If you're a fan of the Walking Dead universe, things are pretty sweet right now – especially from the perspective of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. Aside from having an epic appearance at this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), we learned not only had the series been picked up for a sixth season, but also that the second-half will see the arrival of some new survivors.
Colby Minifie (Jessica Jones), Peter Jacobson (The Americans), newcomer Colby Hollman, and Holly Curran (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) join the series when it returns – and we even got a new trailer for the final episodes for this season (no worries: FTWD will be back for a sixth go-around – in some form, considering the teases about this season being a "game-changer").
In this week's episode "You're Still Here," Morgan (Lennie James) makes his way to help Althea (Maggie Grace), while Alicia's (Alycia Debnam-Carey) attempts to track the painted trees appears to have hit a roadblock – even as she and Strand (Colman Domingo) pick up new survivor Wes (Hollman). And then there's that matter with Logan (Matt Frewer) and his folks…
But as much as we're here for all of that – we kinda' aren't. Well, we are – but we're looking at this season's episodes from the perspective of how they connect with The Walking Dead and – as was the case earlier this season – the upcoming The Untitled Walking Dead Film featuring Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes.
But first? An obvious MAJOR SPOILERS warning, followed by an episode-reminder, and then our observations from this week:
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 11 "You're Still Here": Alicia and Strand answer a call for help; Morgan and Al hit a roadblock.
Full disclosure? Painfully light connections this week from what was otherwise a strong outing this week.
Here's a look at our takeaways from "You're Still Here":
● OPENING CREDITS: One of the more optimistic openers – with a message of hope on a tree ("If you're reading this you're still here") with an open field and bright, clearing skies. Hmmm…
● Sorry, Morgan – that staff just ain't in the shape it used to be when it was taking out Saviors. Seeing his swing-and-a-miss at the walkers was both amusing and a little sad.
● Okay, we're counting this since it connects to something in the Walking Dead universe that isn't FTWD specific – in this case, the following video from "The Althea Tapes" gives us background on how Althea knew the combination for the bank vault. Important to note, since I have a strange feeling people are going to call out Althea for "just knowing" how to get into the vault.
● So now Logan knows about Morgan's backstory – and uses it to twist the knife a little more. One problem for Logan? Morgan may be a man on a path to redemption, but The Walking Dead has shown us what happens when Morgan strays from that path.
● If you're a FTWD fan, then you know the meaning behind "no one's gone until they're gone" – and we think Madison and Nick would be proud of her.
● Biggest disappointment? I was expecting for Althea to open up to Morgan about Isabelle (Sydney Lemon) and the black helicopter/CRM deal, but no dice. Some vague general references that we could pull some meaning out of – but not the direct connect we were hoping/waiting for.
● THEORY: Logan found out about the bank from…??? He mentions about this being "bigger" than even Morgan realizes – and then references a "ticket to the promised land" in the promo for next week. Could the oil fields be their ticket onto a black helicopter and off to… someplace else where the initials "CRM" are around a lot?
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) plays young survivor Annie, who ends up crossing paths with our crew alongside Cooper Dodson's (American Horror Story, Preacher) Dylan and Ethan Suess' (Scorpion, Henry Danger) Max. Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, The Stand) also joined the cast as shady denim factory co-owner Logan. Colby Minifie (Jessica Jones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Peter Jacobson (House, The Americans), newcomer Colby Hollman, and Holly Curran (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) are set to join the series in the second-half of the season.
Nisenson, David, Blades, Amelio, Gavulic, Dodson, Suess, Frewer, Jacobson, Hollman, and Minifie 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 into the fourth and final season of Preacher.