What Is Cobalt Really?–Secrets to Fear the Walking Dead


What Is Cobalt Really?–Secrets to Fear the Walking Dead

If you haven’t watched Episode 5 of Fear the Walking Dead yet, now is your chance to click away. There are spoilers ahead as your undead friend Bicycle Girl breaks down the meaning of cobalt.


Now–What Happened in Cobalt Episode 5 of Fear TWD?


Daniel Salazar resorted to extreme methods to extract information from Ofelia’s would-be suitor Corporal Andrew Adams. In the process, he discovered the National Guard’s troubling plans for the survivors that are currently in their “care” in the detention facility.


As a part of the mission code named “Cobalt,” the National Guard plans to evacuate their Los Angeles base of operations. Before doing so, they intend to “humanely” exterminate the detainees and patients.


This revelation is shocking enough, but I have to wonder–


Why cobalt?


Cobalt is a particular shade of blue, but it is also the name of a chemical element. The color actually gets its name from the element, which has been used to create blue glass since medieval times.


I did some reading about cobalt and what it’s used for, hoping to gain some understanding of why this word in particular might have been selected for the code name.


It turns out that cobalt has been used throughout history for various purposes because it’s highly refractive. Basically, that means that when you pass waves like those of light or sound through cobalt, they are altered or changed. Because of its refractive properties, cobalt was once believed to have magical properties. Specifically, superstitious individuals thought it could allow people to shape shift.


After learning this I got to thinking–


Episode 5 of FWTD really transformed, changed or altered both the story and the cast of characters, didn’t it?


Changing the Pace of Fear TWD


Up until now, Fear the Walking Dead has had a sort of eerie calm about it. While there have been tense moments, the show has progressed at a careful pace.


We watched Madison and her kids playing Monopoly.


We watched Nick float lazily on a pool.


We saw Daniel and Ofelia keeping watch over Grizelda’s bedside. And so on.


Suddenly, this episode Travis was forced to take aim at a walker with a gun in hand and witnessed the fallout from a battle against a herd of the infected. Someone was tortured. A main character died, and Daniel stared down bulging doors as walkers pounded on the other side, much like Rick did in the very first episode of the TWD.


It’s clear the show has turned a corner now. Like waves through cobalt, it is transformed and set up for what promises to be an action-packed finale.


Transforming Characters in Fear the Walking Dead

Several characters were either changed in this episode or shown in a new light by the end. Namely:


Daniel. In previous episodes, Daniel spoke of evil men as if he was not one of them. He told of finding the bodies of his murdered neighbors in the water as a boy, leading us to believe he had only witnessed the horrors of war. By the end of this episode, we realize Daniel himself became an agent of evil. He was on the wrong side of history, not a heroic figure fleeing the horrors of war.


Ofelia. Although she is a grown woman, Ofelia was up until this episode protected from the truth about Daniel. Finding Andrew in the basement with his arm so carefully skinned by her father transformed her, robbing her of the innocence she clearly had until that moment.


Nick. In terms of character development, Nick did not change, but his situation in FTWD has. Now, he is indebted to the mysterious Strand, his cellmate who seems to be the only one in the show apart from Daniel who has a clear grasp on what is happening.


Alycia Debnam Carey as Alicia  - Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC

Alicia and Chris. In the last onscreen FTWD interaction these two had, Alicia fought against Chris when he was trying to rescue her. Both his nose and his feelings were hurt. This episode, we see their relationship change. Not only did they bond over wrecking the abandoned house they found, but they also exchanged a few meaningful looks that suggest their feelings for one another may be shifting to something more.



Travis. Yes, by the end, even Travis has appeared to change albeit just slightly. Although he was unable to shoot “Kimberly” earlier in the episode, he did not “do the right thing” and release Andrew as he intended. Instead, he stood back when Madison revealed that the torture had given them valuable information. To me, that was surprising and shows that finally he may be beginning to change into someone who is better suited to the world in which he now lives. Will it save him from the fate I discussed in my earlier post about the Jack London story? We’ll have to see.

Like light passing through cobalt, we came out the other side of Episode 105 Cobalt of Fear the Walking Dead changed. We have new knowledge, new expectations and new questions to consider as we await the season finale airing this Sunday


In the meantime, keep up with all the latest about Fear TWD from TWD Fan Site and the contributors by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Bicycle Girl

Freelance writer from Pittsburgh. May or may not be a walker whose bicycle was stolen by Officer Friendly.

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