Subscribe to Our Podcast


Become a Patron!

Listen to the latest SQUAWKING DEAD Episode!

⬇⬇⬇Listen to the most recent episode!⬇⬇⬇

Why miss out? Subscribe to our blog via E-Mail!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

King County |8x04| Fear The Walking Dead

Why miss out?
Subscribe to our blog via E-Mail!

⬇️Listen Now⬇️

⬆️Tap the above graphic⬆️
to listen to this episode
in your favorite Podcasts App

This episode is supremely satisfying in ways we couldn't expect. Fear The Walking Dead raises The Walking Dead in order to construct one of Season 8's best episodes, thus far, by taking Morgan Jones' family back to where The Walking Dead UNIVERSE (and his own personal tragedy) started.
๐Ÿ›‘STOP WATCHING/LISTENING and START STREAMING the ๐ŸŽฌUNEDITED version of this podcast! We have quite the pre-show and stumble into somewhat spoiler territory, midway through, in ways we simply had to cut out of the final edit. Want it? Buy us a ☕coffee on Ko-fi! OR join a membership for as little as $1 /month on either Ko-fi or Patreon!
Tap the image above to stream the uncut episode on Ko-fi or tap here to get it on Patreon!

David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:
Sherrandy Swift:

  • PHINEAS COFFEEis delicious, top-tier, specialty-grade coffee that's roasted to order! LEVEL-๐Ÿ†™ your coffee game! SQUAWKING DEAD fans receive 10% off every time they use the promo code "SQUAWKINGDEAD" at check-out:

  • If you want to participate in another one of Sherrandy's video compilation projects, this time in celebration of Mo Collins' (AKA Sarah Rabinowitz) birthday, just DM her on any of her social media accounts.
  • Have you watched PRIMO, yet? It's on FreeVee, Amazon's ad-supported streaming service and stars Jonathan Medina who played Adrian in Fear The Walking Dead's 2nd episode of Season 8 titled, Blue Jay

  • Rachael enjoyed this episode, with few bones to pick. Whether it truly moves the story forward or finally gets Morgan Jones out of his roughly 13-year slump remains to be seen. Dave reminds the audience of his Season 4 thoughts/feelings: after being abused on The Walking Dead, there was no better place for Morgan to be than on FearTWD and finally start to actually heal. This is what makes Morgan coming back to where The Walking Dead UNIVERSE started so bizarre - like a high school reunion or revisiting your childhood home - it's you that's different.

  • Continuing with her first impressions, Rachael also said this episode made her feel things, again, similar to the state she was in as she was watching The Walking Dead's final episodes. Sherrandy really liked this episode, despite it being Morgan-focused (whom - if you've been tracking our podcast - she hates). More than anything else, she liked that this episode contained call-backs to prior episodes in the series, contained easter eggs, and paid the right amount of fan service. Baby Mo / Wren is a boss. Dwight & Sherry giving Morgan the business for selling them out to P.A.D.R.E. was appropriate.

  • Dave couldn't connect to the episode on first watch. It was similar to moments during Rachael's analysis on some of the final episodes of The Walking Dead: he was walling himself off, emotionally, to protect himself. On second watch, pausing every so often to jot down notes, that's when he was able to confront and absorb the intensity that was unfolding. Sherrandy understands where Dave is coming from, but has lost faith in the show: her lifeline is watching June Dorie's story unfold. Rachael feels the same way, only for Daniel Salazar.

  • The storytelling format for this season has revealed a sort of pattern: along with the title-sequences alternating between the moody, toned-down music and the intro music from the past few seasons, the 1st and 3rd episodes were more ensemble/overall story-centric, while the 2nd and 4th were focused more on a single character who is confronting the demons of their past. It was great to see Dwight & Sherry appear in both episodes 2 & 4.

  • Speaking of title sequences, we loved the surprise of Jenny Jones as the character silhouette. Both Keisha Tillis and Adrian Kali Turner were brought back to reprise their roles as Jenny and Duane Jones, respectively. Sherrandy liked how the silhouette could've represented Grace Mukherjee, as well, considering she, too, is Morgan's love-interest and encounters a grave fate.

