Fear the Walking Dead continues to get better after a shaky first season.
The latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead gave an insight into the motivations of the mysterious Victor Strand – a man for whom survival is everything and who treats every stranger as a threat from the outset.
It was a mentality Rick Grimes had to learn the hard way on The Walking Dead, and it makes for an interesting comparison with a character long since departed on that show.
Shane lasted considerably longer in the series than he did in the comics, but when he went it was in no small part due to the contrasting styles of leadership that he and Rick had adopted.
For Shane it was all about survival – kill now and talk later – but early-season Rick was the polar opposite.
“We do NOT kill the living!”
Well we all know how that turned out, but over on Fear… could we be seeing another character with the same belief system – and faults – as Shane?
Strand has never masked his selfishness; he wears it with pride. However, it was not until the final moments of this season’s third episode that we realised he was true to his word.
In casting Alex and Jake – the two survivors of Flight 462 – adrift with little hope of survival, Strand proved categorically that if you are deemed deadweight in this world you may as well be dead and that if you are on his boat you can be damn sure he has a use for you.
Strand knew from the moment Alicia started speaking to a mysterious voice across the waves that she had done something stupid, and so it proved when the Abigail was attacked and its captain was himself left alone in unforgiving waters.
When Madison held out her hand to rescue Strand the comparison was clear: she opted to save him while he condemned Alex and Jake to die.
But if Strand had his way, if no one was trusted, there would have been no attack in the first place.
Back in season one of The Walking Dead Shane was doing fine keeping everyone safe until Rick came along, and it is no coincidence that the former sheriff ultimately embraced a level of savagery that we had ever seen from his one-time best friend.
Strand is right, just as Shane was before him. It is better not to trust and to survive than to invite the possibility of death.