There Is Something Fundamentally Wrong With This Show

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Just like last week, I’m opting for more of a live-blog approach to this week’s review. I find that it’s all gotten to such truly nonsensical, incoherent levels that actually trying to recap what’s going on is almost impossible and it’s better to just react in shock and disbelief to all the truly stupid, mindboggling crap they fling at us each week. So here goes. Maybe, just maybe, this is the worst episode of the show so far.

MORE FROM FORBES‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season 8, Episode 9 Review: Just Say No, Dwight!

No Country For Old Friends

Strand and his German allies have already made it to Padre and I guess other than our main team, everyone else there is a kid. There are literally no other adults. But in this short time-span, Strand and his people have set up shop and all the kids are just totally fine with everything. This on top of them finding Tracy, Troy’s alleged daughter.

Another wooden face-off between two groups with stilted, janky dialogue. This could be one of those video games where you talk to NPCs and it just cuts back-and-forth between you and the NPCs. At least in those games you can usually make some dialogue choices. Here it’s all . . . just mistakes. All the German speaking is so cringe.

June being Very Mad at Strand is hilarious. Does nobody in this show just try to talk like normal people? Just some normal conversation instead of barrelling right into accusations and arguments? It’s like when Madison immediately blew Strand’s cover when she could have just played along and figured out what was going on. He’s an old friend she hasn’t seen in years. Makes total sense to just throw him under the bus to total strangers!

Also, how do they know Tracy is there?

I do agree with Strand that people can change. His line to June was on-point. But June turning around and saying that the “only way” to appease Troy is to give him Strand also is wildly stupid. They have his daughter, just negotiate with her as a bargaining chip. Troy says he wants Padre, why would he just walk away because they give him Strand? This show is stupid.

Strand’s hair is stupid. They’ve really downgraded his character every single season.

So much fuel they can drive these huge boats. And yeah, don’t worry, “he’ll pick up” because these are magic walkie-talkies!

“This place is impossible to find.” Why? Why is Padre impossible to find? What magic spell enshrouds it? What dark sorceries have ensorcelled it?

I love that they keep introducing child actors and new child characters. It’s like the only narrative trick they have. Most of these kids couldn’t act his way out of a bucket.

“We need a place to live.”

“You can stay at the super well-accommodated, fancy hotel with tons of supplies!”

“Oh, right, okay. Didn’t think of that.”

Strand takes off Tracy’s blindfold and tells her to look at the lighthouse so that, um, I guess she’ll know how to get to Padre. Because she saw a lighthouse that is, presumably, a fairly significant distance from Padre since they’ve been traveling for a while. Hands bound, she jumps overboard. Strand follows. The boat mysteriously runs out of power at that exact moment.

Have you ever tried to swim with your hands tied? In a current? I haven’t, but I have tried to swim without my arms and it’s insanely difficult.t I guess this kid just zips to shore, where she’s immediately pounced on by waiting zombies. Strand shows up and saves her. I already hate this kid.

Side-note: I think every single season of Fear since Ian and Andrew took over has been about kids (there was an episode in Season 2 abouit kids but not much else). Charlie in Season 4. The kids they were trying to help in Season 5 who then just sort of disappeared. Season 6 we had the girl who ends up helping Teddy and killing John Dorie. The whole sequence with Grace being pregnant and then they take that one woman’s baby as an adoptive replacement for Grace’s miscarried child (an episode that aired on Mother’s Day, no less). Season 7 is all about a shrieking baby in a beached submarine in the middle of nuclear wasteland Texas. That stupid baby.

And now Season 8 is literally about Padre, a place where they steal other peoples’ kids so that they, too, can have bird names. But that’s not enough, apparently, because we also need Troy to have a kid! It’s absolutely insane how stupid and lazy all of this is, and how they can keep making the same mistakes over and over again and get away with it. It’s like they read somewhere that having a kid in danger during a scary movie or zombie show raises the emotional stakes, and they were like “Oh yeah, that’s a great idea let’s keep doing that over and over again!” Sure, it can work if done properly, but it has never worked on Fear.

Anyway…

Strand (who just saved Tracy): “I’m not going to hurt you.”

Tracy: “Only because I’m not worth anything to you if I’m dead!”

Oh shut up you silly little brat.

Crap we’re only 9 minutes in. Why???

“WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE ME?”

Oh hey cool, Madison has a boombox and she plays it to lure dozens of zombies to her, who she proceeds to kill with her heavy sledgehammer. Did she drink Daniel’s magic juice? Did that cure her respiratory issues? Seems like she’s breathing fine all of a sudden.

