Fear the Walking Dead – Skidmark review S5 E4

Skidmark was a weird episode in that it kept Fear the Walking Dead’s odd structure rolling for nothing resembling a good reason. There were some good moments scattered throughout — who’s in da choppa?? — but I’m having a hard time getting invested in anything not involving my boy John Dorie and June.

Maybe that’s because so much of the first half of this season has revolved around getting a plane no one knows how to fly…or at least land. And all of no one seems to care about losing the denim factory rendering the whole hostile takeover silly.

Salazar had a nice little thing going at his own warehouse. He’d take Skidmark out as a decoy and snuff out booby trapped supply caches. Apparently walkers are fascinated with cats. I still think it’s weird how few pets we see running around. Between Daryl’s Dog and Salazar’s Skidmark somebody needs to get on pet names ASAP.

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As usual whenever someone has something nice working out for them, the main crew has to mess it up. In Salazar’s case that’s Charlie sneaking in to his base and inadvertently hitching a ride with Salazar on a run while Strand, Sarah and Wendell try and steal his plane. This won’t be a chapter in Strand’s book on How to Win Back Trust With Folks You’ve Tried to Kill. Salazar is smarter than Strand’s crew and brought the instrument panel with him and while he’s at it, Salazar tells Strand he’s going to save Charlie from him. By keeping her away from him. Lie detector is strangely silent.

By the law of averages on this show, the latest supply run unleashes a herd so Salazar tries to distract them while Charlie goes back to the base. Why not just take the truck and skip playing the hero? Oh, Sarah just rammed the fence to snatch the plane, allowing the herd free access if they arrived. The logic from some of these characters is amazing.

Strand wants Salazar to give him a second chance, but he’s not biting until Strand tells the others what happened with Ophelia. They don’t seem worried and hatch a rescue plan to save Salazar. Sarah and Wendell’s contribution is to basically roll up in the SWAT van and unleash the hammer. The Hammer didn’t get the message as the guns were jammed, prompting Strand to try another distraction technique.

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He fires up the plane and its propellers chop, wipe and dice the herd. While the herd got killed off, so too did the propellers rendering the plane useless. Hmmn. This was not helpful. A reluctantly grateful Salazar says he won’t shoot Strand in the face and allows them free use of the warehouse. He’s got another priority. Salazar seemed perfectly content at the warehouse until now. I suppose it’s because Reubén Blades doesn’t want to return full time? Charlie is smart and wants to go with him, but Salazar says her friends need her. Also true.

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Alicia and Morgan are off looking for info on Annie and Max’s death while June and John are off on another off-camera mission. Luciana stays with Dylan, who eventually cracks and tells everyone they faked their deaths to scout them out. Good timing as the previously very competent Annie and Max are almost walker food before Alicia and Morgan make the save.

They didn’t know what they were in for though as they’re surrounded by kid commandos like Annie and Max. They’re the children of the workers at the power plant. Besides rocking the Red Dawn homage look exceptionally well, there’s no heads up if the kids are also suffering from radiation poisoning.

Max gives them the heads up to drop right before a helicopter takes off. That’s interesting. Is there a connection to the helicopter we’ve seen on The Walking Dead?

Meanwhile, Dylan decides that much like the book, The Little Prince, Luciana and crew can fix the plane. Finding a capable pilot might be another matter entirely.

Even by Fear the Walking Dead time, by the fourth episode, Strand and the others could have taken a long road trip and got Morgan and company. Just saying. Skidmark doggedly keeps the show focused on this plane while forcing some questionable subplots and interactions with characters they should have avoided.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: AMC

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