With the loss of its lead character, Madison (Kim Dickens), in the Mid-Season 4 finale this past June, Fear the Walking Dead has continued the journey of eviscerating its female characters.
When we initially saw the character of Luciana (Danay Garcia) in Season 2, Episode 9, she was a hard-core warrior. Encountering Nick (Frank Dillane) for the first time, she attacked him with a baseball bat and subsequently spurned his romantic advances until he eventually won her over. In Season 3, Luciana was strong enough to leave Nick in the dust at Broke Jaw Ranch when she realized those running it were not what they seemed. With new showrunners Andrew Chambliss, Ian Goldberg and executive producer Scott M. Gimple at the helm for Season 4, this fierce female character was relegated to lying around a mansion, moping over her lost love, on last night’s mid-season premiere.
Meanwhile, Strand (Colman Domingo) reunited with his lost love, alcohol, and the scenes of him stumbling around the mansion that boasts a “fully stocked wine cellar” were the highlight of the episode. I couldn’t help wondering, though, how much more entertaining these scenes could have been if his drinking buddy Madison had been with him.
Morgan (Lennie James) spent his time wandering around, looking to entice someone to return to Alexandria (and his old friends on The Walking Dead) with him. If I were in this cast, I would take him up on his offer, because if this sleep-inducing mid-season premiere is indicative of what’s to come, this show is going to sink faster than the Titanic.
John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt), by far the best new character introduced in Season 4, is now fantasizing about moving back to his cabin with his long lost love, June, a.k.a. Laura. And if the male writers of Fear have their way, I imagine June (Jenna Elfman) will be walking around John’s cabin barefoot and pregnant by the end of the season.
Isn’t This Show About A Zombie Apocalypse?
June is another potentially strong female character (she lost her daughter and all her friends in the zombie apocalypse and is still standing) the writers have reduced to mooning over a man. She tells Althea (Maggie Grace) she is worried that John will no longer care for her when he realizes she is not Laura, the woman he originally fell in love with. Oh brother – is this a zombie apocalypse or a soap opera?
In the interim, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was following “help me” notes that had been pinned on zombies, only to lead her to a victim who has himself become a zombie, and, as is par for the course in Season 4, a plot line that led nowhere.
Fear The Walking Dead had such promise after an action-packed, well-written Season 3. Throughout most of Season 4, I find myself looking at the digital clock on my PVR, hoping the episode will be over soon and I wonder why I’m even bothering to tune in anymore.
One show I will be tuning out permanently is Talking Dead and it has nothing to do with the alleged abuse allegations against the host, Chris Hardwick. This “talk show” has become almost excruciating to watch, as Hardwick has become a sycophant for Fear and The Walking Dead producers. After Dickens’ character was killed off, she appeared on Talking Dead and clearly stated she was not okay with being written off the show. Instead of calling out the new showrunners on a bulls**t move, Hardwick repeatedly deflected the issue, saying he was sad Dickens would no longer be on Fear. Talking Dead, which used to feature highly-engaging discussions, has been demoted to an hour-long advertisement. Last night’s show was particularly painful to watch, as Hardwick kept rambling on about how exciting and wonderful Fear is, when clearly it is not.
Dickens should thank her lucky stars. At the end of the mid-season finale of Fear, viewers were left wondering what the confusing and poorly written time-shift plot line (and the needless death of its main character) would lead to. As it turned out, from the lack of any substantial story line in the show’s mid-season return, it led to absolutely nothing.