January 28, 2023

Speaking Walkers, Bagpipes & ‘Ode to Pleasure’ (RECAP)

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Fear The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 9, “Follow Me.”]

To get the apparent out of the way in which: No, Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) doesn’t make her triumphant return on this episode. However she does get a name-drop in a really key scene, which informs the midseason premiere’s themes.

Specifically, Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) struggling, and never simply from her mysterious sickness. She’s having nightmares a couple of walker main her to Padre, and she or he’s wracked with guilt from the casualties her pursuit of that utopia triggered. An encounter with a mysterious stranger would possibly get her to reframe her mindset about main… and push her to create a group totally her personal.

fear the walking dead season 7 episode 9, alycia debnam-carey as Alicia Clark

Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Alicia has the walker-nightmare, and when she wakes up, she’s in unfamiliar territory. She investigates and finds her mysterious savior about to be killed by a walker. He doesn’t hear it, so she takes care of the issue… and breaks the stereo that was blaring Beethoven within the course of. “What did you do?” her new good friend yells. Seems, this man — whose identify is Paul (Warren ‘Wawa’ Snipe) — introduced Alicia to his house and gave her drugs after discovering her handed out in a barn. She thinks that’s location’s not fairly proper, and there was a woman who saved her, however Paul by no means noticed a woman (what is the reality, Alicia?!). Throughout this dialog Arno (Spenser Granese) barges in and searches Paul’s home for Alicia, however he doesn’t discover her.

Listed below are the small print on Paul: He’s deaf, and had been slowly going deaf earlier than the apocalypse. He misplaced his spouse and what remained of his listening to on the identical day when the bombs fell, and he has a set of bagpipes that belonged to his spouse that he hasn’t touched since her demise. (As with every object with a tragic backstory within the TWD-verse, you possibly can wager they’ll be vital later.) He needs that stereo mounted, and he needs Alicia to assist him repair it. “You assist me get what I would like,” Paul tells Alicia, “and I’ll ensure you get again to your folks in a single piece.” And thus, the deal is struck.

fear the walking dead season 7 episode 9, alycia debnam-carey as Alicia Clark

Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

After all it goes sideways. They take a detour to a school the place they discover a stereo, however after all, Arno barges in and messes the entire thing up. Walkers flood the realm, Arno doesn’t get Alicia however he does get away, and the duo will get caught in a automotive. The second stereo will get dropped and is now ineffective. Greeeeeat. Isn’t it handy, then, that the automotive they get caught in has a stereo Paul can take away and use?

Within the automotive, Paul and Alicia bond over their respective traumas; Paul continues to blare music as a result of it’s the one factor that may do away with the sound of his spouse’s dying screams, whereas Alicia reveals she’s been having that walker nightmare each evening for months. Why? She will’t let go of her remorse over getting folks killed in her pursuit of Padre. And, within the type of Arno, it’s actually looking her down.

fear the walking dead season 7, Spenser Granese as Arno

Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Alicia and Paul make a plan to free her from Arno’s wrath. Paul radios Arno and pretends Alicia turned on him to lure him and his group to his home at darkish. They rig the home in order that the stereo blares as soon as Arno and his group arrive, which attracts in walkers that take out a couple of of his folks. From inside the home, Paul and Alicia take down the walkers (and people) that get via. However it’s not sufficient. Arno will get via and shoots Paul. Alicia maintains she gained’t go away him there, however Paul says she has to… and ultimately, left with no alternative, she does. Paul performs “Ode to Pleasure” (his spouse’s association) on the bagpipes — see, they have been vital later — so she will get away with out being heard. As Alicia flees, Arno kills him.

That’s the place issues get bizarre. Alicia finally ends up seeing the mysterious lady who she thought saved her; the lady says that Alicia “may also help [her],” and perhaps she may also help Alicia. However is she even actual? Alicia then passes out and has the dream once more, however as an alternative of seeing the walker main her, she sees herself. “Padre,” she tells herself within the dream, with all her folks behind her, “comply with me.” That is possible a results of Paul’s recommendation — simply earlier than the battle, he instructed her that the walker speaking in her goals was her personal interior voice, and that she ought to consider in and hearken to herself. Because it seems, his phrases had a big impact.

fear the walking dead season 7 episode 9, Warren 'Wawa' Snipe as Paul

Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Conveniently, Alicia wakes up at Morgan’s (Lennie James) base within the submarine. They’ve a chat about Padre and why Alicia needed to go there, and ultimately, Alicia says she doesn’t need to anymore: She needs to construct it herself. “I’m going to offer [people] what they need — a protected place to dwell,” Alicia says. “That’s how we construct our military, and that’s how we take the tower from Strand.” However she might need a little bit of an issue doing that. Because the episode ends, Arno and his friends uncover a pit of radioactive walkers — “a herd should’ve fallen in,” they are saying — and the resolve to take the tower for themselves. Suffice to say, Alicia’s received a battle on her arms.

Different Observations

  • I like Alicia’s character, and I needed to love this episode. However I do want Concern would cease with the overly handy plot contrivances; on this episode alone, we had the super-convenient stereos, the walkers surrounding the automotive simply form of tramping away so Alicia and Paul didn’t must take care of them, Arno being reachable simply by radio and Morgan randomly taking place upon Alicia and bringing her in.
  • Does anybody else assume Arno seems a bit like James from Twilight? Simply me? Okay.
  • Early within the episode, Paul makes a giant deal about his home being soundproofed. But when that’s the case, how did the walkers hear the music and get drawn in to assault Arno and his males?
  • I’ve to surprise what Alicia meant when she stated Nick (Frank Dillane) “had his dream.” I don’t essentially bear in mind Nick having grand visions of the long run the way in which that Madison did, or Alicia does. Her citing Madison in that context completely is smart, however what would Nick’s “dream” have been?
  • I actually don’t know why we want Arno on this half-season. I had hoped the main target of 7B could be on the Strand-Alicia battle, since their relationship has actual emotional weight and the stakes there are excessive.
  • Score: 3/5. A fantastic sufficient episode, however too many plot contrivances and yet one more occasion of an fascinating “one episode and completed” character. Concern’s pulled that card fairly a bit recently.

Concern The Strolling Lifeless, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC