‘Fear The Walking Dead’: 4B’s Villain Gets a Name and a Backstory (RECAP)

Spoiler Alert
Ryan Green/AMC

This week’s Fear The Walking Dead answered one of the season’s biggest burning questions (or at least, one of mine): What’s up with the Creepy Lady/Filthy Woman?

Devoting the first 10 minutes to her backstory and the rest of the episode to Morgan and his pals, “MM-53” trapped the protagonists inside a walker-filled hospital… and not everyone, it seems, will be surviving the ordeal. Meanwhile Alicia decides to help Charlie live her dream.

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Don’t Say The H-Word

The Creepy Lady’s name is Martha, and it seems her view of the world has been shaped by her past: she and her husband were in a car accident. Throughout the ordeal, Martha tries to keep up hope that “someone will come,” but her faith was misplaced. Because no one would stop to help them, he died and turned inside the car.

Martha buries her husband, and seems to have a Morgan-esque psychological break as she questions why she survived. Some time passes, and Martha interrupts a woman in a truck who leaves one of the “take what you need” boxes at a mile marker. Things take a turn for the worse when the woman tells Martha she helped her: as we know, she’s vehemently and violently opposed to offering assistance.

She kills the woman…and a bunch of other people who left boxes. When she corners one of the men, she asks him who the man is who runs the operation. He refuses to tell her, so she lets her Sharpie’d walker have him. As the walker devours the man, she goes over to his radio. She tries to talk to “Polar Bear,” but instead she hears Morgan’s broadcast from Mississippi.

Bye-Bye, Boxes

None of Morgan’s group died in Martha’s open fire, though they’ve sustained minor injuries. That’s soon to be the least of their worries — Martha returns and Wendell opts to investigate, but stops when he finds his wheelchair has been demolished. Meanwhile, Morgan, Al, June and Luciana decide they can’t stay and open the back of the truck (not a good idea, Morgan). Al sprints toward her former ride and pulls open the back doors and — surprise! — a walker falls out, with Martha in tow.

Morgan’s gang grapples with her and her walkers until Wendell shoots Martha in the shoulder. Things seem to be going decently…and then the truck explodes. Jim and Sarah noticed the flames and got out, but their boxes and weapons weren’t so fortunate. In the melee, a horde of walkers approaches and Martha drives away.

Alicia and Charlie return! They’re too late to meet the group and arrive to find a burned truck. As Alicia investigates, Charlie questions why the woman on the radio would do this. (Sweet summer child, has she really never experienced how evil people can be in the zombie apocalypse?) Alicia takes a moment to compose herself, then decides they should head east.

“Bad S**t Happens When You Try to Help People.”

Morgan’s gotten away, but he’s facing a new problem. A herd is building, and drawing more walkers as it moves. Team Mo-Mo isn’t exactly speeding along; they’re pulling Wendell, and Al’s having trouble with her hearing.

June wants to find a place to take a look at everyone, which proves to be a great time for Morgan to see a hospital sign. Jim protests the trip, but the group makes its decision, and, eventually, he follows them. For better or worse, they’re heading into the city.

“Worse” seems most likely. The hospital isn’t stable — walkers snarl outside its weakening windows — but for the moment, they’re doing their job. So is June, who has managed to fix everyone up. Morgan tells her they won’t be able to stay at the hospital for long.

The rest of the group manages to find a radio, and against Al’s advice, Sarah switches it on. She doesn’t care that Martha might be listening, and neither does her brother. He says, surprisingly, that he “gets where [Martha’s] coming from,” and at Al’s prompting, explains his story: he ended up in a wheelchair because he helped a kid who ran into the path of an oncoming car, but changed his mind about helping people because the recruiting officer laughed at him when he tried to become a Marine. Suddenly, his belief that “bad shit happens when you try to help people” makes sense.

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Let’s Go to the Beach

Alicia and Charlie’s car runs out of gas, so they start walking to find another one. They’ve made it to mile marker 103, and Charlie questions how the group would’ve made it that far. Surprising her, Alicia says she isn’t looking for the group. She’s decided to take Charlie to the beach in Galveston, like her parents were going to before the apocalypse started.

“You’ve never been to the beach, I’m gonna take you to the beach,” Alicia says. “That’s one thing I know I can do.”

Back at the hospital, things aren’t going well. Jim goes to Morgan to either thank him or apologize, but walkers crash through and begin flooding the room. Morgan and his companion make it back to the rest of the group and say they have to leave, but not before Jim does a complete 180 and berates Morgan — again.

Morgan suggests that they go up the stairs to a different floor in order to get out, which seems like a good plan, but the first few levels have walkers. They eventually find one that doesn’t, and barricade the door. It’s a temporary fix, and the group knows it. Though the stairwells are blocked, Morgan says they can take the elevator, and June remembers hospitals keep their generators up high.

The group works in teams to get everything going — Morgan and Jim are in charge of making sure everyone gets to the elevator, Sarah and Al go for the generator, and Luciana, Wendell and June hold the door. Morgan and Jim have a close call with some walkers, and Jim struggles, but seems fine afterward. Sarah and Al aren’t so fortunate. They get to the generators, but a mini-horde stops their progress. Al tells Sarah to go, and barricades herself in the room to get the power running.

Uh-Oh, Jimbo

The group meets back up by the elevators, with walkers slowly cornering them. They’re moments away from being devoured when a “ding!” sounds, and they pile into the open elevator, away from the undead.

The roof is clear, but there’s no way down. The fire escape is out, the street is filled with walkers, and Al’s stopped responding on the radio. Luciana reassures a concerned Sarah that she’ll be okay; Jim, not so much. After June notices a wound on his back, he explains that he fell through glass fighting a walker, and assumes the blood is from that scuffle. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

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Jim’s shocked and in denial about the bite he sustained while fighting, saying he has “beer to make.” He eventually accepts his fate and asks how long it’ll take for him to turn. June doesn’t know. He storms off, and June goes to talk to Morgan. Unsurprisingly, he’s blaming himself for Jim’s death, though June tells him he saved him for as long he could. She asks Morgan what they’re going to do next, and Morgan says he can’t get them out of there. “You will,” June says.

Something Good

Charlie and Alicia can’t seem to find a working car. They argue for a bit about whether or not going to find their people was the right thing to do, and Alicia maintains that she needs something good, and getting Charlie to the beach would be a good thing. She ends up getting that wish, but not in the way they were expecting — the pair follow the sound of running water, and appear to end up across from John and Strand. Both girls smile as the episode ends, seeming genuinely happy for the first time in a long time.

Other Observations

  • I’m so happy the Creepy Lady/Filthy Woman has a name. And a backstory. I thought her husband was going to tell her with his dying breaths not to be “weak,” but I guess she arrived at that conclusion herself.
  • As much as I hate to say it… I expected Jim’s bite. He struggled for a long time with that walker, and more importantly, he was being rude to Morgan. Much like being rude to Rick Grimes is a death sentence, being rude to Morgan is bad karma in the zombie apocalypse. It’ll come back to bite you.
  • It was interesting to see Al and Sarah bond as they talked about the Marines. They have an interesting dynamic, and Al seemed pretty close to opening up to her about her past. Here’s hoping she makes it out of the generator room!
  • Am I the only one who laughed when Morgan said, “Clear!” Whether or not it was an intentional main show callback, it definitely sounded like one.

See you next week for “I Lose People…” which promises reunions for Strand and Alicia and John and Charlie, and “the group” trying to get down from the hospital roof.

Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC