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Aside from the flesh-eating monsters at the core of each series, not to mention the titles of the shows themselves, both the flagship The Walking Dead and its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead boast several similarities, especially when holding the second seasons of each show up against each other. While Rick Grimes and his companions are far away from Hershel Greene’s farm these days, submerged in far different but no less bloody battles of their own, the Manawa-Clark clan is currently undergoing similar levels of dysfunction and disaster as seen in season two of the main AMC zombie series.
Before Fear the Walking Dead resumes its second season on August 21, here are a few of the ways it echoes the original Walking Dead:
1. Throughout the second season of The Walking Dead, the show’s second lead character Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) spiraled out of control, murdering men when it suited his cause, justifying his lethal actions with thin excuses. Likewise, Fear the Walking Dead has seen a psychotic breakdown from one of its central figures: Chris Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie), who has taken human lives and even contemplated killing members of his own family on a few occasions.
2. Shane reached the end of the line in season two, killed at the hands of his best friend Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). In Rick’s defense, the former lawman only murdered his partner after numerous stabs at reconciliation, before ultimately resorting to a literal stab. While the situation with Chris hasn’t quite yet reached this breaking point, he has a Rick of his own in the form of his father, Travis (Cliff Curtis), who is doing everything in his power to curb his son’s darkest desires. Will it work, or will Travis have to pull a Rick on Chris? It’s not impossible to picture Travis evoking Rick, shouting at his family around a makeshift campfire: “I killed my own son for you!”
3. Although Fear the Walking Dead spent several episodes on the open road (or the open sea, as it were), the first half of its second season ultimately settled on a single destination: Celia’s compound, a safe haven for humans … and apparently zombies as well, seeing how Celia secretly harbored members of her family and community who had turned. It echoes the existence of Hershel’s farm in season two of The Walking Dead, which also contained a barn filled with the Greene clan’s zombified family and friends.
4. In both cases, the undead denizens of Celia’s compound and Hershel’s barn weren’t around for too long. As soon as Shane discovered the barn’s secret, he blew it wide open, publicly executing the monsters inside. In the case of Fear the Walking Dead, Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) was the man who destroyed Celia’s blood-hungry guests, destroying them all in a massive burst of fire.
5. Even if Salazar showed shades of Shane during his role in the destruction of Celia’s compound, he also echoed one of Shane’s main rivals: Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn), the wise man and most humane member of Rick Grimes’ group. While Salazar’s methods were decidedly darker than Dale’s, he shared the old man’s skepticism, caution and ability to bring years of life experience to the table … and he also shared Dale’s fate, killed at climactic points in the second season of their respective shows. With that said, Salazar’s fate remains open-ended, with room to return down the road; Dale’s death was much more definitive, what with his entrails ripped out by a walker, and a bullet placed in his head by Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus).
6. Returning to the barn on Hershel’s farm, it yielded one of the most devastating Walking Dead twists up to that point when the long lost Sophia (Madison Lintz) emerged, having been zombified the entire time she was absent. Likewise, Fear the Walking Dead spent the first several episodes of season two focusing on Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and his quest to reunite with estranged lover Thomas Abigail (Dougray Scott), only for them to reunite when Abigail was right up against death’s door. In both cases, TWD and FTWD‘s second seasons began with main characters searching for their loved ones, only for those journeys to end in heartbreak.
7. Fear the Walking Dead ended the first half of season two with the destruction of Celia’s compound, and with the Manawa-Clark family spread in four different directions: Madison (Kim Dickens) on the run with Strand, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Ofelia (Mercedes Mason); recovering addict Nick (Frank Dillane) on his own, walking among the walkers; Travis and Chris together on the road; and Salazar, presumed dead, with room for a return down the line. The cliffhanger echoes how the flagship Walking Dead‘s second season spent so much time on the search for Sophia, with Rick’s group searching far and wide for their missing companion — and even later, as the destruction of Hershel’s farm only fractured the group further, with the surviving members stranded from one another before finally reuniting several miles away from their next destination, the prison. But perhaps the better comparison for the current state of FTWD isn’t the second season of The Walking Dead, but its fourth season, which followed the disparate factions of Rick’s group following the destruction of the prison. Expect a similar level of separation and individualized storytelling when Fear resumes its second season.
Fear the Walking Dead returns on August 21.
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