AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 4, Episode 9: “People Like Us”
Directed by Magnus Martens
Written by Anna Fishko
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “No One’s Gone” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Close Your Eyes” – click here
Extremely high winds and rain make the post-zombie apocalypse landscape a mighty nasty place to exist. That is, if you don’t have a big fucking SWAT truck to stay out of the weather.
In clearer skies, we see Morgan (Lennie James) collecting as much as he can in the way of items, any sort of junk, weaponry, foods, et cetera. He radios back to talk to Althea (Maggie Grace), telling her: “I‘m heading home…” He needs a ride, too.
Afterwards, he goes up to see June (Jenna Elfman) and John (Garret Dillahunt), telling them he plans on heading back South again to Virginia and Alexandria. He offers for them all to come, including little Charlie (Alexa Nisenson). But John’s in no shape for such a journey. Neither can he convince his new friend not to leave.
Morgan also goes to see Strand (Colman Domingo), busy in a big mansion where they’re living, enjoying the “extensive” wine cellar. Luciana (Danay Garcia) is wasting away to country music by herself when Morgan comes to speak with her. She refuses his offer, believing no place is better than any other.
And what about Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey)? She’s living elsewhere on the property, out of the main house. She’s busy killing walkers. She found notes on them saying HELP, so she’s tracking down as many as possible. “Someone needs help,” she insists. Just like mom, and traumatised by losing her mother, unable to help herself or Madison (Kim Dickens). Alicia’s another one who doesn’t want to leave, either. Probably for the wrong reasons.
Note: Morgan looks at a painting in the mansion. It’s a work of Michallon, painted in 1822. You can find it here. Interesting, as it juxtaposes an idyllic, picturesque nature setting against the desolate wasteland of a zombie-filled world.
“There’s nothing for me where you’re going. There’s nothing for me anywhere.”
While Luciana listens to some sweet soul, a walker’s wandered inside the house. Unaware, she’s saved by Strand, who can’t resist making a John Steinbeck/wine pun after he uses a bottle of vino to kill the zombie: “These grapes were not meant for wrath.” Oh, and that killer tune? It’s King George and the Fabulous Souls: listen here!
Alicia soon discovers where the person is who needs help— a lumber mill up the road. The place has been overrun, which likely means the person tacking those notes to the undead is trapped, in need of serious help. Or, is it merely a trap? Time and time again in the post-zombie apocalypse, good people are taken advantage of because of their goodness. Not only that, there’s a storm a-comin’!
On the road, Al and June are going to take care of another situation. They come across a box of items left with a sign, indicating a similar-type of thing to the take a penny/leave a penny boxes. It’s a good faith gesture to others on the road. Al finds it compelling, so she gets out the ole camera. Documenting life after the death of society.
At the bus, John makes a homemade Scrabble board for her and Charlie to play. The little girl is borderline suicidal. She was near eaten by a walker and didn’t even shout for help. She’s in a self imposed silence, hating herself for what’s happened and what she’s done. John knows what it’s like to live in silence, too. Hence, they bond. But when John goes to kill an approaching zombie, the kid packs her bag with books and leaves quietly. Damn. This worries Mr. Dorie, and he wants someone else to help look for her with him. He’s able to convince Strand, using the “bullet in the gut” he took recently as leverage.
“I don’t know what’s left— where to be, what to fight for.”
At the lumber yard, Alicia and Morgan check the place out. They hear lots of growling and snarling nearby, leading them inside a building where there’s a horde of the undead blocking a room’s door shut. What does Alicia do? She goes in swinging, until Morgan gets her to calm down, and the two decide on a better plan of action. They lead the horde outside, where Alicia drops a ton of wood on them. However, all they find inside the shut room is a man who’s been turned “for days.” She feels a loss of purpose. Once more incapable of saving someone. Alicia believes her mother would’ve done better. So, really, she’s feeling the loss of her mother more than anything, trying to carry on whatever legacy there was in Madison’s wasteland philanthropy. She also wonders why Morgan’s leaving them, questioning him, and it could be he’s just looking for yet another escape.
Maybe the best perspective on life after zombies is from Al, who assures June she can remake herself despite what’s happened. She tells her: “Yesterday‘s yesterday, and today‘s today, and god knows if there‘ll be a tomorrow.” She urges June to be June, not worry about who Laura or Naomi was— focus on the here and now.
Speaking of now, the rain’s started. Soon the rest of the storm will follow.
Back at the mansion, Luciana continues to do her thing. She suddenly finds Charlie running around there, chasing the girl away into the rain outdoors. Charlie was there to return The Little Prince, given to her by Nick back at the stadium. This makes Luciana feel guilty, prompting her out into the shitty weather to look for the kid.
Out in the weather, the SWAT truck is bombarded by flying walkers caught in the hurricane winds. It’s gonna get ugly, folks.
Another good episode from Season 4. Fear the Walking Dead‘s characters are so involving for me, that’s why I love the series, and it’s especially why this season has been so rewarding. We’re seeing the old characters in new positions, and we’re seeing new characters, as well. “Close Your Eyes” is next time.