In the second, and most recent, episode of Fear the Walking Dead, the main characters are preparing to flee Los Angeles to the desert, where they hope to wait out the crisis. This seems strange, because they have had very little contact with the zombies.

The heroin addict son has seen two zombies, one of which his mother and stepfather also saw. The mother, stepfather, and daughter saw a video of an incident involving a third zombie. Late in the second episode, the mother encounters a fourth zombie. The daughter's boyfriend has been bitten, but is alive. No one knows what is going on yet.

And yet, before the mother ran into the fourth zombie, she was stealing OxyContin and large amounts of canned food from the high school where she is a guidance counselor, which is the kind of thing that you don't do unless you are absolutely certain that you will never need to work again - stealing a student's prescription opiate painkillers is an incredibly serious offense.

It has been roughly three days since things started to get weird, and it was only the second day when the stepfather said "That's it, we're going to hide in the desert for an indefinite period of time". At that point, they had only seen one zombie in person, and another one on a YouTube video.

Why did this family give up and run away so quickly?

  • 1
    Maybe they watched The Walking Dead.
    – Saturn
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 3:37
  • @Voldemort - I don't think so. Technically, the first two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead take place before the first scene of the first episode of The Walking Dead, so there's nothing to watch. Also, both the concept and the word "zombie" are unknown in the TV version of the Walking Dead universe. Finally, from an out of universe perspective, the characters wouldn't be so surprised about the whole Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse if they had been watching The Walking Dead. The first time they see a zombie, their reaction isn't "oh, look, a zombie", it's "WHAT IS THAT THING?!?"
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 4:05
  • 2
    Man that was a joke lol.
    – Saturn
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 5:24

2 Answers 2


Personal experience. In a situation where an epidemic breaks out or where a civil war starts you dont want to be in the middle of the happening. You want to get the hell out of there as fast as possible and let the government sort that out. They are afraid. Weird stuff is happening and the government isn't saying anything.

So there is going to be looting, chaos, lawlessness until the government can come back in and assert order again.

So they try doing the best thing for them. And that is to flee until the situation is normal again.

The kid in the episode said it. Looters will hit the pharmacies, the gun stores and the food stores. Police will try to contain the situation by locking the meds down. So mom does what is sensible. She takes meds from a source that isn't going to get locked down as a priority.

Having personally been in one civil war (Balkans in the 90s)I can tell you that food goes FAST!! So they are thinking ahead. We see that the infrastructure is starting to break down so it is every soul for themselves until order is restored.

  • I agree that they are doing the best thing they can, although it definitely isn't going to make much of a difference. The issue isn't what should be done, but rather, how does this family know what to do, and why did they do it so quickly? But the mother was already stealing prescription drugs before the kid mentioned that pharmacies were being looted. I don't understand why a random family led by an English teacher and a guidance counselor is so on the ball.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 6:13
  • Well being in the employ of the county they prob have some kinds od disaster plans. so the mother tries the doctor and when the tepephones dont work she does the only other sensible thing to help her child. And that is to steal that wich she has easy access to! They might not be on the ball but they do have a heads up that others maybe dont. also Desperation! that leads ppl to do crazy things. And a mother that is desperatwe to save her chils will go above and beyond every single time when put in the situation.
    – Cherubel
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 6:20
  • agree as well.. food, meds n bullets are a must have in zombie scenarios.. or else your brains gonna end up in some zombie's platter.. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 6:55
  • 1
    @RicoRicochet - The problem is that no one in this world knows what zombies are, or what's going to happen. We know, of course, but the characters don't. This is a completely new experience for them. Kirkman has even said that, unlike the comics, on the show, the characters live in a world where zombies don't exist as fictional entities. That's why no one on the shows refers to them as "zombies" - that word doesn't exist.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 16:15
  • genre blindness.. cliched.. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 3:10

She wasn't actually stealing food, but helping Tobias take the food. And the fact that both of them left the food after she killed Artie indicates they are in panic mode, which makes people do strange things. I am telling you, if I didn't know about zombies and I saw someone I knew (ie. Calvin the drug dealer) rise from the dead, repeatedly, that would be enough for me to flee suburbia and head somewhere isolated to wait it out. Knowing how her son would react coming off heroin would also make me steal meds anyway I could in order to get him to a safer location before letting him come off them.

  • 1
    Helping someone else steal food is still stealing food. :)
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 1:36
  • @WadCheber stealing food doesn't matter if it means you will survive until a bit longer.
    – Cherubel
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 7:20
  • @Cherubel - That's not the point. The point is that she went from "nothing weird is going on" to "I'm going to steal from the place where I work" in about 10 minutes. It just seems pretty abrupt.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 17:11
  • 1
    @WadCheber I'm with Rachel. If I saw the Calvin thing happen personally, I'd be out. Especially taken in conjunction with the videos of shootings online, I would be taking zero chances. Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 13:25

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