[TV Review] “Fear the Walking Dead” S01E05 (2015): Cobalt

Five down, one to go. And with Cobalt, Fear the Walking Dead struggles to show promise.

As you all know, I have been verbally annihilating Fear the Walking Dead from jump street. As much as I was ready to dig in deep with this review, I have to say there was about 10 minutes that showed what the show could become. Don’t get me wrong, most of this cast is annoying and the show is dreadfully acted. Thirty minutes of the show was still utter garbage and I really wanted to go back to watching the Broncos versus the Lions game which had highly important fantasy football implications. Maybe I am a little soft on this episode because right before set down with Fear the Walking Dead I suffered through  Once Upon A Time with my wife. PLEASE, don’t get me started on that show; it makes Fear the Walking Dead  look Emmy worthy.

We kick off the episode with Dougie getting spoken to by one of his cell mates named Strand played by Colman Domingo of Selma fame. Strand is sharply dressed and equally sharp speaking. He seems to be trying to prod him to the edge of his sanity as he sits crying over a photo of his family. We’re not quite sure if Strand is just being a jerk or if this is serving a larger purpose, stay tuned. After the military comes and removes Doug from the cell, Strand focuses his attention on his other cell mate, Nick.

Ofelia is really angry, or is she? She is screaming at the soldiers and throwing bottles at the fence. One of the soldiers decides he’s going to go after her when Ofelia’s boy toy Corporal Andrew Adams played by Shawn Hatosy of Southland comes to her rescue. Just as Adams goes to Ofelia, another soldier says to the commander that he wants to leave. Hmmm, something fishy is going on.

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Meanwhile, Chris and Travis are having another quibble, this time about Liza leaving. Okay, Fear the Walking Dead,  we get it. Chris has teen angst daddy issues. Madison tries to quell the debate and Chris tells her to butt out which hurts Travis’s sensitive feelings. He goes to Chris only to have him storm off and tell Travis to go be with his “family.” Hugs all around for Trav and Maddy.

At the army base, we find Liza being encouraged and complimented by Dr. Bethany as she stitches a patient up. Back at the ranch, Madison finds the note Alisha was reading last week and goes on a search at the neighbors for her. During her search she stumbles into a room where Daniel and Ofelia have Adams tied to a chair – dang – played by Ofelia! This sparks an argument between Madison (who has a touch of Travitis), Daniel and Ofelia. The agenda here is to get intel and get Griselda and Nick home and Adams is the “trade piece.” Adams states the base is just for evaluating and treating. Daniel goes on with one of his stories for what seems the millionth time, what the heck happened already?

The caped crusader – I mean Travis – is speaking with Moyers who is apparently “keeping young kids kicking ass and shooting holes in skin bags”. Travis decides to make a threat. In Travis-like fashion, he backs down. He says he’s trying to be helpful and Chet – I mean Moyers – says he can do anything he wants because he has guns.

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We go back to Daniel and Adams conversing about Ofelia. Dan begins to take his outer shirt off revealing the old A-shirt known to some as the “wife beater.” He proceeds to pull a pouch out containing some very sharp utensils. Something BIG is about to go down on Fear the Walking Dead.

Somehow he convinces Moyers  to bring him to the base. A walker is spotted, so, the guys stop and set up the rifle to shoot. Moyers wants Travis to take the shot and in a Chet-like way makes him man the rifle. Of course, Travis is very upset &  sweaty and babies out so Moyers makes the kill shot, chastising him. As they get back in the vehicle, they receive a frantic call for assistance to which they oblige and tell Travis to stay in the vehicle. As they head into what looks like a school, you can hear yelling and shots being fired and we get to see some bodies flying out the window.

Back in the interrogation room, Daniel is torturing Adams. He has a really nice slice up his right arm and Daniel is telling him how he is experienced. Apparently, as a young boy, he had to make a decision to either be the torturer or torturee. So many allusions to this story, I want some flashback scenes with the whole thing! At the compound Liza is searching for Griselda even though Doctor Bethany asked her not to. She finds her unresponsive due to septic shock. Doc is upset because she feels there is no trust. Chris and Alisha seem to becoming fast friends, or perhaps more. They go into a rich persons abandoned house and decide to try on clothes. Chris ogles Alisha in a stalker-ish way as she is looking in the mirror. They proceed to get liquored up and start smashing things. Back at the compound,Strand makes a deal with one of the officers not to take Nick. Apparently,  he assists the military in finding suitable “prospects” for some reason that has not been revealed yet. The military also gives him what he wants in return for goods such as a gold watch and cuff links.’

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The convoy makes its way back out to the Hummer with a nervous Travis asking where Moyers is. Apparently,  he is not going to make the trip and they are now dropping Travis back off at home. Ofelia is really upset at Daniel after finding out about his past as an assisted information finder and storms off. Madison finds Ofelia and coldly asks if Adams told Daniel what they need to know. Travis arrives home and being the tender, sweet gummy bear he is goes to Ofelia then Madison. He asks if she knew what Daniel was going to do and begs her to tell him she didn’t. With everything going down, this guy still does not get it! Travis runs to the torture scene and asks what is going on. Daniel has Adams tell Travis what “Cobalt” is. Apparently, it means that the following day at 0900 the military is evacuating after terminating the civilians at the base.

At the compound Nick asks Strand why he saved him. Strand says he obligated him and that he requires a man with his talents and shows him a key. Apparently Strand needs a junkie who whines like a baby. Alisha and Chris are now out for a stroll to sober up when the military comes by. They are not patrolling but rolling out.

Griselda is awake now but she is speaking in Spanish about some terrible things to no one in particular. Liza tries to get her to focus but then Griselda flatlines. Doc brings the air powered gun used to take cattle down. Liza takes it and puts one shot in Griselda’s head. Doc knows that it takes a shot to the head to make sure the dead stay…well…dead. The ending scene has Dan walking up to the doors of a building that are padlocked. There are familiar walker sounds protesting from the inside as walkers are trying to get out. The camera pans out to reveal the huge building where Adams told him to go, fade to black.

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Well, we’ve made it to the last episode which airs next week. It’s been a rough watch but I will give Fear the Walking Dead a little credit, this one showed some promise, albeit ten minutes. Viewership really increased this week with a 2.4 adults in the 18-49 ratings points jump. Apparently, nothing else was on or everyone watched Once Upon A Time and wanted to cleanse their eyes and mind. The fifth episode of Fear the Walking Dead,  titled Cobalt, was directed once again by Kari Skogland. As I mentioned last week, she is known for her commercials and music videos, perhaps that is why the show was only attention worthy for ten of the forty minutes. The writer was David Wiener whose credits include Last Resort and The Killing. In an interview with “Fear The Walking Dead” Wiki, he used the term dynamic to describe this episode. If by dynamic he means terrible and boring, he’s spot on. I’m officially calling code Cobalt on Fear the Walking Dead!

Fear the Walking Dead “Cobalt”  1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5) on the Thug meter

JJ Fitt
Joe lives in the coal region of Northeastern PA with his beautiful wife Mary and their French Bulldogs Watson and Xander. He's a huge fan of all things horror and can't explain why especially since he was afraid of everything as a kid. He co-hosts the Indie Infestation podcast which gives a platform for those involved in the indie horror scene to get their name and projects out there. When he's not working he is usually watching the latest horror movie or show, at the gym with his wife or taking in a sporting event, Eagles! His all time favorite horror movie is the original Halloween, still effective to this day. Hit him up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or drop an email, let him know what's awesome.