Also, apparently Strand planted a tracking device on her because he finds her pretty much right away despite not knowing where she is in the slightest. Do actual human beings write these scripts? I don’t even think AI would do this poorly. (Or did he hear it on the radio chatter?)

I’m sorry, Kim Dickens is phoning in every single line this season. I don’t blame her, but damn. There is just nothing there. Cringe followed by more cringe.

She tells Strand that she already told him she can’t help rebuild Padre, as if Padre was ever even important to Strand until, um, last week. This whole idea that everyone (including long-suffering viewers) should care so deeply about Padre is astonishing in its stupidity. Astonishing!

I hope that Madison roars at Tracy and lunges at her and then Strand has to hold her back. DO IT.

Everyone seems in a hurry to be done with all this crap.

Strand thinking that not giving Troy his daughter back is better for her is pretty ridiculous. The whole bit about “oh you can change but Troy can’t” and him replying “He’s a sociopath! I have issues!” is silly. Strand is clearly a sociopath also. Most of the characters on this show are when you get right down to it. They only help people to “make up for the bad things they’ve done” (which isn’t why you help people) and they turn on each other and do horrible things for literally no reason.

They’re going to take the girl to find where Alicia is.

All the cars have full tanks of gas. And there are NO cats in America and the streets are filled with cheeeeese. NO cats in America….

Randomly turns on walkie-talkie. Instantly gather intel on Troy and other groups.

Kid knows how to read maps. Can pinpoint exactly where Alicia apparently got into a fight with her dad.

Oh hey, look, it’s Daniel and Luciana. “We’ve been monitoring the radio chatter” and uh, apparently they were literally 40 feet away since they showed up seconds later.

Is this actually the worst episode ever?

This whole Luciana turn is so absurd. She goes from being a badass in Season 2 to this wilted flower from S4 to S7 and now, out of the blue, she’s this fierce, unbending leader again. Good lord, this show has no idea what it’s doing or what it wants to do. It has no sense of identity.

“She’s a child, Daniel, not an atlas.” Um, yeah, there’s no way this kid can read maps.

Troy really told this girl every last detail.

“There is something fundamentally wrong with you,” Madison says to Daniel, after they idly speculate that he wants to kill the girl without even asking if it’s true. Oh wow, look how they threw that line right back at him. Three can play at that game.

Strand pulls a gun on Daniel because he thinks he’ll kill a little girl? Since when does Daniel kill children? Shut up, FTWD.

OH MY BLEEPING GOD. ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW.

Just as Strand is about to get killed by zombies, a woman driving Al’s old SWAT van shows up. It’s still running, still has bullets, and just happens to be here at this exact moment. “I thought you were . . .” Strand begins.

“Alicia Clarke?” the woman says. “I get that a lot.”

ARE YOU SERIOUS? WHY WOULD YOU GET THAT A LOT? HOW MANY PEOPLE IN GEORGIA WOULD KNOW ALICIA? DIDN’T SHE JUST STAY IN TEXAS?

Sorry my brain went full caps lock. I always wondered what that was like. **shudders**

Oh no, really, they’re going to make Alicia her mom aren’t they? Troy and Alicia were a thing. Wow. This is actually going to happen.

“We’re sittin’ ducks until we get the guns reloaded.” No girl, you’re in an armored vehicle with fuel.

This girl who knows Alicia sure has perfect hair.

Ah, this is Charlie’s Angels. You got the black chick, the Asian chick, the white chick. Maybe Strand can be Charlie. Ooooh, we’ll call them Strand’s Angels.

(P.S. Why are we introducing so many new characters right before the end of the show?)

They talk about Alicia like she’s the return of Christ. She apparently went into the burning tower and got fuel and drove people away from the tower who, I guess, just showed up there and stood around waiting to die? But Alicia, who was basically dying when we last saw her, went and did all that? And then she went around the countryside helping people find antibiotics, saving kittens from trees, protecting the people of Sherwood Forest from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham! What a hero!

I vastly preferred Alicia just dying at the end of Season 7 to all this “we all knew her she was so cool she helped us blah blah blah blah” shut your face.

Yep, I’m pretty sure this might be the worst episode. Or maybe I’m just at a point where I can’t tell which is worse, so each fresh hell feels like the worst.

I’m so confused how all these people who were at an office building in Texas have made their way to Georgia. There is a thing called geography. Distances must be traveled. There have to be reasons to go one direction over another.

