‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Contemplates the Darkness Within (RECAP)
Damage From The Inside
Season 6 • Episode 7
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Fear The Walking Dead Season 6 episode 7, “Damage From The Inside.”]
Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) has committed the cardinal sin of being one of Virginia (Colby Minifie)’s rangers — he’s lost her sister.
In the aftermath of an attack on the convoy, Strand can’t find Dakota (Zoe Colletti) and figures she’s run away. Of, course losing Ginny’s sister is a big no-no — but, unable to conduct the search himself, he asks Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) to track her down and bring her back to Lawton. What follows is a creepy, horror-infused episode that delves into our characters’ dark sides and calls their true motives into question.
Less Than You Think
Following Strand’s request, Alicia and Charlie head out into the woods in search of Ginny’s sibling. On the way, they encounter a weird walker that appears to have been operated on; they think that’s odd, but don’t make too much of it. Eventually, they make their way to a run-down hunting lodge. Alicia tells Charlie to stay outside, and she heads in to determine whether Dakota’s taking shelter inside.
Instead, she finds plenty of taxidermied animals and a guy attempting to surgically attach antlers to a walker. As happens with any scene in which it’s essential a character stays quiet, she ends up making noise…and the dude sneaks up on her and jabs her with a needle. “Don’t worry,” he says as she passes out, “it hurts less than you think.” How comforting!
Let’s Make a Deal
When Alicia wakes up, she’s strapped to the table the walker was once on. She breaks free and hides from the person on the other side of the door, only to find Dakota entering the room. Turns out, she made her way there after the convoy was attacked, and the creepy dude thought Alicia was the one who tried to hurt her in the first place. When Dakota clarifies she’s not, they’re all cool, and the guy introduces himself: His name is Ed.
If you’re thinking that surely a man who operates on walkers ain’t right in the head…well, you’d be right. Alicia tells Dakota they have to leave. Oh, and Ed doesn’t know Charlie’s there, too; as she explains to Alicia, she followed her after she didn’t come out. Apparently, though, he boarded up the doors and the windows, so there’s no way out of the place. Yikes.
Before she knew she was trapped, Alicia had radioed Virginia to make a deal: If she gives her Dakota, Ginny will have to let her and Charlie go, no questions asked and no rangers following. It’s a deal her mom might’ve once made — taking care of “her own” and caring little for collateral damage.
Keeping You Safe
That night, Charlie and Alicia awaken to the sound of blaring music. Ed’s calling his “creations” back in; he knows Alicia tried to convince Dakota to leave, and he’s not too fond of the idea. He wants to “keep them safe” to make up for failing to save his daughter and wife, who were killed by Ginny’s rangers while he was away. At gunpoint, he forces them to go into a room and closes them in, but Charlie comes to the rescue; she gets them weapons and says she tranquilized Ed with the same stuff he used on Alicia. She didn’t: Ed shows up while they’re waiting for the “creations” to dissipate, saying that she didn’t hit a vein. Way to go, Charlie!
Naturally, a fight erupts, and Alicia (accidentally) runs Ed through with an antler. He’s bleeding out and the doors are weakening, and the “creations” will soon be upon them. Ed volunteers to stay behind and sacrifice himself so the others can live, but before he does, he admits to Alicia that his wife and daughter weren’t killed by Ginny: they were killed by one of his modified walkers that got loose in the lodge. Anyway, he welcomes death with open arms and is subsequently devoured.
Morgan’s Triumphant Return
Things look grim, but guess who shows up to save the day? Morgan (Lennie James), in his second or third triumphant return! Alicia had been under the impression he was dead, so she’s overjoyed to see him…but they have a bit of a scuffle when it comes to what to do with Dakota. Alicia’s come around on the kid and insists they need to take her to safety, but Morgan wants to trade her for Grace (Karen David) so they can all live happily at the place off of Ginny’s map. Eventually Morgan relents, and they go outside — to find Strand.
It’s two against one, so Strand doesn’t have much of a chance of getting Dakota, anyway. He tries to convince Alicia to go back to Lawton, saying that if she’s not there, he “can’t protect her.” Needless to say, she doesn’t need his protection, and she heads off with Morgan and the rest of the group while Strand goes back to Ginny without Dakota.
All things considered, Ginny takes her sister’s absence better than one might’ve anticipated. Once Strand confirms he’s still on her side, she reminds him she once said the day would come when he was called up to the big leagues. That day has come. She leads him through a trapdoor and into a dark room, where they find — gasp! — Grace, very much alive and very much pregnant. After seeing her, Strand asks Ginny who she wants him to bring in next.
“All of them,” Ginny says. “I want every single person we took from that damn gulch.”
- This might not have been written as the midseason finale, but it serves its purpose well with that cliffhanger ending; the only thing missing here is the classic Walking Dead midseason death. I have to wonder whether we’ll get that in the premiere, whenever it airs, or if Fear is continuing to buck the trend of killing off main characters.
- Speaking of killing off main characters, I grow increasingly worried about Strand. For all his talk this episode of “doing damage from the inside,” he just keeps getting closer and closer to Virginia for no apparent reason at all. I’m tempted to say he’s just reverted back to his selfish habits, which is oddly refreshing given how that was one of his core characteristics in the early seasons, but it makes me worry about him getting a redemptive death.
- So, it seems it wasn’t Dakota who saved Morgan, either. Between that and Alicia telling Charlie she was going to take her back to the stadium, a place that hasn’t been mentioned since Season 4…man, I’m trying not to get my hopes too high for a Madison return because I’ll probably just end up disappointed, but this is the most possible it’s looked for seasons.
- Is it a little absurd that a guy could create that number of modified walkers? Yeah. Am I confused as to why he had the tranquilizer, since it’s not like it would work on the dead? Absolutely. Am I gonna let it go, because the walkers looked cool? I sure am.
- I loved the colors in this episode — I felt like the color palette seemed richer than in other installments, which added to the “distorted fairytale” air of the whole thing.
- Rating: 4/5. While it was a little slow at times, “Damage From the Inside” did a great job of showing the “dark sides” of Alicia, Morgan, and Strand. That, in combination with the neat-looking walkers, makes it the second-best episode this half-season (right behind the John Dorie-centric one).
Fear The Walking Dead, Returns 2021, AMC