Fear the Walking Dead Premiere: Was It Seaworthy or Undead in the Water?

After the heart-stopping conclusion of The Walking Dead‘s sixth season finale last week, the second season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead might have felt like an episode of The Love Boat by comparison.

However, it was anything but smooth sailing for enigmatic Strand and the uncomfortably blended families beating a hasty retreat from Los Angeles aboard his yacht, the Abigail. So, before you drop anchor in the comments section, let’s review the highlights, shall we?

ANCHORS AWEIGH | Shortly after “Monster” began and the Abigail left behind the ashes of L.A. to head for San Diego, Daniel & Co. spotted a raft carrying a whole buncha desperate refugees like themselves. When Maddie suggested that Strand stop the boat and let them board, he replied that, by granting safe passage to the seven of them, he’d already filled his “mercy quota.” (Is that the nautical version of “I gave at the office”?) So the only reason he’d stop the boat now would be to let people off, not take more on. Though Alicia and Nick sided with Maddie, and Travis and Daniel with Strand, it wasn’t really a vote-on-what-to-do kinda situation. As Strand would make abundantly clear later on, it was his yacht, and therefore, he would be the one making the decisions — in this case, to make waves rather than friends.

LIVE BAIT | When Nick wasn’t hearing from Strand what an asset his addict’s fearlessness was in this strange new world, the junkie kinda-sorta macked on Ofelia by offering to help change her bandages and recommending ice for the pain. “And vodka,” he added. “Lots of vodka.” Meanwhile, Chris, who was moody to begin with, became extra moody as he grappled with both his mother’s death and the fact that his father had hastened her demise by shooting her in the head. After doing some fishing with the boy, Daniel reassured Travis that, in time, his son would see that putting down Liza had been an act of mercy. Finally, Alicia struck up a flirtation with the first male voice she heard on the radio. In her defense, Jack did sound pretty cute. And it wasn’t like watching a movie on Netflix was an option.

SOMETHING FISHY | After Maddie noticed that Strand never slept, Daniel admitted to her that he was suspicious of “Ahab,” who, he noted, had been packing his bags even before L.A. went up in flames. (Hello, red flag!) While Travis did a nice job of eulogizing Liza at her memorial service, Chris couldn’t take it: He brought the burial at sea to a screeching halt by violently dumping his mother’s body overboard and lashing out at Travis for putting her out of her misery. Off that, Maddie tried to comfort her future stepson by relating the story of the first time she’d hit her own father. And, disappointed as she might have been that Travis hadn’t sided with her about rescuing their fellow refugees, she pointed out that, “If your father hadn’t [killed Liza before she turned], I would have.”

THAT SINKING FEELING | Upon hearing from Jack that his boat was taking on water, Alicia shared information about the Abigail’s whereabouts in order to ascertain whether they could bail out her radio boyfriend, his brother and sister-in-law. They could but, of course, weren’t going to. In fact, Strand all but went Negan on Alicia when he realized that she had been shooting off her mouth regarding their location. At dinnertime, Chris snuck out on deck… and jumped overboard fully dressed. Was he suicidal? No, he just wanted to swim, he said after Nick leapt in after him. And, for a second, it was okay-ish. Weird but okay-ish. But just for a second, mind you. Then, Nick was attacked by a walker — a floater? — from a bullet-riddled, capsized yacht nearby, and they all realized that the water surrounding the Abigail was full of zombies. Worse, when Alicia told Jack that the Abigail couldn’t come for his family, he said ominously that it was okay, “I got you. See you soon.” Aaand a mystery vessel — perhaps the one that had attacked the other yacht? Perhaps Jack’s? Perhaps one and the same? — was advancing fast on the Abigail.

So, what did you think of the season premiere? Grade it below, then hit the comments to explain why you gave it the grade that you did!