Fear the Walking Dead is quickly approaching the midseason break and with the appearance of Morgan (Lennie James), the AMC series has taken a completely different direction than before. Last week, more was learned about the group that took Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in The Walking Dead and now, the two shows are even more tied together than ever before.
Not to mention that Dwight is on Fear the Walking Dead now too and after getting some closure in his search for Sherry, will likely become a fixture of the show, along with the other survivors.
Up until now, Season 5 has been building rather slowly. The survivors have been battling to survive but this season, they aren’t facing off against any real enemy, which is different from past seasons and the overall Walking Dead franchise. That doesn’t mean anyone has it easy as we saw in episode 6 titled The Little Prince.
All the kids are back at the truck stop and cleaning up, allowing Annie (Bailey Gavulic) to lose the ratty wig she’s worn and go back to her natural hair.
They’re all brought outside where a caravan led by Morgan (Lennie James) returns with their broken plane. And after everything is back inside the compound Morgan does what he does best – give a great pep talk designed to give hope to everyone.
He said they’re going to fix the plane and take everyone back to where they came from and it’ll all be safe because they have rainbows and unicorns, and even though I’ve ragged on Morgan for being a weak character, he’s really good at motivating the other survivors.
Except he’s trying to sell these ideas to a bunch of kids who’ve been on their own a while and it’s a tough crowd.
The fix of the Phoenix
So everyone is working hard on The Phoenix (and yes, I’m calling it that) while Annie is inside getting checked out by June (Jenna Elfman). Annie’s got those I Gotta Run Blues and June’s trying to convince her that all is well, which is why she lies when John (Garret Dillahunt) comes over to tell her he’s leaving with Dwight (Austin Amelio) on another wife hunt.
Outside, Althea (Maggie Grace) is about to fire up the one good engine the plane has because they’ve gotten instruction from Strand (Colman Domingo) and Sarah (Mo Collins) on how to gear it up. Right about now is when she needs Mr. Dorfmann to start screaming at her not to start it up because after about 20 seconds it not only starts vibrating, but it throws all three propellers.
Not only is that very dangerous for the people standing around but this also attracts a zombie that Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is about to put down before Morgan shows up with his all-new beat-you stick, which is really just an old mop handle. (This also gives Alicia–who has earlier seen Morgan trying to get the handle loose from the mop head–to deadpan the best line of the night – “I see you fixed the mop.”)
Situation hopeless but not serious?
So The Phee is once more f**ked and we’re right back where we started from. However, Strand has a solution – the people far away have a plane, while he and the others have propellers. So all they’ll do is get the propellers to them somehow.
Once off the radio, however, Strand is like, “It’s hopeless. They’re screwed.”
Sarah is really pissed at this, demanding to know why Strand would say the things he does to them and admit they can’t do anything in private. He says he’s trying to give them hope, but you can see even he doesn’t believe this.
And then, just like every other kid who no one listens to until the writers have them come up with a clever solution, Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) shows both Strand and Sarah something that makes her the Clever Girl of the Moment.
While getting gas, Dwight and John bond over their lost girlfriend/wife mementos. Dwight shows the wedding rings he’s kept and John shows the “I Love You” scrabble tiles he always carries. John says maybe with them looking together, John will bring Dwight some luck and they’ll soon find Sherry.
They eventually find a van that matches the VIN from the last registration Sherry left for Dwight, so while Dwight tosses the house, John searches the van. And he finds a letter.
If you’re thinking, “I’ll bet Sherry left a ‘Dear John’ letter behind,” why, you’d be right! John hides it from Dwight because he doesn’t want him to know that Sherry has pretty much dumped his a** in the middle of Zombie Texas, but Dwight is sure they’re going to find Sherry any day now and thanks John for the luck he brought.
Meltdown in containment two
Now it’s time for Grace (Karen David) to call, which can’t be a good thing. And it isn’t.
It seems the generators supplying cooling water to the remaining reactor core has failed and the core is in danger of melting down. Grace needs the truck stop’s generator so she can try and get some water on it before this whole section of Texas begins to glow.
Of course, this means the truck stop will go dark, but if everyone’s hair starts falling out in a week due to, you know, the whole frelling landscape being turned into Chernobyl West, then going dark isn’t a bad thing.
Morgan leaves with Grace and helps her move cars so she can get her truck to the reactor. He wants to suit up and help her and she tells him there’s one in the back of the truck. He finds his old stick in the back, but no suit. Where’s the suit?
Sorry sucker, no suit for you! Because Grace doesn’t want any help and takes off, leaving Morgan behind.
The “I got a dead mom” duet
Annie is packing to leave because she knows everything at the stop is FUBAR and she’s gotta protect her kids. Alicia offers her a car if she’ll just tell her why she’s gotta leave.
The why is simple – at one time everyone was living in the camp and it was cool and no zombies bothered them, but one day someone screwed up and brought a whole lot of dead to their doorstep. When that happened, the adults would send the kids off to a waiting area until things died down, and Annie was the one in charge of making certain nothing happened to the other kids.
After three days, Annie knew something was wrong and she headed back to camp and found everyone–including her parent–sick from what we know to be radioactive zombies. And since she was given charge of the kids, it’s up to her to keep them safe.
Alicia gets it. She was there with her mom. She was the same way up to the point where they crash landed in this part of Texas and she learned there’s more to life than killing zombies and protecting people. She hopes Annie will stay because she knows it’s hard to shoulder that burden alone.
Then Strand’s on the radio and Alicia and the others see something incredible, but when she runs back into the truck stop to tell Annie and the kids, the keys are gone and so are the kids.
Skyway to the danger zone
So how is Strand able to get a signal to the hand-held radios, and what is so incredible everyone has to rush outside to see? Well, it’s… this:
Strand and Charlie are in a hot air balloon in the shape of a craft beer bottle–the last legacy of Jimbo the Beer Maker. They’ve actually made it to this part of Texas because the winds were being real kind that day. They’ve flown right to them, carrying the two propellers they promised.
Did I say right to them? Nope. They’re not only going down in the woods, but they’re coming down in the Radiation Zone, which isn’t good. Morgan’s on the radio warning them to stay away from the zombies, which can kill them because they’re radioactive. Strand and Charlie, now on the ground, start looking for a place to hide.
Morgan doesn’t care about radiation and is on the radio, telling everyone he’s going in to help them. Not that far away, Alicia’s about to whack out a whole lot of zombies because she’s going after Annie and the Runaways, and she’s determined to make them see the light no matter what.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.