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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Blue Jay |8x02| Fear The Walking Dead

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We've gone through the one-way mirror and peered through the other side of where #JuneDorie is, right now, and - not gonna lie - it's dark in here. #FearTheWalkingDead is taking a potential gamble with some subplots revealed in this episode and we are eager to see how this is going to play out.
The UNEDITED version of this episode discussion is TWICE as long and goes a little deeper on some subjects YOU might find pretty interesting! There's only one way to stream it and that's by supporting us, here:

David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:
Sherrandy Swift:
Bridget Mason-Gray:

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  • Overall, both Bridget and Rachael liked this episode, with some minor gripes we will tackle later on. It's great that we're reminded of the 7-year time jump, every now and again, because it's easy to forget, especially with Finch, since we never got to see him as a baby. Also, these kids are so big because of radiation from Season 7.

  • Sherrandy would've had a more subdued reaction to last episode had she seen this episode beforehand, for all the reasons we went through in our last breakdown. Getting to see a darker version of June Dorie made her stand up and squeal during some scenes. As twisted as she's become, she hasn't resorted to murder.

  • Bridget really enjoyed how the series remembered all the aspects of June's character and how they dictated her actions. As much as Sherrandy wanted June to break bad, the show did it in measured ways that she wouldn't have, which made what she saw even more satisfying.

  • Rachael understand why June takes the trigger fingers of PADRE's people; however, keeping them in a jar? Bridget says June is just using it as a means to keep count. Sherrandy compares it to Daryl Dixon's walker ears necklace. Dave says she does it because it's a reminder that she's making an incremental difference, even if it's mostly symbolic. Maybe the next doctor won't be threatened the way she was to hurt others the way she was made to. It's her answer to Adrian: this is her reason to live.

  • On the note of reasons for living, the routine/ritual of amputating fingers is something that keeps her going, too. It's a much more twisted version of the opening scene of Laura (4x05), with John Dorie cleaning his pistols at the start of the episode, along with all of his various other routines. Just like John's reason for hiding from the world, accidentally killing the perpetrator he was trying to subdue, June hides from the world after failing to save Hannah.

  • Sherrandy reminds us that it's also a repeat of what happened when she left her daughter, Rose, at the FEMA camp: she was sick and ended up dying and killing everyone there as a walker. Hannah was a chance at maybe getting a win. Just as June did at the FEMA camp, with Victor Strand and Madison Clark, June was apologizing to the former patient walkers in the train cars. To bookend that, Rose's bracelet is visible on June (and you can't help but see it when Adrian shows June his own bracelet).

  • Dave takes a moment to compare all this to Morgan Jones' admission to Madison at the end of this episode: the thing he was supposed to do might've been to put down either or both Jenny Jones and/or Duane Jones. What's most important to remember is that Morgan's inability to put down Jenny was the cause of Duane's demise.

  • To continue the theme, as far as Madison knows, Alicia Clark might well be a walker, wandering the world, as well. June's therapy to stave off Hannah's infection is based on what kept Alicia alive for so long. Sherrandy reminds us that the addition of having had irradiated walker blood splattered on her face in Season 5 could've plaid a part, even though Thomas reminded us that it's very unlikely.

  • Sherrandy reminds us that Carol Peletier also felt like she needed to be away from the world after so much killing, which is also a John-ism (Season 6). June finally gets a win by treating Finch's appendicitis, after her patient Malcom, from Season 6, lost his life.

  • On that note, June's decision to save Sherry & Dwight over completing Finch's appendectomy was very telling. Dave, Bridget & Sherrandy think what Adrian says is right and that it's because she'll just end up killing him like Hannah & Rose. Rachael isn't convinced and says it's because June just wants Finch to be with her parents.

  • Sherrandy loved the symbolism behind the state of June's hair in different scenes: she's mostly wearing her sad hair, but did put it back when she was performing her finger removal - her of service hair.

