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Another Character Approaches Death’s Door In A Decent Episode Of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’

Warning: Fear The Walking Dead spoilers will obviously be found in the below recap of this week’s episode.

This week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead worked very hard to establish three things: 1) That Ginny and the Settlers are not associated with Isabel, CRM, and the helicopter people; 2) That Morgan is making huge strides in letting his late wife and son go, so that he can move forward with Grace, who is about to die; and 3) That Rubén Blades — who plays Daniel Salazar — is first and foremost known as a singer.

It’s true, and I’m not sure how much the Fear audience knows about Blades, but he is a literal musical icon in Panama and much of the rest of Latin America. He has nine Latin Grammy Awards out of 17 nominations. He’s so popular in Panama, in fact, that he ran for President in 1994 and actually won 17 percent of the vote. Somehow, despite a long career as a musician, politician, and actor, Blades also holds a postgraduate degree in International Law from Harvard University.

I hope they’re paying him a lot to slum it on Fear the Walking Dead and sing Traveling Wilburys’ tunes, because he is sincerely like the John Legend of Latin America. Fear fans probably do not appreciate Blades as much as we should, although the writers on this show have done Daniel Salazar dirty, if only by doing a complete 180 on this character. In the first three seasons, Salazar was a tough, embittered former soldier and one of those most hard-nosed, ruthless characters on the series. Now? He’s a sweet old man with a lot of affection for a mischievous cat named Skidmark, a love of vinyl records, and a fatherly fondness for Charlie, with whom he bonded with over their shared love of music. It’s not that Salazar is a bad character — Rubén Blades is amazing in whatever he is in — it’s just that he’s not the same character he once was.

In “Today and Tomorrow,” the series purposely sidelined him with Grace for one reason only: So that Rubén Blades and Karen David could sing together (Karen David is an accomplished musician in her own right). The series took a circuitous route to get there, however. After collecting supplies for the convoy, Grace and Daniel learn that the Settlers have taken the gas supply. They endeavor to get back to the convoy to help out, but they break down. For some reason, Daniel decides to bring his vinyl collection along with him to a house to hunker down in for the night, but on the way, a small horde of zombies attacks and Daniel drops his vinyl collection. Once they get to the house where they are staying, Daniel and Grace chat — Grace expresses disappointment about being unable to help Morgan, while Daniel says that he’s found in Charlie someone with whom he can leave his legacy. He expresses disappointment that he lost the vinyl collection, because he wants to play the Traveling Wilburys’ album for Charlie. Grace sees a guitar, however, and the two decide to sing a Traveling Wilburys song together.

Again, it’s not a very good scene for a show about zombies, but I’ll concede that it’s fun to see Karen David and Ruben Blades sing together. Of course, right after that, Grace inexplicably falls seriously ill, and when Morgan radios her on the walkie talkie at the end of the episode, she tells Morgan to hurry because she fears she’s about to die.

Meanwhile, the other storyline sees Morgan and Althea dropping “take what you need” boxes off, as Morgan continues to keep his distance from Grace for fear of confronting his feelings. However, he uses Althea’s videocamera as a sort of therapy. By talking about Jenny and Duane, Morgan continues to find closure. However, they also stumble upon a man named Tom, who is fleeing from Ginny and the Settlers. He ran away from The Settlers’ compound, but he left his sister behind. Morgan decides to help because he still can’t bring himself to go back to the convoy, while Althea agrees to help because she believes that the Settlers are connected to Isabel and the CRM group (they are not). Morgan and Althea do not find Tom’s sister on the compound, but they do have a run-in with Ginny, who continues to be both helpful and sinister, offering Morgan the services or their therapist. After fashioning Morgan a new stick, she decides to let Morgan and Althea go, imparting to them only the vaguest of details about her plan to help people for the future.

For whatever reason, however, Morgan has an epiphany after meeting with Ginny and telling his story to Althea’s videocamera. He decides then and there that he must talk to Grace immediately and confess his feelings for her. However, when she reached him on the walkie talkie, she’s on the verge of death. Again, it seems like Grace is about to die, but don’t rule out a misdirect — she’s still alive in next week’s episode — because the season seems to be building toward the death of Morgan.

There are two episodes remaining.

Additional Notes

— The most inexplicable line of the episode came from Ginny, who told Morgan and Althea, “Spaghetti ain’t simple and it’s usually a mess one way or the other.” Have the writers ever made spaghetti? Because the biggest appeal of spaghetti is how simple it is to make.

— This must have been the third or fourth time a character on the series expressed confusion upon learning that a stranger knew their name, despite the fact that there are videotapes of them playing in every truck stop in Texas.

— Next week’s episode actually looks fantastic, or at least, it looks like what a zombie apocalypse show should look like.

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