Alicia's Determination Lands Her in Serious Trouble on 'Fear the Walking Dead' (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 7, "Still Standing."]
Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) might soon regret her plan to help those kids.
In "Still Standing," her goal is to get Annie and her band of survivors to leave their soon-to-be-irradiated camp, but as they've said, they have no intention of doing so... and things go sideways there, fast. Meanwhile, Strand (Colman Domingo) and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) are trapped in a horde of radiation-soaked walkers, and Morgan (Lennie James)'s looking for a new set of wheels. And they have 12 hours to get out of there before the other nuclear reactor melts down. No pressure!
Impossible S**t Happens
John (Garret Dillahunt) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) are still looking for Sherry, though the former knows that’s a lost cause. June radios them to let them know about the meltdown, and tell them they have a pretty tight timeframe for making it back. As such, things start going bad—they can’t find a car that starts, and John’s typically sunny outlook clouds over. When Dwight refuses to go back, John pulls out Sherry’s note, apologizes for keeping it from him, and lets him read it. Upset, Dwight gets out of the car and slams the door.
One year after the Clark matriarch threw that fateful flare, many are still calling for her to return.
When John goes to talk to him, Dwight says he’s not angry with him for keeping the note—he understands why he did it. But he won’t give up hope that his wife is still alive out there, somewhere, and John supports him in that. “Impossible shit happens,” Dwight says.
Making Up For It
Alicia’s storyline this episode revolves around the kids she’s sworn to save. She’s held captive by them and tries to talk them into leaving, even letting Annie know she’s “done things” she needs to make up for, all to no avail. She also gets a pretty good glimpse inside these kids’ heads when she’s held captive and finds Dylan’s old drawings… of walkers. Yikes. Turns out those were nightmares about playing red rover with his siblings, and he thinks it’s over it now. But Alicia reminds him, “You’re living in your nightmare,” encouraging him to leave.
The show has made a definitive statement about Alicia's strength and her ability to be a leader.
She gets the mass exodus she hoped for, but not in the way she wanted it. When Annie and Max’s plan to restore their walker barrier goes very, very wrong (tons of the undead get loose and follow them back to camp), it’s clear these kids need Alicia’s help to survive. While they construct a way to get down from their cliff-dwelling camp and leave for the truck stop, she takes on the walkers one-by-one.
“I don’t know what you did,” Annie tells her before she leaves, “but I know you made up for it.” That goes well until her weapon is lodged in one’s head, and when she yanks it out, its blood sprays all over her and into her mouth. That nastiness wouldn’t be a huge problem, but… that walker was wearing one of the radiation counters. Uh-oh.
Flying is Believing
Strand and Charlie are in danger, but really, they’re not in a whole lot of it. They rig up the remnants of the hot air balloon to keep the walkers out and drag the propeller inside. As they muse on the likelihood of their survival, Strand expresses regret for not getting on the plane in the first place, before they crashed. He says he had time and he could’ve done it, but he chose not to. Why? “I don’t think I really believed in it,” he says. “We were on the precipice of something extraordinary, and I balked.” Now, having ridden in a hot air balloon at the end of the world, his belief is stronger, and he tells Charlie she should believe, too.
The Same Problem
As it turns out, he’s right. Morgan rescues them using a car he finds at Grace’s house. Strand and Charlie drive to the truck stop, Morgan goes back to help Grace. Wearing a radiation suit he found, he gets her to leave the factory and, later, they reflect on their similarities. “So you have the same problem that I do,” she says. “You think everyone else’s life is more valuable than yours.”
Alicia’s thinks she lost her herd of walkers, and she stops to wash herself off. Morgan radios her and tells her she was right—they’re still standing not because they’re trying to help people, but because they stopped living their own lives. “We’re also going to help ourselves,” Morgan says. “We’re going to find a way to start living, Alicia.” He asks her to tell him where she is, and the nuclear plant alarms start to go off.
Where will the rest of the season go for the conflicted journalist? Grace weighs in.
- For a minute, I really thought Al was going to tell June everything about CRM. Instead, they just had a little heart-to-heart about love. Though I can't help wondering, wasn't there more stuff with the fuel, and why would Isabelle leave fuel behind? I assume CRM needs it...
- Something, somehow, has to save Alicia. There's no way this show will lose her—doing so would backfire worse than getting rid of Madison. The question is, how will that be accomplished?
- Maybe it was just the music and the setting, but did anyone else see a spark between Morgan and Grace? And if the show goes that route, I'm betting there'll be some miracle cure that saves both her and Alicia. Or Morgan's really just that unlucky in love, since the only other person he was romantically involved with was before the apocalypse, and turned into a walker. Bummer.
Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC