Competent characters makes a ton of difference on Fear the Walking Dead. I haven’t been this hooked and invested in a Walking Dead season since the prison days. Just in Case was another riveting episode with a pair of big twists and a huge revelation.
John finds a Vulture on a supply run. He’s bringing a bit of a Western flair to Fear the Walking Dead like the last gunman standing. He doesn’t kill the Vulture, but shoots his finger off. John and Morgan warn the Vulture that Strand, Alicia and Luciana are coming for them in the hopes of preventing an all-out war.
From there we go to an extended flashback as the surviving trio reminisce on their road trip with Althea.
Naomi helped stitch Alicia up and shares a moment with Madison. Cole tells Strand he didn’t tell Madison the truth about the supply car because he wasn’t sure what Strand would do to him. Smart man, Cole. Strand is still wrecked with guilt and puzzled as to why Madison is still so down for him. He does make a good drinking partner.
It’s a shame that it seems like Madison is dead now as Kim Dickens has grown into this lead role. And Madison is making 50 less community crippling decisions these days.
Naomi shares with Madison and Strand about a place with potentially a ton of supplies. Strand hypocritically calls her out for not sharing this vital info sooner. Hello pot, meet the kettle.
The stock place is an old abandoned FEMA site. Naomi gave the keys, but hot wired it so she could leave them early. It’s obvious that Naomi is carrying some serious remorse here, particularly as she goes inside and sees the carnage in the children’s wing. She finds a storage crate with a set of keys with JIC on it. Naomi isn’t nearly as interested in the guns that are also in the case, but there was some interesting notes. Among them were how to treat wounds and herbs, raising some doubts as to whether Naomi actually was a nurse like she claimed. Naomi can’t bring herself to kill these walkers who she clearly knew before things went terrible.
Strand and Madison consider Naomi’s actions and Strand finally comes clean about his contingency car. Madison still won’t turn on him like Strand almost wants to validate that he’s a crummy person. If Madison finds him hopeless, then Strand would consider himself completely irredeemable.
Naomi did leave them a way to the FEMA site and they find her surrounded by walkers. Naomi hands over the keys to the truck before Strand creates a makeshift rope bridge for her to go over the walkers. That was a nicely suspenseful moment. Safely away from the walkers, Naomi shares she had to be the one to fix that to make up for her previous crime. She’d brought her daughter, Rose, here and they were safe for a time. A woman named Eleanor had the community secure and taught JIC classes for just in case predicaments.
But then Rose developed pneumonia. Fearful Rose would get kicked out of the community, Naomi hid her while she got antibiotics. After three sleepless days, she found them, but it was too late. Rose was dead and infected everyone. The FEMA tragedy was Naomi’s fault. I was curious how Jenna Elfman would fit in to this universe, but she has been one of the most reliable performers this season and such a great addition to the cast.
With the Just in Case truck stocked with supplies, there really is reason to be optimistic. Strand apologizes to Naomi and says they can be something different after all.
Back at the stadium, Alicia tells Mel to listen as the truck comes in. She taunts him about their food supplies likely running low. Mel considers and packs his crew up. It’ll take longer than we can wait. It’s time for the stadium crew to rebuild.
While everyone is in a joyful mood, Madison asks Alicia to stash some supplies in a just in case truck. Madison is learning and I’m glad she recognized the wisdom in saving supplies for a terrible rainy or violent day.
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Fast forward to the present day as Alicia, Strand and Luciana prepare their ambush. It’s not a good one as they’re in the middle of the road. They spot a car, but it’s just John and Morgan. They’d hoped they’d warned the Vultures off, but they’re here and they’ve flown in some guns. Morgan tries to diffuse the tense situation, but Alicia wants blood. Mel responds to a commanding voice on the walky talky and a Land Rover pulls up. It’s Naomi/Laura and she’s with the Vultures?!?!
John is puzzled, but more thrilled to see his presumed dead love. Alicia is less excited and goes to shoot her, but John steps in the way and takes the bullet! I’m really going to need John to survive. He’s too good a guy to get killed off so poorly. And the season is running the risk of killing off too many important characters in such a short span of time if he’s written off too.
Just in Case delivered another round of big surprises, strong action and even better performances. This season is on a roll, now the hope is it doesn’t go careening off the edge.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: AMC