If you’re following reviews at the UK pace, with episodes screening on AMC on BT TV, hit this link and go back to episode S04E02.
Airing Sundays at 9pm on AMC in the US
Director: Magnus Martens
Writers: Alex Delyle
Essential Plot Points:
- Following the death of Nick (Frank Dillane), journalist Althea (Maggie Grace) is recording the group’s stories.
- As Victor (Colman Domingo), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Luciana (Danay Garcia) speak, it becomes clear the tales all surround one fateful day when they went out to scavenge, and a decision that was made which had far reaching consequences.
There are multiple story strands this episode on the subject of walking away, cutting your losses, and starting over. But Victor’s is the best. Relationships aren’t easy in the midst of the apocalypse, but we’ve been enjoying the coy flirting between Victor Strand and Cole (Sebastian Sozzi). We’re just not sure Cole was ready for what comes next.
It’s always important to really get to know someone you’re contemplating starting a relationship with, but really getting to know Victor is like coming face to face with the devil. It’s therefore incredibly refreshing to see Victor lay himself open about that fact – especially since deception is usually his go-to manoeuvre. Cole’s reaction also avoids the obvious.
Having an original take is a theme in this episode’s plotting, as the characters all grow a little. For starters, the mercenary Strand doesn’t convince Cole to join him with his stash of food, but instead gets convinced to bring it back to the Diamond and help the group. It’s another step on the road to him becoming a more rounded human being, and gives this episode its heart.
It’s then genuinely enjoyable to watch a story about hopelessness get turned so far on its head we’re warmed by a feeling of hope. But the truly great writing comes at the end when Fear The Walking Dead flips it right back again. It turns out that hope was misguided, and instead they should have run and convinced Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) to give up the stadium. Now they’re off to kill the vultures.
But an even bigger reveal this week is a crossover in a show all about crossovers. John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) is hunting his lost love Laura, and the other person conspicuous in her absence from Strand’s group is Naomi (Jenna Elfman). Whaddaya know, they’re the same person…
- Victor laying his coat over Nick’s body might seem out of character for a man who values possessions above all else. But the two bonded significantly in the military quarantine centre, and Strand often seemed as if he really liked Nick but merely tolerated the rest of the Clark clan, before he also bonded with Madison.
- We’re loving the journalistic angle that allows the past stories of FTWD to be told, bringing it up to date with parent show The Walking Dead.
- We totally called it! We knew Alicia’s weapon was too unusual not to have a backstory! And it’s not a jagged piece of fence post, as it seems, it’s a machine gun barrel.
- If this was a video game, you’d clear that pool full of walkers before stepping into it. There needs to be a little more gamification in Fear The Walking Dead, even if that would limit the drama. These are supposed to be smart people and watching them unnecessarily put themselves in danger every week gets tiresome.
- The scenes with Nick in the past are actually pretty tough to watch, given his shock death last week. Too soon!
Cole’s put-down for the walkers with cactus spines in their faces:
Nasty neighbour Mel (Kevin Zegers) knows what he’s talking about:
“You know Madison, every time you send people out, there’s a chance they won’t come back.”
Review by Matt Chapman