Fear the Walking Dead delivers a season 3 mid-season finale that sets up the back half of the season, but somehow manages to fall flat until the final minutes. Fear the Walking Dead’s 2-hour season finale “The Unveiling” and “Children of Wrath” give us some surprises, but has some questionable storylines.
This season, Fear the Walking Dead began on a promising note. New characters brought new promise for the series and our favorite characters seemed to finally be finding their footing. However, as the series headed towards the mid-season finale, it seemed to lost its speed. Episodes became less memorable as characters were thrown into less interesting storylines. Madison and Troy carried the series on its back heading into the mid-season finale.
The first hour of Fear the Walking Dead, “The Unveiling” is a forgettable hour for the series. The episode works as a lot of set up for the second hour. The most important thing is that we finally meet back up with Ofelia. After being absent for the entire season, Ofelia meets back up with Alicia and The Clarks, but she’s on the other side of the battle lines. When Jake and Alicia head to the Native American camp, run by Walker, to try to broken a peace deal. When Alicia is left behind as a hostage as Jake heads home to try to broker a peace deal between Walker and his father.
It’s at Walker’s ranch that Alicia find Ofelia. Eventually Ofelia heads to the Otto’s farm as a hostage as she gets sucked back into the fold on Fear the Walking Dead. The rest of the hour is mostly dull after Ofelia’s brought back. Nick cuts his hair and joins Troy’s army as he prepares for a fight against Walker.
The end of the first hour is where Fear the Walking Dead’s mid-season finale really picks up steam. As they await Walker’s attack, Troy and his warriors start to fall sick. They’re poisoned, including Nick. Cue Ofelia running away and Madison knows that Ofelia wasn’t there just as a hostage. She’s poisoned the army and Walker is gearing for a fight.
The second hour of the mid-season finale, is a much more engaging hour. It begins with us learning how Ofelia became part of Walker’s group. As Ofelia struggles through the desert without water, it’s actually Jeremiah who first finds her. In a powerful moment, Jeremiah turns his back on Ofelia simply because of the color on his skin. It’s an ambitious move for Fear the Walking Dead, that is shifting to being about human vs. human threats as opposed to human vs. walkers.
The Walking Dead has done very well with the human vs. human, but Fear the Walking Dead feels like it would do better with a walker vs. human conflict. I mean, it is the precursor to The Walking Dead, so where are all the walkers? We miss them. The Native American vs. White conflict is making the shows focus way too broad. The show thrives when it focuses in on Madison and her family, but now we’re pulled back to a larger human conflict.
Eventually, Nick overcomes the poisoning and that’s when the episode kicks into high gear. Madison decides to take matters into her own hands and with the help of Troy, they decide to deal with Walker without Jeremiah and Jake. This leads to Madison opening up to Alicia and Nick about her life before the zombie apocalypse. She reveals that she killed her alcoholic father in order to protect herself. This is the catalyst for the final moments of the episode. Madison talks to Jeremiah and in a shocking moment, Nick shoots Jeremiah. This solidifies The Clark’s power struggle and what will happen going forward in the season.
By the end of the episode, Madison, Alicia and Nick become the leaders of the Otto family farm as Jeremiah falls and Madison tries to broker peace with Walker. Even Troy has a moment where he openly weeps for his father, which continues the characterize him as riding the fine line between villain and hero. Elsewhere in the episode, Victor reunites with his beloved Abigail and makes contact with a Russian astronaut. It’s an interesting storyline, but doesn’t hold much weight in the mid-season finale.
Fear the Walking Dead delivers a mid-season finale that has some great moments, but is ultimately a slow 2 hours for the series. Hopefully the events at the end of the second hour will catapult Fear the Walking Dead to an even better back half of season 3.
MVP of the Week
Ofelia and Alicia are the MVP’s of the week. Ofelia makes her long awaited return and is a total badass doing so. Not only did she survive her trip through the desert, but she’s an asset on Walker’s side. And honestly, we’re rooting for Walker more than the Otto family. Alicia is also an MVP on Fear the Walking Dead. She’s had a very interesting arc this season and she continues to be one of the standouts in Fear the Walking Dead’s corner. Not only does she go with Jake to Walker’s to try to negotiate, she makes a bold move when she decides to stay with her family and fight with them.
Rick Grimes Moment of the Week
Madison has the Rick Grimes moment of the week once again, but she’s seems to have Rick’s temper, but not his brains. She makes some questionable moves in the mid-season, but ultimately becomes the leader of the Otto farm. Especially when Walker offers her a chance to join him, but she decides to stay with the Otto’s.