In season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the creators thought it would add interest to the series if they included a beer bottle-shaped hot air balloon as a means to rescue other survivors. Today is National Balloon Ascension Day, so I thought it was perfect to remind everyone of this odd choice for Fear the Walking Dead.
Balloon Ascension Day is celebrated on January 9, the day that French aeronaut and inventor Jean-Paul Blanchard made the first manned balloon trip in America. This event occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1793 and was viewed by many people, including the then-President of the United States, George Washington. You can read more about the history of this event here.
Fear the Walking Dead hot air balloon
The hot air balloon featured in Fear TWD was owned by Jimbo, Jim Brauer (Aaron Stanford), who was a successful brewer of Augie's Ale. Sarah (Mo Collins) and Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) kidnapped him so that he could make beer for them. They eventually encounter Morgan (Lennie James) and decide to work together to locate Morgan's friends before heading to Alexandria. Jim wasn't made for the apocalypse, and fighting off walkers wasn't a strength he possessed. He was bitten and died in season 4.
In season 5, Jim's hot air balloon was used to transport Strand (Colman Domingo) and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) above a horde of radioactive walkers in order to deliver a propeller to the other survivors. They crash land in the middle of the horde and must fight their way out with the propeller and avoid being contaminated. They are eventually rescued by Morgan.
Many viewers thought it was ridiculous, Reddit lost its ever-loving mind, but a writer at Decider hoped for more balloons.
Below Alexa Nisenson talks about the hot air balloon at San Diego Comic Con.