While AMC's Fear the Walking Dead fifth season kick-off "Here to Help" may have been lacking in Dwight (Austin Amelio) and some of that "optimism" we were promised duirng the show's preseason (more on that in our review here), it had some major bonuses to make up for it. Matt Frewer's Logan has some serious long-term potential as a character, and viewers were also introduced to some promising young cast additions.
But for us? It was showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss doing us a solid by proving our suspicions correct: Althea (Maggie Grace) became the show's linking device to the upcoming Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) films – the potential of which elevates this season's importance dramatically. So how did the second episode "The Hurt That Will Happen" stack up?
Let's take a look…
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 2 "The Hurt That Will Happen": Morgan and Alicia meet a survivor; the group struggles to achieve their goal; Strand makes contact.
● So about those opening credits? Instead of the crashed plane site, we have a sequence similar to this one below – minus Morgan and plus one more walker:
● Looks like we have a "continuing cliffhanger" from last week, with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), John (Garrett Dillahunt), June (Jenna Elfman), and Morgan (Lennie James) on the hunt for Althea. Whoever the "robo-soldier" was who took out Althea last week, they made it a point of clearing out all evidence – as well as the weapons. Not surprised, was pretty much expected: Goldberg and Chambliss aren't going to give us answers that easily.
● Aside from finding out who "Skidmark" is, the scenes between Colman Domingo's Strand and Ruben Blades' Daniel was as awkward, uncomfortable and sad as they needed to be – especially the scene where Strand tells Daniel about Madison and Nick. What sold me on this growing storyline is the way Daniel reacts when he realizes Strand's telling the truth.
He doesn't care.
Okay, that might be a bit strong: he cares… he just can't shake his (completely justifiable) feeling that anything Strand gets involved with goes straight to crap. So it's no second plane for Strand… instead? It's fend for yourself outside the gates, Strand – with a couple of well-placed rounds fired off to give Strand some "friends" to play with.
● Just the fact that Luciana (Danay Garcia) owned up to wanting to learn to play the accordion while riding a righteous high on a cloud of pain killers is more than enough to want to see her make it – but that wound really has us concerned. As does the position she was left in by the end of the episode…
● BTW: Garcia knows how to do comedy and "light-hearted" – give her more of that.
● So someone took out the radio antenna… because that wasn't "wind" that did it.
● Kudos to James for conveying the hurt and heartbreak of having to give up his now-radiation-contaminated fighting-walking stick (special "no-prize" to whoever comments below with who gave him the stick and when) – almost as painful as removing his wedding ring.
● Grace (Karen David) is a calming, almost Madison-like presence on the show – though her backstory is a bit similar to a number of "origin stories" we've seen here and The Walking Dead in the past. I was impressed with the way her character can naturally take charge of a situation – even getting suspicious Alicia to trust her. While the episode ends with our heroes saying goodbye to Grace and her fate seemingly sealed by radiation contamination, I can't help shake this feeling that she still has a major role left to play (boosted by a press release that listed David as a "series regular" this season) – and it might just involve those "robo-soldiers."
Coming off a solid yet concerning season premiere, I was impressed with the way AMC's Fear the Walking Dead "The Hurt That Will Happen" gave us a sense of "forward motion" and that the season is building towards that "something" that was talked about during the show's pre-season. Was it a "great big ball of sunshine"? Ummm… yeah… no. But it left me with a strong, positive feeling about the season moving forward – and that's never a bad thing.
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 in the still-kept-under-wraps role of 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.