REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead, S5 Ep3 – Humbug’s Gulch

The third episode of Fear the Walking Dead is a fun zombie Western that brings another main show character into the fold while revealing a sinister side to seemingly innocent characters.

Fear the Walking Dead DwightThe group continue their crusade to save lost souls and they find another new and gruesome obstacle to their mission of salvation. Someone has been stringing up walkers along the road, marking boundaries in a way and preventing survivors from moving freely. We didn’t get to check in with Strand or Daniel in this episode and we still don’t know what happened to Althea. Instead, we spent time with John and June as they find stumble upon one of John’s old haunts. The whole sequence plays out like a classic Western film complete with tumbleweeds and saloons and even a “broth-el” where John insists to a skeptical June that they only served soup. It’s like a weird crossover with Westworld. But it was fun enough because we got to utilize John Dorie more.

They are met by a seemingly hostile force whom they later overpower and converse with. It’s Dwight, on crossover duty from The Walking Dead. He is on the trail of his wife Sherry and he had mistakenly believed that John and June may have harmed her. He though He’s been following notes she’s been leaving in used cars and in finding none in the latest vehicle, begins to contemplate suicide. June convinces him to have hope, bringing him back from the brink. She and John help him clear a path through  the walkers including a ridiculous stunt where John John split one bullet by shooting it at an ax. It’s ridiculous but it’s not like you watch Fear the Walking Dead for plausibility.

Elsewhere, Alicia and Luciana a are struggling to make contact with the three siblings they met during the season premiere. Morgan joins them and encourages Alicia to give a heartfelt speech about loss and hope to try and reach out to the kids. Her speech seems effective at first as the kids eventually respond. But we later learn that they have something else in store for those trying to help them.

The most powerful moment in this episode was the reunion between Dwight and Morgan. They instantly recognized each opher and Dwight, having only known the murderous, Savior-slaying side of Morgan, was naturally wary of him. But Morgan even seemed happy to see him, a familiar face. “We come from the same place,” he says in explanation to the others. When Dwight tries to apologize for his past actions, Morgan cuts him off and says gently, “You don’t have to say it.”

“We’re all trying to start over,” he explains, simply laying out the thesis statement of this season of Fear the Walking Dead.

The episode would have ended on a hopeful note filled with reconciliation and peace were it not for the group finding the van that been driven by the three kids. The youngest is weeping inside as Alicia tries to comfort him.

Then, cut to the two older siblings stringing walkers around the area, as a protective measure against all the nasty adults. Something terrible must have happened to make them this wary of strangers and given the suspiciously stupid nature of Morgan’s group in the midst of the apocalypse, one can’t really blame them. But one wonders what horrors these kids have in store for the group.