Everyone has something to make up for on Fear the Walking Dead. That’s part of the reason they are “Still Standing.” It has been the group’s mission to help others in this apocalypse, but that’s proven harder than it sounds. People don’t want to be helped. So now that the group is facing a potentially life-threatening crisis, they have to help themselves.
Morgan (Lennie James) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) led their group to the area to help someone who wasn’t there. Al (Maggie Grace) had to crash land the plane so they could all live. They found others, but everyone keeps running from them. The plane crash-landed near a power plant that has overheated once before. It killed a lot of people in the area and left behind contaminated walkers. It also left behind a group of kids whose parents worked at the plant and the plant supervisor Grace (Karen David) who believes she’s to blame for the meltdown.
The core is about to overheat again. Morgan and his group are trying to fix their plane so they can go home. Grace and the kids don’t want to leave and they are running out of time.
Never Give Up
Alicia makes one last-ditch effort to convince Annie (Bailey Gavulic) to leave the area. She followed them and encountered a massive walker roadblock/maze. Dylan (Cooper Dodson) helped her out of the maze and took her to their treehouse. Annie was not happy, asking Alicia why she won’t give up on them. Alicia admits that she is trying to make up for some bad things she’s done, including killing people. She gets why Annie doesn’t want to leave but says she can’t hold on to places and people. Annie refuses to leave. She’s going to fix the roadblock so no one can ever find them instead.
Strand (Colman Domingo) and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) crashed a hot air balloon into the contaminated area. They brought a propeller for the plane after the first one broke during a test run. The propeller is stuck in the ground and walkers begin to surround the pair. They have to find a safe space until help arrives. Charlie causes a distraction while Strand pulls the propeller out of the ground. He drags it toward the hot air balloon. Once he’s cleared, Charlie pulls the balloon up so the walkers can’t get past it.
John (Garret Dillahunt) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) are still out looking for Sherri, but they are out of range of the radio. Morgan is trying to find a way to rescue Strand and Charlie. June (Jenna Elfman) offers to help him, but he tells her to fix the plane so they can all leave when they get back. Morgan asks Grace to help, but she’s too busy trying to fix a burned-out generator. She tells him about a house nearby with a truck. Morgan finds the house, but there are no keys in the truck. He goes inside the house and Alicia contacts him.
Alicia is discouraged because Annie won’t listen to her. She thinks the girl will listen to Morgan, but he has confidence in Alicia. Morgan says they are right where they’re supposed to be. Alicia questions if they should be helping people at all. Morgan says its the reason they are still standing. They will get everything they put out in return. They are going to do what they came here to do and get everyone on that plane.
Back at the truck stop, Luciana (Danay Garcia), Al and June find a leak in the plane. There is gas at the truck stop, but they need aviation fuel. Al just happens to know where they can get some.
Al takes June to the drop site. She said she saw the helicopter land there and assumed it was to refuel. John calls June to check-in. June tells him about the reactor melting, but she cuts out. John is too far out of range, so he doesn’t hear all her message.
John tells Dwight that they have to go, but Dwight wants to stay in the area to find Sherri. John starts to give him the letter but changes his mind when Dwight puts John and June in his situation. But Dwight is grateful for his help and goes with John back to the truck stop.
On the way back, their car runs out of gas. There is a semi-truck nearby, but it won’t start. John gets nervous because they are running out of time. Dwight thinks that since Sherri was able to survive, they will too. He suggests they start walking through the mountains, but that will take days to get back to the truck stop. John knows they are in a bit of trouble. He comes clean about Sherri’s letter and apologizes for lying to Dwight. He gives Dwight the letter to read. Dwight gets upset and gets out of the truck.
The balloon is holding, but Charlie is worried. Daniel told her every day is a chance to start over and she thinks they missed their chance. Strand still has hope and won’t let her waver. He admits that he could have been on the plane, but he got scared. They can’t get scared now because they’ve come too far. Morgan drives up in the hazmat suit to rescue the duo. They load up the propeller and prepare to leave quickly.
Annie and Max are re-tying the intestines of the walker roadblock. She is upset that Dylan led Alicia to their camp. Dylan believes Alicia can help them and Max admits that he believes it too. Annie thinks Alicia is a mess and can’t help anyone. Annie promised their parents that she would keep them safe and the only way to do that is to stay where they are. One of the walkers breaks free from the others and goes after the kids. Then another and another, until they are all free and chasing Max and Annie back to their camp.
At the camp, Alicia finds a box belonging to Dylan. Inside are photographs and drawings. The drawing is of the dead tied together. Dylan catches her going through his stuff. He explains that he drew them in the beginning. He had nightmares about playing red rover with his siblings. Annie saw them and she was scared too. She thought tying up the walkers would scare other people so no one would bother them.
Alicia says he’s living in his nightmare. She compares his story to the story of her weapon. She sharpened it after her mother died. It keeps the dead and the living away from her. She thought if they were scared of her, they would leave her alone. But she’s the one who’s scared. They are interrupted by Max on the radio. He and Annie call for someone to open the gate quickly.
