Helping Out Is Hard to Do in the ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Premiere (RECAP)

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Spoiler Alert
Ryan Green/AMC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 5 Premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, “Here to Help.”]

Morgan and his friends ended last season with a mission of hope… and they’re starting this season of Fear The Walking Dead as a semi-colossal failure.

Despite their best efforts, being helpful has proven a nearly impossible task for the group in the season premiere, titled “Here to Help.” Everyone they’ve reached is either dead or doesn’t want their assistance. Their factory is filled with empty beds. They start out the episode by ruining a valuable asset. Somehow, things manage to get worse from there.

Time will tell whether the group manages to be as helpful as they hoped, but if the premiere is any indication of things to come, they’ll soon have bigger problems to worry about.

An Explosive Entrance

The episode opens with two young brothers hunting a deer. They nab it, but before they can collect it a plane crashes into the open area next to them. When they go to investigate, they end up surrounded by walkers… until Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) emerges from the smoke to save them. As it turns out, the plane belonged to Morgan (Lennie James) and his group, but they crashed when they lost an engine.

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Morgan’s group fights its way out of the walker-infested crash site. Three things of note occur during this battle — Luciana (Danay Garcia) is injured when her shoulder is impaled on a metal rod; Althea (Maggie Grace) finds a walker in full body armor, which she captures on camera; Al radios Strand (Colman Domingo), who is traveling with Charlie (Alexa Nisenson), Wendell (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) and Sarah (Mo Collins), and tells him to watch a tape called “Skidmark.” During a brief lull in the fighting, the brothers’ sister shows up in a van, and she tells Team Morgan to get inside.

Worse than it Seems

The group gets the kids to take them to a man named Logan, who told Morgan his group was surrounded by walkers at a truck stop. (Why is this show suddenly obsessed with truck stops?) The youngsters aren’t exactly a receptive audience for Morgan’s message. “People don’t just go around helping people they don’t know,” the older brother insists. They warn the group that the place they’re living is worse than it seems, and it appears they’re right; They drive up to a gate with chained-up walkers, guts, and walker heads in the trees. Apparently, they’ve been showing up all over the area. (I know Troy’s not coming back, but I’ll admit to wishing this was Troy’s handiwork. It’d be in-character for him).

Despite the kids’ reservations, the whole team makes it to the truck stop where Logan was located… and they find it totally walker-free. Panicked, Morgan is determined to find Logan’s people and he says they have to be there somewhere. The kids leave without accepting Morgan’s offer to help, seemingly adding to his list of failures, but at least they get Luciana free and her wound treated.

Making it Mean Something

As it turns out, Logan’s people aren’t there — they’re not even close. After they’ve checked the whole place, Logan radios Morgan to let him know he’s “taken back what’s his.” That C&L truck Wendell and Sarah were driving? Polar Bear was the “C” but Logan’s the “L.” He didn’t appreciate having his factory taken over, so he and his people took it back while Team Morgan was gone. So much for being helpful!

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No one takes this news well, but it pushes Althea to go investigate the weird walker at the plane crash site right away instead of waiting until morning. Alicia, on the other hand, handles the stress of their day particularly badly. Morgan finds her on a rage-fueled walker-killing spree and attempts to talk her down. “We were trying,” he says, “and you can’t make up for the past if you don’t try.” He says that for them, because of their dark pasts, helping people should be hard and they need to keep trying until people accept their help.

Rick? Is That You?

Strand, Wendell, Sarah and Charlie are stuck outside the factory gates, but Charlie says she knows a way in. Later, Strand watches that tape and sees a face that undoubtedly haunts him. “Let’s start with something easy,” Al says. “Your name.” “Daniel Salazar,” the man responds, and it is, indeed, the gone-for-a-whole-season-but-not-forgotten Daniel. As Negan would say… I hope Strand has his sh***in’ pants on!

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Al heads back to the crash and finds her walker. It was carrying a series of papers featuring a logo with three interlocked rings — the very same logo painted on the helicopter that took a mortally injured Rick Grimes away from his friends and family. She radios Morgan to tell him she’s found another story, but as she does so, she’s attacked from behind and taken prisoner.

Other Observations

  • DANIEL! Man, it’s good to see him again, even if the show seems to have forgotten he was shot in the face (there should at least be a scar? Right?) Here’s hoping he and Strand actually have some kind of bad blood and don’t immediately smooth things over for the sake of being helpful.
  • The Walking Dead has taught me never to trust children, so I’m immediately suspicious of these kids.
  • Not a whole lot happened this episode, but I’m hopeful it’ll be a good setup for the rest of the season. The link these people have to Rick should be an interesting story and Daniel’s presence is promising.

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