  • June's demeanor completely changes when Dwight & Sherry make their plea for her to join their family. She probably hasn't had anything close to that since treating Charlie (who - you have to remind yourself - passed away 7 years ago). When Shrike and other PADRE members accost her and remove her finger, after we acknowledge our heartbreak, our first thought was how much that limits her ability as a doctor.

  • It's repeated often how PADRE's never lost a child (even from a very convinced Dwight, during this episode), yet we've seen that PADRE has not only lost Hannah and, in some senses, Mo. They're also willing to risk losing Finch to find a cure.

  • June's fingernails in this episode are absolutely filthy. More so, the sign she makes with a map from the area shows that they might be near Lynchburg, Virginia... or somewhere off the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Speaking of Mobile, Alabama, Dwight's air-freshener surprise for Finch, before he's operated on, is a call-back to last season, when Dwight makes a mobile out of carwash items and bent coat-hangers for Baby Mo during their escape from Wes.

  • And speaking of Finch, it's quite possible that his intended given name was John, simply based off of Athena and Grace Mukherjee's shared dreamscape where we see younger versions of Dwight and Sherry's kids. I think we like the name Finch, anyway, for a variety of reasons, mostly Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • Speaking of mockingbirds, that was Daniel Salazar on Adrian's radio, (knowing him) leading the resistance against PADRE. Oh Little Finger from Game of Thrones... PADRE's collectors just live, but don't really know much about PADRE.

  • It may have been enough that they held a walker Hannah over June's head to make her continue her experiments, but Sherrandy posits that they may have incentivized her with Wendell & Sarah Rabinowitz's lives. We retread the events that led June down this path, for clarification, because Rachael isn't so convinced.

  • In addition to all this, all PADRE wants is children and would have no use for Wendell. Furthermore, it's possible that Hannah getting bit on the mainland was just a smokescreen to rid them of a child with a chronic condition (asthma), which could be a sign that PADRE only wants fit children. What use would they have with an adult in a wheelchair?

  • This takes us back to Morgan and how putting down Duane (and/or Jenny) might not be enough for him to feel like he can rescue and become the father Mo deserves and that maybe he, too, has lost one of the people we haven't seen since last season. Furthermore, why keep Morgan (and Madison) around after all the trouble he (they) caused? Why did they even allow him to become a collector to begin with?

  • For so long, Dwight and Sherry witnessed PADRE's results, firsthand, which is why they intended to go back. Yes, they've been away from one another, as a result, but Finch was safe, fed, and has grown strong. Just being together started getting Sherry to think that maybe they could do this on their own and once they saw the awful experiments they were performing, it was enough to not want to relive The Sanctuary all over again.

  • What is this next phase of PADRE? Are they training these eggs to fight The Civic Republic (Military)? The CRM do use walkers to demolish whole cities and PADRE's children are trained in fighting walkers. Sherrandy points out Madison's observation about their endless supply of gasoline, which might point to a connection they have to CRM. But what happens to the older children?

  • PADRE hasn't lost a kid yet sounds a lot like Disneyland's claim that no one has died in one of their parks.
  • We take a moment to compare the CGI walker head of Adrian to the infamous CGI Deer on The Walking Dead (yes, the deer is worse). Dave also points out that not all of it was CGI, which sounds really funny when you know it's the actor munching on Finch's shoulder (especially in the manner that it's doing it). Bridget thought the whole process of mechanically lowering the head was so stupid.

  • More than just that, the possibility of the cure bothers Bridget & Dave. Sherrandy loves the idea of June saving the world. Rachael mentions that Sherry's irradiated womb gave Finch a built-in immunity. Dave shows everyone how the longest surviving patient June treated without succumbing to infection - according to the charts Sherry reads - is 9 days, 14 hours.
  • Dave had an issue emotionally connecting with the moment Finch is bitten, even though he logically knows what he means to Dwight, Sherry, and even - to a certain extent - June. The ladies remind him that (not only is this the first time we - the audience- have seen Finch, but) Dwight & Sherry, themselves, don't get to see Finch as often. After meeting him for the first time in this episode, if not done right, you don't have enough of an emotional investment in what should ostensibly be Finch's death sentence.

