I rather enjoyed the last couple episodes of Fear the Walking Dead, but I have to admit that the storm aftermath storyline is starting to feel pretty strained this week.
We found out what happened to Alicia and Morgan after the storm. Now it’s time to catch up with June and Althea. The two of them have been stuck in the disabled S.W.A.T. truck for days. Al says that it’s out of diesel fuel, but she refuses to leave the truck behind. As a result, they can only scout for food and fuel within a radius that is possible to walk back from before dark. Mostly they just bide their time. June continually radios a message on her walkie-talkie, hoping that John will hear her and respond before the battery dies. Without being able to use the truck’s battery, they can’t recharge it.
Just as they run out of water, June hears an indistinct voice on the radio. She wants to abandon the truck and go search for the source, but Althea remains reluctant and also appears to be sick. She claims that she just has low blood sugar, but her symptoms don’t match that explanation. Eventually, June finds a working car and convinces Althea to come with her in search of higher ground to get a clearer radio signal.
Before they get too far down the road, someone steals the S.W.A.T. truck and drives right past them. (How it’s no longer out of gas isn’t explained.) Al immediately takes off in chase of it, obsessed with getting her truck back. Unfortunately, their car blows a tire before they can catch up. When Al finally has to admit that she’s genuinely sick and not just suffering low blood sugar, she claims that she keeps a stash of antibiotics in the truck, making their need to get it back even more urgent. Suddenly, they hear the sound of the truck’s machine guns firing from nearby. June agrees to go alone and check it out while Al waits at the car.
As June gets close, she finds the truck seemingly empty, parked next to an overturned bus littered with Walker bodies. While creeping towards it, a man with a gun ambushes her from behind. However, June turns the tables by grabbing the gun from him. Sadly, the truck won’t start for her. Apparently, it’s out of gas again.
June can’t find the meds anywhere on the truck. The man insists that he didn’t take them. He claims that he stopped the truck to see if he could siphon some diesel from the bus and was forced to open fire on the Walkers, which led to their current situation. Rather than kill him, June lets the man go.
Meanwhile, a very ill and weakened Althea struggles to fend off a zombie crawling toward her. She manages to crush its head under the truck just before June returns. Al admits that there was never any medicine on the truck; she just wanted June to get the truck back for her. June is pissed, but conveniently that overturned bus just happened to have some antibiotics on it. Al pops a pill and is right as rain in no time. (No, this is not how antibiotics actually work.) When June asks what her attachment to this truck is, Al says that the tapes on board have recordings of all the people she loved, and she can’t leave them behind.
June finds another working truck. Al initially refuses to go with her and walks back toward the S.W.A.T. truck, but stops after a moment and fires a gun in the air to signal that she changed her mind. She hops in with June and heads off in search of higher ground.
What Morgan Is Up To
While all that is happening, we occasionally cut back to Morgan and his new crew. He forces them to stop their tractor trailer rig when he briefly hears June on his walkie-talkie. He spends most of the rest of the episode trying to radio her back, much to Sarah and Wendell’s annoyance. They think he’s wasting his time.
While trying to get a signal, Morgan comes across the crazy dreadlocked lady squatting over one of his charity boxes. He kindly tells her that she’s welcome to take whatever she needs, but the nonsense she babbles weirds him out and he keeps walking.
Morgan comes to a water tower and climbs to the top. He radios out another message which Althea and June hear just before their own walkie’s battery dies. With no way to respond, they race to catch up to him, fortunately arriving just before Wendell and Sarah convince Morgan to give up waiting.
Introductions are made all around. June feels guilty about abandoning the guy who stole the S.W.A.T. truck, so she radios out to him, apologizing and offering to let him join their group. The man answers. He says that his name is Quinn, and he found some diesel fuel. He got the S.W.A.T. truck running and will meet up with them. Al is fascinated by this guy and wants his story.
June tells Quinn to meet them at mile marker 27. Shortly, he radios back that he’s there and doesn’t see them anywhere. As it turns out, he’s actually at mile marker 21, which has been defaced to look like a 27. He’s then immediately attacked by Purvis the zombie, unleashed in his direction by the crazy lady. After killing Quinn, the lady sets Purvis free and tells him that he’s served his purpose. She then takes a marker and writes the words “People You Know” on Quinn’s face just before he turns.
The episode title Weak is sadly appropriate, as this is not one of the season’s stronger entries. While not awful, the plot is frustratingly filled with too many coincidences and contrived events. Althea’s irrational obsession with her truck has also become tiresome.
The show is obviously trying to set up this crazy lady as the Big Bad villain for the rest of the season, but nothing we’ve seen so far suggests that she’s very much of a threat.
It occurs to me that this episode doesn’t feature a single one of the show’s original cast members. Every character on screen was introduced this season. I wouldn’t normally consider that a fault, but perhaps a little screen time with Strand or Alicia wouldn’t have hurt.