Fear The Walking Dead, AMC's companion series to The Walking Dead, premiered last Sunday as highest rated series premiere in history. Fear may have received some mixed reviews from ComicBook.com's readers, but it was a ratings success to say the least.
But what did we learn about The Walking Dead Universe and its inhabitants in the premiere?
Well, we seem to have met most of our core characters. Firstly, there was Travis (Cliff Curtis). Travis is a divorced father, an optimist, and a man of action. The high school teacher takes pride in educating his students and connecting with people. But does he have a soft-heart? Maybe. Would that prove costly in the apocalypse? Probably.
Then, there's his girlfriend, Madison (Kim Dickens), whom Travis lives with. Madison is a widowed mother of two and works in the same high school as its guidance counselor. Like Travis, she is great a making quick connections with people, such as her student Tobias. You remember Tobias - he had the knife in his pocket and wants to prepare for doomsday - yeah, that kid's around, too. Don't forget about him.
While Travis and Madison were important, the pilot episode really focused on the character Nick (Frank Dillane). Nick, Madison's son, is found recovering from a drug high in an abandoned church and actually meets Fear The Walking Dead's first zombie, which you should classify as The Walking Dead universe's patient zero. But back to Nick - he was hospitalized and now has no choice but to rid himself of drug addiction. Hey at least the zombie apocalypse makes detoxing pretty easy.
We also met Alicia and Chris. They played smaller roles in the Pilot, but should gain a more significant role as the show develops. Alicia is Madison's gluten-free daughter who enjoys blogging her meals, while Chris is Travis' bratty teenage son who lives with Liza, Travis' ex-wife.
Don't forget, though, The Walking Dead's first episode only introduced Rick, Shane, Lori, Carl, and Morgan. Look at who you would consider a core character now. There is probably a handful of characters who will be integral parts of Fear The Walking Dead's story telling whom we have yet to meet, including those portrayed by Ruben Blades and Colman Domingo! And in comparison, we followed Rick the most throughout The Walking Dead's pilot episode, and in Fear's premiere, Nick would have to be considered the equivalent. Will Nick behold the arc and leadership Rick Grimes does on The Walking Dead or will it be Travis or Madison?
As for zombies, we didn't seen much of the flesh-eaters. The Pilot played with our expectations several times, but really only delivered a few true zombies. The only real zombies we saw were Gloria, Nick's presumably overdosed lady friend, and Calvin, Nick's drug dealer. So, Nick, it seems like this is pretty much all your fault.
At this point, most of the world is still pretty oblivious to the growing zombie outbreak. In episode two, we'll likely see our characters trying to prepare themselves and find advantages over the uninformed. As an audience, we know what to expect while the characters don't. The writers know this fact very well, so expect a few surprises.
Fear The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9:00 PM EDT on AMC.