One of the generators that cooling the power plant breaks down. While Grace is looking at it, Morgan calls her to let her know he found the truck and saved his people. Grace tells him about the generator. She thinks she can fix it to give him some more time, but they only have about twelve to twenty-four hours to get out. She promises to meet him at the truck stop when she’s finished. Morgan knows she won’t show up. She only said that to ease his mind. He gives Strand the keys and tells him how to find the truck stop. He’s going after Grace.
Al takes all of the fuel from the drop site. June tries to call John again, but there’s no answer. She’s clearly worried and comments on how she went a year without hearing his voice. And that will never happen again. That prompts Al to tell June her story, but only in the strictest of confidence.
Al says she met someone while she was missing and developed feelings for this person. But she can never see her again and doesn’t know how to live with that. June compares Al’s situation to her own. She felt lost without John, like a part of her was missing. But she was grateful for the time they had together. June believes Al will see her again. Al says June will see John again too and that June has no doubts about.
Alicia gets ready to fight. She asks Annie about their weapons and ammunition. Max confesses that their guns are empty. Annie has no clue what to do, but she knows she doesn’t want Alicia’s help. Max and Dylan plead with her to let Alicia help them. Alicia knows she can definitely take care of the walkers, so Annie gives her the weapon back.
A bridge separates the camp from the gate. There is a small opening in the gate. A walker gets through and Alicia walks on the bridge to meet it. The kids have to get out of the camp, but there’s only one way out. Alicia says she will hold off the walkers while they find another way.
Alicia is able to handle the walkers as they approach the gate one by one until her weapon gets stuck in one of the heads. She pulls it out, but not before another walker has come through and falls on Alicia. She wrestles with the walker, eventually turning it over and stabbing it in the head. Her weapon gets stuck again. This time, when she pulls the weapon out, blood splatters all over her face and into her mouth. Alicia sees that the walker is wearing a dosimeter.
The kids created a rope to lower themselves down below the camp. Two walkers breach a different part of the fence. Annie tries to shoot them but misses their heads and they fall. The walkers land in front of the children below the camp. Annie shoots again and kills the walkers.
Alicia tells Annie that she won’t be able to stop them, but she can hold them off for a little longer. Annie offers to help, but Alicia tells her no, the kids need her. She tells Annie to let go of the place. She has to leave and get on the plane. It’s the only way she can keep everyone safe. Annie says she doesn’t know what Alicia did, but she made up for it. She can let go too. The kids make it out of the camp while Alicia continues to fight the walkers.
Grace is working on getting the generator fixed when Morgan shows up. He says she’s not dead yet and he’s not going to let her act like she is. They get out of the contaminated area and clean up. Grace is concerned about his radiation exposure, but he says he’s okay with it. He did what he had to do.
Morgan tells her about Eastman, saying Eastman taught him that all life is precious and about redirection. He didn’t know if Grace would leave with him, but he had to take a chance. Morgan believes Grace doesn’t think her life is worth saving, so he made it about his life to save her. Grace says he has the same problem that she does. He thinks the lives of others are more valuable than his own.
Never Give Up
Strand and Charlie make it to the truck stop. Morgan instructed them to shower and change clothes after being in the contaminated zone. Afterward, they unload the propeller and prepare to work. Annie and the kids show up shortly after. Luciana is happy that Annie changed her mind. Annie says Alicia can be pretty convincing. Strand asks where Alicia is now and Annie says she’s still out there.
Dwight is staring at his wedding rings when John comes to apologize again. Dwight says he knows John did it to keep him going. Sherri doesn’t want him to look for her, but he doesn’t want to give up. Dwight says he’s done a lot of bad stuff, so maybe he doesn’t deserve to find her right now. He wants a happy ending like John and June. So maybe if he helps John, he will cross paths with Sherri again soon. Dwight says he’s going to help John get back to June.
Alicia is leading the horde through the woods. She stops at a stream to clean the blood off of her face. Morgan calls in to check on her. She says he’s okay but she has a herd. Morgan is glad that she was able to change Annie’s mind. She asks about Grace and Grace is listening next to Morgan.
Morgan says she was right, helping people isn’t the only reason they are there. In trying to make up for the lives they took, they stopped living their own lives. They can still find people to help and help themselves. He says they are going to find a way to start living and Alicia agrees. Morgan asks for her location. The herd catches up to Alicia as the sirens at the power plant go off.
Fear the Walking Dead has been building up to this big moment when the power plant melts down. We see that our lead heroes are in the most perilous situation that could cause them to miss the plane. The anticipation of this episode is intense. It seems when we get to episodes seven and fifteen, the writing is on point, the action is exciting and the dialogue is meaningful. I just wish the writers could do that throughout the season.
Obviously, we’re supposed to be afraid for Morgan and Alicia because they aren’t at the truck stop, but neither is John and Dwight. There has been some talk about how solid and happy June and John are right now. I’m more worried about these two than anyone else.
Next week is the Fear the Walking Dead mid-season finale, so we’ll find out soon!