Review: ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Episode 4 – ‘Not Fade Away’

By September 21, 2015

In this week’s episode of Fear The Walking Dead, we learned that nothing is ever what it seems, a mother’s love only goes so far and some people have absolutely no scruples. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Not Fade Away,’ shall we?

It’s been nine weeks since the lights went out, and the military has been busy. After busting in and taking care of zombie Susan in last week’s episode, they’ve pretty much taken over. They’ve erected a fence around the “neighborhood,” topped with razor wire and peppered with signs about curfews and not venturing into the DZ.

Chris, sitting on the roof, sees a light flashing in the distance, among the abandoned and burned out buildings around the compound. He gets it on tape, but when he mentions it to his dad, Travis brushes it off as nothing. Chris then goes to Maddie, who does consider it suspicious. In one of the most interesting and intense sequences on the episode, Maddie, who is frustrated with the lack of answers and Travis’ blind faith in the military, uses bolt cutters on the fence and sneaks out to investigate the flashing light. What she finds are dozens upon dozens of missing people flyers, cryptic messages of “no evac” and dead people who hadn’t been zombified before they were killed.

Meanwhile, back in the compound, we find Nick sneaking into a neighbour’s house so he can steal the dying man’s morphine. Ofelia is fooling around with one of the soldiers, but whether it was because she actually liked him or she was trying to get medicine for her mother, is unknown. Liza’s been helping with the sick and Alicia decides to break into Susan and Patrick’s house and give herself a do-it-yourself tattoo of the doodle that her dead boyfriend drew on her arm.

Dr. Exner suddenly appears, touting a medical facility just outside of the compound, where everyone who needs medical attention will receive it. She looks in on Griselda, who needs surgery and makes arrangements for her to be transferred. When Daniel insists on accompanying his wife, the doctor agrees. She also looks in on Nick, who Liza told her might be in need of some methadone. Nick informs her that he doesn’t, because he’s clean now, but has a bit of a panic when he realizes his sick neighbor has been removed and his morphine has gone with him. Maddie finally confronts Nick, who has broken into the neighbour’s house looking for one last score and finally loses her patience. She slaps Nick a couple of times, before leaving in disgust.

Later that night, the military shows up to take Griselda away. When Daniel tries to go with her, he’s detained. The military only have two names on their list: Griselda and Nick. Dr. Exner reported his addiction and he’s to be removed to the facility. As he tries to flee, he’s hit by one of the soldiers and forcibly taken away at gunpoint. At the last minute, Exner convinces Liza to go with her, as they could use the extra help. The episode ends with everyone throwing blame at everyone else and tensions running higher than ever. In an effort to escape, Travis climbs to the roof where he sees the flashing light that Chris told him about earlier. He watches, transfixed, as what appears to be gunfire in the house flashes.


Okay, so I get that the show is all about the slow burn, but I’ve got to be honest, the glacial pace is killing me. This episode had some great moments, but it took almost the full hour for them to get there. As I mentioned, I loved the scenes with Maddie in the DZ. They were tense and telling and brought up even more questions about what’s going on beyond the fence. Obviously the military has ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ policy going on. The main question is, why? The talk she had with Daniel after she got back was also chilling. Daniel seems to be the only one with a sensible head on his shoulders and I’m glad to see Maddie listening to and trusting him. I think he’ll be a good ally to have, provided that he survives.

The scene with Nick and Maddie in the neighbor’s house was heartbreaking. It’s easy to look at it and be happy that she finally stopped coddling him and gave him what he deserved. But it’s so much more than that. Yes, I am glad that she finally slapped the crap out of him, and hopefully it might knock some sense into him. It’s just too bad that they had to get to that place.

And finally, Travis sees the light. His blind faith in the military, while ill-advised, was understandable. At least their involvement brought some sort of order to the chaos. To watch his faith slowly crumble as time went on and see the cracks start to form in the story that Lt. Moyers so eloquently told was fantastic. Maybe now, with his blinders off, he will actually listen to what Daniel and now Maddie have been trying to say and actually do something about it.

Overall, I liked this episode, and really thought that it delivered by the end. As I stated, it just seems to take a long time to get there. And with nary a zombie in sight, there’s not a lot left but family drama to fill the void. Next week’s episode seems to be taking us inside the medical facility, which is good because I would imagine there’s a little experimentation going on over there. With only two episodes left, they’ve really got to ramp up the action and get to the meat of the story. I know I’m more interested in the actual outbreak than whether or not someone breaks curfew.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.