As I've done for the past couple episodes, instead of writing a coherent review, I'm live-blogging my reactions as the two-part series finale of Fear The Walking Dead plays out. This is what this show has reduced me to. The live, raw reactions feel more immediate and real and there's really no other way to write about the incoherent mess this show has become.
I may follow this post up with a Season 8 review, or some kind of look back on the Fear's entire 8 season run and mystifying fall from grace. But for now, here are my thoughts—live and in person—as they happened while watching the final episodes of Fear. Enjoy!
Fear The Walking Dead Series Finale GO!
Mississippi Queen is playing, just to confuse the geography even more. Troy and his Boys are gathering a horde behind their truck.
Tracy is back with Troy. I don't remember how this happened? They have Tracy's mom zombie in the back of the truck. Apparently she has to kill Madison. “She put the thinking in her head that got people killed.” This is really the reason?
Someone runs them off the road—a trap?—and I'm bummed out because I'm definitely rooting for Troy at this point. He's got a branch through his chest, pinned to the car seat. That looks like a kill wound to me. He'll be fine.
Tracy is annoying.
Even Troy talks about PADRE like it's the second coming of Disneyland.
Wow I just love listening to Madison and Strand argue about “another way.” Oh hey, Tracy just happens to find the MRAP that Madison is driving. How did she get that from the Alicia Fangirl Club?
“Don't shoot!” Tracy says, which is actually a sensible thing to say given what Madison did last week. She ties up Tracy once she tells her Troy's location. Then she goes to kill Troy.
“What happened to nobody's gone until they're gone?” Tracy asks. She insists that everyone deserves a second chance, but Madison disagrees because Troy is the Ultimate Evil Bad Guy or something. Despite Victor having done far, far worse things. Despite Madison having done a fair share of her own horrific crap.
Madison arrives at Troy's location and delivers a super wooden line before trying to smack him with her sledgehammer. That gets him out of the car. She kills zombie mom. Troy has a major branch sticking through his chest. He seems okay though. He'll be fine.
Oh it's going to be one of those scenes where she starts to hit him and he says “wait” a whole bunch of times.
Troy wants to see his daughter and tell her something. “What could you possibly tell her that's so important?” Madison asks, like a real moron. It's his daughter, you idiot! What do you think?
I can't stand Madison.
She spares Troy…for now!
Tracy is back in the MRAP watching Alicia on a video camera from what appears to be her tree-painting phase. Barf.
Watching Strand and the Alicia Fangirl Club stand there in the back of the MRAP talking to Tracy with their stupid faces and their stupid hair, talking about second chances. This. Is. Not. How. People. Talk.
Troy is burying his dead wife, Serena. “Must be nice to bury the person you love,” Madison says smugly. Eyeroll.
Troy says his wife was pregnant when she got bit. They were still looking for a place to live since Mexico. I guess they traveled through nuclear waste Texas in order to find PADRE? There was nowhere else between Georgia and Mexico that they could have made home?
The story of Troy's wife's death and Alicia's involvement in it is growing more convoluted by the minute. Apparently it was Alicia saving her life that caused Serena to start helping people, and that got her killed. But of course if Alicia hadn't saved her . . . she would have died even sooner.
Daniel Sharman is the only actor on this show putting any real effort into it and he's doing a bangup job. Too bad he's wasting his talent on this show.
Troy knocks Madison down but doesn't kill her. Then Troy walks into a trap, stumbling over a tripwire into a pit. Then suddenly the brother from PADRE appears—out of nowhere!—and knocks Madison out.
It turns out that this guy—Crane—wants PADRE back. He, um, heard Troy's conversation on the radio, which is apparently how he found them, dug a giant pit and set a tripwire in the exact right spot to capture them.
Crane wants to make a deal with Troy. Troy needs a bird name now. Let's call him Falcon. Madison tries to warn her buddies over the walkie-talkie and Crane smacks her. I can't wait until things go wrong for him and he starts blubbering like a little baby again. Talk about the least intimidating villain.
He keeps talking about Madison as Lark. Then there's Nightingale and Wren and I'm getting flashbacks of the first half of this horrible season.
Hey look, Daniel shows up just in time and shot the driver. Luciana is there too (I wonder what her bird name is? Let's call her Flamingo!) They escape without much of a fight.
Boy, everyone is so mad at Troy still! Luciana wants revenge for what his, um, small group of people did to her giant group of people at the truckstop. Sorry, Flamingo, your people are clearly just terrible at fighting! That's not Troy's fault!
The villainizing of Troy is just silly at this point. He's not particularly worse than any of these people or anyone else in the apocalypse. It reminds me of how in Season 3 everyone constantly talked about Madison and what a badass she was, like the show really wanted us to believe it, too. Now they're trying to do the same with Troy as a bad guy.
Oh look Crane is back. “Found you!” he says, shooting wildly at them. I bet he heard her just now trying to reach Victor on the radio. Uh-oh this rope bridge looks worse than the one in Shrek!
Zombies in the swamp below! Crane has an ax oh no! He chops the rope in one blow! Troy and Madison are in the flow!
“I thought I needed PADRE back for making up for what happened to my sister,” Crane says. Because everyone has to do stuff for people who are gone or something. When Troy says he'll lead Crane to the herd, Madison says “I thought your deal was with me.” She has no nuance.
Wait, Crane and Shrike heard Madison on the radio when she was stuck in the stadium and they were the ones who rescued her? They heard her “no one's gone until they're gone” speech. How many years ago was this? Eight? And so these kids from PADRE, in Georgia, were at a stadium in Texas a thousand miles away and saved Madison?
Oh, uh, I guess Crane is dead via zombie now.
“We're really not that different you and I,” Troy says. “I'm NOTHING LIKE YOU!” Madison says. She would lunge at him and roar if she wasn't stuck in the swamp mud.
“They're not gonna find us in time,” Madison says. But probably they heard them on the radio chatter. Boy it would be awesome if they just both died right here.
Nope. Daniel, Flamingo and Strand's Angels are here! They saved them!
Nope! Troy saved her!
So much exposition. Okay, so Alicia gave Serena the pendant.
Every time I see the Alicia Fangirl Club I chortle and roll my eyes. They put these brand new characters in just before the end of the show just to give Scott Gimple's wife a part. Unreal.
Troy is still talking about second chances. My brain is glossing over.
Daniel thinks Troy is full of crap, but he saved Madison. He didn't have to. He could have just saved himself and ran away. This seems to not matter any more to these sociopaths than Charlie's death, which everyone has conveniently forgotten.
Classic rock cannot save this nonsense.
Oh hey they found the herd and the MRAP, fully loaded with endless rounds of high caliber ammunition, has made swift work of most of them. “Gonna take a lot more than that!” Russell says lamely. “Yeah we know,” Madison says lamely back.
“We know how to herd, too,” Dove says, driving by in the back of a pickup truck. “NOOO!!!” Russell cries out.
Madison needs oxygen again. She sure goes a long time without needing it but now, according to June (where'd she come from?) she has fluid in her lungs and has to get back to PADRE. Ah, here's Dwight and Sherry. Cool.
Strand wants to give Troy a second chance. You're all terrible people. Troy is no worse than any one of you monsters. Maybe take him to PADRE to make up for all the bad things you've done. What would Alicia do? What would Morgan do? What would Laurent do?
Oh hey, dad, by the way Madison tried to kill me yesterday.
“This is all I have left of her,” Madison tells Troy, holding up her arm. Then she stabs him with it, killing him a second time. I hope Tracy shoots her in the face.
“I'm done with second chances!” Madison says, then makes a little speech as he dies. But Troy isn't dead yet. He tells her to fight for Tracy like she fought for Nick and Alicia. Wait, Tracy isn't Troy's daughter, she's Alicia's! Troy dies, and Madison screams “no! no! no!” and Tracy is gone.
Oh god this such a ridiculous twist. When did Alicia die then? When did Serena die? Tracy is like 8 years old, so did Alicia die 8 years ago? That wouldn't give her much time to become Zombie Apocalypse Jesus and save the world from hepatitis. But if she didn't die 8 years ago, how did Troy take Tracy and trick her into thinking she was his and Serena's daughter? The timeline makes no sense. None of this makes any sense.
Nobody thinks to look in the big hollow log right there in front of them. What a handy hiding spot!
