While The Walking Dead never strayed too far off course from the established zombie rules, Fear the Walking Dead embraced an unusual and wild approach to the genre. This week’s episode, “People Are A Resource,” showed that The Walking Dead: Dead City isn’t afraid to dabble in the unusual as we finally get to see what makes The Croat so menacing.
This episode follows last week’s lead by following three intersecting stories. Negan and Maggie are living with the New York survivors and experiencing their daily routines. They hunt a deer and even partake in a pre-meal prayer circle. They learn about the horrible things The Croat has done to this group and that he and his people have created a “sanctuary” inside Madison Square Garden.
The group tells Maggie and Negan they know a way inside the Garden and that it’s time to prepare for a fight. Negan and Maggie have somewhat of a civil conversation in which Negan reveals that he sent his wife and child off knowing they were safer without him. As they’re getting ready, one of the group members corners Negan privately and tells him he knows that he’s a wanted man. In classic Negan fashion, this conversation ends pretty quickly and the group member is killed before the fight truly begins.
Inside the Garden, The Croat has Armstrong brought in and chained up. He welcomes him to his home and explains the beauty of this sanctuary and how Armstrong could be part of it. When Armstrong refuses to cooperate, The Croat decides to bring him down to a makeshift fighting ring and force his cooperation. What we learn here is that The Croat has figured out a way to use the bodies of the dead to power his sanctuary. He explains that people are resources and the methane gas can be used as a fuel. After the fight of his life against multiple walkers, Armstrong shows The Croat that he isn’t a weak individual. This only serves to anger The Croat so he locks Armstrong up again.
Meanwhile, a flashback with Ginny and Negan shows Negan attempting to teach Ginny a lesson about life. They are looking for her missing stuffed animal and Negan (who has it in his bag the entire time) uses this time searching to teach Ginny some important survival lessons. In the present day, Ginny manages to run off and find a way to get to New York City. Once there, she drops her stuffed animal. It’s picked up by a member of the New York survivors. Seeing the stuffed animal, Maggie realizes that Ginny followed them to the city and chooses to not say anything about it.
The Walking Dead: Dead City has done something the original series tried to do. By having Maggie and Negan and no other original characters present, there’s no choice but to explore these two as deeply as possible. The tension is there when Negan explains to Maggie where his family went, and that he chose to be alone. With Maggie sitting across from him, also alone, the parallels are nicely drawn. This pairing shouldn’t work and this show has done a great job of not blurring the lines too much between them.
These first three episodes have had a solid plot and isn’t afraid to go for it. The Croat’s method of powering the sanctuary is something out of a B-List horror movie and I am so here for it. Using the zombie bodies as a methane producer to create energy is something I honestly never even thought of in respect of this universe. While it may be a bit silly and far-fetched, this is something that will make this series more memorable in the long run. If The Walking Dead: Dead City keeps up this momentum, I can’t wait to see what other developments and crazy moments will come next.
Feature image courtesy of Peter Kramer/AMC
'Walking Dead: Dead City' 1x03 - 9/10