‘Fear the Walking Dead’ 3×05 Review: ‘Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame’

Photo Credit: Richard Foreman Jr/AMC

After last week’s Daniel-centric episode, Fear the Walking Dead heads back to The Otto Family Ranch as Madison ventures outside with Troy to find the downed helicopter. Fear the Walking Dead has started to find its footing this season, however certain storylines could still use a facelift.

After last week’s episode, we hoped that FTWD would promptly return to the engaging caliber of “Teotwawki.” This episode finally weaves together Daniel and Strand’s storyline with The Clark Family, however it’s not the most spectacular episode this season. Daniel and Strand’s storyline remains to be filler and not very engaging. This week, they travel to find Ofelia with no such luck again. Can we find Ofelia a little faster please? We miss her.

“Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame,” opens in a very interesting way with an elderly couple living on The Otto Family Farm. Martha, the man’s wife, has turned into a walker. While this opening had interesting potential, it doesn’t take the episode where we hoped it would. Instead of unleashing Martha onto the farm, Martha’s husband kills himself and her and sets their house on fire. The blaze stops two potential storylines. One is how the community would handle themselves with a walker, especially someone they know. And two, is our characters could possibly learn you don’t need to be bitten to turn. Instead, the fire sets up Nick and Jeremiah’s blossoming friendship.

Photo Credit: Richard Foreman Jr/AMC

Nick and Jeremiah hit it off this week, however it’s not a compelling storyline. While we fell like Fear the Walking Dead could be setting up a Glenn/Hershel type of relationship with these two, but we’re not sure. Jeremiah tells Nick about the couple that lived in the house. Nick takes to the story and brings Luciana to the house later that evening for a romantic dinner and star gazing. He’s hoping he can make a life here with Luciana, instead of having her leave.

Is Jeremiah trying to get Nick on his side, in case Madison tries a power play? Or could Nick be getting close to Jeremiah to gain inside information? It’s anybody’s guess right now, but we hope this relationship picks up steam moving forward.

After hanging out with the “prayer group” and walker head Jeff, Alicia returns to being a brooding teenager. Sparks have been flying between Alicia and Jake since episode 1 of the season and in this episode, the duo sleep together. They even hit it off when Alicia spies Jake’s collection of books. While Jake wants to connect with Alicia over art and books, Alicia doesn’t see a point. It’s the apocalypse after all.

In previous episodes this season, we thought Alicia was finally embracing her badass, warrior status, but somehow Fear the Walking Dead has put her back into the brooding teenager category. Something we’re not too happy about. We’re hoping Alicia jumping into the water by episodes end, will put an end to her teenage angst and put her closer to being the warrior we know her to be.

Photo Credit: Richard Foreman Jr/AMC

Once again, the highlight of Fear the Walking Dead is Madison and Troy. In just five episodes, the duo have become the biggest asset the show has right now. Kim Dickens and Daniel Sharman spar in all the right ways in every episode. If we could watch an entire episode with just Madison and Troy, we would. In this episode, Madison and Troy head outside the farm to find the downed helicopter. When they come across a group of Native Americans, who not only shot down the helicopter, but tell Troy they need to leave the farm or else. This confrontation leads to one of the best moments in “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame.”

As Madison, Troy and the others trek back to the farm, with no guns and no shoes, Madison tells Troy it’s best to stop and rest for the night. When Troy objects, she tells him a great leader knows when to stop. Of course, she also brings up Troy’s mother, and she fully realizes she’s his weakness. Madison and Troy continue to dominate Fear the Walking Dead, even in episodes that are very uneven.

MVP’s of The Week

Once again, Madison and Troy are the MVP’s of Fear the Walking Dead. They continue to kick butt and be the most engaging part of season three. Kim Dickens and Daniel Sharman are an incredible acting pair and we love watching them play the dynamic between their characters.

Rick Grimes Moment of the Week

Definitely Troy telling his men to march forward. He’s stepping into his own as a leader and definitely trying to prove people wrong and wanting to be seen as a leader in the community. While he comes across as a bad guy at times, everything he’s doing is to survive. Something very Rick Grimes-like.

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC

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