The opening nighttime scene captured brilliantly. Viewers are met first with an aerial view over L.A.'s tallest skyscraper, the U.S. Bank Tower. Gradually, the view levels out panoramic, still with no city lights, an apocalypse.
Next, after pausing the aerial view with the moon shown over L.A.'s cityscape, the view then banks to the lower right showing the glow of fires. Yet during the opening aerial scene all is still silent, with no emergency vehicles anywhere to attend to the fires. L.A. is now no more, done. All of which, took five episodes before watching the opening scene of Fear The Walking Dead's season 1 finale episode 6, titled, "The Good Man." A nice touch with patience well rewarded.
Next, we see the arena doors bulging as the chained doors maintain their hold, for now. The site where captured National guardsman Andy Adams had told Daniel Salazar, daughter Ofelia, Madison Clark, and Travis Manawa, where the infected are held. Furthermore telling them after being tortured by Daniel in episode 5, titled, "Cobalt," all about the military code word "Cobalt," which is a command code to initiate evac from L.A., including the humane termination within quarantine those sick or gravely injured. In episode 4, the soldiers arrive with Dr. Exner to take the injured Griselda Salazar (Patricia Reyes Spindola) to their command post hospital along with Liza, ex-wife of Travis who had given care to Griselda. Yet the soldiers forcefully turn away her husband Daniel (Ruben Blades). Not only that, the soldiers also forcefully take Nick Clark (Frank Dillane), a heroin addict, who is the 19-year-old son of Madison "Maddy" Clark.
Quickly after finding about Cobalt to realizing that Griselda and Nick are now imperiled, Travis (Cliff Curtis), along with Daniel and his daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) and Madison (Kim Dickens) all four had had enough. Their plan, to take Corporal Adams with them as a guide to get Griselda, Nick, and Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez). Having also 16-year-old Chris, son of Travis and Liza, and 17-year-old Alicia, daughter of Madison, to come along with all going in three vehicles. Once that's done, release Corporal Adams, and haul ass east to the desert.
Thus by going to the desert was what 16-year-old Tobias had suggested to Madison/Miss C. For in episode 2, while Tobias (Lincoln A. Castellanos) and Madison were both at the high school getting supplies, he says, "The desert will be safer because things will fall apart now." Tobias is both wise and likable even in the pilot.
Meanwhile, Dr. Exner makes arrangements for a Chinook helicopter to evac her medical staff to Edwards Air Force Base. To include Liza, whom she also tells they're going mobile. Liza then asks if she may take her son, whom Dr. Exner (Sandrine Holt) had already submitted a request and would follow up. Liza appeals further, asking, "And the rest of my family?" Yet that's when Dr. Exner also asks, "Who are we counting as family? We talking blood or bond?" Liza replies that a son needs his father. To which Dr. Exner also says, "True, but the father will want his girlfriend. The girlfriend will want her children. What is family now? Be brutal." Liza finishes by saying just Christopher and his father Travis.
Before Travis and group depart for the command post, Corporal Adams (Shawn Hatosy) pleads to Travis to let him go after he gives directions to finding Griselda, Nick, and Liza. Only because and rightfully so, he believes Daniel would not let him live afterwards. For also back in episode 4 Daniel's daughter Ofelia began flirting with Andy Adams, causing him to be attracted to her. As the group arrives, Travis is seen driving alone in his truck, who had let Adams go free.
Shortly after Daniel walks up to meet the guards at the gate as a distraction tactic, followed next by a horde of the animated that storms the gate as an infiltration tactic, all he had let loose from the arena, he rejoins with the arrival group at a parking garage. Once there, he finds out that Travis had let Adams go. He then warns Travis of the consequences of his decision, followed by Travis instructing Chris and Alicia that if things go south, or if they're not back after 30 minutes, they are to take a vehicle and head to the campground, promising to meet up with them later.
Next, mayhem erupts after the horde crashes the perimeter gate and power shuts down. The businessman Strand (Colman Domingo), whom Nick met in episode 5 as both were held behind a locked holding cell, as were other L.A. citizens, tells Nick it's time to escape. While frantically fishing for the key he snatched, Nick wily takes it from his own pocket to give it to Strand. After escaping, the well-dressed Strand tells Nick about their getaway ride, in actuality called Abigail.
Concurrently, after both Dr. Exner and Liza watch while on the roof as the infected storm into the compound, they see the Chinook evac hovering overhead. After a pause, the helicopter turns away skyward. Now abandoned, Dr. Exner tells her staff it's now everyone for themselves and she would stay behind to take care of the patients (for mercy killing). Liza then runs outside to see soldiers opening fire while also running everywhere panicked and disorganized as others are being eaten. After witnessing enough of the incredible spectacle, she runs back inside.
Yet once inside Liza becomes a savior to Nick and Strand, freeing both in the nick of time with her key card from an approaching group of the infected down a hallway. Both were behind locked security doors as Travis and Madison valiantly attempted to set them free. While leading the group to see Dr. Exner, she tells Daniel and Ofelia that Griselda died (in episode 5). Once inside the ward they see Dr. Exner had already euthanized the patients with a captive bolt pistol to their heads, the same method on Griselda. She decides to remain behind after telling them the way out, despite a plea from Liza.
Once outside, it is morning as the group pass by incinerated bodies to rejoin with Chris and Alicia in the garage. Yet before the group leaves, Adams reappears and takes aim at Daniel. Disregarding pleas, he accidentally shoots Ofelia, non-fatally. The shooting enrages Travis, who pummels Adams with such ferocity, the likes of which the onlookers have never seen.
All leave Adams lying on the ground before departing as a caravan through downtown L.A., towards Strand's luxury home by the Pacific. All make themselves at home as Ofelia gets care from Liza. Then Liza speaks lovingly to Chris before she goes outside to the beach. Madison, after being with Nick, notices Liza, and follows. It's then revealed that Liza has a gun and that she'd been bit and asks Madison to shoot her. Meanwhile, Strand tells Nick that they can't stay, and reveals Abigail to Nick, which is his yacht offshore. Next, Travis joins Madison and Liza on the beach, now knowing about Liza. While overwhelmed with grief, he then decides to shoot her. All within Strand's luxury home hears the shot. And Madison comforts Travis on the beach.
In the follow-up show Talking Dead hosted by Chris Hardwick, a challenge was put forth as to what should the dead be called. In The Walking Dead, Rick's group calls them 'walkers,' the Governor called them 'biters,' and the Alexandrians call them 'roamers.' That's when I sought Rachelle, and told her in Fear The Walking Dead, why not call them 'chompers,' or 'stalkers.'
Rachelle, a svelte, intelligent, soft-spoken woman having always her trademark pearly white smile, whom I seek counsel regarding my blogs on occasions, tells me that chompers sounds too cute, like the name of a dog. So, on this day of October 8, 2015, I Darryl Woodard do suggest that in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead, the dead should be called, 'stalkers.' Being also a fan of both shows, Rachelle even likes the title I gave this blog.
I give the season 1 finale five stars out of five. Long live Fear The Walking Dead.