Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the greater good on Fear the Walking Dead. In “Sonny Boy,” John (Keith Carradine) pulls out all the stops to prove his worth to Victor (Colman Domingo) and the good of the tower.
Victor is paranoid! Ever since Ali turned on him, Victor is convinced that there is a resistance in the Tower to overthrow him. He has rangers searching people’s rooms at the Tower. If they find anything … in this case a walkie .. Victor has Howard (Omid Abtahi) and the rangers throw the traitors off the roof. John doesn’t like it. He’s convinced he can help Victor run the tower, but June (Jenna Elfman) knows that’s not possible. Victor won’t listen to anyone but Victor … and Howard.
Update on Charlie (Alexa Nisenson). Her radiation sickness is getting worse. Her hair is gone and her skin is red from the radiation burning her from the inside. At this time there is nothing June can do for Charlie but make her comfortable. John says no one has to suffer like Charlie is. He truly believes he can get through to Victor. June doesn’t think it will work. She is afraid John Sr. will lose himself the way John Jr. did when trying to get through to Virginia.
ET TU BRUTE?
The next person to be found with a walkie is Howard. John immediately goes to Victor to voice his concerns but Victor does not address them immediately. He wants to deal with Howard first. Howard insists that he’s being framed, but Victor isn’t convinced. He knows Howard has a vested interest in the tower because of his family. Victor doesn’t kill Howard right away, saying he wants proof that Howard was framed. And he wants John to find that proof.
That investigation is put on hold when Baby Mo (Avaya White) goes missing. Victor is sharing custody of Baby Mo with Grace (Karen David) so he’s understandably upset that she’s gone. Howard offers to find Mo to prove his loyalty. Victor gives him until sunrise to find her.
Victor still isn’t convinced that Howard is reliable and asks John to find Mo instead. He knows John cares about the right things. That’s why he voiced his concerns about Victor’s management style. Victor reminds him that the tower is his legacy and he will protect it at all costs. John warns him that his legacy can slip away if he’s not careful. Victor says he will listen to John’s ideas but first he has to find the baby.
GONE BABY GONE
John starts by interviewing the nanny, June, Grace, Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) and Wes (Colby Hollman). All of them have plausible reasons for not rocking the boat. June raises the most suspicion saying Baby Mo isn’t safe in the tower. She tells John that the only way anyone is safe is if they take out Victor. Morgan (Lennie James) and the others won’t make a move on the tower as long as the baby is there.
John realizes that Victor was right. There is a resistance and June is a part of it. She doesn’t confirm or deny the allegation. John says he can help so June tells him to keep Howard distracted. When she walks away, John notices she’s tracking mud on the floor.
John’s interviews Howard next in his office. John finds out that Howard was separated from his family before the fall of the world. He discovered an addendum on a letter from the 1836 siege of the Alamo. The discovery made him the toast of the historical community. He let the fame get to his head and ignored his family. But Howard forged the addendum. He lost everything, including his family.
Howard has a collection of historical items that are precious to him, including clothing and armor from different battles. He hopes his family will find the tower and be a part of the history he collected. Howard says he’s building a legacy. Howard isn’t proud of the things he’s done, but if it leads to a reunion with his family then it’s worth it. And if not, it will all be for nothing.
John finds June killing walkers in a tunnel in the basement. He also finds Baby Mo in a tote next to protective sports gear in a small side room. June planned on wearing the equipment, like Mickey did to walk through the moat of walkers. Morgan is waiting on the other side of the moat to take Baby Mo.
A small gate keeps the walkers from the tunnel from getting into the tower. But it’s been raining all night and a burst of water breaks down the gate. John and June retreat to the side room, using the gate to shield them from the walkers.
Baby Mo is crying so John picks her up out of the tote. He plans to take her back to Victor to cement his legacy. John starts singing a song, “Sonny Boy,” for Mo. He used to sing it to John Jr. June realizes that John Sr. wants to be there for Mo because he wasn’t there for John Jr.
June and John argue about who will give Mo a better life … Victor or Morgan. John also admits to planting the walkie on Howard. It was the only way to get Victor to listen to him. He says won’t abandon Mo like he did John Jr. He wants to make the tower the world he wanted for John. June says they can do that but not with Victor in charge.
The gate comes loose, so they try to take control of the situation. John has Mo and heads towards the tunnel to get his gun back. June tells him to keep going but he shoots the walkers instead. More walkers arrive, forcing John and June back into the small room.
There is a phone in the side room, so John tells June to call her co-conspirators to come help them. She asks why he doesn’t want Mo to leave. John knows Mo won’t survive outside of the tower. He knows because of what happened to Charlie and what happened to him. He lifts up his shirt and shows her a radiation burn on his stomach. John says he doesn’t have much time. June picks up the phone and calls Grace.
Howard shows up instead of Grace and kills the walkers in the tunnel. He says they caught Grace going to the elevators. He accuses John and June of leading the resistance and takes Mo back to Victor. Howard gloats that he found Mo, but Victor says John found the baby. They take Mo back upstairs.
Victor takes Howard and John to the roof. He asks John if he believes in the tower, then he will push Howard off of the roof. John says Howard doesn’t deserve to die and admits to planting the walkie on him. Victor is impressed and says John still has to kill Howard or he will kill June or Grace.
John grabs Howard as he starts pleading for his life to find his family. John apologizes, saying Howard did worse to others for far less. He throws Howard over the top of the roof. Afterward, Victor tells John that Howard’s family was never coming. They found them both dead, but didn’t tell Howard. Victor needed Howard to stay motivated. RIP Howard.
Victor gives Howard’s apartment to John. The next morning he throws up from his radiation sickness and then looks around. John opens a bottle of liquor and starts drinking. Victor and baby Mo pay John a visit. The two men share a drink.
Victor puts on a record and turns up the volume so no one hears their conversation. He says things need to change. John thinks he’s ready to listen to him, but Victor says he has ideas of his own. He decides to take full custody of Baby Mo to keep her safe. It’s John’s job to make sure no one tries to take her away again.
John wants to help but by helping Victor change how he runs things at the tower. Victor says he doesn’t need John’s counsel. John realizes that Victor is never going to listen to him. So he hits Victor in the head with an unloaded gun and calls Morgan. He’s taking the baby to Morgan.
FOR THE GREATER GOOD
John puts on the armor and other items from Howard’s collection. Grace, June and Wendell accompany him and Mo to the door to the outside. Grace says goodbye and puts Mo under the armored plate. She also gives him a walkman. Grace recorded herself singing to sooth Mo. We listen to Grace and John sing Sonny Boy as he walks through the moat.
Wes finds Victor and wakes him up. Victor tells him to find John and Mo. The tunnel is flooded so Wes doesn’t think they can get away. But there is another way out. Victor sends his rangers to stop them. The rangers find Grace, June and Wendell and take them into custody.
Victor and Wes are on the roof and watch John make his way through the moat. Victor sends Wes to storage to get an antenna and they set it up. When John gets to the other side, Morgan is waiting for him. John reveals a bite on his shoulder, the only part of his body with no sports gear. John tells Morgan to take care of Mo. Morgan promises and thanks John for his sacrifice.
Victor gets on the walkie to tell Morgan that he will kill Grace, June and Wendell if Morgan steps a foot inside the tower. And to anyone listening, he invites them to join him. Morgan hears him and keeps walking. RIP John Dorie Sr.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can also stream new episodes early on AMC+.
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