Madison shows up just in the nick of time to save Tracy from zombies. God this kid can't act. Quit making every story about kids! Then you have to cast kid actors! Kid actors in these very dramatic roles about death and dead moms and dead dads and, uh, PADRE!
Madison, you just act like nothing happened and like this kid should just accept Alicia is her mom without blinking.
More talking. So much talking. So much “I'm not gonna make the same mistake” or “everyone deserves second chances” or “blah blah blah.”
Wow, they brought back Troy after all these years just to have Madison stab him in the stomach. Oy vey.
Okay, now Lark has a gun to Flamingo's head. Lark wants Flamingo to show her the way to Fort Worth. Which is in Texas. A thousand miles away.
Ah, Luciana acknowledges that it's “halfway across the country.”
I hate Madison more every second. I can't believe Kim Dickens came back to this godawful pile of stinking donkey dung.
Ha, Tracy (we'll call her Sparrow) just pulled one over on Lark. But Lark is like “haha! the magazine isn't loaded! Think I'd point a loaded gun at my daughter's kid!” That's called your granddaughter, Madison.
Oh hey, Daniel is here. And Strand's Angels. We finally get a Mexican standoff for the first time in this show's entire run. Cool. Cool cool cool.
Zombies show up. “Shoot them!” one of Strand's Angels yells. “No!” Daniel says. “Suddenly bullets are in short supply! We've had plenty this whole time but now, suddenly, we don't have enough!”
They argue. Strand says “No point in casting aspersions.” Yup.
Frank is on the walkie-talkie now. Frank and Dwight and the rest are at PADRE, and they see a giant transport ship bringing a herd of the dead to PADRE. Maybe Madison shouldn't have killed Troy. This is his revenge from beyond the grave. I love that PADRE has old Civil War era canons. That'll stop the pirates from pillaging PADRE at least!
I love that Strand calls Frank “FRONCK”
Ah good, FRONCK is on the repeater network. Thank goodness they'll be able to walkie-talkie to one another with the repeater network. The repeater network is the beating heart of PADRE. I guess Russell wants Tracy and if they give him Tracy he'll lead the walkers away.
“She's all I have left,” Madison says. “That's not necessarily true,” Russell replies. He tells her that Alicia's body was never found. So maybe Alicia is alive! Like Jesus, she will rise from the dead and fly over America shooting lightning bolts out of her butt to save the little children.
Russell lied to Troy. Boy oh boy these twists just don't quit! I guess Alicia has been alive for all this time but never found her daughter? I guess that's like Madison never finding Alicia despite the existence of magical walkie-talkies that can hear anyone at any time and then pinpoint their location.
Uh oh! The bad guys are infiltrating PADRE. Our heroes in the warehouse have to fight their way out of the zombie horde! I hope we get some meaningful conversations instead of actual action sequences.
There's a “fire team”? Lol
Oh hey Dove found John Dorie's guns for June, who is both an expert gunslinger now and a heart surgeon.
Dwight gives a rousing speech. I'm still waiting for anyone other than Troy to die. Anyone. Any main character at all. Do they have the guts to kill a few of these off before this miserable show comes to an end.
There goes Russell. Boy, what an important character. Everyone sure will miss him.
Oh cool, Strand and Daniel arguing over Strand's motives. This has never happened before. “Every single person I cared for and lost” because of you and you, Daniel says to Madison and Strand. He's right about that!
Hey, Daniel just referenced Travis! Just said “your husband” but I do believe this is the very first time he's been referenced in any way since the reboot. Crazy.
Daniel is dropping some truthbombs. He says Madison is losing her mom and calls Strand a selfish pathological liar. Truth, Daniel. Truth.
FRONCK! FRONCK! I know you're fighting for your lives but let's have a convo on the walkie. FRONCK! FRONCK! Why aren't you answering me?
Geez, dude, I wonder.
Madison isn't going. BUT FRONCK, KLAUS!
Shut up, Victor. Your German family is stupid.
I'm reminded that Madison is the only person in the apocalypse who ever lost anybody. Unique among all others, she lost her children and has to look for them . . . after not looking for them for 8 years while she worked for PADRE. Mmhmm.
Strand is not happy that Madison isn't helping him after he helped her. Tearful parting. Melodrama. “If you find Alicia…tell her I tried,” Strand says. Madison sucks.
