REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Eps 9&10 – Minotaur/The Diviner

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Eps 9& 10

Fear the Walking Dead resumed its third season with an eventful two-parter that saw the Clarks deal with their new responsibilities as de facto leaders of Broke Jaw Ranch.

The two episodes focus more on the human struggles of the characters, and there are barely any walkers shown at all. More and more, the zombies feel like background props in Fear the Walking Dead as the stories delve deeper into internal conflicts. This is just one of the ways it distinguishes itself from its parent show. And since it isn’t bound to follow storylines from the comics, in many ways, Fear the Walking Dead is free to be its own thing.

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Eps 9& 10During the first part of the dual episode, Minotaur, there were tensions to be resolved between the hostile factions of the ranch and the Nation, not to mention the surviving Otto brothers. After Troy attempts to avenge his father (and Nick foolishly admits to having killed the elder Otto in the mid-season finale), he is banished from the camp. It was expected that Troy would not take too well to his father’s death and having some kind of truce with Walker and the Nation. His brother is trying to make the arrangement work but he continues to resist.

In the end, Madison is forced to take him to the desert to banish him. They have a tense and strangely intimate struggle (with Troy’s oedipal tendencies coming to the fore a bit), but Madison has to take responsibility for having “mentored” this troubled young man and served as a mother of sorts to him.

The second part, The Diviner, tackles the water crisis suffered by the community as the precious commodity grows scarcer. Some members of the group resort to cheating and stealing just to survive.

The Clark dynamic is put into focus, as Madison’s penchant for nurturing “damaged” sons like Nick and Troy is highlighted while poor Alicia always has to be the “strong one,” if only because she has no other choice. But Alicia proves up to the task of being a leader and deftly tries to prevent more clashes and conflict in the camp as tensions escalate over the scarcity of water. While Nick is reluctantly dragged as a leader of a resistance, he ends up helping his sister try to dig for another source of water.

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Eps 9& 10The communities on Fear the Walking Dead prove to be way more developed and dynamic than any of those encountered by Rick and company back on the main show. There’s a Mad Max type of post-apocalyptic feel to the show, especially in the Barter Town that Walker and Madison enter to find a new supplier of water.

The visit to the barter town not only provides a more diverse and interesting setting on the show, but also leads to a very fortuitous reunion with Strand (my favorite opportunistic, savvy survivor). Madison rescues him from his debt (much to Walker’s fury, though I’m enjoying their reluctant partnership). But she does so because Strand tells her about a dam, a far more viable source of water than any that the barter people would have offered.

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Eps 9& 10We catch up with Daniel, who is involved in the new community at the dam, having defeated the tyrannical boss earlier in the season. Redistributing the resource is proving more difficult than he and his friends anticipated, but he will manage the situation as he always does.

With Madison and Strand on their way to the dam, their paths are about to cross once more and hopefully Daniel learns that Ofelia is alive and well. The Clarks and the Salazars and friends will have to navigate through a few more sticky situations before the season is over, but this second half is off to an exciting start.