Fear the Walking Dead 405 recap: Laura

John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) in Fear The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5Photo by Richard Foreman Jr/AMC
John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) in Fear The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5Photo by Richard Foreman Jr/AMC /

This week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead, “Laura,” takes us on a journey into the recent past and the connection between John and Laura. Here’s your recap.

This week on Fear the Walking Dead, the story begins with two guns in a case. They’re antique guns and the owner takes them apart lovingly to clean them. We know these guns. John and Naomi have them. John looks up from his work and sets the gun down to go kill the Infected approaching his house.

Tonight’s credits: The sky is clear and the sun is slowly rising in the distance.

John’s alarm goes off. It’s one of those signing trouts. He brushes his teeth, makes his bed. He plays a solitary game of Scrabble. He makes some eggs and coffee (with candy in it. He utters a few words just to keep talking. He seems to be living pretty well in the apocalypse in his little cabin. A nearby river and a water reclaiming device supply water while some crops provide food. “Platypus” is one of his words, and it fits his game. He even has television. And the aforementioned popcorn. He goes to bed, but he can’t sleep. And that’s when he hears a noise.

Outside, he expects to find another Infected, but this time he finds a woman in a boat. She’s unconscious. It’s Naomi. He carries her inside and she starts to wake, saying she has to get back. He says he needs to check her injuries, meaning he has to undress her. There’s a large gash on her side, but it’s not a bite. She falls asleep while he tends to her wound. He leaves her some water and candy, and then he goes to sleep on the couch.

The next day he’s out getting water when he finds the place ransacked. She’s outside trying to get into his car, and he offers that the keys are in the visor. But he wants her to know the transmission sticks. She gets in while he tells her how he found her on the river. The car won’t start because it needs a new battery. She’s stuck. He tells her that if she is going to leave he can give her food and water and make sure she’s rested.

Later, he gives her a hook and fishing line so she can sew up the wound. She’s ready for it, though, but she hesitates and asks him to do it for her. She guides him through the process, wincing as he works. He apologizes.

He makes her some fish stew for dinner. He jokes about it being bouillabaisse in French. John tells her it has been a while since he had company, but he leaves her alone. He tells her his name and she thanks him. She doesn’t offer her name, so he asks if he can call her Laura. He offers her some clothing from an old job he had in the past doing kids shows. John tells her she’s welcome to stay but she plans to move on. He just asks that she not tear his place up next time.

Before bed he hangs up curtains for privacy and wonders if she’s a doctor or nurse. He offers her the bed because he can’t sleep much. She thanks him for his hospitality and asks how he knew she was a nurse. John hasn’t seen many people so willing to sew themselves up. She closes the curtain and he says goodnight.

Laura gets in bed but can’t sleep. She finds him outside cleaning his guns.

John clears another Infected from his property. There’s another one farther out so he kills it and drags it from the water. Laura watches him and asks if they wash up here. He thinks something happened up river and wants to check it out. It’s Tuesday, so that means he needs to go to the store. She wants to go with him and he says he wouldn’t mind the company. He gives her boots to wear, but she prefers her running shoes. In case she needs to run.

They paddle down the river and she asks what he used to do. He was a police officer and she asks why he didn’t bring his guns, but he doesn’t like them. They cause too much trouble. He liked being a cop, one time.

As they go down river he spots a car in the water. He asks if it was her car and she says she wasn’t that bad of a driver. There’s an Infected in the water but he pushes it away instead of killing it. She points out that this is a problem. They realize the fence over the bridge is where the Infected are coming from.

They head to Bill’s store. It hasn’t been picked over because no one is around. It’s pretty well stocked so she grabs a backpack and some clothing. She’s grabbing stuff that people might need to tend injuries. She puts them all together for future visitors. There is a huge supply of movies so John checks one out. She sees his last name is Dorie, and he says it’s not like the fish. She smiles that he likes to fish, though. They gather more supplies and head back. 

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That night Laura wakes up as John is watching a movie (Tuesday is movie night) and eating popcorn. She joins him on the couch and they watch together. He makes some brittle with his candy, and as it gets later he starts falling asleep. He wakes up and Laura says she lost her child. Then she goes back to the bed.

John loads his fishing gear into the boat and Laura asks him to teach her how to fish. He gets her some gear and then we see them in waders out in the water. She snags a fish pretty quickly and he helps her reel it in, and then he shows her how to gut it. When they eat dinner later she says that this will come in handy out there. They play Scrabble that night.

Laura and John keep fishing the next day. He goes about the chores and sees the boots on the porch. Then he takes her stitches out and tells her it might leave a scar. She says she might be ready to leave now that she’s healed. She’s going to pack some things, and he looks sad that she’s leaving. They hear Infected outside and he goes out to kill it. He drives an ax through its head and says he needs to fix that bridge and she offers to help since he helped her.

They go to the bridge and he sees that she learned how to hotwire cars. She asks if he’s going to arrest her. He notices that she brought his guns and he’s upset because guns bring more of them. He wants them in the box. They clear the bridge of Infected together. They’re trying to  use a car to block the hole when an Infected attacks the car. She wants him to shoot it but he refuses, stabbing it instead. Now they’re both covered in blood.

John insists that he didn’t get bit, but as they clean up she can’t understand why he didn’t shoot. She notes that she has seen people get sick from the infected blood. She realizes that his issue with guns has to do with something deeper. She asks if this is from his police days. He reveals that he fired his gun once but things aren’t as simple as good guy and bad guy. He tells the story of a guy robbing a gas station and he said he was an officer. He tried to clip the guy in the leg, but the man turned and instead he bled out because of where the bullet hit him. He’s full of remorse. He moved out of the area because people thought he was a hero for what he did. He doesn’t see it that way.

That night the undead come in droves to the house. The pit soon fills up with them so that they can cross the barrier with no trouble. He hurries out to stop them, calling her for help. They fight and fight and he sees her fall into the pit. He grabs his gun and fires to save her.

After the fight, Laura thanks John for his help. He’s cleaning his guns again and she says she thinks he’s a hero and a honorable person. She considers herself lucky to have washed up in his yard. He offers her a gun and says he needs her to take it if she really is going.

Inside, he’s back to watching television when she sits down. She sits closer to him this time, and he gets up to sit on the porch. He can’t look at her and she knows it. He keeps her at a distance. He tells her he loves her. He didn’t want her to know because she’s going to leave and he doesn’t want her to. She hugs him.

The next day he wakes up to his singing trout and finds the bed empty. Outside, the running shoes are on the porch instead of the boots. “I love you too. I’m sorry” she wrote in Scrabble letters.

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Morgan listens to the story. “She loved you,” he says. John wonders if he should have waited to tell her, but he says there’s no waiting in this new world. “That’s how you lose people.” Morgan points out that everyone is out there fighting.They’re alive and part of the world. Morgan says they shouldn’t waste another second. He gets up and John loads up his stuff. He has two guns now. Together, they walk off along the road together.

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.