Dead In The Water is a Fear: The Walking Dead webisode, much like The Althea Diaries webisodes about Maggie Grace‘s video journalist Al.
The limited digital series brings back Teddy’s ole’ second in command, of his crackpot convention cult, Lt. Jason Riley (Nick Stahl).
MINOR SPOILERS ARE BELOW.
THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING.
Riley’s backstory shows himself as a high-ranking US. Navy officer and a less than thrilled expectant father to an unborn baby boy, Oliver. Just like the spin-off series Fear, we see the submarine once again.
This time, he is training young sailors to prepare to release missiles at command as the previous day, the practice did not go well.
One of the kids jokes that he can see his house from here (The Gulf of Mexico), but Riley stands firm and tells them that if they want to earn their dolphins on their uniform, then they will do it without question.
As the webisode continues, Riley himself is heard questioning that exact order with a comrade and we are learning that the EAM only sent a partial order which is puzzling the rest of the higher-ups.
What on earth is going on, on LAND?
Next, a young sailor named Friedman loses his life on the operating table and we now witness the remorse and sadness of a young doctor, Park. Despite Riley’s apprehension about being a father, there is a sincerity and a fatherly bond between him and the medically skilled Park.
“You did the best you could.”
Park (Alex Biglane) inquires aloud about why there were no antibiotics or a medivac, seeing as how Friedman slid right into septic shock. Even more saddening? He had little kids. Unfortunately, the only place they can put the body bag–is in cold storage with their rations. Popsicle friend, anyone?
The laidback cook completely misses that the body bag is moving around until he hears a thump and investigates. As you may have guessed? Friedman is not so dead. A few others get bit. We know what that means!
THE END OF EVERYTHING.
But they do not. However, very quickly Riley is seen as a concerned father type to all of these sailors, and one by one he starts losing comrades to bites.
This eventually leads to a heart-wrenching mercy kill of a rather undead Park.
A little black screen with lime green text is typed out in each episode, looking like a marine sonar along with the sound.
It reads that there are eighty-eight crew members onboard (155, 154…it keeps counting down).
ENSEMBLE PIECE, AHOY.
As much as Stahl shines, this is as much of an ensemble piece as it is the additional backstory for his character, Riley.
All of the performances were organic and passionate, but the one that really stood out for me was the young Ja’Quan Monroe-Henderson, whose character was playful, heartfelt, and most of all–brave.
“Aye-aye, Sir.” – Winokur.
Especially in horror, the pure hearts always seem to be the most determined. And unfortunately, they always seem to be the ones to go first. Monroe-Henderson was like an ocean version of Noah from The Walking Dead. I lowkey might need a minute…
I won’t spoil too much, but you’ll get your standard tough ‘I’ll shoot you in the head if you turn’ to a gun literally shaking in his hands (making noise!), to an ending that began it all.
This is an extremely diverse ensemble cast and definitely not something you want to wait too long to see!
HEY, AMC? CAN WE HAVE AN ISABELLE AND ALTHEA WEBISODE, PLEASE?
DEAD IN THE WATER, A FEAR THE WALKING DEAD STORY IS EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE NOW, ON AMC+.
About the author: Katie Harden is a professionally repped New York-based/bi-coastal musical theater, entertainment journalist, and indie film actress. She is proudly part of the Actor’s Equity Association and frequently interviews colleagues, friends, and celebrities, along with reviewing television and movies. Find her at the bottom of a can of Arizona sweet tea or in the ocean!