Airing Sundays at 9pm on AMC in the US
Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Writers: Richard Naing
Essential Plot Points:
- John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) questions a scavenger about where the group is meeting. When the man tries to pull a gun, he shoots his finger off.
- Naomi (Jenna Elfman) thinks she might have a lead on supplies, to help the starving people in the Diamond. But she has to face her past to get them and she wants to do it alone.
- Victor (Colman Domingo), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Luciana (Danay Garcia) face off against the scavengers and come face to face with a blast from the past.
There’s been some cracking cinematography in this season of Fear The Walking Dead, and watching the scavengers at work at the start of the episode is a sight to behold. Nothing, and we mean nothing, is left behind, as premises are picked clean of everything right down to the lightbulbs.
Following the change of pace of last week’s love story, we’re back to the daily drudge of life in the Diamond, which isn’t an improvement. For starters, we’ve never really gotten our heads around the weird blockade/non-blockade the scavengers have erected around the baseball stadium.
Allowing Madison’s group to scavenge at will, and seeing them come back with supplies to keep things just about managing until the big score of Naomi’s, was an unusual tactic to say the least. Watching the scavengers pull out when they admit defeat is also incredibly odd, and definitely feels like a play. Madison is right to be wary of that action.
Following last week’s two-hander with John, there’s also plenty more character background for Naomi this week, although some of her tendencies are starting to drag a little. Still, the script does some passable show and tell storytelling. Seeing the pictures of children’s handprints on the wall, and being unable to fire on the zombies she clearly recognises, gives us an immediate sense that maybe Naomi’s got something to do with what happened when this base fell. And that instinct bears out when we get the whole story.
Elsewhere, Morgan (Lennie James) and John are walking around like the last two good men in Texas. Shame no-one else is on the same page. The standoff between groups is never going to end well, but Alicia taking a shot at Naomi – and hitting John – is classic Clark madness. This family wouldn’t know the right decision if it came up wearing a t-shirt that read: “I’m the right decision, pick me!” That it doesn’t end with the kind of “Light ‘em up!” order we saw at the dump in The Walking Dead is something of a miracle. But it’s not quite the cliffhanger they were going for.
- There’s some great character acting from the scavenger at the start of the episode. Even before Morgan warns him, even before he reaches for his weapon, you can tell that’s what he’s going to do from the look in his eyes.
- The scavengers rolling in to meet Alicia and co at the end of the episode is like a pre-Mad Max Give it a few more years, and there’ll be a flaming guitar player on the front of one of those vehicles.
- As character ticks go, Naomi’s overriding desire to flee the group – any group – is starting to get very, very old.
Cole really did take note when Strand opened up about his selfish tendencies and desire for self-preservation:
“I should be thanking you for saving me time. You showed me who you really are before I thought you were someone else.”
Strand has a rare moment of clarity about himself when he confesses that the car filled with supplies was his contingency plan:
“You see Madison, people don’t change. When pressed, when cornered, the artifice falls and the curtain drops. They always show you who they really are.”
There’s a nice little track back to Cole’s earlier conversation when Victor takes out his annoyance on Naomi:
“We should thank you for showing us who you really are?”
Review by Matt Chapman