AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 4, Episode 4: “Buried”
Directed by Magnus Martens
Written by Alex Delyle
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Good Out Here” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Laura” – click here
Althea (Maggie Grace) keeps on driving the gang ahead, after they had to leave Nick (Frank Dillane) behind, dead. Even if she, John (Garret Dillahunt), and Morgan (Lennie James) are now part of this group, the group’s lost an important part of their core. Things have absolutely irreparably changed. Particularly considering that Nick was our first perspective in Fear the Walking Dead, there’s implications for us an audience, that part of the POV for the whole series has shifted.
With Al getting some videotape of Strand (Colman Domingo), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and Luciana (Danay Garcia), the latter offers that there was a day, back before, when they could’ve prevented “all this” from occurring.
Skip back to the baseball stadium. Things were getting rough, considering they were mixing “cattle feed” with their remaining food to get by. Yet people were optimistic, despite the rations. Madison (Kim Dickens) was keeping everybody in hope, even with Mel (Kevin Zegers) and the Vultures hanging around outside circling like their avian namesake.
For a while, Strand was getting closer with Cole (Sebastian Sozzi), as they went scavenging. They’re cute together, too. No matter if they get into danger, and no matter if it was never going to last, anyway. Meanwhile, Nick was pushing himself to go out on runs again. He and Luciana went into town doing more of their own scavenging. He wanted to give people a “reason to fight.” Starting with books. This was a way Nick hoped to show little Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) there was something other than survival and food and death. Of course, we know how this ended. Fucking tragic.
John’s intent on finding his Laura, somewhere out there. He tells Morgan not to leave, that he’d like him to be there when he finds her. We know Morgan doesn’t want that, which he makes clear. So sad to see someone like John juxtaposed with Morgan, whose humanity’s worn so thin being out there with people, watching them die, over and over again. John just wants to be around people, to feel that humanity, whereas humanity’s become more a bane for Morgan. Great writing bringing them into each other’s lives.
Back to the stadium days. Naomi (Jenna Elfman) went out with Alicia, the two of them getting to know one another better. They stumbled onto an abandoned water park, and saw a spot barricaded up at the top of one of the slides. Like two bad asses, they waded through a pool of waterlogged zombies to get up onto a slide. Easier said than done, though. They eventually made it up, finding a machine gun and ammo. A quick tumble put them both sliding down towards a pit of the dead again, as Alicia grabbed the machine gun’s barrel on her way. A NAIL-BITING SEQUENCE! One of my favourites of the series. Unique little spot to put these two in. Also shows us how Alicia wound up with that barrel she later fashioned into more of a spear-like weapon. Except after this struggle, Naomi tried leaving on her.
At the same time, Strand was planning for “self preservation,” as always. He was stowing food and other provisions away. He offered Cole the chance to go with him when things got too bad. Only Cole refused, believing the food and everything else could be put to use at that time, helping everybody at the stadium. He wasn’t going to be part of that. Strand brought his stashed supplies back, rather than leaving on his own. He didn’t tell Madison the truth, neither did Cole reveal it.
“It takes more than one bad afternoon, or a good one, to turn somebody…”
Everyone was thinking about a different way, starting over, going somewhere else. Not everyone wanted to walk away and admit that the stadium wasn’t turning out was they expected. Least of which were Madison and Nick.
Speaking of Madison, she was constantly dealing with Mel and his Vultures lurking out beyond their walls. Mel, in particular, is an antagonistic little prick, always poking the bear. He and Madison would have their chats, and she humoured him, if only to keep a modicum of peace. She was busy trying to push for a mutual peace, wanting to work as one. He tries cautioning against blind optimism, as he claims he fell into once upon a time, costing many their lives. Truth? Or ominous bullshit to make Madison question herself? Maybe both.
Then Nick and Luciana came up with a plan, to hopefully help save their crops. They were going to head north on a major run. Not only that, Naomi wanted to set up “an infirmary” along with Alicia’s help. Problem is, in hindsight, the group now realises they were too optimistic, which is why Nick died. Their optimism was the beginning of their end. Because, unfortunately, in the post-zombie apocalypse – and my man Morgan knows this – at times, you’ve got to eschew morality in order to keep on living. We just don’t know, yet, what happened at the stadium to ultimately turn things so bad.
Alicia and the others stop so they can dig up a stash of guns and ammo. They’re planning on going after the rest of the Vultures, to find revenge. They found a location on the one Nick killed, so they’re going to head off the group, hoping to kill them. Morgan reminds them they have to give Nick a proper send off. Everyone stands around for the burial, then it’s off they go, with Al agreeing to take them further on their journey.
When they’re packing up, John sees something familiar – it’s a bag belonging to Laura. And it’s the same bag Naomi had on her with that pistol. Whoa. Luciana says Naomi died during whatever went down at the stadium. Poor John’s left devastated by this news, not wanting to believe it. He chooses not to go with Al and the others, walking off in the distance, and Morgan decides he’ll stick around, as well. Oh, my. I don’t like when groups split up. Never good.
This was a solid episode. Still building towards a revelation about whatever happened at the stadium. I’m fearing Madison got killed, and that’s why Nick lashed out in revenge. But wouldn’t it be so much worse, so much more tragic if Madison were still alive somewhere? Then her son would have died in vain. Either way, LOTS OF STUFF HAPPENING! Digging it. Great season so far.
“Laura” is next. Itching for more about John and Naomi/Laura.