Fear the Walking Dead midseason finale: A rocky flight
At least there’s one thing many of us can agree on that Fear the Walking Dead gets right this season: red-eye flights are the worst.
With the power plant melting down and everyone racing to rendezvous with the core group working to get the plane ready for an emergency takeoff, the gang needs to make a late-night flight out of the mountains and back to the warehouse. But the logistics of landing an aircraft in the pitch black with virtually no electricity is a problem Sarah and Wendell have to figure out. The final hour of season 5’s first half is not without complications.
First things first, it seems Alicia will be just fine… for now, at least.
After a flashback shows the group looking for people to help by sending out messages over the radio channels, we find Alicia in her present catastrophe getting a warm shower at the back of Grace’ truck. It would seem she’s been decontaminated and so has her blade. Morgan was off trying to wrangle the herd of walkers that keep following them, otherwise he’d probably be annoyed that his weapon is still not cleared for use.
Victor, Al, and the others are close to fixing the plane, but there are a lot of variables. Alicia, Morgan, and Grace need to make it back to the group, but that would entail losing the walkers on their trail. John and Dwight need to get back, too, but they can’t seem to find a car that they can hot wire. Then there’s the matter of illuminating a makeshift runway for them to land, so Sarah goes to plead with Logan who refuses to help. He came to the warehouse looking for something that isn’t there, so he’s now leaving.
Let’s start with the first of those things. Grace slowly brings her car to a stop on the side of the road and tells everyone to duck down. She hopes the walkers will continue on past them to follow the blaring alarm from the plant. But the alarm promptly stops, which isn’t good. An explosion rips through the air and a grey smokestack can be seen off in the distance. Not only are they out of time, but the walkers double back. Grace, in her haste to get out of there, crashes into a parked car and gets them stuck. So now they have to escape on foot… but not before Morgan grabs his contaminated staff.
As for the second of those items, John and Dwight were able to find a working car, but that crapped out about 15-20 miles away from the plane. Hearing them over the walkie, June wants to help, but John makes her promise to get on the plane with or without him. Luckily, John gets a boost of positivity when he sees a message painted on a nearby tree that reads, “If you’re reading this, it means you’re still here.” He then gets the idea that Sherry’s car must be close by, given their proximity to her clues.
Back at the plane, Morgan’s trio bursts through the tree line with the walkers in tow. Reunited with the group, all but a few are strapped into the plane ready to take off, while Morgan leads a small squad in gathering their ammo to fend off the dead. In the middle of this, Morgan takes off the protective wrapping on his staff with Grace’s blessing, which, frankly, puts the entire threat of this radioactive material into question. Yes, as Grace reasons, they’re all about to be covered in radioactive dust from the cloud rolling towards them, but why the heck would Morgan even grab it to begin with, knowing he could put everyone in jeopardy by swinging it around them? Does Morgan really need to be reunited with his weapon that much? It doesn’t matter, though, because none of them get contaminated. The rules of this world don’t apply anymore, apparently.
Before they attack the walkers, June stops them, saying she made a promise to John to get on the plane, which… eye roll. So, instead, they all run to get on the craft and, shortly after, John and Dwight roll up in Sherry’s car. They all pile in with a few straggler walkers dangling off the back, but they’re able to lose the dead weight (yes, they refer to the walkers as dead weight) and fly off over the mountains just as the cloud rolls through. In the midst of their good fortune, John proposes to June in the air, using a candy wrapper in the form of a ring to seal the deal. Dwight definitely doesn’t watch on with a forced “I’m so happy for you all” stare. He actually seems genuinely happy for them, which is more than most could say in his same predicament.
Now, for that third problem. Daniel turns out to be Sarah and Wendell’s savior. He heard their message on the radio and came to supply them with Christmas lights. The plane is running out of fuel, but the rainbow colors are a nice sight as the group glides back home. However, Wendell, who’s been pouring fuel into a generator to keep the lights on, is accosted by walkers. He uses the trap blades on the back of his wheelchair, but the first walker gets lodged there. Another one shambles towards them, but Wendell isn’t quick enough to shoot it down and the walker gets caught in the lights and unplugs them. Now, for Al and Victor, who are piloting the plane, it’s time to panic.
Wendell leaps out of the wheelchair to plug the cord back in, and it all seems like the end of the road for this character. He makes his goodbyes to Sarah over the walkie and the walker, now dislodged, closes in. But, in the nick of time, he turns the lights back on and Al and Victor, about to crash into the ground, pull up quickly and instead barrel straight through the walker to land safely.
As everyone reunites on the ground, Morgan hears a woman’s voice over the walkie. She heard their messages and saw their boxes before, but she didn’t think the offer was real, not until she saw them land the plane. She’s about to ask for help, but then Logan takes over the channel. He rides in to offer a proposition. Turns out that thing he was looking for was Clayton’s journal. The people he’s been traveling with may be holding him hostage… kind of. In the journal is a clue to the location where Clayton hid a stash of gasoline, which has turned into a precious resource now that gasoline, in general, is going bad. Logan alludes to a speech Sarah gave him earlier and says he’s trying to make up for certain things. He promises to take them to the stash if they give him the journal.
So, there lies the group’s new predicament: Are they to follow their own advice and believe that there’s still good in Logan? Should they tell him to screw off, even though he says the convoy he’s with would kill him if they knew he was speaking to them? To tell you the truth, I’m not so much invested in any of that. After a slow start to a season that quickly fell back into old traps, this all feels too little, too late. And yet, we know there’s still so much more of Fear to be had, even after season 5B.