Review: ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ – Season 1, Episode 3 ‘The Dog’

By September 14, 2015

In this week’s episode of Fear The Walking Dead, we learned that some people insist on keeping score, junkies will be junkies and good people are always the first to die. Let’s take a closer look at ‘The Dog,’ shall we?

Travis, Liza, Chris and the Salazar’s decide to make a run for the truck after the rioting reaches epic proportions and the business next door to the barber shop gets razed. As they’re making their escape, Griselda is injured badly. Travis promises to drop them at the hospital, but they’re forced to continue on when they reach their destination and realize all hell has broken loose there. Police officers are actually shooting people in the parking lot. Daniel convinces Travis to take them to his house, where he can call his cousin to come pick them up the next morning. Then they will be even, at least in Daniel’s mind. As they make their way home, the lights in the city around them go dark.

Meanwhile, Maddie, Nick and Alicia have holed up in the house, playing Monopoly, waiting for Travis to return so they can all head to the desert. A scratching at the door has everyone panicking, but it’s only a dog, covered in blood that’s not its own. Turns out that zombified neighbor Peter was chasing it, and we get a chilling scene of Peter just standing in the street, waiting. Maddie and the kids decide to break into the house next door and grab the neighbor’s shotgun. They find it and the ammo but can’t return home because by this time Peter has shambled into their house and is now feasting on the dog.

Travis returns with everyone in tow, unaware of the danger. As Maddie and Nick run to warn him, Alicia goes back for the shotgun shells and barely escapes neighbor Susan, who has been turned. Travis tries to reason with Peter, hoping that he’ll be able to get through to him as the two of them wrestle. Daniel grabs the shotgun and dispatches Peter with a couple of shots to the head.

Travis insists that they wait it out until morning, much to the consternation of both Maddie and Alicia, and everyone pairs off into their respective rooms. Ofelia tries to convince her parents they should go with Travis and his family, but Daniel stubbornly insists that they go it alone. Maddie and Liza have a heart to heart where Maddie asks Liza to put her down if she ever becomes like Susan, who is still growling and snarling behind a rickety fence.

As the family begins their journey out of the city the next morning, Maddie notices that Susan’s husband Patrick has returned. She chases after him, trying to warn him about his wife, but she’s too late. Just as Susan reaches for her husband, she goes down. The military bursts on to the scene, shooting her in the head. They then proceed to comb and quarantine the neighborhood, while Nick skulks around, looking for ways to break into houses for drugs. As Travis and Maddie watch soldiers pile bodies into a garbage truck, he exclaims “Cavalry’s arrived. It’s gonna get better now.”


Okay, so first off, can we give props to Paul Haslinger for his amazing score? While I firmly believe that the score is the life-blood of any good show or film, tonight the music was exceptional. It created the perfect amount of tension for this episode, and kept me on the edge of my seat during the tense sequences. Kudos to the composer for his fantastic work.

As to the rest of the episode, it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. The beginning scenes where Travis et al were fleeing the riot were heart-stopping, filled with urgency and desperation. I particularly liked the scene at the hospital. The chaos it depicted was something I hadn’t thought about, but makes perfect sense, as it would be filled with dead people just ready to turn. The fact that we witnessed the police firing on walkers as they emerged from the hospital just highlighted the chaos and uncertainty we know is going to follow, having seen what the future is like with The Walking Dead.

Once the action returned to the house, the episode lost a little of its steam. I get that the show-runners were trying to go for family dynamic thing, but the board game scene just kind of fell flat. The scenes with the actual walkers were where the show really excelled. The one where Alicia goes back for the shells and sees Susan’s shuffling feet on the other side of the door was particularly effective.

I’m not a fan of Travis and his ‘it’s all going to be okay’ attitude. His insistence that the zombies can still be cured is irritating, but that might have more to do with the fact that we, as viewers, know they can’t. Maddie and Daniel seem to be the only ones who really know what’s going on, are are willing to do it, although Daniel’s attitude and stubbornness is pretty off-putting. The fact that Maddie let Travis talk her out of bashing Susan’s skull in with the hammer was also pretty disappointing. And don’t get me started on Nick. I get that not everyone is perfect and that even those with problems would be caught in the zombie apocalypse, but I just feel the whole storyline is out of place. I wish the show would focus more on the actual crisis going on around them, and less on the family dynamics. I’m more interested in the outbreak and its effects than the internal angst of the families and characters. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Fear The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights on AMC.

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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.
  • I liked the monopoly scene because we where able to get a bit of back story. I liked the hints of how they lost their father. They seemed to have waited for him to get home, and he never showed up. His death seems to still hang over their heads. I had a theory he might have been a cop and that’s why Madison had a such a bad reaction to them in the first episode.

    I also didn’t mind Travis and his actions. I think they are justified with what he currently knows about the situation. I have seen others with the same sentiment about the viewer knowing too much and it’s a drawback for the show. For me personally it adds to the tension and enjoyment.
    I also enjoy the family aspect because I think it adds to the dynamic of just how hard it would be to kill the people you knew at the start of the outbreak. Building these relationships up will make it that much harder for them to be killed off. You will have seen them normal and how much they love each other and the struggle to kill their zombie forms. I thought it perfectly encapsulated just how quickly the outbreak could spread. You wouldn’t or couldn’t kill your parent, spouse or child at the start.
    Episode seems to be a bit decisive, but I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for next week.

    • Erin Parisien

      I do agree that knowing the outcome does have a tendency to alter my perceptions. I will try to not let that happen from now on. I think my main issue is that I’m just not feeling the characters. That said, I am looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season goes as the episodes are getting better from week to week.

  • David Johnson

    I believe Daniel & Griselda came from some war torn Central American country & have seen the SHTF before. Almost think Daniel will become a sort of Daryl. Could not even image what kind of hell LA would become just from a Power Outage let alone a Zombie Outbreak!!! I know it won’t happen but just keeop hoping for Travis & Nick to get killed early but I believe the writers have them as key characters!!!!

    • Erin Parisien

      LOL! That’s what I was kind of hoping too… although I think you’re right, Travis and Nick will probably be around for a while. And don’t get me wrong, I like Daniel and he seems to be the only one with any sense… I’m just not digging the stubborn streak right now. The kill at the drop of a hat thing, I can get behind! 🙂

      • David Johnson

        They better get the story actually going, it won’t be long before TWD returns. Think Daniels stubbornness disappears when His Wife Dies & He has to mainly look after His Daughter.

        • Erin Parisien

          Yeah, it’s been kind of slow, that’s for sure. Each episode is better than the last, so I have hope. And yeah, I fully expect him to change when she dies. I wonder if he’s going to have to kill her?