  • Dave and Rachael take a minute to appreciate walker Jenny's fish-out-of-water impression. And speaking of the specialness of season one walkers, Dave asks whether Jenny Jones could've been the first walker variant we chronologically see on the show and was that how she managed to get to Duane in order to, ultimately, bite him. The ladies are skeptical, as the show leaves this open-ended (wouldn't you lock your doors to protect yourself from actual people?). Duane could've finally let her in out of despair.
  • Sherrandy was a little confused about the two residences that we visit, this episode. She understood that the first house was where Morgan, Duane, and Rick Grimes were hunkering down in The Walking Dead's pilot episode. The yellow house is the Jones family home. I can see why it's a little confusing, considering there are photo albums of the Joneses in the first home. As we go through the sequence of events, we conclude that Duane was bit in the first house and was chained up in the attic so that Morgan could leave Jenny's corpse in their family home. Morgan leaves walker Duane chained up there so that, one day, he'd have the courage to put him down. Throughout all of this, Morgan was very gone, which is why he can't remember any of it.

  • Tit-for-tat, the ladies clear up some confusion Dave has as it pertains to the line Morgan cites, "...the blood... the teeth..."
    Dave thought Morgan was referring to what Jenny looked like after he was forced to shoot her (after Duane is bitten). What Morgan was really referring to was the way Duane looked like after walker Jenny was done with him, which we clearly saw near the end of this episode: half of his face is eaten away. Rachael would've preferred, from a visual effects perspective, that they had lingered a little longer on some of the details they put into walker Duane.
    Editor's Note: it pays to reiterate that walker Duane was not recast - Adrian Turner was under all that zombie make-up.

  • One mechanic that really got Sherrandy was Morgan's flashbacks just as he is about to end walker Duane. The line Daddy! Daddy! really got to her, right before he shoots. Dave takes a step back to get perspective on this moment. In the Jones family home, Grace finally gets through to Morgan: he gives up on trying to find and put down Duane to save Mo, who is trapped in the other house, now on fire. He is finally able to look through the scope on Rick's rifle and shoot walkers without seeing Jenny, after a little trial and error, and when he gets to Mo, walker Duane is almost upon her. After a false start, what helps him to finally pull the trigger are the flashbacks (what would typically hold him back). The Daddy! Daddy! flashback was Morgan finally appreciating the quality of mercy and how putting down a previously living person's current walker counterpart is a way of preserving their memory.

  • Sherrandy, after hearing this, asks whether Morgan would've found the resolve to kill Duane had Mo not been in danger. I think we all concluded that he would've because Grace and Mo would've helped Morgan, had things gone smoothly without any PADRE intervention.

  • Sherrandy, in her never-ending grudge against Morgan (which not even June holds against him), quips, oh noooooow you want June to see Grace (after having her banished her from Eden in Season 6). Rachael follows this up with how much she hated when Morgan apologized for putting Grace & Mo in danger when they came of their own free will, even after him telling them what he was there to do. Dave reminds Rachael that this is on brand for Morgan and, had he not apologized, it wouldn't be authentic.

  • Sherrandy brings about an in-season parallel: Baby Mo's inability to put down walkers in the first episode mirrors what Morgan Jones went through in both The Walking Dead pilot and repeatedly throughout this episode. Once they were able to confront the ghosts of their past, they were able to overcome their psychological hurdles.

  • We all find it immensely gratifying that Morgan backtracks on the way he delivered, to Mo, the fact that Isaac & Rachel were her parents and that they both died (horribly: but we won't talk about that) so that she could have a chance at living. Though the ladies hope he will continue to do this forever, for some incomprehensible reason, it's just another example of the show being considerate to both continuity and its established past. It also doesn't gloss past possible hurt feelings which lends to the audience feeling as though Morgan, Grace, and Mo really are a family.

  • Which brings us to Grace & Morgan's kiss, which Rachael was grossed out by and Sherrandy found funny (of course Dave loved it). Dave was tripped up not by the way Wren reacted necessarily (I never want to see that again), but the way she just wanted to get on with killing Carrion. Sherrandy relegates this to her just being a kid and never having seen people kiss before - or perhaps even being physically affectionate - which made her super uncomfortable. Dave was more concerned about what we've all seen in children born or growing up in this universe: will she reveal herself to be a sleeper psychopath/sociopath?

