REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead, S5 Ep2 – The Hurt That Will Happen

Fear the Walking Dead 5.2

The second episode of Fear the Walking Dead introduced radioactive zombies while Strand and Daniel had an awkward reunion and more characters made baffling choices.

It’s too soon to tell how good of a season this will be for Fear the Walking Dead but aside from the interesting set pieces and generally good performances from the cast, the writing is floundering and the characters are acting stupid in order to fuel some fake conflicts and to add tension. And they seem crazily determined to fly planes none of them can pilot when there are other safer, more reliable modes of transportation (they have a couple of truckers with them, for Pete’s sake!)

Fear the Walking Dead 5.2While Morgan and Alicia go in search of Althea, they bump into a new character named Grace, who is carefully decontaminating a bunch of radioactive zombies. She asks Morgan to strip so that he can be decontaminated and, in one of the rare fun moments on the show, he spends most of the episode in a “Don’t Mess with Texas” t-shirt while still being the serious character that he is.

Grace (played by Galavant‘s Karen David) used to be head of operations for a nuclear power plant before things went awry and her people were contaminated. As some form of atonement, she is determined to kill the remaining 63 radioactive walkers, who are more difficult to kill than regular walkers. Morgan and Alicia offer to help her but she is one of those who believes she is beyond help.

Fear the Walking Dead co-showrunner Ian Goldberg discussed Grace’s character in an interview with EW, saying:

Fear the Walking Dead Grace“She’s someone who suffered exposure herself and feels that she doesn’t have much time left. With the time she does have left, she thinks the only thing she can do to make up for her actions is to find and essentially take care of the people she cared about that she couldn’t help when they were alive.”

Strand follows instructions from Al’s interview with Daniel and makes that tense reunion with the old Salazar, who looks pretty well considering he was shot in the face a while back. He doesn’t trust Strand for a moment and one can’t really blame him. While Strand and Daniel are two of my favorite characters on Fear the Walking Dead, having Daniel so conveniently be near the rest of the group currently is feel so contrived and not worthy of the two characters. Strand refuses to lend them his plane and that’s probably for the best. There are other ways for them to be helped than risking another crash. While he sends Strand on his way, it’s pretty obvious that this will not be the last we see of Daniel

John Fear the Walking Dead 5.2and June explore the area while Luciana stays by the radio. Strand is able to make contact with her but she wanders off, most imprudently, when she hears some loud noises. Again with the dumb decisions although she can be forgiven because she’s injured and drugged. But the Fear the Walking Dead writers do not deserve as much sympathy.

Despite her walking into the dark and almost into a horde of zombies, she makes it back all right and is soon reunited with John and June as they realize that there is another group out there trying to intimidate them somehow. We still don’t know Al’s status or how she is interacting with that organized group that took Rick. But it’s only the start of the season so there’s time enough for those mysteries to unravel.

Morgan and Alicia had a moving conversation about opening themselves up to care about others even if there is always the risk that they are going to lose them. Having experienced being closed to the world as Alicia currently feels, Morgan seems the right person to share his wisdom with her. I’m still not sure how their new altruistic mission is going to work out but they haven’t lost hope yet so neither should we.