Confrontation And Resolution on Fear the Walking Dead

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It took the better part of two hours. But satisfaction came at the end of the mid-season finale of Fear The Walking Dead.

What kind of satisfaction? The kind that summed up the entirety of “The Unveiling” and “Children Of Wrath,” the final two episodes going into the show’s hiatus.

This is the way I saw the majority of what aired: The intensity of situation throughout, little by little, kept ramping up. Jake went for a meeting with Qaletqa Walker, a temporary truce was reached, it was broken by a mercy mission led by Madison, Troy killed about a half dozen of Walker’s people in the process, Jake returns to explain, et cetera, et cetera, steering into ad nauseum. You get the idea. There was so much back and forth you knew the metaphorical dam was going to burst shortly. It was inevitable.

But the way it happened was interesting. And also unforeseen. With Jeremiah’s demise. At the hand of Nick. All very hush hush in its way so that tempers didn’t flair.

Did I see those final events coming? No. Not in the least. That’s what made them unexpected, intriguing and satisfying.

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All that past interplay between Jeremiah and Nick throughout the previous episodes? The camaraderie, the advice, the stories, the understandings the two shared? It all came together in an ironic ending for the elder Otto. Honestly, I don’t even think Nick saw it in the cards until the very end. (And with the gun Jeremiah gave him, no less.) And remember: It was after he digested that tale Madison told of her youth.

All that talk between Jeremiah and Jake and Troy and Madison, even as recently as this last episode where Jake called her out being “an outsider,” unable to understand the way things worked on the ranch? More irony when you think about it. It was Madison, after all, who had the gumption to call out Jeremiah on his inabilities and faults. Sticking her nose in the others’ businesses since landing at the ranch came down to a final consequence: Saving all who were left and making peace with Walker and his camp. Granted, it took a decapitated head to attain that peace. But she orchestrated it (though not exactly as she’d planned) and eventually followed through on it.

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That ending – with Walker finally willing to let bygones be bygones – was the culmination of every single thing that came before in the two hours of teleplay. With so much back and forth, I was getting dizzy trying to keep up. All the he said, she said … the incessant back and forth of attacks and confrontation. It reminded me of How The Grinch Stole Christmas as Boris Karloff narrates, “And they’ll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing ’round on their wheels! They’ll dance with jing-tinglers tied onto their heels! They’ll blow their floo-floobers, they’ll band their tar-tinkers. They’ll blow their Who-whoobas, they’ll bang their gar-ginkas!” Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. That’s how I saw the story being played out. There seemed to be no end: “All the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise!

And that’s why the final scenes were rather perfect in light of everything previous. They made for a weird, sad, final exhale of relief when you came to terms with the only thing that would placate Walker: Jeremiah’s head. Literally.

With the back half of the season coming in September, we have a few months to bask in what’s taken place. Not a bad way to go on hiatus in my opinion.

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NOTES

 

  • We were promised a little Madison backstory and we certainly got it. And what a way for it to be conveyed – directly to her kids as testament to why she’s done some of the things she’s done to protect them. If lying is what it takes to do it, Madison’s there. If confronting someone at her own expense is the only option, she’s in 100%. She’s kind of the apocalyptic version of the Alien Queen from the titular second film of that franchise. Don’t cross her. She’s vicious. Deadly.
  • I loved the little segue we got on Ofelia once she encountered Jeremiah for the first time. He was a real asshat toward her in the beginning, more than was let on when we saw what happened between them at the end of last season. And wow, the turn of events integral in changing her loyalties …
  • Let’s not forget Victor. While it was pure cheesecake for him to stumble on Abigail out of the blue, it was a bit eyebrow-raising to see him put her out of her misery with flame. Still … what was he going to do? She was grounded and of no use to him.
  • And … what do you know? A little research reveals it is possible for anthrax to occur from animal hides. You learn something new everyday.

Tell us what you thought of the the mid-season finale in the comments below.

 

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