Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 E02 "Six Hours" Review: Amazing Grace

Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis and written by series showrunners Andrew Chambliss & Ian Goldberg, the second episode of the seventh season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead offered viewers a chance to see how the other half lives. Actually, "Six Hours" actually represents the 180-degree opposite of that expression. Because as much as Victor (Colman Domingo) was shown to be living in the lap of luxury last week as his dictatorship in & around The Tower continues to grow, Morgan (Lennie James), Grace (Karen David), and Baby Mo are about as deep into the nuclear hell as they can be. Adding to that, being forced to live within the very thing that brought about a second apocalypse in the first place in a forced family situation all while Grace still deals with the grief of losing her own child. So how did things work out for the two people who deserved the most coming out of the sixth season only to be given the very short (and radioactive) end of the stick this season? Well, we're going to throw on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign and throw down a spoiler image buffer as we do a deep dive into "Six Hours."

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Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

Okay, for this week we're going to flip things a bit and start with our bullet point takeaways, because while they add (or detract) from the episode to some extent? This is one of those rare instances where the over-arching excellence more than makes up for any slips along the way. First, much like Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was a presence last week, that's how much Victor was a presence this week, even before Omid Abtahi's Howard appeared. Again, I'm appreciating how Fear TWD can set up these "character forces of nature" and have them be a presence in spirit even when they're not on the screen. And a quick side note? Special props to Abtahi's Howard for quickly becoming the TWDU's most punchable character in a short period of time (a compliment, of course). We're also liking how this whole mystery behind "PADRE" is slowly building. Could this turn out to finally be "The Place" or yet another effort to go up in smoke (and lots of walker-related deaths)? Seven seasons in, Fear TWD has proven it can effectively flip the script on what fans expect and move things in some pretty bold directions. The idea of watching our heroes begin to put together something that could actually last is a fascinating one to pursue.

Fear the Walking Dead
Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

On the "arched brow" side, two things had me… well… arching my brow. Not so much out of a deep concern for the storyline as a wait-and-see "Really? Really?" vibe. First, finding the food rations stored in the floor storage units of the submarine at that exact moment felt a little too convenient. I'm not really sure I can fully but into Morgan and Grace not finding them before, not with how desperate things already are for them when the episode starts. And while I enjoyed Demetrius Grosse's portrayal of Emile LaRoux from the sixth season (the bounty hunter sent by Colby Minifie's Virginia to take out Morgan only to literally lose his head over the assignment). With everything that's stacked against him already, do we really need to add the brother of a long-dead nemesis? Granted, I'm waiting to see how it all plays out but right now it all feels a bit like overkill.

Fear the Walking Dead
Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

Okay, you can now put that all aside because the greatness of David's performance is the only thing that truly matters in this episode. In fact, the greatest compliment that I can pass on to David, Satrazemis, Chambliss & Goldberg is something a friend of mine said while she was screening the episode with me: "My heart goes out for the children they must have lost because they nailed that rage and heartbreak in ways that only those who've experienced would know." I will readily admit that I've had a rollercoaster relationship with Grace since she was first introduced (shit, I even thought she might be working with "The End is the Beginning" folks), but "Six Hours" helped me to realize why. Because when you strip away being a nuclear expert and the apple of Morgan's eye, Grace is one of those TWDU characters who best represents the average person… the viewer… me. So much of my back-n-forth with Grace was built around seeing a lot of myself in her, the good and the bad. But this week's episode brought an epiphany, and not from the perspective of saying that I can relate to the loss she's dealing with as a woman.

Fear the Walking Dead
Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

That moment in the beginning when she's primal screaming into the apocalypse? The resentment she feels towards Morgan for being in a forced family dynamic? Her rationale for essentially leaving Morgan and Baby Mo behind to essentially slow-walk her way to a pretty rough death? Those are moments as human beings we can connect to, moments that allowed me to better appreciate the complexities of Grace (and further appreciate David's acting skills). Thankfully, David had an acting "dance partner" in James, who knew well enough to let David lead. As understanding as Morgan is trying to be, his suggestion for Grace to sing to Baby Mo to get her to stop crying showed a rare but all-too-real example of how one person's "great idea" can be the very thing that tears apart the strings someone else needs to sew themselves back together. That's why Morgan saying to Grace that Baby Mo was never meant to be a replacement for anyone was so important. Did Grace believe that's what Morgan was trying to do? We'll never truly know, but Morgan making sure she understood why he saved Baby Mo was an important step in her being able to move herself forward. So did we get a "happily ever after"? No, but that's never really been what Fear the Walking Dead has been about. It's about surviving long enough to make the next day a little better than the day before. For Grace, that might finally be possible.

Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 2 "Six Hours"

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Review by Ray Flook

9/10
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis and written by series showrunners Andrew Chambliss & Ian Goldberg, the second episode of the seventh season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead offered viewers a chance to see how the other half lives. Actually, "Six Hours" actually represents the 180-degree opposite of that expression. Because as much as Victor (Colman Domingo) was shown to be living in the lap of luxury last week as his dictatorship in & around The Tower continues to grow, Morgan (Lennie James), Grace (Karen David), and Baby Mo are about as deep into the nuclear hell as they can be. Adding to that, being forced to live within the very thing that brought about a second apocalypse in the first place in a forced family situation all while Grace still deals with the grief of losing her own child. So how did things work out for the two people who deserved the most coming out of the sixth season only to be given the very short (and radioactive) end of the stick this season?

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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