Spoilers below for the most recent episode of Fear the Walking Dead.
Through this first half of Fear the Walking Dead, the writers have essentially kept pelting the main characters with storyline conundrums that make laughable plights out of anyone's attempts to achieve success. Yet somehow, the show still keeps its tone exceedingly hopeful, and every episode is filled with big reveals, weird franchise connections and then some.
Last week's Episode 6 gave viewers John and Dwight's dead end hunt for Sherry, while also introducing a hot air balloon and a backstory from the younger survivors. The exclusive clip below, which comes from the July 14 episode "Still Standing," provides updates on several of the split-apart characters, and everyone unsurprisingly seems to be having a rough go at life. Check out the clip below!
Now let's break down what all the characters were up to, and possibly what led up to their current problematic situations.
Alicia and The Kids
Alicia and the other adult survivors tried hard to get Annie to understand that the kids' way of life doesn't have to be the only way, but Annie still chose to pack up and leave Alicia and the truck stop folks. Naturally, Alicia went after them, and judging from the clip, it appears as if she found them. But when Morgan advises her to take everyone back to the truck stop, she stresses that she can't do it.
Is it because of the normal threats out there, such as the radioactive walkers? I dare say no, since Annie and Max look like they only have about 0.00001 oz. of walker-fear in their disheveled bodies. Rather, the situation is that Alicia can't manage to convince Annie and the rest to follow her back to the truck stop. As it usually goes, there's nothing more stubborn than a pack of orphaned survivalists. (That's a common saying, right?)
Alicia goes so far as to question the groups' motivations, hinting that she doesn't believe saving the children is what their overall grand purpose is at this point. Understandably, that shit doesn't fly with Morgan, but more on him later.
Though Lil Dylan is the only character we see in the same shot as Alicia, the clip does offer up a brief glimpse of Annie and Max as they continue on with their walker gut-knotting grind. Interestingly, Max is both holding a large map and is wearing a cap from the C&L denim factory that Matt Frewer's Logan took over in the premiere episode. How's that going to tie back into everything?
Strand and Charlie
Fans only got to see a brief shot of Strand and Charlie in the clip above, but it was a fairly telling one. As it was revealed last week, Strand tried to remedy the whole destroyed plane situation by using a hot air balloon to transport supplies. Of course, the balloon wasn't properly fueled, and the pair crash-landed in the midst of woods and walkers.
As shown in the clip, the pair apparently make clever use of the destroyed balloon by using it to wall the walkers off behind some trees. It's definitely not a permanent solution, and it's not great protection against the threat of radiated zombie blood, but in a pinch, it's just the ticket.
No one is selling tickets to get onto any flights in this show, but is the escape plane plan completely kaput now? Strand and Charlie still had some propellors with them in the shot, so maybe their delivery will eventually be a success, even if it takes longer than originally thought...because their hot air balloon crashed. I don't get to say that enough in this job.
Another one of the clip's brief shots centered on Karen David's lesser-seen Grace, who dropped the info-bomb on Morgan last week that the nearby nuclear plant's second reactor is heading for Meltdown City. Morgan delivered the truck stop's generator to her so that she could use it to prolong the reactor's last days for as long as possible.
Not much of her efforts are seen in the clip, but Grace is in full protective gear while presumably on the plant's grounds. She's tossing some hoses off the side of a building, and I'm assuming/hoping that she's seen elsewhere in the episode to add more context.
Though really, she's certain that the reactor is still going to soonishly go to shit, inevitably killing off anyone in the area. So unless something rather bizarre changes for the character, Grace will likely only be around long enough to make sure Morgan and his crew are able to vacate the area. Maybe that'll be what finally convinces those kids to get out of Dodge while the gettin' is good.
To be expected, perhaps, the clip gets a positive streak thanks to Morgan, who is in an unfamiliar house during his radio convo with Alicia. She's questioning things, but Morgan is totally zen and at peace while looking at a tacked-up Pad Thai recipe and Fiddler on the Roof flyer. Definitely reminders of simpler times. 'Memba thumbtacks? 'Memba little theater?
That play might as well have been called "Keys Under the Roof and Behind the Bulletin Board." Morgan seemed to have found just what he was looking for. But what could those keys go to? I can't imagine it's another plane, but there aren't a whole lot of vehicles that would be able to transport all those kids away from the nuclear threat at once.
One thing is clear, though. When Morgan has a stick in his possession, it's 33% divining rod leading him from big moment to big moment. Sometimes that moment leads to deaths, but other times, it's good-luck keys. Admittedly, there aren't a whole lot of nuanced outcomes at this point in the apocalypse.
Here's the official synopsis for the upcoming episode, "Still Standing."
Strand and Charlie seek safety. Dorie helps Dwight on his quest. Morgan stays focused on the greater mission. Elsewhere, Alicia refuses to give up.
The only thing we didn't get to see from that synopsis was John Dorie and Dwight, though I'm definitely curious to see how that Sherry-tracking quest goes now that John is aware that she no longer wants Dwight to follow her. It doesn't seem like it can end well for John's lucky streak, nor for Dwight's newly acquired lease on optimism. But maybe if Morgan lets them borrow his stick...
Be sure to watch this weekend's episode of Fear the Walking Dead, which airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET.