‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Finally Turns A Corner By Introducing A New Set Of Vicious Villains

(Warning: Obviously, this recap will reveal hefty Fear The Walking Dead spoilers.)

There were an enormous number of problems with the 13th episode of the 5th season of Fear the Walking Dead, “Leave What You Don’t,” including more continuity issues, but I’ll concede this much: At least something interesting happened. Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg introduced a new set of villains, Ginny (Colby Minifie) and The Settlers, and finally killed off a character in Logan. The series has set itself up for a more interesting final three episodes, although based on comments from the showrunners, we should expect The Settlers to stick around well into season six.

The episode opens this week with a flashback. Several months ago, when Logan was still working with Clayton/Polar Bear, he got a call from a woman at a truck stop named Serena who had been cornered by a horde of zombies. Serena was actually on Clayton’s route, but Clayton didn’t respond to the radio call (because Sarah had stolen his rig). En route to offer assistance, Logan arrived too late and Serena was killed (weirdly, Serena held the button down on her walkie talkie so that Logan could hear her die). After Serena’s death, Logan was approached by Ginny and a bunch of folks on horseback. The incident broke Logan spiritually, so he was very amenable to the offer that Ginny made, which was apparently to co-opt Clayton’s oil fields for The Settlers (Logan and Clayton had been working together for a very long time, so it’s inexplicable that Logan didn’t know where the oil fields were, but that’s neither here nor there).

In the present timeline, Logan and his people invade the oil fields, having found them via the cutting-room floor footage in Althea’s videotapes. Logan attempts to take over the oil fields, but Luciana and Wendell — who are working them, along with a lot of child labor — refuse to hand it over. A lot of confusing and nonsensical stuff happens, and before we know it, there are zombies falling off a cliff and into the oil fields and the make-shift refinery is on fire. From afar, John, June, and eventually the Rabbi, pick off zombies, while Logan remains trapped inside a room near the refinery. Sarah goes back to help him, which is when they get a radio call from another woman in the exact same situation as Serena in the flashback, only this time, our friend Wesley shows up at the last second and saves her.

This renews Logan’s faith in what he and Clayton were doing, and it appears that Logan and his people are about to make nice with Sarah and The Convoy when, all of a sudden, Logan and his people are all shot in the head and killed. Turns out, Ginny and the Settlers were watching from afar, and as soon as Logan became “useless” to her, she shot him. Ginny and the Settlers ride in to the oil fields and basically offer The Convoy everything they want in exchange for gas, which she has “big plans” for. Her big plans are the same big plans that Logan had, although she didn’t reveal anymore about those plans than Logan did, except to say that it was “to help people” but only by using “ruthless methods.” In other words, The Settlers are basically the Texan version of The Saviors (although, they may also be tied to CRM/The Helicopter people).

Sarah, Dwight and Co. refuse Ginny’s offer, and there’s a brief stand-off, which looks like it might end in a shoot-out. However, Luciana steps forward and offers to continue making gas for The Settlers in exchange for the release of all her friends. Ginny accepts and everyone leaves, except Luciana, who stays behind the help The Settlers execute whatever vision they have for the future.

Additional Notes

— It looks like Wesley may be a permanent fixture on Fear the Walking Dead, and for that, at least, I am grateful. He and the Rabbi are probably the two most interesting characters that have been introduced this season, although Ginny may give them a run for their money.

— The woman who Wes saved appears to have been part of The Settlers, but tried to escape. I do not know if she will become a new cast member, or if she — like so many other characters introduced to this series — will immediately fall into the background and never be spoken of again.

— No one thinks it’s weird that — despite having tens of people in the Convoy — the children are chosen to work in the oil fields? Good thing there are no child-labor laws in the zombie apocalypse.

— Did anyone notice that when the zombies began falling from the cliffs, it was daylight, but after the commercial break, it was nighttime? But then, after John and the Rabbi cleared all the zombies, it was daylight again? Time really is a construct on this show.

— Matt Frewer — who played Logan — was too good for this show, although Logan was a lousy villain.

— I don’t know what it means about her future on Fear The Walking Dead, but Danay Garcia — who plays Luciana — has been cast in a feature film. It may mean nothing, but Garcia has been horribly sidelined this season, and I’m not sure that leaving her behind with The Settlers to refine gas is going to improve her situation.

— Again, it would make sense if The Settlers are part of the CRM group introduced at the beginning of the season — they have similar motives — but it would also mean that Ginny and The Settlers may also be part of the Rick Grimes movies, and I just don’t see that happening.

— Now that Morgan and the Convoy finally have a real villain to contend with, maybe Fear the Walking Dead will once again resemble a zombie apocalypse drama.

— Then again, based on scenes from next week’s episode, the interesting new villains appear to play a minor role, so that the focus can shift again to Morgan, Althea, Daniel, and Grace. Figures.