Fear the Walking Dead midseason premiere recap: Are we crossing over again?
I realize the clickbait-y nature of that headline, but now you’r here so let’s discuss. Maybe it’s a red herring, maybe it’s not. In any case, Morgan telling the others he’s ready to peace out and go back to Alexandria — and that everyone is welcome to join him — seems to be signaling some kind of reverse crossover… maybe.
Morgan went on his spiritual walkabout across America, bridging The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, because he lost himself in a lot of ways. But he’s all good now and, as he tells Al, he wants to at least find Rick again to tell his old friend in person that he was right. It’s no secret that Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead with the upcoming ninth season, so one might assume the producers want to help send off the franchise mainstay with great fanfare. Heading off the same way he came onto the show, with Morgan, seems like a fair bet for Rick.
Assuming for a second that theory is true, which other characters from Fear the Walking Dead might go with him?
A brief glimpse of a storm so powerful that it’s whipping walkers off the streets around Al’s SWAT car reorients us to this zomb-fested world after the summer break. It’s a zombienado… walkornado… a zomburicane… Whatever. Maybe by next week I’ll have better material. This storm seems also to mirror the metaphorical storm brewing inside all our characters, which, if I had a nickel for every time that happened in a movie or show…
Pretty much everyone is now struggling to find themselves again after the deaths of Nick and Madison. Morgan is making the rounds to tell them he’s moving on, first with Al, who agrees to drive Morgan back to Alexandria… and we all know how much she loves a good story. So she’s rising high on that list of potential character crossovers. John and June, meanwhile, are living out of an abandoned school bus on a bridge. They’ve also been looking after Charlie, who’s fallen mute. Later on, we see she remains silent even when a walker hobbles out of the water to attack her. (Don’t worry, Al saves her.) John politely declines Morgan’s offer in that gentlemanly hunk o’ cowboy meat sort of way because he has plans to take his new family back to the cabin and restart their lives, something that June isn’t entirely comfortable with. The next stop is Victor and Luciana, who’ve been numbing their pain in a vacant rich person’s estate. Victor is using the wine cellar to make sure he doesn’t have to spend one more second of his life sober ever again, while Luciana is chilling on a beanbag chair, drowning out the world by blasting vinyl records. There’s nothing out in the world for her, she says. There’s nothing for her anywhere. Their only problem, you know, aside from all those internal issues they refuse to address, is a break in the fence surrounding the house.
Alicia hasn’t been seen in weeks, but Morgan finds her killing some walkers in the back of the estate. She’s been finding some that have notes bolted to their bodies that read “Help,” and she’s determined to find this person because that’s what her mother would’ve done.
By this point, these folks begin to split off, which will ultimately lead them to be separated during the impending storm. John spots walkers flowing down river, but can’t investigate with his injury. So June goes off with Al. John makes his own Scrabble board to see if that’ll get Charlie to open up, but she uses a distraction to pack up her things and runaway. So now John teams up with Victor to go look for her. Morgan is off with Alicia, who figured out the notes were coming from an old lumber mill up the road, but they find that the guy who sent them had been dead for days, causing Alicia to spiral. Finally, Charlie ends up sneaking into the estate and Luciana, seeing the kid who shot and killed Nick, runs after her. The storm traps them all at various spots, each dealing with their own issues of identity.
June confesses to Al that she’s worried what going back to the cabin with John will look like, and worries he loves “Laura” and not June. Victor says he’s “retired from scraping by just to survive,” but he hasn’t been sober this entire time. (Catching him drunkenly winking at John keeps him entertaining.) Both also have an exchange referring to who they were before all this (a “cop” and a “millionaire”).
Luciana is literally shutting out the world, but the world keeps creeping in. In one ridiculous moment that borders on comedy, a walker slips into the house unbeknownst to her with the music blaring. So we sit and watch an oblivious Luciana as Victor is killing this walker in the background with a wine glass. She has a jarring turn of heart though as she and Victor are mending the opening in the fence. Now, she wonders if she was actually good at surviving this world and doesn’t need the relative safety of the house. Maybe she’s not this person who leads a suburban life of ease. With Alicia, she’s now stuck comparing herself to Madison at the sight of the dead man. She wants to be left alone, but Morgan doesn’t want to leave her as the rain pours down.
With so many of their old selves gone, can they ever find themselves again? It would all be more interesting if this didn’t feel like an endless loop these characters are trapped in: someone remains optimistic, either they die or live long enough to see others die, hope is lost, self is lost, commence with self-discovery, repeat.
So now we’re all hunkered down for next week’s storm of walkers and whatever character drama these pairings will yield. Al and June also found a box of supplies on the road with a message reading “take what you need, leave what you don’t” — hinting at new characters to come, some we’ve seen already in previous trailers. With so many of them on the verge of reclaiming their identities again, could some — or all — join Morgan on a return trip to Alexandria?