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Fear the Walking Dead - I Lose People - Review: "There's Love In There Too, If You Can Believe It"

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Fear the Walking Dead promised horror and heart would play equal roles this season, and this episode brought both. To fully enjoy it just requires setting aside a couple pesky storytelling decisions.

Tonya Pinkins's demented madwoman casts a tall shadow over "I Lose People...", and the show is starting to reach a bit far in keeping her around to torture everyone. And would someone who jumped from the top of a very very tall building still be able to move as a walker? Maybe the science works, but this reviewer wasn't about to do the research. It also didn't quite add up that Al vanished so thoroughly. How long were they up on that building? Wouldn't she have waited around somewhere nearby to see if they made it out? Next week will give us some answers, but I scratched my head more often than usual last night.

The episode starts out with hope, as Alicia and Charlie make contact with Strand and John. They leave to go find a boat or something to help them get off the flooded island. A weakened John (still suffering some discomfort from his injury, and I am very worried about him) isn't ready to celebrate though. He tells Strand that whatever got him this far he "might have used it all up." Strand, however, is in high spirits. Referring to Charlie and Alicia, Strand says that just goes to show what's possible. We need way more Colman Domingo in season 5. Way more. The girls enter a town and begin searching, only to be startled by a sudden gunshot blast that made me jump out of my skin. Charlie dives under the car, as Alicia tries to get the woman, Mad Martha of course, to stop shooting them. Wendell's shot last week hit its mark though, and Martha drops over. The next thrilling scene is Alicia gunning the SWAT van across the flooded plain to rescue the guys. They don't leave Martha behind stranded on the island, which is not the brightest decision. It is a common issue with shows of this genre that the characters swing from reckless homicidal to foolishly nice too fast. Of course, Alicia and Company aren't aware this is a genuine serial killer.

On the hospital rooftop, a dying Jim is spending his last hours making everyone thoroughly miserable. Sarah tries to provide some consolation by asking for his beer recipe, so that some part of him can live on. Mo Collins has brought so much sass to this character, and it is on full display in this episode. But at moments she lets the softer parts of Sarah's personality out. There's genuine sympathy in her voice, and Sarah is serious not kidding around when she asks. Jim rejects that offer quickly. After giving a long poetic speech on the beauties of his beer. ("It even brought comfort to a dying man.") He refuses to join everyone else in trying to get out of the building. Morgan is dangerously close to spiraling. His eyes are that of a sorrowful child's when he tells June "I got us stuck." (Lennie James doesn't just kill it in this episode. He puts it on a plaque and hangs it on the wall!) June won't let him go though, prodding him into coming up with a solution. They decide to head back down the elevator to the generator floor to get Al.

John calls up on the walkie, and not since LOST's "The Constant" has there been such an emotional long distance conversation. Everyone almost cries happy tears. John tearfully confesses to eating the last Blackjack, and it's almost a full minute before June can make her voice calm enough to reassure him that's okay.

"You had to keep your strength up."

The moment is really too beautiful, with the too brief lingering shots of June and John's separate faces overcome with joy. It's not quite time to celebrate. Al is nowhere to be found, leaving behind a note saying she left the building because she wasn't sure if they were alive or not. Her walkie battery died. She makes one request: that they find her tapes and copy them, leaving the copies stashed away for safekeeping. Since it isn't likely that Al has died off-screen, this note feels like foreshadowing. But that is almost too obvious. A tiny bit of humor here is that Sarah censors the note when she reeds it, substituting "the c-word" for the "whole quesadilla". (Mo Collins's line delivery is always perfectly timed.)

The next problem is that there is a crowd of the dead milling around outside, so Morgan insists that June lead the others to safety. He returns to the roof to thrown down a walker to set down a car alarm. June doesn't want to leave him, but Morgan insists, repeating how he has things to make up for.

"If I know I got you out of here, on your way back to John and Strand and Alicia maybe that can make up for some of them."

Morgan is the rare representation of depression that we get in the apocalypse, which is crazy considering how absolutely ugly this world usually is. It's why I don't want to see his character return to The Walking Dead, because there are only more and more horrors to come. Here with these people he's found something else. And now he knows that, because they come back for him.

With John and Alicia and the others (minus Al) and a big beautiful hook and ladder truck. If ever there was a feeling of triumph in this show it's this scene where they work together to rescue him. John Dory even gets to break out his gunslinger skills. Jim is so moved that he sacrifices himself by jumping from the roof to set off another car alarm, so they can escape the crowd of walkers. He gives his beer recipe to Sarah, even whispering a secret ingredient over the walkie. Thus ends Aaron Stanford's too brief but wonderful guest role on the show. (Your move, TV casting directors!)

Reunited, the group heads out of town (again it seems that Al would have been hanging out nearby and seen them but okay) and plans to go to Virginia. Martha escaped though and somehow evaded the storm of walkers. She picks up zombified Jim to be her new pal and will presumably pursue the group. Season finales aren't often the strongest part of a Walking Dead season. However, I want so badly for this one to stick the landing. We'll find out next week.

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