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Fear the Walking Dead - Weak - Review: "You Won't Be Who You Were"

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Nothing is more potentially lethal in a dangerous situation than someone who doesn't have a full set of marbles, a complete box of dominoes, both pairs of dice, etc. You catch my drift. Never watching one of these shows have I felt as much dread or fear for the characters. No one is safe, and I've never wanted everyone to be safe more. That is a testament to how strong the writing is this season, that so many well-rounded characters have been created in such a short time. This season has not been chaotic nor has it senselessly heaped us with shock moments. But sometimes the stillness masks the scariest horrors."Weak" is written by Kalinda Vazquez, who, fun fact, worked with Fear the Walking Dead's co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss on a number of Once Upon a Time episodes. The best of which was the Wicked Witch of the West backstory entry "Kansas". The episode is directed by Strand himself Colman Domingo, and he should definitely direct more.

Al and Laura's survival post-storm is the main story this week. And let me tell you that Maggie Grace delivers one of the most raw performances of the season. We learn much more about who Al is and what fuels her mission. Jenna Elfman is equally riveting as June this week.

The storm has left them stranded, out of gas and food and water. To pass the time between searching for supplies, June re-watches John's tape over and over. She runs the battery dead eventually. The shots of her face listening to him are so beautifully captured. Her tearful messages over the walkie don't bring an answer from him though, and June begins to realize they will have to leave the SWAT van. Al resists the idea, even as she clearly becomes ill. Finally June is able to persuade her. They find a truck and start driving, only to suddenly be overtaken by the speeding SWAT van. Al gives chase, as this is the Fast and Dead Furious. No surprise they get a flat tire rather quickly. Al slowly spirals physically and emotionally. The van is everything to her: her life's work, her shelter, and much more. They are changing the tire when they hear the van's guns going off. Al begs June to go after it. She's burning up with fever and puking and tells June that there is medicine and antibiotics in the van. 

With no better choices, June tracks the sound and finds the thief stopped to search an overturned bus. He is able to pull a gun on her. But doesn't get to hold it for long. The young man is nearly in tears, especially as June freaks out when she can't find the medicine in the van. But she orders him to leave, even as he pleads that she must know what it's like out there. 

June tries to raise Al on the walkie but she nearly passed out changing the tire. That gives a nearby walker trapped in mud enough time to do a wriggle amputation. (Gross) It crawls toward her, and she's too dizzy to land a killing blow with her knife. Al manages to kick the walker under the vehicle and kick loose the jack. Brain smash by truck. (Grosser) She confesses to June that there never was any medicine; she just wanted the van back.

When June returns, with some medicine she found on the bus, she is very angry but very calm. She insists that Al tell her what's so important about the van. Al lets her breaks and scars show just a little. Not everyone she interviewed was a stranger.

"It isn't just other people's stories. It's the people I knew, people I loved. And I'm not just going to leave them behind."

It's the first time Al has truly looked as if she's lost or grieving. June is moved, but she still argues that Al should focus on the living. They hear Morgan's voice talking about meeting at mile marker 27. Al wants to go back to her van but changes her mind and comes with June instead. They meet Morgan and his new trio of pals.
"New people. You know I like new people." Al beams.
June asks about John, and it physically hurt me when he told her there was no word yet. Seeing what Morgan is doing, leaving the boxes for people, inspires June. She reaches out to the man who stole the van, inviting him to join them. She wants to prove him wrong about people only taking care of the ones they know.


However, the man whose name is Quinn is not long for this world. He found gas for the van and went back for them. He happily accepts June's walkie invitation and travels to mile marker 27. But then he asks if she's messing with him. He's at 27 but they aren't there. It is actually 21, but someone made it look like 27. It's the Filthy Woman (and I thought that Gotham's Nurse Peabody was the creepiest character Tonya Pinkins would ever play). She has her walker kill him. And then she turns her old walker loose, making Quinn her new pet. Filthy Creeper takes the van for her own, with all of Al's stories, though she doesn't know the full extent of what it contains. I definitely shuddered. Especially considering she's now armed.

This wasn't the first time we saw her in the episode. First she was driving with her old walker Purvis, mentioning to him that he/his kind had made people weak. Then Morgan came across her rifling through one of the "Take What You Need" boxes. He made polite conversation but clearly picked up the very wrong vibes she was giving off. Because he didn't tell her any more about himself or what they were doing. She mentioned he should be careful. But didn't make any threatening moves. She did foul up the water bottles in the box though. (There is so much that is not right about this person.) I can't say I'm thrilled about somebody this insane hunting the characters now, but it definitely increases the jeopardy factor.

With Al and June in the front row, we didn't get to spend too much time with our new trio: Sarah, Wendell, and Jim. What we did get of them was rather delightful. Sarah got out of the semi at one point to scrape a "skin muncher" off the cow catcher and reminisced about with Wendell about how their father once hit a seagull on the way to the beach. I can't quite translate how funny that moment was. Suffice to say Mo Collins and Daryl Mitchell are charming as all get out. Jim handed out drinks, namely beer, when called for.

I also want to highlight Colman Domingo's direction. He captured all these wonderful personal images of the characters throughout, really zoning in them on way that conveyed what they were feeling in that moment and how much we should be feeling too. But then there were these gorgeous seconds of the characters just standing or sitting, with nature or rubbish or even sky scattered around them. It was more intimate, more subjective than most episodes have been this year.

Only four episodes left in this remarkable season. I'm eager and terrified to see what happens next.

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