Last we saw our intrepid journalist, she was investigating the body of a walker dressed in militia armor left at the plane crash site. She found a pouch containing a series of maps and documents, all featuring the same three-ringed symbol that was painted on the side of the helicopter that took Rick and Anne/Jadis away in The Walking Dead season 9. Many put the pieces together and surmised a connection between the two, and in the final moments of this week’s Fear, that connection appears to be confirmed.
Morgan and Alicia decided to go out in search of Al, again, this time with the help of Dylan. Luciana, still with an injured arm, remained at the truck stop to fix the radio tower so she could get a hold of Victor and watch after the boy. Dylan, however, pointed them in the wrong direction. He claimed he and his siblings last saw the mystery men camped out somewhere in the woods, but when they arrived, all they found were one of Grace’s bird traps and a walker (nonradioactive, fortunately) reaching for it.
Morgan and Alicia arrive in time to subdue the walkers attacking the kids, but they soon realize they’re not alone. A group of kids, around the same ages as Annie and Max, surround them with guns. With Dylan easing the situation over the walkie, Annie gets her friends to lower their weapons, while Morgan and Alicia learn all their parents are now the walkers from that campsite they found.
The kids agree to help Morgan and Alicia find Al and lead them to the last place they saw the militia group a few weeks prior. On their way, Max directs them to stop and hit the ground. The sound of an incoming chopper fills the air and soon they spot the bird flying overhead. It may not be the same exact helicopter that took Rick, but it’s the same kind: a black craft with the letter A painted on the door and the three-ringed symbol on the side.
“Those people, they came in that,” Max says as the helicopter flies away. But why are they now leaving? “Maybe they got what they came for,” Annie suggests. If that’s the truth, it doesn’t look good for Al.
Men in black
Here’s what we know about this mysterious group so far. Anne had been in communication with them for some time, hoping to trade her way into their community with either an “A” offering or a “B” offering. She asked Gabriel to run away with her to “another place… far away from here,” but when he refused, she says, “I thought you were a B” and knocks him out. Anne promised the group an “A” in order to get on the plane, but the unidentified pilots of the chopper arrived to find a severely injured Rick lying on the water bank after the explosion at the bridge. Referring to Rick, she said she had a “B.” Both were last seen flying away in the helicopter with Rick being nursed on a medical bed. Is Al, then, an “A” or “B” offering for this group, or is she still alive somewhere?
We also know Andrew Lincoln is set to return at some point for a Walking Dead movie or two, though the production timeline of that project is still unclear.
Standout performance of the week
With the exception of the premiere, the first few episodes of Fear this season feel like a series of fairly dull plot scenarios that all start to sound the same, except for the surprise cliffhanger reveal at the end of each hour. With June and John helping Dwight somewhere off camera, the rest of the momentum falls on the shoulders of Victor, Sarah, Wendell, Charlie, and Daniel. If not for their all-star cat, tonight’s episode “Skidmark” would be another average subplot.
With Skidmark, Daniel’s tabby cat companion, a feline star is born. The episode, which is so named for the street-smart kitty, who is to Daniel what Dog is to Daryl. Getting a feel for Daniel’s day-to-day, we see him dismantling a booby trap at a grocery store in the area. First, Skidmark runs ahead to distract the walkers with his jingling collar as Daniel sneaks up on them. He returns to add more supplies to his warehouse stash. At the end of each day, he rips off a page from the flip calendar on the wall and burns it to heat his grill for dinner. He then sits alone for a meal with Skidmark as his only company.
One night, Charlie sneaks onto his premises to locate the plane with Victor, Sarah, and Wendell hiding in the wings. Charlie goes to hide until Daniel leaves, but Skidmark finds her and won’t stop meowing. So, she goes to hide in the back of a car, which Daniel is now planning to use for another errand. Charlie is convinced she can handle it, but Daniel is already wise to the plan. As the others enter the warehouse, they realize the plane is missing a few crucial parts needed to operate. That’s when Daniel radios over, having anticipated Victor might pull something like this. He knows Charlie is in the car but promises not to harm her. Instead, he’s going to save her from Victor.
He takes her to another grocery store to disable another trap. He sees a bit of his daughter in her as she comments on his music choice and maps out how best to clear out the walkers within and disarm the gun. But while they’re working to sneak in the back way, the walkers are drawn to Skidmark, who’s slinking by the window. One of the dead gets caught on the gun and pushes it in the direction of the window, shattering it. Daniel and Charlie run back to the car as the dead spill out onto the road. They plan to lead the herd back to the warehouse where the walls will hold them at bay as they pick them off, but, as Sarah informs them over the radio, they busted out the plane from the back and, in doing so, made a massive hole in the walls. So now, Daniel gives Charlie the missing plane parts and tells her to drive the car back to the warehouse while he leads the walkers off with his stereo.
Meeting back up with Victor and the others, Charlie says they can’t leave Daniel behind. She reasons Daniel could’ve easily led the walkers back to the warehouse to take care of the people stealing his plane, but he didn’t. He didn’t want to hurt them the way Victor once hurt Daniel. Victor walkies over to Daniel, who demands he admit that he lied to Daniel about knowing where Ofelia was in order to get something from him. By the time Daniel did find out where his daughter was, it was too late. Victor reveals the story to his friends, and they all rally to go save Daniel.
Sarah and Wendell take the van to meet him on the highway in the hopes of using the SWAT van’s guns to blast away the dead, but the guns malfunction, forcing Daniel to hide underneath the vehicle as the walkers swarm in. Victor and Charlie come up from behind in the truck, carrying the plane in the trunk. Victor lures the walkers to him and then turns on the plane to activate its propellers. The dead mindlessly wander into the swirling blades, prompting lots of blood and guts to splatter everywhere. In another fun turn of events, this plan saves Daniel but wastes through the plane’s oil, causing it to break down. But, hey, at least Victor finally proved to Daniel he’s a good person now, which matters more, apparently.
Back at the warehouse, Daniel tells Charlie the last thing he wished to tell Ofelia before she died was that every day brings a chance to start over and make things right. It’s advice he now gives to Charlie. Daniel mentions there’s a reason he has remained alone in the warehouse for so long and now he needs to take care of that reason. He gives the group free rein of the warehouse and its supplies and asks Charlie to take care of Skidmark. The one thing off limits is a cigar someone asked him to save until things get better.
Meanwhile, Luciana and Dylan are able to fix the radio tower and radio over to Victor. With the plane down, Dylan takes inspiration from The Little Prince and suggests the group just fix their broken plane and fly back home. In a convenient, “wow, I never thought of that” turn, that now becomes the plan, I guess. Again, the last few minutes usually have the most interesting developments.
Nick Romano,Entertainment Weekly Sun, Jun 23 7:05 PM PDT