Fear the Walking Dead 515 review: At a crossroads

Jenna Elfman as June - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Van Redin/AMC
Jenna Elfman as June - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Van Redin/AMC /

The penultimate episode of Fear the Walking Dead season 5 featured the group on the precipice of an uncertain future. Let’s take a look at “Channel 5.”

By the end of Fear the Walking Dead episode 515 it’s clear that the group is at an impasse and they can’t keep moving forward without help. Until this point they have managed to make a go of it on their own and things have worked with mixed success. Now, in “Channel 5” things take a very dark turn.

It took me a while to figure out what was so chilling about where we ended up in the penultimate episode of season 5, and then it hit me: We saw something similar to this in The Walking Dead season 5.

The last few minutes of “Channel 5” aren’t unlike the time when Rick and his group were out of food and running low on hope back in the season 5 episode “Them.” That’s when Aaron showed up and introduced the idea of an oasis called Alexandria.

But what if Simon or Gavin had showed up instead? What if, instead of ending up in Alexandria Rick ended up at the Sanctuary?

That has been one of the fundamental differences between The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead: Rick’s group always manages to find a way to make things work, but it hasn’t always been that way for Madison’s (and now Morgan’s) group. Madison made the tough call to remain at Broke Jaw Ranch despite knowing the dark things that were happening there. She was also willing to work with the people at the trading post in order to keep things going. But things have rarely worked out on Fear the Walking Dead, and the final moments of “Channel 5” seem to reinforce that.

For all intents and purposes, asking for help from Virginia is what it would have been like asking Simon for help from the Saviors back in season 5 of The Walking Dead.

Bottom line: It’s not looking good for Morgan’s group heading into the season finale.

Morgan and his friends have been on this mission of helping people and spreading hope since the end of season 4, but now that their hope is in jeopardy they’re at a crossroads. He had to make an incredibly difficult call at the end of “Channel 5” and even though it might be the only way to survive, it might not have been the right call.

Dwight already knows what it means to be oppressed and he doesn’t like what Virginia is selling. He was quick to walk away from it all and I don’t blame him a bit. There’s nothing in this scenario that could be appealing for a guy like Dwight.

This episode was striking in that both groups are selling a better world and a better future, but as with so many situations in the zombie apocalypse in the end it all boils down to methods. There is a right and wrong way to do things, and Virginia’s way isn’t it.

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One thing is for certain: Our group’s dedication to their mission of helping people is about to be tested in a big way. So far, the Pioneers seem to be moving like locusts, decimating everything in their path and after “Channel 5” it’s clear that they have no compunction about killing anyone who isn’t useful.

Can these two groups come to an understanding in order to move forward toward this bright future?

I hope so. But things aren’t looking good.

The season 5 finale of Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday, September 29 at 9pm on AMC.