AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 5, Episode 11: “You’re Still Here”
Directed by K.C. Colwell
Written by Mallory Westfall & Alex Delyle
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “210 Words Per Minute” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Ner Tamid” – click here
Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is continually interested in the YOU’RE STILL HERE painted trees, hoping to find whoever’s doing it. She’s also not killing anymore. She comes across a rotting zombie caught in a bunch of leafy vines, and it pulls itself apart trying to get at her— a metaphor of what she doesn’t want to be, a mindless killing machine, even if it’s only about survival. Another zombie nearly gets at her. Strand (Colman Domingo) is nearby to help. Alicia feels weak because of it. She knows it’s not healthy for her “to be out here,” too.
Over the radio, they get a call from Wes (Colby Hollman), the guy who Logan (Matt Frewer) and his convoy rolled on their way. The pair give him a lift, along with his bike. He’s got a brother waiting. Another good zombie term comes from him: “eater.”
Elsewhere, Morgan (Lennie James) meets up with Al (Maggie Grace). They clear a bank of a few lingering walkers to get to a safe. Morgan’s staff is getting rough. A suggestion to replace it shows us, just by the look in his eyes, he’s not ready to let go. They’re getting into the safe so Al can leave all the recorded tapes in a secure place, in case none of them make it in the end. With Logan roaming alongside his crazy convoy buddies, the end could always potentially be close.
Alicia and Strand take Wes back to a police station, where he and his brother have holed up. They wait outside while he runs in to let his brother know what’s going on. Then it all goes to shit. A guy runs out, with a bullet wound, and steals the truck. Wes tries to gun him down, drawing zombies. Thankfully there’s police weapons. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all fine. A horde is making its way to the station, and poor Victor’s temporarily blinded from tear gas. They do get inside in time to avoid the crowd of walkers. Also, Wes reveals he doesn’t have a brother who’s living. That guy was someone who stole his things. So the duo’s lost their vehicle for a bunch of bullshit.
The altruism won’t stop. Strand insists they’ve got to track down the injured man. Alicia calls Morgan and Al over the radio, breaking protocol about “broadcasting our location” because she needs help finding this guy. Meanwhile, the three are stuck at the police station, crowded in by zombies.
Al and Morgan come across a transport truck sideways over the road. It’s Logan and the armed convoy. They heard about the latest situation over the radio. Logan tries to use the group’s altruism against them, requiring the oil field location to clear off. Is one man worth giving that over? Morgan and Al look at their map to figure out a different route, but no use. He attempts striking a deal. Logan’s got his own plans apparently— “big girl, big boy” stuff the other survivors won’t approve of, he says. No deal. And it gets especially nasty when Logan brings Morgan’s family into it.
This leaves Al and Morgan seeking another way to their destination.
Our group is starting to see not everyone needs / wants saving. They can’t keep on believing they’re the saviours of everybody in the post-zombie apocalypse. Wes doesn’t want to be imparted any survival wisdom. He does eventually open up to Alicia about his actual brother. He appreciates what help the group has offered him. Doesn’t mean he needs saving. “We shoot, we kill,” Wes says, and that’s how things are in their new world. Either that, or you die. He hasn’t killed anybody yet. Alicia knows what that’s like and she desperately wishes she could make him understand what it does to a psyche to have to kill.
And now, Alicia must kill again. They’re stuck in a bad spot, necessitating her going outside into a horde to get them free, to be able to head out and find the injured man. At least she’s got Wes on her side, and he takes on the burden of clearing the dead.
“Helping other people
isn’t going to make you feel better
about not being able
to help them”
Glass breaks in the station doorway, letting walkers inside. This means Alicia has no choice other than kill, left with a blinded Strand. She keeps flashing back to her traumatic moments. Victor’s able to help her out, even without full use of his eyes. Neither need to do much with Wes taking care of business.
They track down the injured guy, finding him already zombified and carrying whatever it is he stole. Wes goes to face the man on the road and sees the guy’s still alive, prompting him to stick a knife in the guy. He’s looking for a manuscript he wrote. The dude was just trying to finish the thing. And Wes leaves it behind with the dead man.
Alicia flicks through the manuscript. She sees the same inscription that’s written on the trees. It may have been a waste of time overall, but it’s actually been part of Alicia’s journey here, to realise she needs to stop looking outside herself for answers, to start looking inward. She starts painting her own trees with white doves, and she starts to kill again, when necessary. She paints the trees with her mother’s motto: No one’s gone until they’re gone. (Father Gore keeps praying Madison didn’t actually die and that she’ll find her daughter again someday!)
At the bank, Logan’s crew pull the door off the safe.
Oh, goddamn it all to hell! Things are getting extremely personal. They don’t find any journals, though they’ll find use for all this info. Not only that, there’s something larger at play, like Logan suggests.
“What we lost
doesn’t define us”
A good episode helps Alicia move on from her stagnant state. Many have complained about the show over the years, and definitely as of late. It has its faults, no doubt. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have heart. Zombie shows need the gore and the nasty horror. They also need that heart, because without it there’s nothing to sustain season after season. Yes, the plot can slow down a lot at times, but without the human centre there’s really no reason to watch any of this stuff, in Father Gore’s humble opinion.
“Ner Tamid” is next time.