Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched the midseason finale for Fear the Walking Dead's fifth season.
"Is Anybody Out There?" hit a lot of the expected notes of a midseason finale, in that extremely high stakes were overcome and a semi-twist was introduced just when it looked like everything was okay. Oh, and a big explosion was involved. Granted, a lot of weird decisions were made by Fear the Walking Dead's writers, especially for an episode that followed Alicia's seemingly fatal radiation reveal. One could argue that Matt Frewer's return as maybe-villain Logan falls squarely under the "hmmm?" umbrella, too.
It was revealed that Logan's whole goal in (perhaps rightfully) overtaking the denim factory was to find his partner Clayton's journal. In it, Clayton noted a location where other survivors were creating gasoline anew, since a lot of the the fuel created before the walker outbreak is going bad. It's an important addition to the franchise at large, if not the most anticipated last-minute reveal, and viewers likely came away from the episode expecting that side of things to take centerstage in the back half of Season 5.
However, co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss says that the new gas source is only a piece of the protagonists' goal set when the AMC drama returns. In his words:
Without giving away too much, it’s very important to the group, but it may not, in fact, be the big mission. There may be a little bit of a surprise in store when people come back for episode 509.
Technically, the group's big mission should be deciding how to maintain a stable lifestyle with the additions of the children, Dwight and Grace. Or, perhaps, finding out a way to somewhat precisely gauge just how poisoned Alicia is, not to mention Grace and Morgan, or even Strand and Charlie and the kids. (I cannot imagine that Morgan using his stick in its broken form makes it completely safe for use.) So if those turn out to be the bigger mission, I'd give it a thumbs up.
To take a step back, though, what if everything that Logan told the group at the end of the episode was a bunch of baloney? His people definitely tore up the factory looking for that journal, which was already in the hands of the protagonists. But there's certainly a chance that he could have been stretching the truth in other ways, or perhaps shielding other motivations for wanting to find it. Perhaps it contains locations for some other groups that we're not familiar with just yet.
Speaking with EW, co-showrunner Ian Goldberg addressed the question of what viewers should think about giving Logan their trust.
Oh, that’s a very good question. I think if you look at the reactions of everybody in the group, they’re not so sold themselves. Logan hasn’t proven himself to be trustworthy thus far with everything that he’s done. However, Sarah did make a pretty compelling case to him when she confronted him in front of the river mill and pointed out the fact that she and Wendell are still atoning for what they did to Polar Bear. So, I think that does land on Logan, but there’s this whole other side to him which is much more self-serving. He’s not the same person Polar Bear is, at least not anymore. He’s a complicated character. You’ll just have to tune in to episode 509 and beyond to see how trustworthy he is.
In an alt-universe, Matt Frewer's Logan could very well be the "Victor Strand" of this universe, since Colman Domingo's character spent a lot of time showcasing his selfish nature before eventually finding redemption in certain ways. So even if Logan does end up guilty of fudging the truth in more ways than one, it doesn't necessarily make him a villain.
Now, if it turns out he vindictively murdered everyone else in his group after they pulled a mutiny effort, then yes, Logan can be considered a villain of the highest order.
Nothing about the three-ringed helicopter group or specifics about any other characters. But at least we're getting Ruben Blades' Daniel more involved with the entire ensemble. Hopefully, anyway. And for those wondering about whether or not Sherry and Dwight's situation is going to get any more optimistic in Fear the Walking Dead's future, here's what Ian Goldberg told EW about that longful shot of Dwight during John and June's post-engagement kiss.
Yeah, that actually is a really powerful moment because I think it’s a bittersweet thing for Dwight. He’s been trying to make it right and find Sherry, and it now looks like he’s not going to find her anytime soon. But he did make something very right by bringing Dorie and June back together. So, he’s happy for them, but there’s obviously some sadness for what he’s lost. There’s much more story to tell there.
The simple use of saying "not going to find her anytime soon" makes me think that the Sherry hunt is going to take some more positive turns after more of a waiting game. Until then, though, fans can enjoy lots of other summer shows during Fear's brief hiatus.
Fear the Walking Dead will return to AMC for the back half of Season 5 on Sunday, August 11, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more Fear coverage from our interview with the cast at San Diego Comic-Con, where The Walking Dead's first Season 10 trailer was unveiled, and where it was announced that Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes movie will be heading to theaters.