‘Fear The Walking Dead’: Althea’s Not Feeling So Good in ‘Weak’ (RECAP)

Spoiler Alert
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It wasn’t quite as bad as the outbreak at the prison on Season 4 of the main show, but Althea certainly came down with something nasty on this week’s Fear The Walking Dead.

Illness exposed some cracks in the tough exterior of the journalist with the SWAT van. “Weak” explained a little more of Al’s backstory, reiterated how important her unique ride is to her and showed why she insists on videotaping everyone she meets.

Beyond that, the episode delved a little deeper into June’s psyche and offered a few more glimpses at 4B’s unnerving, enigmatic antagonist.

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When The Going Gets Tough

Inside the SWAT van, June watches Al’s interview with John. She walks outside and the area is decimated – the storm has ended. She tries to get a signal on the radio, but hears only static.

Emotional, she talks to John and, among a myriad of things, admits she’s prone to running when things get tough. “Things are pretty tough right now,” she says.

Althea comes up behind her and delivers some sobering news: they’re out of fuel. She tells June to conserve the battery on the radio, and they make their useless ride into something of a home. It seems to work well enough until they run out of water.

“We’re going to have to walk away, and keep going,” June tells her companion. Is this the end of Althea’s badass ride? Say it ain’t so!

Perhaps it ain’t so. The radio crackles, and a man’s garbled voice comes through. June thinks it’s John and keeps holding the radio up, but the signal doesn’t get clearer.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Morgan, still with the truckers, is trying to radio his friends. He gives his location to the static.

Meanwhile, June’s resolved that they need to get to higher ground in order to get a better signal. Al notices her buddy has drained the battery on her camera, but they have bigger problems. Al’s forehead is warm, a symptom she blames on low blood sugar.

Morgan says he’ll keep the channel open and stops talking, while Sarah comes to talk to him. Morgan references Rick’s attempts to radio him and says he wants to do the same, but Sarah asks the real question: whether or not it worked. Morgan doesn’t answer, but seems determined that it’ll work this time.

On the road, Al’s condition is getting worse. They still can’t get a signal, and as they walk, the journalist lags behind. June asks her if she’s dizzy, and Al blames her troubles on not eating. They find a car, take care of the walker inside and head for higher ground.

June manages to eek another bit of backstory out of Althea: apparently she hasn’t had a significant other since before the world ended, and she’s been a journalist since before the turn. “When you spend as much time as I did collecting other people’s stories, you kind of stop having your own,” Al says.

June and Al’s transmissions are coming through loud and clear for creepy lady from last’s week’s episode. In a car with a walker behind a clear divider, she turns it off. “You made them weak, Pervis,” she tells the walker.

Dude, Where’s My Car?

Morgan has some luck with the truckers — he hears a tiny bit of June’s voice over the radio. Unwilling to leave, he tells the impatient truckers and Jim to wait while he tries to get a better signal.

June appears to have heard Morgan, and tells him to go again. That success is promptly interrupted by Al opening the car door and throwing up. To make matters worse, someone has stolen Al’s van and drives it right past them. Al pushes their truck to catch up to the thief, but they blow a tire.

Al’s desperate to go after the thief, but June thinks otherwise. She tells Al she needs medicine, and Al says she has some… in the van.

Morgan keeps walking down the road, and finds the creepy lady sitting near one of the boxes. Clueless to how utterly terrifying she is, Morgan tells her she can take what she needs. “I don’t need any help,” she says. “I’m not weak.” Morgan seems a little offended, and continues on his way until the woman stops him. “It’s tough out there,” she says. “You should be careful.” The creepy lady pours some dirty stormwater into one of the water bottles, then puts it back in the box.

June works on changing the truck’s tire, and does her best to keep Al talking. When she asks her where she got her van, Al’s hesitant to discuss it. Their conversation is interrupted by gunfire — gunfire Al knows is coming from her ride. She tells June to go check it out, and though June is hesitant to leave her, she does when the journalist says it’s the only way she’ll get the medicine she needs.

Out of Patience, Out of Fuel

Down the road, June finds the van, which appears to be empty. There are several walkers piled on the road, and one snarling at her from an overturned bus, but there seems to be no sign of life… at least not until someone cocks a gun and points it at her.

June gets to her knees, and the man keeps holding the gun on her. She tries to talk him down, telling him she used to be like him until someone showed her they could work together. He doesn’t buy into it, and June springs into action. The gun goes off as they fight, and Al hears the shot and gets out of the truck. She tries to change the tire herself, but seems to be struggling.

After beating the man, leaving him on the ground and taking his weapon, June heads for Al’s van. It won’t start, and the man tells her there’s no fuel. That’s soon to be the least of June’s worries: she can’t find the medicine, either, and the guy claims he doesn’t know where it is.

June lets the guy go, then starts searching locked compartments in the truck. She doesn’t find meds, but she does find a radio. She radios Al and asks her where the medicine is, but Al can’t respond.

What follows is a whole lot of “yikes” moments. June keeps frantically searching the van and can’t find the medicine. Yikes. Al, pale and laying on the pavement, is attacked by a walker and can barely fend it off. Yikes.

Eventually, Al reaches the radio. Frazzled, June asks her where the medicine is.

“There isn’t any,” Al says, smiling. “I just wanted you to get the van back.”

Happy Reunions

The next scene shows an angry June standing over Al, as she takes some Augmentin June found on the bus. Understandably, June’s not too happy that Al lied. She asks — again — why the van is so important to Al. At first she tells June that the van will keep them alive, but gradually the whole truth comes out. The tapes in the van have footage and stories from the people Al knew and loved, and she won’t leave them behind.

Morgan climbs a water tower to get a better signal. He says he’ll have to move on soon. June and Al can hear him clearly, and, realizing it’s him, try to reach out to him. The battery dies at the worst time possible, rendering them unable to talk to their friend.

June figures out that Morgan’s fifty miles away, and says they can make it. Her plan factors out the most important thing to Al, her van, so it’s a no-go for the journalist. None of June’s attempts to get her to come along work… until June starts driving away. Al gets June’s attention, and eventually climbs into the passenger seat. “Let’s go,” she says.

Fifty miles away, Morgan’s losing hope. He gets back into the truck with Sarah, Wendell and Jim, and Jim hands him a beer. Just as they’re about to depart, June and Al show up. They have a happy reunion, complete with Al being happy to see “more new people,” and Sarah gets them a box with water and food.

People You Know

June makes the connection between the box she and Al saw earlier and the one feeding them now, and asks if she can borrow Morgan’s walkie. She radios the open airspace where the man who stole Al’s truck might be listening, and apologizes for making him leave the truck. He hears her and talks back, and she offers him to come along as they look for their friends. She tells him to meet them at mile marker 27. They introduce themselves to each other — his name is Quinn.

Morgan notices Al’s not doing so well, and asks if she’s all right. She tells him she got sick on the road, and notes he found a new ride to Alexandria. She’ll still take Morgan up on his offer to go to Alexandria, but wants to know about the owner of the truck that’s getting him there. Morgan doesn’t know much, but he says the owner kept journals in the glove compartment and had power and water.

Quinn gets to mile marker 27, and not seeing June, asks if she’s messing with him. June says she isn’t. Quinn gets closer to the marker and realizes someone has taped over it to make a “1” look like a “7,” but before he can head in the right direction, a walker attacks him.

As you might have guessed, the creepy lady from earlier in the episode is responsible for Quinn’s demise. She has her pet walker kill Quinn, then lets him go and keeps Quinn, waiting for him to turn as she sits in Althea’s tank. “You aren’t going to be weak anymore,” she says, and writes three words on his face: “People you know.” She smiles at him as he turns.

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Other Observations:

  • When are we going to find out what this creepy lady’s goal is? There are four episodes left this season, and I’m still not really sure what she’s doing. She’s succeeding at being unnerving, though.
  • We’ve learned a little more about Al’s backstory, but I find it odd that she won’t say where she got the SWAT van. At this point, her reluctance to discuss it makes me wonder if it was acquired through less-than-honorable means?
  • Al lying to June to get her van back wasn’t a great thing to do, but it felt realistic: June’s reaction to being lied to felt realistic, too. June and Al made for a great pair this episode, and I hope this isn’t the last we see of their dynamic.
  • Okay, it’s been long enough. Where are Strand and John Dorie? Why haven’t they checked in on the radio? Are they okay? They’d better be okay.
  • Kudos to Colman Domingo for directing this episode! I especially loved the shots of Morgan on the water tower and June on the road at night.

See you next week for “Blackjack,” which promises to answer some questions about where Strand and John Dorie have been, and give Luciana something to do.