Through the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, there’s barely been a flicker of what makes The Walking Dead so wildly successful, and nothing that might inspire the kind of passion we feel for the parent series. Dozens of reasons have been bandied about — dumb decisions, unengaging storylines, slow pacing, and a lack of zombies — but the central problem with the series has continued to be characters that no one cares about.
That changed, at least briefly, in this week’s episode, “We All Fall Down,” when the series finally brought in another family, and it made all the difference. The Geary family is exactly what the series needed, and they provided something that the series has sorely lacked: A point of view.
Travis, Madison, Nick, Alicia and Chris have spent the first seven episodes of Fear the Walking Dead reacting, running, whining, bickering, and fighting, but no one has really provided a strong perspective on what’s going on around them. They’ve been too busy sulking. George Geary, on the other hand, had developed a belief system. He believed the zombie virus was nature’s way of correcting itself. It wasn’t necessarily a good perspective, but at least it gave him a foundation for his motivations.
He and his family (or at least, his eldest son) were survivalists. They’d formed a plan, and again, while it might not have been a good one, at least it gave them a personality. George’s personality veered toward cultish behavior, but we’d seen evidence of his type of family several times in The Walking Dead: People who insisted on staying in their homes until the end, only to be found dead, having hung themselves or shot themselves before the walkers arrived.