Fear The Walking Dead arrived back with a bang last night after a hiatus and the feature-length, back to back episodes named Minotaur and The Diviner didn’t disappoint…
No, what they did was confuse. Well, Minotaur did before The Diviner cleared up the mess. My confusion began when The Nation (the native American community) moved onto Broke Jaw ranch.
I understand that Nick and Madison killed Jeremiah Otto (as he would have destroyed everyone through spite) but after a rather contrived set up – where a fat lone-wolf (smothered in ranch sauce) tried to kill a native American – Madison convinces Jake to hand over every gun to the newcomers. Errr, hang on… what?!!
Furthermore, Jake then handed over his own key to the entire militia’s arsenal in the bunker. Yes, that’s the militia who The Nation wiped out with anthrax not two episodes ago.
The point of having two keys, like for nuclear launches, is that no one person has the power yet within minutes of their arrrival, the ranch had handed over all their power to Qaletqa Walker.
Yes, The Otto family stole sacred land, yes it’s a great, relevant, necessary storyline but I can’t my suspension of disbelief enough to believe a community would ever hand over their guns to another after struggling to survive in a zombie apocalypse. Especially a south-western community to a brown community.
When Nick, Qaletqa and co. try to collect the mad Otto brother’s guns from his house, Troy goes postal and begins a suicide mission to avenge his father. In a touching scene, Troy only stops shooting when Nick reveals he was the one who killed Jeremiah.
Troy is banished in a neat few scenes with Madison (in which I thought he was going to rape her) and Nick had to undergo some kind of sweathouse punishment in an Australian, outdoor, Ned Kelly Gang era metal toilet where he saw visions of Troy and Madison.
And yet, after Nick is released from The Dunny of Hallucinations, despite the fact he was the one who was trying to stop Troy’s killing spree, he’s now somehow become a martyr for Troy’s cause… and for the militia to unite behind. Perhaps I missed something, but it all made zero sense.
In fairness, Part Two explained tht Nick was purposefully allowing the militia to believe he was their leader, but for most of Part One, it seemed to the audience that Nick had become a totally different person.
Having one character make illogical decisions is bad enough, but a whole community doing something out of character and against the will of the mob only shows gaping holes in the writing process. Never do it!
Part Two, The Diviner begins with Madison revealing to her new ally, Qaletqa Walker that there is only six week’s worth of water left in the local water table so they head off north in search of water.
In Mexicali, the two find a wonderful, post-apocalyptic bazaar – brimming with weird and wonderful Mexican and Chinese characters, the kind you’d see in Mad Max or Dust Devil – where they bump into a familiar, wonderful face.
After another, better contivance – that the group will remain as prisoners in the bazaar until Victor Strang pays off his debt by killing zombies in a chain gang – Maddie and Qaletqa take Victor under their wing because she knows that Victor knows where Daniel Salazar and his dam are located in Tijuana.
Meanwhile, back at Broke Jaw just as new militia leader, Nick leads his men to attack The Nation (in broad daylight) Alycia proves she is divine in more than one way.
No, she didn’t start crossdressing and write the tune that New Order stole and turned into Blue Monday, she became a water diviner, bringing Whitey Ford and The Nation together to dig for water for the good of all.
Season 3B will be co-creator Dave Erickson’s last as he’s handing the reins over to incoming showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian B. Goldberg, together with The Walking Dead’s showrunner Scott M. Gimple.
Gimple jumping ship from the original series tells you everything you need to know about how, confusing as Minotaur was, Fear The Walking Dead has eclipsed its big brother in terms of quality. A year ago it would have been unthinkable.
In fairness, it was ony really one or two facets of Minotaur that were confused and unrealistic, but it didn’t stop it being a great episode filled with tension and great dialogue.
In The Diviner, entrusted with keeping the peace and not spilling the beans, Alycia immediately revealed the secret that there are only six week’s worth of water left at the first sign of trouble. And yet, in the end it paid off with an uplifting drone shot of Broke Jaw and The Nation’s two communities working together for the good of all.
Alycia’s journey from lost child to one-woman Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder uniting the groups to play Sir Paul’s pipes of peace worked well, but hot-diggety-damn! If our two groups going to war with Dan’s Dam doesn’t set up a thrilling second half of the season, nothing will.
Fear The Walking Dead continues next Sunday, 19th September on AMC.