'Fear the Walking Dead,' season 2 episode 2: A pocketful of posies
We all fall down.
Merely adding the late 1800s playground song ups the tension and creepiness of any TV show or movie.
Thinking about the song's relevance to a modern day apocalypse caused by a virus is terrifyingly ironic.
"What are posies?" Little Willa asks Alicia, who's slugging wine like it's the end of the world.
Giving her a censored history lesson, Alicia tells Willa posies are flowers people in Europe used to put in their pockets during a time when everyone was sick.
The posies, Alicia explains, were used to help the sick get better.
Willa asks if the flowers worked. No, Alicia says, frowning.
Modern interpretations of the folk rhyme say the posies were carried around to ward off sickness and the inevitable smell of the dead during the Black Plague.
But sure, let's keep telling the kids it's a song about flowers and dancing.
In the premiere, the crew of the Abigail — led by the mysterious, not-sure-if-he-can-be-trusted Strand — happened upon a purposely sunk boat miles off the California coast.
Now they're being followed. By who? Nobody knows. It could be another boat full of innocent people, or it could be the boat that used likely military-grade weapons to sink the wreck they just found.
Strand doesn't want to stick around to find out.
They've been trying to lose the stalkers for hours to no avail. Now they must hide.
The log book Nick retrieved from the sunken vessel has few entries, but states San Diego is not an option for them anymore. The military destroyed it.
The crew decides on anchoring for the night on Catrina Island, a small island with a ranger station and boardwalk.
Madison, Travis, Alicia, Nick and Chris go on shore to explore what's left while Daniel and Ofelia stay behind with Strand. Daniel makes it painfully obvious to everyone — including Strand — he's sticking close to the mysterious man in the beanie.
At one point Strand says he "hovers over me like the angel of death" while Daniel paces back and forth in the bridge of the boat.
The rest find only five survivors on the island, a couple with two young children and an older, probably teenage son -- George, Melissa, Harry, Willa and Seth.
Earlier in the night, Madison say a flicker of light from their home and believes Melissa signaled them to come ashore.
You see, George and his family are survivalists who believe they've been properly preparing for the end of the world for years and are capable of getting through it together.
I hope Fear the Walking Dead leads the crew to an island of extreme doomsday preppers next.
The family has a garden full of produce, plenty of supplies and water for now and even built a fence around the perimeter of their land to keep out the undead washing up on shore.
One of Seth's jobs is to take a pickaxe down to the fenceline to take care of the walkers pressing against the links. Nice nod to season three of The Walking Dead, Fear.
In a getting-to-know-you conversation with Travis, we find out George is just crazy enough with his theories of nature and survivalism to know he is going to die soon.
Sorry, preppers, you may have a stockpile of five years worth of canned soup and toilet paper but your nutty, type-A personality is not going to serve you well at the end of the world.
George believes this virus is nature correcting itself, sort of a restart button after so many millions of years of letting humans destroy it.
Whether he believes George or not, Travis is concerned by his words. So is Madison, who finds out Melissa was using the light to signal her.
The icing on top of the cake comes when Nick develops a fondness for little Harry, who shows him his room of hardy wood bunk beds and shelves of action figures.
The action figures all have names, and all have red dots on their foreheads. "That's what happens now when people get sick," Harry tells Nick. But don't worry, Harry says, he and his family will always be together as long as they take their "power pills."
Nick's theory: George and his family are merely settling for what life handed them. They're just surviving until the real end comes.
Oh, and Nick thinks George is planning a mass suicide, due to the shiny blue and yellow pills Nick found hidden in a small globe.
This theory is confirmed when tragedy strikes. Shortly after Melissa convinces Madison to take Harry and Will on the boat with them (to give them a better chance at life) George confronts them all. And he's not happy.
His quiet tirade is interrupted by Harry crying that something is wrong with Willa. She "took her pill."
Melissa, screaming and crying over her dead daughter, quickly becomes lunch for undead Willa. George yells at the rest to take Harry away before just sitting on the floor to watch his daughter eat his wife.
The survivors get so close to saving Harry, but his brother Seth guns them down on board the Abigail and demands Harry's return home.
In one of the most heartbreaking moments of the series, Seth instructs Harry to turn around and wave to the people on the boat leaving so he doesn't see him shoot his mother — who's now a walker — in the head.
Harry doesn't know the difference, so when he sees the bloody body stumbling toward them on the deck, he calls out "momma."
The last thing the Abigail crew sees is Seth comforting his little brother as they look over the body of their mother.
Wow, Fear, right in the feels.
So, where to now? George told Travis San Diego is gone, the border is closed, much of the pacific northwest is gone and basically half the country has gone offline.
I vote for Hawaii. There has to be some doomsday preppers there. And who wouldn't want to see ZOMBIE VS. VOLCANO.
After that heartbreaking final scene, you may have forgotten what Daniel found in Strand's locked safe in the bridge. A shiny military rifle and a bunch of maps marked with sticky notes and coordinates. Oh, and STRAND WAS TALKING ON THE PHONE TO SOMEONE, telling some person "he'll be there" and asking "when can you make that happen?"
It could be another mystery man on the water, it could be the same people who sunk that wrecked boat, it could be Rick freaking Grimes for all we know.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.