Fear the Walking Dead: Blackjack review S4 E13

Blackjack set things in motion for Fear the Walking Dead’s season finale. It’s clearly not going to be some big action-packed conclusion like the first half of the season, but that’s fine in this case.

The back half of the season has been all about establishing the bonds with the revamped cast. They don’t need an army to battle as the more challenging task of creating hope in a new community is much more daunting. But a crazy lady threatening them doesn’t hurt either.

June is waiting to reunite with Quinn, but he’s turned thanks to the ambush from Morgan’s stalker. At least she has the decency to put Walker Quinn on the CB. This lady is like the creepy cat lady who collects walkers instead of cats. She wants Morgan to stop trying to help others as the boxes on the road are helping to make people weak. Her motives are a bit questionable though. Why does she have this interest in making people strong and why does she care about Morgan’s relief effort?

I’m really enjoying Jim, Wendell and Sarah. They’re not the typical irredeemable characters and are a refreshingly realistic trio. They really could go either way and it’s fun watching them interact with the more altruistic regular crew led by Morgan.

fear the walking dead blackjack review - morgan, june and al

Meanwhile, John and Strand are stranded at a ranger’s station as their jeep got washed out in the hurricane. John and Strand are an inspired pairing as Strand is bitterly cynical…with good reason and John refuses to give in to despair. Blackjack was largely a battle of philosophies – as John relentlessly tried to figure a way across the river patrolled by a hungry crocodile while Strand crapped on his plans and was content wallowing in self pity.

John is practically hope incarnate and he goes against everything that’s been drilled into Walking Dead fans. He won’t allow his optimism and hope to fade. While we should view him as hopelessly naïve John is making a believer out of us even when his raft sinks and his makeshift boat gets sunk by the killer croc. But this episode seems to put John at his breaking point as he ends it eating the candy he planned to return to June.

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On her travels, Luciana finds a kindly old guy named Clayton (Stephen McKinley, Lady Bird) who’s trapped in a car following the storm. They both soon come to the realization he’s dying, but before then, he sure would like a beer. Filled with a purpose and not wanting to see someone die as miserably in front of her as Nick, Luciana has a new mission – become the beer lady. Her search proves fruitless and just as she’s about to give up all hope she finds a box in the road at an intersection junction – complete with the new message Morgan added earlier.

Clayton is thrilled and astonished to have a cold beer and shares with Luciana before the world ended he wanted to be alone and found a job he could be in isolation. When the walkers arrived, he realized how much he’d missed out on and wanted to help others…by dropping off supplies randomly along the road.

fear the walking dead blackjack review -luciana-and-polar-bear

Yep, Clayton is the one and only Polar Bear aka the driver whose truck Sarah and Wendell stole. It’s kinda screwed up that losing the truck likely cost him his life, but it sure did help out other characters we already knew so yay? Luciana reunites with Morgan and company and she lets them know about their benefactor. That’s one less person Morgan has to track down now.

And thanks to the box drop offs he can knock out another one as Alicia, but the Crazy Lady is done with the warnings and attacks the truck in Al’s SWAT van. She might be crazy, but the Crazy Lady made sure to stock up on diesel fuel.

Blackjack nearly has the gang back together as they prepare to deal with this wacky lady. She’s hardly the menace as some other villains, but she’s providing some challenge for the team as we close out the season.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: AMC

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