(Warning: Heavy Fear The Walking Dead Spoilers below, obviously.)
Fear the Walking Dead completed its fifth season this week with “End of the Line,” putting a crooked exclamation point on what was a thoroughly disappointing season. The only way I can really describe the season finale is as nonsense. Complete nonsense. To wit, here’s an incomplete list of everything that made little to no sense in the season finale.
— In the cold open, Dwight is racing through the forest, likely dehydrated, when he hears a voice asking for him on his walkie-talkie. He believes it is his wife, Sherry, and responds, but she can’t hear him. For some reason, Dwight chucks his radio away in frustration. Why? If it was Sherry, wouldn’t he at least want to wait and see if she told him her location? Or gave him a message? Wouldn’t he want to try to find higher ground where he could get clearer reception? At the very least, he should have hung on to his radio so he could call back to Morgan instead of delivering five horses back to Humbug’s Gulch by himself.
— When Dwight reaches the abandoned convoy, he finds horses, and inexplicably, the first conclusion he draws from the horses is that they’re all saved, because if the horses are alive, there must be water around. In other words, horses could find water, but a group of 40 people with maps could not find a source of water, despite the fact that there is a very large river just minutes away. Was that river not on the map June had with all the buildings and the location of Humbug’s Gulch? ALSO ALSO, didn’t Tom die when … he fell into water. Of course there was water near the convoy, because the convoy couldn’t continue because it couldn’t cross the bridge over a river. Why was the existence of water so surprising?
— So, let me get this straight: At the end of last week’s episode, when Morgan’s group came upon the gulch and saw that it was overrun by zombies, they surmised that the camp was a lost cause. So, they called Virginia, but then after calling Virginia and asking for help, they spent a lot of time contemplating whether they could clear the zombies. It was only after seeing a billboard with cowboys wrangling cattle that they came up with a plan to open the gates to to the gulch and lead the zombies away on horses. They could have done that without the horses before they called Virginia. How many times on The Walking Dead universe has someone led a horde of zombies away on foot? Rick did it in his final episode. Daniel did it in an earlier episode this season. As soon as they saw Humbug’s Gulch and noticed that all the zombies were contained within the fences, they should’ve immediately realized that all they had to do was to open up a fence and steer them away. This is The Walking Dead 101, people!
— Morgan and Company concoct a plan to circle Virginia and The Settlers with the horde of zombies and take from them what they need and order them away. However, Morgan specifically insists that no one be killed. However, when they see that Virginia has brought Luciana along, they bail on the plan because they don’t want Luciana to die. Why? If no one was going to be killed, why did they worry about Luciana’s fate? Why didn’t someone just concoct another plan to lure Luciana away and save her? Why didn’t they use the horde as leverage to take Luciana back?
— John, Dwight and company decide to wrangle the zombies like cattle on horseback. There were 250 zombies coming in frequent contact with them on horseback, and no one got bit on the leg? No one got pulled off a horse? And why is it that the zombies only attacked and consumed Dwight’s horse after he jumped off. What kept the zombies from attacking the horses with people on them?
— Daniel took the starter out of the Humvee so that Virginia wouldn’t take off with it. After Strand saw that Virginia had Luciana, he decided to use the starter as leverage with Virginia in an off-screen negotiation. Did he gain anything in those negotiations? Because best I can tell, he just gave the starter to Virginia and she took the Humvee, and Strand extracted exactly zero concessions out of her. Asked about the negotiation by Alicia later, all Strand could offer was, “We can do more damage them the inside.”
— OK, so Morgan and Co., ran across Virginia and the Settlers a few miles away from Humbug’s Gulch, but decide to call off the zombie horde attack. Instead, they steered the zombies into the river and they floated downstream. Somehow, after that, Morgan and all those riding horseback managed to return to Humbug’s Gulch before Virginia, who was driving. In fact, even though Morgan left on horseback at the same time that Virginia left in cars, Morgan’s crew returned with enough time to prepare a room for a wedding — including Wes and Alicia painting an entire mural — and hold a ceremony before Virginia arrived. Time clearly means nothing on Fear the Walking Dead.
— OK, the Jewish wedding was completely ridiculous in the context of this episode, but it was also very sweet, including Grace and Daniel performing another song. Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg might be very good showrunners for a romance. But for a show about zombies?
— Virginia decides to save everyone, but only by separating them and sending them to different settlements where they can be of the most use. Some are separated into groups, and some are separated individually, and for some reason, the separations are all conveniently designed to separate people who love each other the most. Did June and John really need to be separated? Did Daniel have to be separated from Charlie and his cat? Or was everyone separated this way to maximize the impact of the goodbyes this season and the reunions next season?
— Before Virginia shoots Morgan and leaves him to die, we learn via walkie talkie that a doctor has examined Grace in a moving car, apparently, and that she is not suffering from radiation poisoning. She is pregnant. She’s been pregnant for four months. I have so many questions, namely who impregnated her? (There is no evidence that she and Morgan consummated their romance). When doing an ultrasound, how did June miss this? Also, the radiation poisoning is real, and so was Grace’s dehydration. How did the fetus survive? Will it not have birth defects? How is this not the worst plot twist ever?
— In Morgan’s apparent final moments of life, he uses what time he has left on this mortal coil to deliver a monologue into a walkie talkie. Did he deliver it on Channel 4, the channel for his entire group, none of whom have walkie talkies because they’ve been basically abducted? Or Channel 5, Virginia’s channel, which might be turned on, but will Virginia’s people allow Morgan’s friends to hear his parting words?
The tenth season of The Walking Dead kicks off next weekend. It can’t come soon enough. (If Morgan appears, ten years older, in next week’s premiere, we may very well riot.)