It took all of two minutes of the training day scene to make me forget about the debacle that was Fear the Walking Dead’s last season. With my TWD hero showrunner Angela Kang writing the season premiere, I had no doubts this wasn’t going to be a fiery start to the season. For Lines We Cross, Kang experimented with some different storytelling methods with chapters and establishing that fear is the new underlining mindset among the communities.
Having 10 of your pals heads chopped off will do that for you and no one wants to find their heads impaled on a stick as a makeshift border.
The communities get a visit from space courtesy of a Russian satellite. Was anyone else thinking of the Russian cosmonauts that arrived in Y The Last Man or was it just me? I was looking forward to the creepy Russian terminators capable of surviving in space for over a decade and had no idea the world had turned to walker food.
Down by the Oceanside, it’s Training Day and the communities have honed their defense strategies to a fine tuned fighting force complete with shield, spears and formations. Beyonce would be proud.
All it takes is one little Whisperer mask to make everyone a little nervous. Aaron’s transformation to Angry Aaron is a nice look. His shift to increasingly reckless warrior tired of living in fear is a natural progression of the character. He’d lost Eric and his pal, Jesus, was the first Whisperer victim. It’s not hard to see why he’d be so intent on evening the score.
And what was the deal with the bodies at the camp floor? Hold that thought. We’ve got a Russian satellite coming in hot.
At Alexandria, Eugene is going analytics crazy trying to be helpful to Rosita with her baby while she trains back into fighting shape. Siddiq is struggling with some major PTSD from being the sole survivor of the Whisperer’s kidnapping and beheading tour.
While everyone starts nervously moving around in a panic over the news of the Whisperers’ possible return, Negan has some helpful advice for Gabriel — use the truth to manipulate the citizens. No sense in getting them rattled for no reason. Kang has done a much better job of writing Negan in a way he doesn’t sound ridiculous and his dialogue hits the intended mark of being funny without the eye-rolling lines.
Naturally, Eugene is stoked to see the crashing satellite.
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Luke immediately fit in with the TWD quirky character dynamic and I like the idea of him having a relationship with newcomer Jules (Alex Sgambati) One of the best moves the series ever did was bringing in Lauren Ridloff as Connie, a deaf character who isn’t whiny and mopey or consider her lack of hearing a disability. There is some concern though as Kelly is starting to lose her hearing as well. This sibling bond reminds me of the better scenes with Tyrese and Sasha.
Daryl is learning sign language so he can better communicate with Connie. Maybe there’s some mutual interest there? Thankfully Kang isn’t immediately rushing toward making Daryl and Carol a thing. Their BFF status is so much more meaningful than a simple romantic relationship and their friendship is more like siblings at this point anyway. While he might still have some rebellious streak in him, Daryl respects the borders just in case the Whisperers are watching. Essentially that means Bambi feeds four greedy walkers instead of 200 people. Remind me never to let Carol slice up cake.
Lines We Cross
The satellite crashes past the border, but not acting could wipe out the forest and Oceanside. This isn’t a simple operation and it was nice to see Cyndie take more of the leadership role considering this was her community at risk. It’s gonna be an all night affair guys and those lumbering walkers coming in the distance aren’t going to make things any easier.
In restoring the walkers’ credibility as a threat, Kang just went with their obvious advantage against anyone — strength in numbers. Three or four are a joke for anyone now, but 60 or 70? Different story entirely. Battling a fire is one thing, but having to deal with the walkers too made for an intense action sequence.
Hardcore Carol used walker blood to extinguish some flames in the zombie kill of the week. And Daryl being good at axe tossing seems perfectly on brand.
With the blaze extinguished, it’s time to get back on their side of the invisible fence. Carol definitely wants to run away with Daryl and get away from this endless cycle of killing. Daryl wants her to stay with the crew.
Carol might have still went back to her life as Pirate Carol until she sees Alpha strolling out of the woods as if she’s visiting for the first time. This is definitely a violation of the agreement. How will The Whisperers respond?
Lines We Cross kicked off the season nicely in exploring the fragile psyches of the communities and with one spark, the delicate peace seems poised to unravel at any moment.
Rating 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: AMC