Welcome back to Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead.
Actually, scrap that.
Welcome back to the convoluted plots that now inhabit this corner of the Walking Dead universe.
This time around, we get fever dreams, bagpipes, and haggis. Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is at the center of all this, as is an unrealistic trust from a new friend (but don’t get too attached).
Alicia makes a new friend
Episode 9 of Fear the Walking Dead opens with Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) waking from a fever dream. The character is still suffering from being bitten by a walker and having her arm amputated in less than hygienic circumstances.
She’s in a strange house, and, luckily, she manages to save the homeowner, Paul (Warren “Wawa” Snipe), from a random walker when she stumbles downstairs.
Unfortunately, she also broke the guy’s stereo, and he has a ridiculous attachment to music.
Of course, this stems from the fact that Paul is a deaf musician.
The pair bond over haggis before Arno (Spenser Granese) turns up looking for Alicia because he’s p**sed that Alicia tried to lead them to PADRE, and nearly everyone wound up dead instead.
Being the world’s worst villain, he doesn’t even check inside the piano when it starts making clunking noises. Luckily for Alicia, he’s that dumb because she was totally chilling inside the musical instrument.
Don’t touch those bagpipes
Arno gives Paul a walkie-talkie and tells him to give him a call should Alicia turn up.
Once Arno is gone, Paul and Alicia continue to bond, and we discover there are some pretty special bagpipes in the corner. In fact, they are the only musical instrument Paul owns that isn’t broken.
There is totally a backstory there, but we don’t get to find out more until Paul and Alicia head out on an urgent mission to find a new stereo for Paul. You see, he likes to feel the music and has soundproofed his house to play loud music as much as he wants.
Because a stereo is the most important thing in a nuclear zombie apocalypse.
But, along the way, viewers learn that Alicia continues to dream about PADRE.
Paul gives Alicia a pep talk
Even though Paul has only just met Alicia and she has broken his stereo, he has decided that she is — The. Most. Important.
Giving a series of pep talks, Alicia easily comes around to his way of thinking even though she seems good at getting people hurt.
They then devise a plan to take out Arno for Alicia to continue gathering people and leading them to her version of PADRE. Paul seems totally okay with shooting a guy, and I feel like the friendship between him and Alicia is just too fresh to be at this level of dedication.
But, seriously, this is Fear the Walking Dead, and nothing seems to be off the table.
Including drawing in all of the walkers and having a single handgun to shoot them. I feel like Paul has previously watched The Walking Dead and assumed he would have Hershel-level infinite ammo.
Arno makes a return house call
Paul speaks to Arno on the walkie-talkie, and he and his friends turn up, ready to attack.
Cue the new stereo, Paul hits play, and the music calls all the walkers to the yard. Here, he starts shooting them and trying to take out Arno’s group.
Mostly, his gun runs out of ammo, and they now have to deal with the walkers while Arno’s group continues trying to take out Alicia.
In the end, Paul decides to die for Alicia. You know, the woman he just met a day ago and is now risking everything for so that she can find her version of PADRE.
He decides to distract Arno by playing the bagpipes, which belonged to his dead wife and whom he doubted before she died. That is apparently his motivation for placing the entirety of his trust in Alicia.
And, honestly, considering Outlander is on hiatus for a week, having a strange Scottish twist in Fear the Walking Dead this week feels entirely like a slap to the face because I know what I’d rather be watching.
Arno walks in while Alicia is fleeing the house and shoots Paul. As I said, don’t get too attached to the new guy.
Alicia has another fever dream
Alicia is still running away and comes across a young girl just as she collapses on the road. It is the same girl she spoke of at the start of the episode, and I guess she will turn out to be important, but, for now, she is just the face that turns up every time Alicia passes out.
She has a dream again about a walker who keeps telling her to find PADRE. However, thanks to the pep talk from Paul, she now realizes that it is herself who she is following in her recurring dream and that she is good enough to lead people.
She then wakes up back on board Morgan’s (Lennie James) submarine and, for a moment, I wondered if the entire episode was a fever dream and that Paul never existed.
Alicia is totally motivated now and plans to return to the bunker and use the radio to contact people to join their army against Victor Strand (Colman Domingo).
It’s here that she mentions her mother, Madison (Kim Dickens), and her brother, Nick (Frank Dillane), as people who have always been people around her with big visions, and now she will step out of the shadow and become the leader she knows she can be after meeting Paul.
And, honestly, I can understand speaking of her mother’s vision, not only because she will be returning at some point in Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead but because she was always driven when it came to her vision.
Sure, he was my favorite character, but his vision mostly involved staying alive and staying off the drugs.
While things got a little hairy for Arno, and he was actually shot in the hand at one point in this episode, he is now traveling with his remaining friend, and they come across a large horde of walkers that have fallen into a large hole in the ground.
His hand has a gunshot wound, proving that the whole episode wasn’t just one of Alicia’s fever dreams.
He also announces that they will somehow manage to use all these walkers to take over Stand’s stronghold.
So now it looks like Alicia will have to battle two opposing sides to bring down Strand’s Tower.
Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead airs every Sunday night on AMC.