AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
7×03: “Cindy Hawkins”
Directed by Ron Underwood
Written by Nick Bernardone & Jacob Pinion
* For a recap & review of 7×02, click here.
* For a recap & review of 7×04, click here.
In the aftermath of the nuclear blasts, June and John Dorie Sr. have been hiding out in Teddy’s bunker below ground. They’ve got some supplies, and they’ve got music, too. But it’s a tight squeeze down there. Not to mention they’ve each got painful memories of John Jr. to keep them company. John Sr. uses the radio occasionally, trying to see if anyone’s out there in the wasteland. They play board games to pass the time, they drink a little booze, whittling away the hundreds of days before they open the bunker to the world again. Quite the wearisome routine. Each day is the same, give or take some minutiae.
Until one day it’s not.
John Sr. wakes up to lots of shaking, dirt falling loose, and big bangs. A shelf comes off the wall, then John and June discover another room behind it. No telling what Teddy had going on down there. They find a locked gate, through which there’s a whole other space within the bunker. There are also eerie leftovers of terrifying, bloody things. This is where Teddy actually “killed all those women.” Sick history to John and June’s new home.
June wants to close the room up, but John’s got questions that have lingered for many years and wants to try answering them. She’s sure that won’t be healthy. Yet John Sr. is determined to find any answers that are available to him all these years later. One final victim, Cindy Hawkins, was never found, and John wonders if he might be able to find her now somehow. On top of all that, the bunker’s starting to cave in, and they may not have a whole lot of time left before that happens. June’s working on radiation suits to help them survive, but they really have no idea what it’s like up there, outside in the open, radiated air.
For the time being, they’ll manage down below.
John can’t sleep so he goes into Teddy’s room, looking through what’s left. There are old newspaper clippings and small trophies that Teddy kept. That’s when John hears strange noises outside and goes to investigate. He hears something right above the bunker’s hatch. He calls out to them and somebody replies: “Help me.” This sends John nearly toppling over down the ladder. He decides to suit up and go out for a look.
Up top, John Sr. doesn’t see anybody or anything much right away. He calls out but there’s no response. He sees Teddy’s decimated remains not far from the hatch, and Dakota’s not far, still writhing in the dirt, so he puts her out of her misery. Then he hears a voice somewhere in the distance. John sees a woman standing in the nuclear fallout, yet she disappears, reappearing next to him: it’s Cindy Hawkins. It’s actually a zombie, and June shoots it, saving John. They both see people standing off in the distance with radiation suits and guns, so they rush off down inside again.
In the bunker, John tries to explain what happened but it all sounds a bit crazy to June, obviously. He insists he’s fine, but she’s worried about him. At least he wasn’t only scratched and not bitten by the zombie. June finds out that John’s got himself a drinking problem and he was drinking more than their regular night caps. That’s why his hand’s been noticeably shaking; he’s going through withdrawals. It’s also why he saw Cindy out there like it was all real. Bad time to “go cold turkey,” as he notes. They’re starting to get calls on the radio and the masked people from outside are banging on the hatch trying to get inside.
And John’s detoxing, starting to see more vivid things that aren’t actually there. He pictures Cindy strapped down on Teddy’s table, embalming fluid pumping into her while the blood pumps out. He’s either got to ride this out or finally find Cindy’s corpse somewhere, and neither of those options are going to be easy. June figures it’s best to board up Teddy’s creepy room, but will it help John Sr. at all? Who knows. Anything’s worth a shot.
John can’t even sleep through the night so he’s back trying to break into Teddy’s room when June finds him. He insists on keeping going, even if it means threatening the structural integrity of the bunker. So June stabs him with a sedative, right as the bunker starts to collapse in on itself. When John Sr. wakes up he’s under debris and June’s knocked out, not to mention the masked folks outside are giving one “final warning” for them to come out. Shit’s getting real. But Cindy keeps pushing John to find her, so he digs back into his investigation. John now thinks he has the answer, figuring out a place not far away where Cindy’s body might be buried. This all makes John sure he can find Cindy, and the dead girl continues to insist he goes outside. June admits she lied about some of the numbers when it comes to the radiation and how long they’d need to stay down there, because she was afraid of what’s outside. And now John’s going to find Cindy.
Thus, out goes John Sr. into the nuclear fallout again.
Except he sees the masked people finally breaking into the bunker. He’s determined to save June; she’s the only thing he knows for certain is real. So John fires on them and they fire back. Cindy keeps asking John to go on, to forget June. But he won’t, and he summons all the focus he has to use his old shooting skills. The last remaining person sneaks into the bunker while John’s consumed by visions of Teddy’s victims. At the last moment John Sr. comes to his senses and kills the zombies shambling at him, then he makes it down into the bunker to kill the person about to shoot June. And seconds later they find Cindy’s body buried in the wall of the bunker.
Just when John and June are planning to head out, the bunker caves in on them. Thankfully neither of them are crushed to death. John Sr. sleeps for a few days following the incident, coupled with his detox. And he finds himself above ground. Someone heard John’s messages over the radio and found them, masked up, in the rubble.
Now, John’s introduced to the new military Strand and his regime. He’s not happy, either. Not after what happened with Morgan and Victor at the submarine. Not that he has much choice right now, it’s not like he’s going to leave after being taken to safety. At least there’s booze?! But John Sr. refuses a drink. And he’s not quick to start trusting Strand again. They won’t be leaving any time soon, though, considering there’s a wall of zombies outside Strand’s big, safe complex.
We see Morgan out in the wasteland. He heard the radio messages and he went to find June and John. He hears Victor over the radio, taunting. Strand thinks that Morgan failed to build something worthy. Although we all know the difference. Strand thinks he’s going to “rebuild the world,” but only for those he deems worthy. And Morgan won’t allow Strand to rebuild something if that means hurting people to create it.