  • What's more horrifying is that June has to go through losing yet another child she actually saved and we're left on that cliffhanger by the end of the episode - on top of Shrike savagely (rather than meticulously) cutting off her finger and resuming her torturous "treatments" on Finch and even more infected children.

  • Was one of the tools in June's medical bag meant for circumcision (but really handy in performing a dactylectomy)? Funny conversation ensues. Poor Theon Greyjoy on the receiving end of the whole schmagadoo.

  • The meaning of the following birds mentioned in this episode:
    • Warbler & Whistler: both reference PADRE soldiers. They are both spiritual messengers carrying divine messages from their plane to ours. They are both gift-bringers. Whistlers remind us to trust our gut and call upon our inner wisdom, along with comforting us after battle and to remain humble rather than boastful. Warbler remind us to embrace the new and to not be afraid to step out of our comfort zone, rather than feel stuck in a rut.
    • Redkite / Dwight: Hope and Change. A Redkite is able to quickly change course in mid-air. It reminds us that we can handle whatever life throws our way.
    • Starling / Sherry: Shapeshifters. They appear black in the distance but are actually an iridescent Green/Purple up close (and depending on how they catch the light). They are not native to the United States. They are co-parenting, social birds that remind us to take inventory of the people we have in our lives and consider cutting out anyone who negatively influences you (check out the link to see what a Starling's colors mean).
    •  Finch (Dwight & Sherry's son): They represent freedom, ascent, and one's true north (their true purpose). They are rife with potential, but equally vulnerable - especially if they have no where else to go.
    • Blue Jay / June: Bossy and aggressive, but mate for life and are extremely loyal. Their feathers are actually brown, but appear blue in the sunlight. Though loud, aggressive, and mean, but they symbolize strength, their confidence in defending others, and authentic communication. They are a reminder to stop judging yourself (or allowing the judgment of others affect you) due to mistakes or misdeeds from your past and embrace your true self to move forward.
  • Sherrandy relays a story about how a blue jay broke out of their cage, stole some food, and brought it back to feed their mate. Dave reminds everyone of a conversation they had a few episodes after June loses John and how he doesn't want her to live in her loss. The ladies pivot to say that she doesn't need a man to feel like she's part of a family.
  • More than anything, it's hard to see June alone in the world. For a long while, she had so many folks to look after and seeing her like this is pretty heart breaking. A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.

  • Dave brings up a terrifying prospect: it's entirely possible that she's removed a finger from one of our surviving protagonists, since she didn't do a great job of checking their identities (it's super hard to avoid seeing Dwight's facial burns).

  • Adrian saved me so that I could find someone to live for. And yet, by the end of this episode, is that true? If she even saves Finch, what does that mean for The Walking Dead Universe, on the whole? And assuming she can't (which is most likely), what becomes of her now that she's lost 3 children she cares for? People that she had or considered family?

  • We take a minute to both appreciate the feelings that were conveyed and backtrack on some of the more harsh takes from the last episode, since having received this episode. If nothing else, this episode is a sign that Fear The Walking Dead could go in a radical direction and at least land on some pretty interesting storytelling.

  • Bridget reminds us that, yet again, we are introduced to and lose a character (or characters) in the same episode. When it becomes this predictable/inevitable, maybe it's time to change the formula.

  • Almost forgot: June tells Dwight, Sherry, and Adrian that Shrike didn't allow June to put Hannah to rest when she succumbed to her infection because she wanted to see how long it would take for her to turn: this was one of the first things we learned about Troy Otto when we first meet him, which lends even more credence to the possibility of seeing him, again, in some fashion... as frustrating as the possibility this might be. Sherrandy reminds us that the CRM experiments in The Walking Dead: World Beyond were very similar: they were trying to make it so that people wouldn't reanimate after dying.

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