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Review: 'Fear the Walking Dead' Ends Up & Down Season on a Down Note

Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens star in AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead" which had its season finale Sunday (Photo by AMC Film Holdings LLC).

LOS ANGELES - After an up and down season, AMC's "The Walking Dead" accompanying series "Fear the Walking Dead" wrapped up its brief, but somewhat compelling first season on a down note with that death of a series regular -- something the original series has done many times over.

A six episode opening season gave "The Walking Dead" fans something that they had been clamoring taht the original series never quite provided -- how the zombie apocalypse began and how people responded to it. As fans remember, in "The Walking Dead," we get a hint of what's to come when lead character, police officer Rick Grimes chases after a suspect who during a shootout, gets seriously wounded and ends up in a coma at the hospital.

When he wakes up, the zombie apocalypse started without him.

Of course "Fear" shows just how this zombie infection begins, but not before introducing a rather dull lead character Travis (Cliff Curtis) who has an aversion to guns and to confronting others - not good when you're on the eve of all hell breaking loose. The show basically introduced us to his family and his other family with an ex-wife who still has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to dealing with him.

While the show focused on his wife and frustrated mom Madison (Kim Dickens), Nick (Frank Dillane), her junkie teenage son, and her pouty teenage daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), the apocalypse and all the elements that made "The Walking Dead" a ratings winner took a back seat to this family drama.

Social media blew up in the first few episodes as fans repeatedly asked "Where are the zombies?!" I wondered as well. But in this season finale - (SPOILER ALERT!), we finally see army soldiers battle a seeming sea of zombies in a life-or-death struggle.

Moreover, with the introduction last week of the rich but mysterious businessman Strand (Colman Domingo), the group and this high-powered millionaire are thrown together in unlikely partnership as he tells them he wants them to join him aboard his yacht off the coast.

Even before the first episode aired, AMC announced it had renewed the show for a second season, set to start in January. But given its performance so far, things may need to ramp up sooner rather than later.

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