Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fear the Walking Dead: Season 4, Episode 11: the Code

So we have the super duper storm last episode and Morgan desperately seeks shelter in a convenient truck full of emergency supplies and chocolate

Really? Because I’ve played computer games with fully stocked medikits in every ancient ruin and rubbish bin and they were less convoluted and convenient

He decides to hunker down for the night there and rest. When he wakes up he’s in Mississippi.

Whut… really? I mean really really? Did the writers completely run out of ideas of how to actually get Morgan away from the rest of the cast?

He looks around the truck stop full of amazing supplies, electricity and water and someone calls on the radio - looking for a “Polar Bear” he speaks to her and she says he can take what he needs so long as he leaves what he doesn’t

He stocks up on some supplies, examines some maps, uses the toilets and is interrupted by Wendall, a Black man in a wheelchair with a shotgun who wishes to discuss him using the disabled stall.

He is joined by Sarah, a white woman, and they introduce each other as twins with a “yeah we know it’s not true but you don’t need to know” look. They seem a little surprised that he spoke to someone on the radio but lay out their spiel - they’re truckers. And when the zombie apocalypse hit they were perfectly placed to know where all the warehouses where, to know their way around the roads, where to find petrol and generally able to move supplies around to where they’re needed easily.

Which sounds pretty awesome. But we’re not running with that, yet anyway.

Morgan tells them about Alexandria and where he’s heading and how it’s a super shiny place of people doing good just like the truckers. But when he hears that the storm was a hurricane (which the truck drove through… apparently) Morgan decides he simply must go back to help his friends back in Texas. They give him supplies for the journey

But with some sad music and zombie montages Morgan reaches a perfectly intact bridge and then calls Sarah and Wendall to say that the bridge is out, he’s coming back. Yes he’s lying, no he’s not going back to help. Morgan’s new found saintliness is chipping

He decides to return to the truck stop to meet up with Wendall and Sarah again so they can go to Alexandria together when he finds a man running - tied up, with a bag on his head, being chased by Walkers. Naturally Morgan runs to the rescue despite the fact that the man, Jim, isn’t exactly grateful. Jim clearly isn’t an extra because he’s played by that guy from 12 Monkeys so he’s going to be around for a while

So Jim is a brewer. He makes beer. And he was kidnapped by people who wished to punish him for the heinous crime of inflicting American beer on the world steal his recipe. Jim’s really big about making beer bragging about his awards and his plans for the future - basically make lots of beer and hope the world sorts itself out so he can sell beer. Which… I mean his point that humans will infest the planet in time has merit because humans are worse than cockroaches for that… but I think it’s going to be a while before we get a market economy up and running.

They reunite with Wendell and Sarah - and Wendall points his shotgun again. Seems they were the ones who kidnapped Jim. Because Sarah likes beer

That’s pretty much the whole of their motives

Oh and they stole the truck off a guy in Texas who was using it to charitably leave boxes of emergency supplies at road markers

Because this is The Walking Dead and all good deeds and decent people must be punished because it’s BLEAK AND HOPELESS! REVEL IN THE BLEAK! THERE WILL BE NO HOPE EVAH! In case we’ve missed it.

Oh and in this hopeless apocalypse maybe Morgan should stop announcing “hey, wanna come to Alexandria with me!?” to everyone he’s met after 5 minutes

So Wendall and Sarah want to go to Alexandria because… why?

I mean, seriously why? They’re thieves and scammers so there’s a decent chance they won’t be welcomed. They seriously do not have the forces necessary to overcome it. Why is Morgan even worried about taking them there? They’re going to arrive, meet Carol, be invited to look at some flowers and then die a terrible terrible death.

They’re not a threat Morgan. Maybe it’s the Saint Morgan thing. I mean he’s not trying to protect Alexandria, he’s trying to save them from the vicious Carolling in their future.

So they take him captive and demand he tell them the way while they drive to Virginia. He says no. Jim gets on board because he needs a settlement to sell his booze and he’s really that obsessed with beer. He actually has a really good beer speech and how beer is a fundamental to a rising pre-modern-technology civilisation. And he’s not wrong. Except a) not American beer. The apocalypse is bad enough and b) beer is a safe source of drinking water only in societies that don’t know about germs and boiling water.

Morgan isn’t convinced.

They make a stop because the truck is now magically too heavy. This truck that drove from Texas. In a hurricane. Is now too heavy.

This leads to a convoluted state of affairs in which Morgan ends up trapped on top of a car surrounded by zombies with his arms tied and Sarah and Wendall insist he tell them the location of Alexandria if he wants to be rescued. He agrees and they abandon him. He protests they point out he can drop the holier than thou act because he did the same thing with his friends when he lied about the bridge being out. Yes they knew.

So they drive off and Morgan monologues into the walkie talkie about how he’s a wretched coward and totally doesn’t need saving. But if they return they could give him the chance to be a better person

Why he thinks any of them are invested in him being a better person I do not know.

He manages to free himself thanks to those aforementioned caches the old Texan lorry driver was leaving behind. One happened to be within easy reaching distance of the car he was stuck on. This is, what, the third or fourth really convoluted and helpful event in this episode?. Remember how Gabriel briefly thought he was being guided and protected by god? Well Morgan might actually be.

And the others have come back because he was lying about the direction to Alexandria. So he’s not that much a fool. He agrees to show them the way - buuuuuut he has a condition now. He’s all guilty about being a bad person so now he wants to go back to Texas, leave supplies dotted around everywhere and rescue his friends. Oh and the guy they stole the truck from. The rest have to come with him because if they want to go to Alexandria what choice do they have? (Morgan is not an easy man to overpower).

As they drive Morgan leaves a hopey, shary message on the radio to said Texan truck driver or to the people he spoke to who said he could take supplies. And his message is heard by a woman caked in mud who, it seems, has killed said truck driver and is now writing “take what you need leave what you don’t” all over his zombie face. Well… oooookay then we’re going really out there with the next villains

Let me say now that a future spin off where we follow a band of truckers navigating the zombie and bandit haunted roads to connect the newly arising settlements in the rising new society, trading, moving supplies, moving people for diplomatic missions, moving armies to help protect against groups like the Saviours would actually be an awesome new direction for the Walking Dead

This episode makes me think Morgan is high. I mean he continually appeals to the better nature of those around him even when it’s clear they’re not that good people… it doesn’t make him look saintly. It makes him look out of touch with reality

Again, I’m still bemused by Morgan was so resistant to take them to Alexandria in the first place

Also there's raaaaaather a lot of characters now who aren't extra and they're all over the place... who is next to die?