fear from its parent series, The Walking Dead.
There’s still potential in the series, if only because it exists in the same universe as The Walking Dead, but it needs improvement. Adding more action sequences only gets the series part of the way there. There are, at least, some compelling possibilities.
Here are the questions we have after the season premiere.
1. How much time has passed since the season-one finale?
It’s hard to say exactly how long the time jump was. Long enough for the walkers to amass around Malibu and Strand’s residence and for the entire city to go up in flames, but not long enough that Liza’s corpse has begun to decompose in earnest, and certainly not long enough for Strand and co. to properly prepare for their departure to sea. Also, it’s apparently been long enough that Nick is suddenly completely clean and no longer showing any effects of withdrawal.
2. How long will the survivors stay on water?
The clip that AMC used to tease season two felt like the beginning of the season — before they’d taken to the boat. That scene, which takes place back on the beach, was not actually in the episode, which at least suggests that the survivors will make their way back to land relatively soon. Let’s hope they stay there. During The Talking Dead, showrunner Dave Erickson said this season is about a search for a home after they realize that living on a yacht is untenable. Having a zombie apocalypse show set on a yacht is also untenable for the viewers.