Cool, now we get a Tracy/Madison conversation about Alicia. Oh even better, we get more of Madison talking about her crappy dad. The very worst speech in Season 3 was Madison's discussion of her childhood, and now we get to relive it! Madison's southern accent “My daddy, my mama” suddenly comes out strong. Mmhmm.
Madison's backstory is so stupid. She was a school counselor. She doesn't need some dramatic “I shot my drunk dad” backstory. The point is that she's a pretty normal person.
“So you get it?” Tracy asks. “Get what?” Madison says.
“Why I have to do this,” Tracy says, and shoots her. Didn't I say last week that I hoped Tracy would shoot Madison. I think it's wildly stupid that she had to have a “line” before shooting her. And almost hilarious that Madison gives a little dying speech (if she really is dead, but uh, nobody's gone until they're gone or something).
“It can't end like this! It can't end like this!” Strand says, hacking through zombies trying to save FRONCK. “NOOOOO!!!!!!” he shouts. “SNAAAAAAKE!”
Hey look, zombie Troy. Nobody thought to put a knife in his brain? They had plenty of time. Tracy finds him, of course. Maybe zombie Madison will show up in a second? Tracy is talking to zombie Troy. She puts him out of his misery without too much fanfare. Good for her. I'm starting to like Tracy more.
She thinks everyone is dead on the island (heh, Dead Island) but I think that's unlikely. Surely FRONCK will make it out alive.
“You're all I have left,” she tells her handgun, and then Strand appears. I'm confused how he got from PADRE to this random spot in the middle of the forest in the middle of the night.
There's something he needs tot tell her. I think it's an apology for his hairdo, but I could be wrong.
Wait, Madison saved all of them according to Strand. I guess Madison and her bad lungs can easily survive a bullet to the chest. OH MY GOD THESE TWISTS ARE BLOWING MY MIND.
Oh the bullet was stopped by the medallion. ALICIA'S MEDALLION. I guess Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss just watched The Man Who Would Be King or something when they wrote this pile of garbage.
I love that instead of showing this, we're getting it mostly as exposition from Strand, telling the story like it happened a long time ago and not, uh, like four hours ago. What kind of crack are these guys smoking? It must be the good stuff.
After Madison realized she was alive, Strand tells Tracy (and the audience) she realized she had to do something BIG, something MONUMENTAL in order to restore Tracy's faith. (This is the woman who tried to kill Tracy two days prior, mind you, and who just killed her dad in cold blood).
“My faith in what?” Tracy asks. “In what's worth fighting for,” Strand says with a straight face.
We see Dwight and Sherry in slow motion. “GO!!!” they say in slow-mo speech. Dove in slow motion now. So much dramatic slow motion. Slow motion June doing slow motion first aid. “There's no way she could have saved you all,” Tracy says, with the same exact expression she's had on her face the entire time.
“The same way she did once before,” Strand says. And we get a total repeat of the stadium, with Madison leading the dead into PADRE—the place they've all been fighting and dying and killing for— “So that we could live,” Strand says, talking about one of his best friend's very recent death without a shred of grief. Just a morality lesson for young Sparrow.
Don't worry, Madison will be just fine.
Ah, now Tracy is upset that Madison “died for her” after, ya know, just having attempted to kill her. None of these characters make a shred of sense.
Okay so Madison, who was brought back from the dead from Season 4, and Troy who was brought back from the dead from Season 3, are the only characters who have died at this point. Characters who already died are the only ones who have died now.
Wait, is Madison alive? She's breathing? Tracy is watching over her? I thought she was exploded in a fiery ball of gas and flame? Not a hair on her head is burnt. Nobody noticed that she's alive? How did she get into this tent?
WOW THESE TWISTS.
Oh, okay, so Tracy dragged her up in a stretcher and gave her antibiotics and all the other characters who Madison saved just . . . bailed. AND SHE SPENT HALF A DAY DIGGING HER OUT OF THE RUBBLE.
Madison saved herself with her oxygen tank.
This is maybe the single dumbest thing that has ever happened in this show. Tracy now thinks of Madison as family because she saved people she didn't know. She's forgiven her for killing her dad. Shoot me now. Just put me out of my misery.