  • Sherrandy was really wary of Morgan picking up Rick's rifle and even observed a similar look in Grace. Dave understood why they included this scene in the WonderCon teaser trailer for Season 8, but when that moment finally came in the episode, it was a little deflating.
  • Either Sherrandy was really impressed with Finch's chimney sweep, knocking Shrike off her feet, or Shrike is a total puss. Dave notes that she's been hit in the head a lot, these last few episodes, but we laugh about her haircut probably preventing the onset of a traumatic brain injury. Dwight teaching Finch the chimney sweep is a great callback to Season 7's Till Death (7x05) featuring Aisha Tyler as professional wrestler Mickey.

  • Sherrandy notes the Charlie-esque way Finch has been able to conceal and smuggle himself onto boats, which is a great example of continuity, but is a little suspicious of how healthy and unaffected he looks post June's walker-bite radiotherapy. It brings us to Grace - having just revealed that she's suffering from the effects of Season 5 & 7's radiation, in addition to having been bit at the end of this episode - and whether there's even a chance she'll survive. The ladies think the radiation already within her will neutralize the bite, while Dave is all but certain her fate is sealed. Rachael jokes that Morgan will impregnate her on the boat so yet another embryo will absorb all the radiation (which is also similar to Ellie Williams' immunity on The Last of Us).

  • Dave takes it back to when Grace brilliantly illustrates how Morgan is doing exactly what she did in Season 5 - chasing the dead - to which Morgan flippantly responds, "You were just burying your co-workers."
    But it's exactly as Grace says, isn't it? One of those co-workers was Athena's biological father, Matthew, which only strengthens Grace's argument. It also highlights how, as much as the setting fools you into initially feeling as though we wandered onto the set of The Walking Dead, the writing and execution completely consumes it in order to deliver a powerful Fear The Walking Dead episode.

  • We reminisce over all the prior Fear TWD episodes this episode evoked, throughout our watch, particularly Dwight suggesting they mangle a few corpses that look like Morgan and his family to escape Shrike (similar to the way he and Althea Szewczyk-Przygocki evaded Virginia in Season 6) and when Mo says she loves the way Morgan smiles, which reminded us of he and Grace on the carousel in Season 5. Rachael laughs at the thought of Sherry telling Dwight that skunky Morgan has to ride with him, which reminds her of how Morgan must've activated his (Season 6, season premiere) death stench just after Victor Strand kicked his ass into that mess of walkers on the sub.

  • Dave confirms that tomato-based products (juice, sauce, soup, and maybe ketchup) does mask skunk spray. Tomatoes, in TWDU, represent hope and transformation. Duane was the one who couldn't bring himself to eat any of the cans of tomato soup they had well into the zombie apocalypse, even though he and his father were starving. We also bring up how Rick places one on Carl Grimes' grave, how Jedd/Mud steals one from the back of Maggie Rhee's cart, and how the tomatoes were stepped on at the bridge-camp riot that effectively squashed Rick's hope of the communities coming together (all of this is in Season 9 of The Walking Dead). Sherrandy also brings up how Negan was picking tomatoes in Carl's flash-forward dream (with old-man Rick, at the beginning of Season 8 and, in reality, at the start of Season 10) and that Negan making spaghetti (sauce) for himself and the Grimes children at Alexandria (in Season 7) could've been the first signal of his inevitable transformation. Bringing it back to the episode, though, if the tomato sauce only masks the skunk smell, does that truly mean Morgan has finally moved past his demons?

  • Regardless of whether or not Morgan has finally taken a step forward, away from his core tragedy, it does bring up something fans have been begging for over the course of several seasons: I want Morgan to go "Clear" mode. Just like Madison Clark returning to Fear TWD, this episode may be that start of what that might look like: be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

  • Sherrandy brings up, yet again, how appropriate it was that Dwight calls out Morgan for selling out he and a pregnant Sherry to PADRE in order to get into their good graces to save Baby Mo. We found the subsequent tension between Dwight & Sherry was absolutely essential when it came to what to do about Morgan's situation (invoking The Saviors and The Sanctuary along the way). Unlike the Sherry we discover in Season 6, who's behavior to get back at Ginny was born out of trauma from Negan and her time in The Sanctuary, her consternation in this episode feels a lot more justified and accessible to the audience (making her feelings a lot more relatable). Sherrandy also tries to compare this in to when Morgan resigned himself to call Ginny to pick everyone up, blaming him for the suffering everyone endures as a result, but both Dave & Rachael correct the record by mentioning that everyone unanimously agreed to this course of action.