“It’s what Alicia would have done.” Oh gag me with a spoon.

“She never stayed in one place for very long, but word spread about her. Gave people hope.” Barf. Real people wrote this line and made other real people deliver it. Well shucks, partner, nobody saw her face, but when she was needed she’d ride in and save the day, spreading hope wherever she traveled. They called her . . . Alicia Clark.

Blerf.

Yep, they’re here because they “heard it on the radio.”

And apparently if you hear something on the radio, you know the exact location of it, too.

I like that Troy’s entire part in this episode so far is him just walking and talking on the walkie-talkie. He’s a walkin’, talkin’ walkie-talker.

Oh hey, a Mexican standoff! That hasn’t happened even one single time this season. In what universe do you just walk up in a line to another group of well-armed people and they just stand there also? Wouldn’t you move in tactically?

OH MY GOD, JUNE AND CO. JUST SHOWED UP ALSO. WHAT GREAT TIMING BAHAHAHAHAHA

Or, um, it was a plan. They just knew he’d show up there and were waiting for him. What a clever ambush.

Apologies for my CAPS LOCK brain back there. I’m sure I won’t have another seizure this episode.

Why does Troy have basically zero people, but Luciana with her huge army is afraid of him? Because all these people can’t be from Padre since the only grownups there are named characters, right? None of this makes sense.

Remember the really bad gunfights in Season 7 and 8 of TWD? I miss those. Those were Academy Award winning moments compared to these endless standoffs. Are the showrunners afraid to stage an actual shootout?

Why are these zombies stuck in the ground?

Oh, the Alicia zombie is the single zombie with hair that still looks okay. I mean it won’t be her right. But her hair sure is different than every other zombie out here.

“It’s not her.”

How can you even tell at this point?

Okay for a second I thought the girl was saying that Alicia was her mother, but she actually means this zombie out here is her mother? Um, why didn’t Troy kill and bury this girl’s mom? THIS MAKES NO SENSE. He just left her there?

So far this girl’s explanation is total babble-speak. They bring back the “no one’s gone until they’re gone” crap from whatever season.

Oh hey, there’s the oxygen tank. What? Has this even been with her until just now? Good grief. God help us.

I don’t understand any of what the kid just said about why her mom or Alicia are dead. But Madison almost did the roar-lunge, so that’s neat! But seriously, they’re never going to actually explain what happened with Alicia are they?

Wait, they’re tying her to a tree? A little girl? “You should have thought of that before you led us out here!” Holy hell, Madison, wow. And Daniel’s going along with it? Wow.

Girl is begging for her life.

Wait, Troy killed Alicia near Fort Worth, Texas? But aren’t we in Georgia? Do the showrunners really think that Texas and Georgia are super close? It’s 1,063 miles between Fort Worth and Savannah! It’s not like we’re talking about Atlanta and Savannah, or Austin and San Antonio. Lord grant me patience.

How did Strand’s Angels find them?

Are we just going to act like Madison and Daniel are off the hook for trying to kill a kid?

I’m so surprised that the shootout between Luciana/June’s people and Troy’s people took place off-screen and Troy somehow got the better of them. What losers.

“He’s gonna find Padre!”

NOBODY CARES, MADISON.

“We watched your interview so many times the tape wore out,” Strand’s Angels tell Madison. I have no words.

“You almost killed that little girl!”

“To protect everyone else!”

Madison you are an absolute monster. Truly. Perhaps the most monstrous character on the entire show. The only way you could protect Padre, or keep this little girl from telling Troy about a lighthouse she saw, is to tie her to a tree and leave her for the zombies? Die in a fire.

Oh wait, you already did.

This dialogue.

“MADISON! MADISON! THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO END THIS!”

Ah, I see, they’re actually trying to do what the original show was setting out to do and make Madison the real villain. Yep, that’s not going to work at all at this point.

Okay that’s over.

Now one of the nitwits is saying “This whole episode is about asking whether or not Strand can change.” WHY ARE WE STILL CONCERNED WITH THIS QUESTION?

(I should probably not watch showrunner commentary I might blow a gasket).

Something something Strand is trying to reconcile with Alicia, and PADRE is how he can do that, and it “represents the antithesis” and oh boy you really think you’re smart don’t you?

Yep, I’m turning this off.

I didn’t know that a TV show could actually ruin a word for me, but I will never hear “Padre” the same again. I think AMC and these jokers who poop out these episodes each week owe the Spanish-speaking community across the entire globe a serious apology. They need to make up for the bad things they’ve done.

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