‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season Premiere: “What’s Your Story?”

As the sun sets on Season 8 of The Walking Dead, it rises on Season 4 for its spin-off show Fear The Walking Dead.  We last left off on Fear The Walking Dead with water being the most valuable commodity, the Proctors were going to take the dam by force.  Strand, always the cunning businessman had betrayed the Clarks to protect them and led them to the damn to avoid further bloodshed.  While he did do them dirty, he also helped them out in a big way as the dam was rigged with explosives.  Nick then held a detonator and threatened to kill them all.  Proctor at first though Nick was bluffing, but once the explosive was let off, we saw that he wasn’t meeting around.  While the Clarks and Strand were able to escape, the destructive tidal wave caught their boat trying to escape.  While the season 7 ending of The Walking Dead left us wondering who was killed, the season 3 ending of Fear The Walking Dead left us to ponder who was still alive.

Meanwhile, the ending of The Walking Dead has some direct consequences for Fear The Walking Dead in the form of a newcomer.  Morgan, whose life has been essentially hell since the apocalypse began, has found his way out west.  At the end of season 8 of The Walking Dead, he’s barely holding onto his sanity.  Even though Rick and company defeated Negan and the Saviors, Morgan knows there’s no going back to being regular and with people.  The episode begins as a semi-crossover as Morgan has left the Alexandria/Hilltop area and is now on his own at Jadis’ former garbage lair.  Everyone tries to talk to him and tell him to come back.  He gets a visit from Jesus, Carol, and finally Rick.  However, their pleas fall on deaf ears as he just wants to remain alone.  Realizing that his friends will continue to try and get him to come back to them, he opts to leave everything behind.  He walks, he runs, he steals cars, until he finds his way in Texas where he meets new people.

The first person that Morgan meets is John Dorie (newcomer Garret Dillahunt), a genuine cowboy who seeming has been on his own for quite some time.  Although he’s used to talking to himself, and actually enjoys it, he really enjoys talking with Morgan after he meets him.  Morgan being Morgan, really doesn’t want to be around people in general, and isn’t interested in making new friends.  The two are forced to bond together after a couple bandits corner Morgan and John come to his defense, leading them both to be captured.  Lucky for the two of them, new person #2 is introduced to save their necks.  A woman named “Al” (Maggie Grace) drives up in a souped-up SWAT vehicle that is able to deploy machine guns and the press of a button.  After saving them, Al reveals that she’s a journalist who wants to interview people on the road she meets.  John is more than happy to talk about him missing his love.  Morgan, not so much.  He’s his usual reclusive self, but Al wants her scoop.

It doesn’t take long for the bandits to run back into the newfound friends.  This time, they don’t have Al’s armored vehicle to help them as they were away form their car when they were cornered.  Lucky for Al, she has her own “Wolverine” type of claws, John’s got his six-shooter, and Morgan is a monster with his staff, plus some zombies get involved in their fight as well.  They manage to take out the bandits, but Morgan gets shot so he will need Al and John’s help for a little longer.  He gives her his interview, but doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty, but he basically reveals that he “loses himself” when there are people around.  He tries to leave them but with his injuries, John and Al decide to tag along.  It’s not long before they see an injured woman in the middle of the road.  While they keep their guard up as one cannot be too trustworthy, they are still taken by the decoy as Alicia (our Clark family Alicia) then takes a knife to Al’s throat, and out comes Nick, Strand, and Luciana with guns pointed at them.  Ever the journalist, Al is intrigued with who they are.

The Good:

Fear The Walking Dead is back!  Of course, that’s a good thing!

While we don’t get to see much of our core group of heroes, we instead are introduced to a new group of characters who will eventually join with the Clarks.  While we know Morgan already, we get to see how he will interact with a new group of people.  In The Walking Dead, he’s been with Rick, his Zen master, or on his own.  With these new faces, will he be a leader and work as an equal, or will he once again be their silent assassin when it hits the fan?  John is also an interesting character.  Actor Garret Dillahunt has always played either bad guys or weird guys in most of his roles, this time he seems like a genuinely nice guy.  One thing that feels a bit off is his love for whoever he is searching for.  Something tells me that whoever his long lost love is, she really isn’t reciprocating the same feelings he is.  Al seems interesting.  First off, she has that kickass SWAT van complete with automated machine guys that are quick to mow down anyone she pleases.  She also seems to be interested in journalism.  Was she a journalist before the world went to hell?  Or like many in the world of The Walking Dead, did she change and evolve for the new world.

Zombies!!!  While the world of The Walking Dead mostly deals with humanity when it can be at its worst, and the true monsters are those who result to their basest instinct, there are still undead monsters that east flesh that we have to deal with, something that was placed on the back burner in The Walking Dead.  When Morgan and company are fighting off against the bandits, they also have to do it while also facing off against a small swarm of zombies.  Speaking of which….

These new guys can fight.  John, as stated before, is a genuine cowboy complete with his six-shooter, and although he doesn’t like to kill the living (like Morgan), he also can shoot with the best of them.  Al, while she has the SWAT fan, also has little fist daggers to take out the undead (and presumably the living as well.  Of course, Morgan is our warrior monk insane terminator assassin with a bo stick and dispatches zombies and humans with ease.  That scene where he took out the trailer full of zombies and that one bandit with the grenade was awesome as well.

While we only got to see Alicia, Strand, Nick, and Luciana at the end of the episode, they appear to now be desperate bad guys.  We know that there is a time jump between this season and the previous, but how bad did things get for them to turn into “The Saviors” and try to rob people on the road.  And where is Madison?

The Bad:

For this episode to be billed as a “crossover,” it really wasn’t.  While I wasn’t expecting Rick and the Alexandrians to meet up with the Clarks, it was basically a cameo of Jesus, Carol, and Rick while talking to Morgan for a brief period of time.  Something tells me that eventually, worlds will collide between the two shows, but for now, geography separates them.  The Clarks have gone from California, to Mexico, to presumably Texas, they are finding their way east.  Expect them to eventually end up in Virginia and then we will get a genuine crossover.

While Texas was teased last season as being within John Proctor’s reach as he has a multi-state-wide network, there was no trace of him in the first episode.  Hopefully, they don’t remove him as a formidable foe with the time jump of the show.  By the way, how much time has really transpired?

The Dead:

We got our share of zombies this week as stated before.  Now that we are caught up with the parent show timeline-wise, and in the current time zombies are more of a nuisance than something that’s a genuine danger, hopefully, we will still see more of what we saw this week zombie-wise as they were still a threat.  It would be kinda cool if we did get a Whisper-related threat (they will probably save them as the big baddies for The Walking Dead), or at least a peep of the same thought process of Alpha, Beta, and their crazy army that believe humans are animals and can seemingly control the dead.

Next week, we get to see how the Clarks survived the dam explosion and survived all this time.