If there's still any lingering doubt that those black helicopters we saw earlier this season – the ones that tie the series to the upcoming Rick Grimes/The Walking Dead films – were going to play a major role in AMC's Fear the Walking Dead, they were put six-feet-under (with a bullet to the brain so they don't return) last week with "Skidmark." So with that level of build-up and expectations, did this week's episode "The End of Everything" meet the challenge and position Fear the Walking Dead as a major player in the Walking Dead universe's upcoming film trilogy – and how?
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 5 "The End of Everything": Althea chases a story with dogged determination, putting the mission, and her life in danger.
● The soldier who took Althea is named Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), who we learn is referred to by the CRM soldier on the other end of the radio as "Ground 17." Isabelle and her partner were on a mission to secure equipment to purify water, when a run-in with some "atomic walkers" results in her partner flipping out and Isabelle having to kill him after he breached the security of the operation. CRM are sending a reclamation team to her location, so the clock is ticking.
● The warning Isabelle gives Althea if she ever runs into anyone suited up like her from CRM: be afraid… be very afraid ("We are a force who are not living for ourselves or for the now"). Something to keep in mind? Her words in that moment sounded almost like a practiced mantra said before battle or war – or what members of a cult might sound like as they chant.
● Later in the episode, Isabelle is forced into a position of having to tell her story to Althea – and this is where we get some interesting tidbits. The soldier-stranger tells her that where she's from is larger than either of them – than any of them – and that they are taking a very proactive move towards building a better future. As we see tonight, the "greater good" far outweighs the individuals where they're from – and it's not open to visitors. Isabelle strongly urges Althea not to have her friends anywhere near the helicopter if the reclamation team arrives – it will not be pretty.
● BTW…where Isabelle's from? There's beer, too… priorities, people!
● Isabelle needs the tape and maps because if they ever fell into the wrong hands, it seems whatever CRM is working on will be exposed. She forces Althea to make a choice: her need for "The Story" over saving the future – which is apparently what she does when she chooses to lie to Morgan (Lennie James) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey).
● The scene we saw in "Skidmark" last week and again this weeks from Isabelle's perspective was the securing of fuel containers to get Isabelle's helicopter to a refueling station – and be able to call off the reclamation team after lying about Althea's fate.
AMC's "Fear the Walking Dead" Season 5
Heading into season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the group's mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what's left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts.
But trust won't be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when our group finds themselves in unchartered territory, one which will force them to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only through facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.
Earlier this year, FTWD cast member Alexa Nisenson (ex-Vulture Charlie) was promoted from recurring to series regular for the upcoming season. Joining Nisenson are Karen David (Legacies, Galavant) as series regular Grace, The Walking Dead alum Austin Amelio reprising ex-Savior Dwight, and the returning Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar. Bailey Gavulic (Prodigal, At The End Of The Day) will play young survivor Annie, who ends up crossing paths with our crew. Cooper Dodson's (American Horror Story, Preacher) Dylan and Ethan Suess' (Scorpion, Henry Danger) Max are two additional new survivors this season, though what their connection to Gavulic's Annie (if any) is still unclear. Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, The Stand, Watchmen) also joins the cast as shady denim factory co-owner Logan.
Nisenson, David, Blades, Amelio, Gavulic, Dodson, Suess, and Frewer join Dwight's crossover comrade Morgan (Lennie James) on the upcoming season of The Walking Dead spin-off series, which has undergone some major changes over the past year. Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, Mo Collins, and Daryl Mitchell joined James on the series last season; with Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, and Danay Garcia the only original cast members heading into the fifth season. Daniel Sharman is reportedly reprising his role as Troy Otto, though how his character will come into play during the upcoming season is still unknown.
AMC's Fear the Walking Dead is executive produced by showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, as well as Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, David Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero, and produced by AMC Studios.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT – leading fantasy-horror series adaptation NOS4A2, based on Joe Hill's best-selling novel.