I'm not sure who directed the FWD pilot, but it's just not made of the same stuff the TWD pilot was. The first half of the 90 minute episode focuses on Madison Clark (Kim Dickens of 'Deadwood') and Travis Manawa (played by the wonderful Cliff Curtis), who have just moved in together with their blended families. I know that's all the rage these days, but my family's been blending it since the 80s. Anywhoo, we start our fair episode by learning about their problems. Madison and Travis work at the same high school. Madison is a tough, but fair school counselor and Travis is a beloved teacher. Madison is the mother of two children Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Nick (Frank Dillane). Nick is a scummy skinny drug addicted Johnny Depp look alike and he is who we meet in the episode's first scene. Travis has a kind ex-wife, coupled with a bratty son who won't see him.
Besides the first scene, the first half of the 90 minute episode was BORING. The episode doesn't get interesting until the final scenes when we discover that Calvin (Keith Powers of 'Straight Out of Compton'), Nick's best friend and a kid who Madison and Travis think of as a "good kid," is actually Nick's drug dealer. Perhaps the best scene in the episode is when Calvin confronts Nick in a diner about potentially exposing him as a drug dealer. This scene was well acted by Powers and Dillane. Frankly the lack of Powers in this episode hurts the episode. It speaks to Powers talent that he was able to convey so much in such a short scene. Calvin later attempts to kill Nick after that scene, but it doesn't go as planned for neither of them.