Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched Fear the Walking Dead's latest episode.
With the episode "Just In Case," Fear the Walking Dead continued connecting its various timelines together in striking ways, and it not only unveiled one of the darker skeletons in Naomi's closet, but it also dropped Garret Dillahunt's John right on death's doorstep. And through it all, the "villainous" Vultures continued to look like a peaceful and patient gaggle of scavengers when directly compared to Madison, Alicia and the rest of the (now-former) Diamond residents. Let's discuss some of the episode's biggest moments and situations below.
Alicia May Have Killed John
Fiction being what it is, it would have been impossible to end John Dorie's story -- and that's "story" spelled without an "ie" -- without him ending up shot and potentially dying mere moments after reconnecting with Laura-or-Naomi, just as he was still grieving over her presumed death. That's exactly how it went, too, but I didn't expect Alicia to be the person who put him down, however accidentally it might have been. Somewhat reminiscent to how The Walking Dead's All-Out War wrapped up, Fear's factions all convened in a designated area under various pretenses, marking the first time viewers have seen all the main characters together in what is assumedly the most current timeline. And instead of seeing the Vultures causing chaos, fans watched the protagonists bring harm upon themselves.
This meeting revealed Laura-or-Naomi actually survived whatever happened "Then," and that her survival was a stunningly unwelcome sight for Alicia to behold, leading to the latter haphazardly attempting to assassinate the former, only for John to take the bullet. What a hero, right? Considering Laura-or-Naomi probably has a ton of medical supplies in her vehicle, John isn't necessarily a goner just yet, but because we know how haunted he is over unintentionally killing that robber back in the day, this intentional gunshot gone awry would indeed be a fitting way for him to go out. Especially with Morgan there to witness it, after he'd specifically tried to prevent just such a situation.
Laura-Or-Naomi Is Not A Great Person
It's surprising that Laura-or-Naomi doesn't have "GTFO" tattooed across her forehead, as well as across her hands and arms, just in case she ever forgot that she is like the wind. "Just In Case" continued hammering home just how unreliable Jenna Elfman's resourceful character is, while also providing context to the previous reveal that she'd lost a daughter. Her rather complicated story involved said daughter, Rose, contacting an illness that required antibiotics, with Laura-or-Naomi choosing to hide the daughter while away for a three-day trek, only for her to return to everyone inside their FEMA haven having turned to walkers. (Presumably through a mix of both the illness quickly spreading and Walker Rose mauling people.)
Cut to the present, where she's seen getting out of the pretty stocked Land Rover, with her arrival fully expected by Mel and the Vultures. In fact, Laura-or Naomi's presence excited Mel once he knew that Alicia & Co. wouldn't be ready for it, which plays into the group's M.O. where mental warfare is favored over brute force. But why was Alicia so upset to by the woman that she tried to kill her on sight? Was Laura-or-Naomi responsible for whatever happened to Madison? And since Alicia doesn't give much of a shit about John, why didn't she just keep shooting after hitting him?
The Vultures Need A Bigger Backstory Now
So, we've been under the assumption that Mel and his highly organized team of truck-driving ruffians have purposefully committed several-to-many atrocities in the time before the present story thread. One bit of circumstantial evidence would be whatever revenge-inspiring acts Ennis did to Nick, while Madison's absence is a continuous sign that some form of ill will befell her. Plus, Mel copped to being the low-key cause for other survivor communities to crumble, and is overtly egotistical about the Vultures' hands-off approach. But who knows how much we can even trust Mel? He'd previously told Madison his and Ennis' survival story, where wildfires took over their original settlement, but was that the truth?
In "Just In Case," we watched as he commanded the Vultures to ship out after Madison and Strand arrived with the supply stash Laura-or-Naomi showed them. But there's no way he really backed off after seeing such a big shipment arriving, after he was told just second earlier that his crew must have been running out of food. (He does deserve some credit for not going berserk after Ennis' death was referenced.) How Mel and the Vultures caused the Diamond to fall needs to be shown soon, though, since the midseason break is coming soon. Did Mel threaten Laura-or-Naomi, or use some other form of coercion to convince her to screw Madison over, bringing about still-untold tragedies? Or are they actually innocent in most of this, with the blame falling squarely on the shoulders of Fear the Walking Dead's good guys? I'm almost convinced the last option is the correct one.
So Will The Good And Virtuous Prevail?
Fear the Walking Dead has made a heavy-handed point of showing that Strand will never leave behind his shady ways, but that Madison continues to be his redeemer (in part because she likes having a drinking buddy). This would seem to be the micro version of the show's overall approach to blurring the lines between metaphorically good and bad survivors. But is it meant to show that humanity's integrity, like Strand, can and will stand strong through any misfortune? Or will Madison's optimistic outlook unintentionally set up all the disaster and tragedies to follow?
With two episodes left to go before saying a temporary farewell for its midseason hiatus, Fear the Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, so be sure to tune in to see where this story is heading. And in the meantime, check out our summer premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.