AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 5, Episode 8: “Is Anybody Out There?”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Michael Alaimo
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Still Standing” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Channel 4” – click here
We see Morgan (Lennie James), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Strand (Colman Domingo) and the others calling over the radio: “Is anybody out there?” They try to reach out to others, to give them hope like they’ve found. Morgan was the one keeping everybody hopeful, on a perpetual mission to help others. At least, that’s how it was before things turned really bad for our crew, when Logan (Matt Frewer) got through to them.
Today, Logan’s searching for something at the factory.
And if he doesn’t find it, some people are going to put him in the ground.
Soundtrack note: The opener’s set to an acoustic “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode
Alicia’s showering off after her recent predicament, back at the truck with Grace (Karen David). Is she going to get radiation sickness? She’s gotten the kids out of there as a way of buying back some of what she feels she lost in herself. Now we’re left wondering, just like Alicia. For all her pessimism, Grace is optimistic Alicia will be okay. In the meantime, there’s a horde of walkers that the survivors need to keep away from the plane while they’re getting a makeshift runway ready.
Everyone’s back at the plane, except for Morgan, Grace, and Alicia, as well as John (Garret Dillahunt) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) still out of radio range.
“There’s gotta be good, too.
Otherwise, it just doesn’t add up.”
Cowboy John and Dwight are looking for a car, unable to find one and incapable of talking to their friends. They manage to find one after a bit and get on the road. Elsewhere, Grace drives for the plane. Alicia tells Morgan she simply couldn’t kill any more of the dead back at the treehouse. She’s starting to wear out all that rage, giving way to sadness. Can she find an identity without being warrior Alicia? Morgan wants to pass on “the exercises” he does to her, like Eastman did for him. They stop the truck and the horde surrounds them. They keep quiet and let them head towards the plant’s siren. Doesn’t work so well once the plant’s containment structure explodes. Definitely not after Grace wedges the truck against another vehicle. They have to run for the plane with a massive horde of zombies on the march.
Can’t forget Sarah (Mo Collins) and Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) back on the other side. They’re waiting on their friends and the plane. They go back to Logan, trying to find a way to light up a landing strip. He isn’t willing to help. Sarah talks about what guilt does to a person, how she and Wendell feel every time they’re in that truck they don’t own. She tries to appeal to Logan’s better nature. It doesn’t do shit.
Although later, “Dan the man” (Rubén Blades) drops by with something to help.
It isn’t looking so great for John and Dwight. Their latest ride breaks down. The cowboy’s able to get in contact with June (Jenna Elfman) over the radio finally. He takes the opportunity to say goodbye. He uses the same words Sherry wrote to Dwight in that letter: “You find something to live for, and you live.” June doesn’t want to accept it, and it’s not easy for him to say. But they love one another so deeply the only thing either of them wants is for the other to survive.
Yet messages of hope are all around us, even in the post-zombie apocalypse wasteland.
Morgan, Grace, and Alicia arrive at the plane with all those walkers right on their tail. Strand and Al (Maggie Grace) are starting the plane, preparing to get the hell out of there while Morgan unwraps his staff, considering “radioactive dust” is about to shower them regardless what actually happens. They’ve got to get that plane off the ground. They can’t wait any longer. Morgan, June, and the rest get aboard.
Right as they do, John and Dwight pull up fast. Strand and Al begin a run down the strip as the others try to get the few straggling zombies off the back. They take the plane up into the air, soaring above the nuclear cloud wafting towards them.
At this moment, they’re safe.
On the plane, John uses a golden candy wrapper from the vehicle to propose to June. A nice, sweet moment. Few and far between when it comes to Fear the Walking Dead, or The Walking Dead, considering all the inherent death. On the other side, Wendell, Sarah, and Daniel setup a ton of Christmas lights for a runway to help their friends land. Strand and Al call everyone up to the front of the plane to see the festive lighting— an excellent image. But there’s always trouble around the corner.
While Wendell deals with a walker, another one knocks the generator out and there goes the runway. Shitty for the plane running out of fuel. Wendell has to jump out of his chair and drag himself to the generator in time to turn on the lights, letting Strand and Al pull the nose up, landing with a few bumps.
Everybody’s back together again!
Morgan a.k.a “Mo Mo” meets Dan the man for the first time. A few faces are reunited for the first time in ages. They’ve proven to themselves things CAN be done when people work as one instead of all being scattered. The kids have learned things after letting themselves trust the grownups. Dylan (Cooper Dodson) thanks Luciana (Danay Garcia) for giving him The Little Prince and helping him. The biggest reunion is Alicia and Daniel, who’ve been apart since when Madison was still alive. Nice to see Daniel proved wrong about Victor, too— and Victor proving himself wrong about his own faults.
On the radio, Morgan hears someone calling. A woman saw the plane and heard them before about the boxes along the road. She asks for help, though the connection is cut off. The survivors are visited by Logan, returning with a proposal re: the decaying gasoline. He was looking for the location back there. Clayton wrote it down, and Logan thinks it’s in the journal Luciana found.
If not, they’ve got to deal with some other bad, bad people.
An intense mid-season finale. The ending was a bit anti-climactic. Felt like there was going to be something bigger. All the same, Father Gore would prefer the huge stuff be left for the actual season finale. There are LOTS of things for the show to build on in the latter half of Season 5, so there’s no need to do anything too crazy here.
We’re still worried for Alicia in the back of our minds, the people in those choppers are out there roaming the lands, and these people Logan’s mixed up with will provide more intriguing complications for our survivors. Already can’t wait for the show to return.