The desire to disconcert us or, at least, make us salivate with principles whose power lies in shocking or truly suggestive images, a custom that we greatly appreciate in this sixth season of Fear the walking dead (Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson, since 2015), we also find him in the episode “USS Pennsylvania” (6×15).
What we see in slow motion, first with some hateful voice-overs and, later, staged in parallel, worries us if it is about the future; of the umpteenth realization of a possible dream broken by the usual cruelty in the world that has remained after the zombie apocalypse. And when the other scene gobbles up the spotlight and the cult conversation ends, the writers give a new knock about where the characters are.
But the prologue It does not end until the other part of the narrative axis returns and we discover that there was no flashforward here, but the preparation for the inevitable confrontation that is coming, with an almost epic tone very well supported by the percussion of the soundtrack of Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (American Gods), who replaced Paul Haslinger (Halt and Catch Fire) from season four of Fear the Walking Dead.
Another curious setting for ‘Fear the Walking Dead’
This way of narrating so conscious and measured It may not be appreciated by those who do not delve into cinematic mechanics, or refuse to do so in products such as The Walking Dead franchise (Frank Darabont and Angela Kang, since 2010); and they only see in this first spinoff series the same simple zombie offal horror. An absurdity.
On the other hand, in “USS Pennsylvania” they offer us one more of those different scenarios in which Fear the Walking Dead takes place at times. Let’s remember Celia Flores’s (Marlene Forte) Mexican farm, Thomas’s yacht Abigail (Dougray Scott), the Rosarito Hotel, the dam run by Lola Guerrero (Lisandra Tena), the amusement park from the “Buried” chapter (4×04 ) or the Wild West town of “Humbug’s Gulch” (5×03).
Now joined by a nuclear submarine and its dark nautical atmosphere so much the taste of that extraordinary television fiction that is The X-Files (Chris Carter, since 1993). Although perhaps the lighting and coloring of John S. Bartley’s photography in this one were more seductive than those of Jalaludin Trautmann (The Walking Dead).
An aimless character
Director Heather Cappiello (Blue Bloods) repeats her job after the refreshing episode “Handle with Care” (6×10), but the result is not so defensible after the good prologue, and not because of her.
It seems that the showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Godlberg and the screenwriters on duty, Nazrin Choudhury and Nick Bernardone, responsible for the librettos of “Welcome to the Club” (6×02) and “In Dreams” (6×12), the one, and of the from “Leave What You Don’t” (5×13), “Things Left to Do” (6×09) and “JD” (6×13), the other, they have not known how to take advantage of the space offered by the submarine full of zombies to provide us with a journey of greater interest and tension. So this episode of Fear the Walking Dead Barely moves between two extremes, the beginning and the climax, of audiovisual and dramatic lucidity.
For this reason, the tribulations of the main characters do not concern us as much as they should, and a terrible turn in the behavior of the most cunning of this series produced by the AMC involves certain likelihood issues, as if they had fallen with him in a drift without a determined course and did not know how to correct his confused trajectory.
“USS Pennsylvania” presents us, however, with one moment tasty between John Dorie Sr. (Keith Carradine) and the dangerously insane Teddy Maddox (John Glover), an anticipatory crumb of a vibrant Western head-to-head we hope to enjoy in the future. If there is such a thing as the events unfold in this chapter of Fear the Walking Dead, which could affect the entire zombie franchise.