Fear the Walking Dead: Is Anybody Out There? review – S5 E8

Fear of the Walking Dead’s fifth season has been this weird struggle for redemption with the main players acting like they need to atone for their sins. This would be more impactful if those sins were more than of the just survive somehow variety. It’s not like they were burning people’s faces with irons, bullying communities for food or killing children. Is Anybody Out There? doubled down on this need to feel good by helping others.

There’s something that feels decidedly unheroic about helping others solely for the sake of erasing the “red in their ledger.” None of the characters are very convincing in why they’re acting so foolishly beyond a means to balance the scales.

The episode kicks off with a look at Morgan and company’s desperation to find people in need to feel better and how Logan conned them for being such huge idiots. Somehow Fear the Walking Dead has devolved to the show where I’m actively rooting against most of the characters for being so consistently stupid.

Turns out Logan didn’t actually want the mill, but something that was hidden in it. More on that later.

In a very annoying gimmick this week, we get a two-minute segment of action before returning to another string of commercials. I fail to see how this doesn’t do anything more than encourage people to watch the show on DVR.

Alicia frantically tries to wash off the possibly irradiated blood off. Seems like the best way to avoid exposure from toxic walkers is to fight them from a greater distance, but what do I know?

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This episode really gave the walkers some extra super powers. FTWD must have 28 Days Later style walkers who suddenly run during the commercial breaks to be just behind our heroes. Morgan, Grace and Alicia try to lead the walkers away from this makeshift runway only to end up crashing their car and having to outrun the walkers. Again, walkers aren’t running track so how would they keep up with people desperately trying to get away?

Also, Alicia killed like 50 by herself over the last two weeks, why is this now a panicky running situation? It’s not really that many walkers.

In a long montage we actually see failure to get cars working even at a car dealership. Dwight and John finally find one and I’m still more interested in a John, June and Dwight spin off. Their car breaks down as the gas has gone bad. How is this a thing in Year Five of Fear the Walking Dead yet never even been mentioned as a problem on The Walking Dead, which is set even farther in the future?

The writers attempt some suspense with the notion that John and Dwight won’t make it to the plane, but this first half of the season has revolved around the group reassembling a crashed plane with duct tape so it’s hard to buy into it too strongly. Sure enough, before everyone gets on the plane, Dwight and John roll up in Sherry’s car that still has perfectly functional gas for some reason.

fear the walking dead is anybody out there review - wendell and walker

To try and create some suspense when none was needed, John and Morgan try to fight off the walkers trapped in the rear net. This goes on long enough for me to question why shooting them is not an option until they finally just shoot them off. There you go. Morgan remains committed to helping other people, while John simply wants to commit to June and proposes. On earlier seasons, this would have led to a stray shot taking John out or him slipping on a banana peel and falling out of the plane. I’m glad the episode could have one nice moment.

Now it’s time for some unnecessary suspense again! Thanks to Salazar helping at just the exact moment he was needed, Sarah and Wendell have strung up Christmas lights for make a runway. And as luck would have it at just that moment, a pair of walkers stumble out and trip the cord to the generator. Oh come on! Wendell leaps off his wheelchair and crawls over in the nick of time to light the runway and avoid a more realistic fate for this crew.

Morgan gets a new call on the walky talky with someone asking for help, but Logan arrives with a proposition. They can’t help people without gas and there’s a journal with some info on how to work around that problem. As for why he’d want to help now? He’s done some bad stuff too. When did Fear the Walking Dead just become a big redemption tour?

Is Anybody Out There? continued the frustrating first half of the season as the characters seek atonement instead of earnestly trying to help people.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Photo Credit: AMC

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