  • What this ultimately leads us to is one of the most powerful moments in the episode: when Morgan shuts down after he fails to find Duane in their family home. As powerful as Lennie James' acting is in that moment, what undergirds the entire performance are the looks both Dwight and Sherry make: witnessing a man crumble before them - who they have always respected and had given everything he had, including his life, to keep everyone together and safe. He helped Dwight find ways to redirect his anger and showed him how to rise above seeing all situations as a reductive binary. It's at that moment that they step into June & John Dorie (Jr.)'s boots and do for him what they did for them.

  • It makes us look at Grace, who lost so much time she could've spent being with the people she loves, only to receive a double-death sentence. Sherrandy, equally, muses on why both Grace and June both stuck around all these years. And what situation is worse: Grace, Morgan, and Mo being apart and not being able to see one another, hoping that doing so keeps everyone safe, or being so close you can (and have probably) touched one another, but never daring to acknowledge the ties that bind?

  • Random, rapid-fire observations:
    • Another callback that might not be readily apparent - to even Dwight and Sherry - is when PADRE uses The Vultures strategy to smoke Morgan and co. out of the house.
    • Is it possible that Duane was the one to put down Jenny, rather than Morgan?
    • Another callback for fans of The Walking Dead: as Morgan approaches the house (that he, Rick, and Duane were staying in during the TWD pilot): at the beginning of the episode, before he ascends the staircase out front, he makes a very obvious swap in the way he holds his stick from using the pointy end (for the dead) to the blunt end (for the living). Not only is this a callback to the season finale of Season 8, when Paul "Jesus" Rovia gives him the simplest advice to deal with the world, it's also a signal that Morgan is already unready to deal with putting Duane down.

    • You'd think that Dave was giddy over receiving this Morgan-centric episode but, in reality, Fear The Walking Dead finally brought us an extremely good episode. We haven't felt this way in a really long time. Sherrandy felt the same way about this episode and Blue Jay.
  • It behooves us to discuss the walker jump-scare at the end and how Grace was bitten as a result. Dave simultaneously hated the plot device and appreciated it: hated that it was so random and almost obvious, but loved that it exists for the sake of making walkers frightening (again). We compared this to the way Carl was bit in Season 8. Bringing it back to Grace, we muse on how the walker chomped out a perfect circle from her shirt, which leads us to raunchy conclusions.

  • Channeling Bridget: On the note of make walkers frightening again, even during the opening scene where Morgan dominates putting down the skunk-munching walkers, the scene is well-choreographed to exhibit how close they were at getting to him. Dave asks, once more, whether Grace will make it. The ladies are adamant (also because Karen David had posted pictures from the wrap party) that the radiation she was exposed to will somehow help her pull through, whereas Dave remains unconvinced.

  • What soured Dave the most about the jump-scare mechanic at the end was that it completely undercuts the sweet moment of Mo finding one of the Jones family photo albums intact: you need something to help you remember what they were like before. What an amazing kid! Rachael is reminded of a scene in Season 4, when Lilly Chambler's daughter, Meghan Chambler, was killed by the walker that emerges from the mudslide she was playing near.

  • It was awesome seeing Dwight, Sherry, and Finch reunite, but what was also kind of cool, right after that moment, was Morgan not hesitating from killing the two PADRE goons at the dock. Maybe he has finally destroyed his demons? Even Rachael made note of a slight shift in his demeanor. Sherrandy notes that this is Morgan's Baby Mo-ment where confronting the past has allowed him to move forward (like Mo finally being able to kill walkers).

  • The symbolism and meaning behind Oriole:

    • Their song conquers sadness and restores hope.
    • Supports joy even if it means taking smaller steps in the right direction.
    • A persistent guide and will not let you give up on your dreams.
    • Helps you connect with the realm of the spirit and the universe, from which all knowledge originates.
    • Rare in Native American folklore, but represents industrious people with humble spirits.
    • Gain and recognition are coming your way in your waking life when the bird appears in your nighttime visions: seeing a singing oriole in a tree means you'll experience more confidence soon, knowing your skills to handle a situation are sure.
    • In the Zhou (Chinese) Dynasty (1046-256 BCE), their beautiful song represents happiness.

๐ŸŒŸLike What We Do? Buy Us a Coffee!๐ŸŒŸ

No comments:

Post a Comment