“Is anyone there?” someone says from outside.
Oh snap, it's Alicia! She's here to bury Madison. She just…uh, I guess showed up out of nowhere right when her mom died after nobody has seen her in years and years. This is supposed to be some big emotional moment but it's just so damn stupid, so unutterably stupid. But cool, now we have three generations of Clarks.
“I just can't believe it's real,” Madison says.
“It is,” Alicia says lamely. “It really is.”
Ah, Skidmark is back. That's something at least.
“How did you find us?”
“A story,” Alicia says, “About a woman who sacrificed herself here. And the person who told me said her name was Madison.”
THIS ALL JUST HAPPENED A DAY AGO. You're telling me this “story” spread across the land so fast that Zombie Apocalypse Jesus heard about it and got here to the exact spot—the impossible to find PADRE—just as Madison woke up?
This has to be a joke. Nobody is this much of a talentless hack. These showrunners have to be pranking us. Surely, surely nobody is this stupid.
Alycia Debnam-Carey really should have passed on returning for this stupid cameo. Madison tells Alicia that Tracy is Alicia's daughter. “I never had a kid,” Alicia says. Troy was lying, of course. Serena really was her mom.
Madison is confused, but obviously Troy lied to protect Tracy. Tracy sure is chill for having just lost her dad.
AH. ALICIA HEARD THE STORY VIA RADIO CHATTER. IT ALL MAKES SENSE.
I'm pretty bummed out that they didn't go to Fort Worth for some of that good Texas barbecue.
Alicia started using a different name so that Troy couldn't find her. Was it a bird name? Please let it have been a bird name, like Magpie!
Uh oh, trucks. They've crossed out the P on PADRE and it now says MADRE because of Madison. Lol. LOLOLOLOL
June is going back to Texas to John's cabin. Dove is going with her. She wants to learn medicine, but I'm thinking she actually wants a sugar mama.
Exposition about John Dorie. Neat. That cabin is probably completely gone at this point.
So let's see, actually zero main characters survived. Dwight and Sherry are alive. June, Daniel, Luciana, Strand, Madison. All alive. All the bullets and gas a girl could want. Fancy.
Dwight wants to take everyone to the Sanctuary and Sherry is like “Dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee…”
But seriously, the Sanctuary is a terrible idea. Maybe go to Alexandria. OR, uh, just any of the myriad other buildings, structures, towns etc. that could be turned into a fortified base. I guess Dwight and Sherry are getting their happy ending, after all. Gag.
Oh wait, Daniel is now making up with Strand? “Thanks for the Abigail.”
“For the sake of others and our own sake, I guess we have to try to change,” Daniel says.
“I think I have,” Strand says.
“I'm tired of war,” Daniel says in German. “All the best.” Since when does he know German?
This is the sappiest ending imaginable. Everybody is friends again. “Gracias,” Luciana says to Strand, but he doesn't understand because it's not German.
Oh, okay I'm happy that Daniel and Skidmark get reunited. Everyone else should have died and these two should have walked away into the sunset, into the spinoff The Walking Dead: Daniel and Skidmark.
All the trucks drive away. I guess they didn't have the budget to film Alicia reuniting with anybody else because I'm not sure what other reason Madison and Alicia would have not to reveal that they're alive to their friends. They leave a flower in Strand's truck instead.
So glad FRONCK and KLAUS survived.
Wow, not a single main character death. Not one. Even The Walking Dead killed off Rosita.
Strand sees Madison and Alicia in the rearview. It would almost be a nice moment if the rest of the episode hadn't curdled my brain so entirely.
Ah, Madison thinks she's better as a martyr. Makes sense I guess. People need “something to believe in” in this show. So they can go help people and make up for the bad things they've done. She wants to go back to Los Angeles now.
Cool that Tracy is just down to hang with the woman that killed her dad yesterday. Off they go to LA. Madison, Alicia and Tracy driving off down a Georgia road.
And that's it. They didn't save PADRE, but they found Alicia. Nobody died except Troy. And a small part of my soul.
I'm not sure what I'll do now that this is over. No other show will ever be quite this entertainingly terrible. Oh well. Pterodactyl signing off for the last time.
Though hey, nobody's really gone until they're gone.
PTERODACTYL WILL RETURN