(HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD. Obviously.)
They’re here. The trailers. To either save us from or worsen our #WalkerWithdrawals. Tweets IMDb,
— IMDb (@IMDb) July 10, 2015
The Walking Dead season 6 trailer:
Fear The Walking Dead debut trailer:
In true The Talking Dead style, let’s take a moment to digest what we’ve just seen. First, TWD. Such potential for safety as the prison offered TWD survivors in seasons 3 and 4 had not been felt for a long time. Not in fact until the group’s mid-season 5 arrival at Alexandria, a walled-off, self-sustaining community that’s almost too good to be true. And even then, suspicion ran amok. The survivors recognize the town’s surrealistic perfection, and so do the teaser posters for season 6. The dead outside and the living inside are forever intertwined, no matter how safe the walls make them feel. And those walls cannot be given up. Not even if it means trapping dangers inside.
After everything Rick and company suffered in the last five seasons, on and off the road, all the losses and the nightmare-worthy trauma, (and especially with baby Judith in tow,) it’s hard to be angry with the brutalized Rick when he threatens to take Alexandria by force if he meets noncompliance from the naïve Alexandrians. The prospect of safety is one of the few things no one can’t pass up in this world. Season 6 promises a clashing of ideologies during a struggle to coexist where failure means life or death. Nothing new to The Walking Dead, but what those ideologies are and what results from their head-on collision will be as original and likely more devastating than any previous consequences of contention seen on the show. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple and other The Walking Dead executives emphasize often their preference to “recreate” The Walking Dead every eight episodes or so, saying it’s crucial that the characters cycle in and out and constantly be molded into new versions of themselves.
In the trailer, Deanna seems to finally have come around to Rick’s side, but now that Morgan’s in the picture, he poses even more of a threat to Rick’s leadership than she ever did. Morgan has been out there as well, lost everything, and come back a better human being. He seems like someone others can follow, but Morgan also isn’t the type to fight for the spotlight. Not for himself, at least. At least Morgan’s philosophy means that if he and others “have to stop Rick. We have to,” then he’ll do so peacefully at all costs. “You can come back from this. I know you can.”
“Good people, they always die.”
We hear Rick and Morgan’s voice overs from their last meeting in season 3, episode 12, “Clear,” in the trailer. The bigger concern certainly seems like the huge hoards of walkers. By this time in the apocalypse, nearly two years in, the humans-to-walkers ratio must be astounding, and the disorganization caused by distrust of Rick and company in Alexandria puts everyone at risk, especially if Morgan is stirring up the Idealism Pot. The survivors will have to decide what will be done; what each of them will do individually; and try to face the consequences of what happens when the community is not a well-oiled machine like the prison was with everyone working in tandem. Like what happens in one of the biggest apparent stand-alone events shown in the trailer: Daryl’s apparent capture. (Just what we want to see after Beth.) Will the show-favorite survive? Well, keep an eye out for huge fires on the set of TWD. If there’s one, it may be Reedus’s trailer, and according to him, it may be a bad sign for fans (knock on wood). But what about those smaller moments? The clips that we see for only a fraction of a second? Let’s slow down and take a longer look at those.
Now for a closer look at FTWD: The creative executives succeed at recreating TWD so well and so often, it only makes sense they add more characters to develop in a spinoff series. FTWD has already had plenty of press detailing the Los Angeles-based throwback to the start of the mysterious illness, but now we get an in-depth look in its debut trailer, played at San Diego Comic Con, and we see… That walkers don’t have to be burnt to a crisp, their flesh falling off and guts hanging out to be terrifying. We see that this show will have us screaming at the TV for the characters to run, to believe what they’re seeing and adapt now. That this show will depend on the terror of the unknown, and even though the audience is beyond familiar with the world of TWD, this doesn’t take away the terror of seeing society literally tear itself apart around this clueless, already frayed family. And aside from the zombies’ style, FTWD harkens back to TWD by taking signs of decay, like the dead cops in Atlanta and its bombing, and revives or replays these episodes in terrifying real-time. We see people fall into the “it won’t happen to us” mindset, leading them to a sense of helplessness when the virus does finally reach them. It’s bizarre to see TWD in our world and equally terrifying; it brings home the reality of the scenario as only TWD can. Remember when Rick first comes home in the pilot of TWD and cries like a lost child on the floor? I’d say we’ll be seeing a lot more of that, but even at that point, I think he was much farther along in the acceptance process than these characters will be for most of the first (likely six-episode) season. But as the FTWD San Diego Comic Con panel explains:
“It starts as a family drama and filter the apocalypse through that.” – Dave Erickson #FearTWDSDCC
— FearTWD (@FearTWD) July 10, 2015
We don’t know these characters yet, but I have a funny feeling we’re already growing attached to them.
“When civilization ends, it ends fast.” I personally can’t wait to watch it fall apart. You? Leave your theories about TWD and FTWD below.