Following the slow-paced premiere, Fear The Walking Dead would have had to gather momentum in the second episode and, thankfully, it delivered albeit gradually. The Manawa-Clark family found themselves thrown into the middle of the flu epidemic with their individual experiences setting the course of what is to come in the remainder of the series.
Picking up where the first episode left off, Madison (played by Kim Dickens) and Travis (Cliff Curtis) frantically flee the scene where Nick killed Calvin, his drug dealer-turned walker. The severity of the infection begins to dawn on the trio who race to ensure Madison's daughter Alicia and Travis' son Chris are safe as the city of Los Angeles descends into chaos. Of course, nothing is ever straightforward and the teenagers bring their stressed parents more drama to deal with.
Alicia has finally managed to locate her missing boyfriend Matt who is bed-bound at home, suffering from severe flu-like symptoms. It is only when Travis pulls back the poor boy's shirt that a bite mark is revealed, confirming what was speculated in episode one. Understandably, Alicia is in denial about the seriousness of her boyfriend's condition but it offers an interesting perspective into how naive the majority of people from Los Angeles are about the epidemic that is about to hit them.
In The Walking Dead, viewers are used to seeing Rick Grimes and co slash and shoot their way through hordes of walkers like the true professionals they have become, so it can be terribly frustrating watching characters such as Alicia refuse to accept their new reality. One person who is prepared for the worst is Tobias, the student who caught on to the spread of the infection early. Always thinking practically, he asks Madison when they bump into each other in the halls of the deserted school: "Can I have my knife back?"
On the hunt for medication to help her drug-addict son Nick as he goes cold turkey, Madison follows Tobias to his secret stash of supplies in a section of the school but they run into trouble in the form of head teacher Art who has "turned". Tobias is at first pretty confident in taking the walker down, shooting several times but missing the kill shot which he is yet to realise is the head.
Despite witnessing the death of Calvin, Madison appears stunned at coming up close to a zombie but proceeds to batter walker Art with a fire extinguisher. As viewers have seen so many times in the past, killing their first walker is a defining moment for a character and Madison breaking down alone in her bathroom while washing the blood off her clothes proves this.
The matriarch's partner Travis has his own problems to deal with. After tracking down his son Chris at a protest against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), who have been shooting dead the infected, Travis and his ex-wife Liza embark on a mission to save him when the protest turns violent.
However, with walkers taking on the uninfected in the area, the Manawas are forced to seek cover in a barbershop belonging to the Salaza family who are wary of their new friends. Like Tobias and even Madison, Travis is fully aware of the danger they are in while Liza took some convincing, initially failing to understand why their son needed rescuing.
Watch Fear The Walking Dead's trailer for episode three:
While the second episode is a big improvement on the premiere, it does possess one glaring criticism. Art was only the third black character with a speaking role in FTWD and like the two before him, he was killed off. All three deaths happened in just two episodes and viewers, who have also noted the pattern with black characters in The Walking Dead, are not happy about it.
FTWD's executive producer has defended the coincidences by stating it is simply about telling a good story however, the ratio of black to white survivors on both shows could not be more unbalanced. However, with just two episodes of the spinoff having aired so far, it is impossible to make a full judgment based on the entire season.
One loose end in episode two is the fate of Tobias who refuses to take shelter at the Manawa-Clark house thus going out into the new apocalyptic world alone. The teenager appears too smart to be killed off just yet so chances are he will reappear further down the line if not in episode three.
The second offering of FTWD gives viewers much more to sink their teeth into but still leaves enough open ends to allow the remainder of the season to progress fluidly into unexpected territories.
Fear The Walking Dead airs on BT's AMC channel in the UK on Monday nights.