Fear the Walking Dead: “… I Lose Myself” (S4, E16 review)

Morgan was not one to let his fitness slide, indulging in a daily bout of Kick the Zombie to stay in shape (image via Spoiler TV (c) AMC)

 

  • SPOILERS AHEAD … KEGGERS AS A WAY TO PERSONAL SALVATION …

Hands up if you know the best way to avoid dying and becoming a member of the ravenous undead in the zombie apocalypse?

Don’t get caught in the middle of a zombie herd approaching from both ends of a narrow city alley? Why, thank you Al (Maggie Grace) that is indeed a good suggestion and one that might mean you don’t get stuck in a parking garage.

Yes, you Al again … right don’t get caught chatting to a woman named Martha (Tonya Pinkins), driven mad by impotent grief and an erroneous belief that being a zombie gives you strength, and let your guard even for a minute.

Good lord, Al, you are certainly got some great suggestions today!

Wait, Al, we’ll get to you again in a moment – for now let’s see what Morgan (Lennie James) has to say before he changes his mind yet again and moves to Bhutan to teach undead Buddhists that it’s OK to kill themselves or something … I mean, you never know with Morgan really and yes, sorry, as you were …

Right, so that’s a handy tip Mo-mo – yeah, yeah Sarah (Mo Collins) has been telling everyone to call you that, and honestly it’s kinda cute; just roll with it huh? – don’t get into a police car, try to convince Martha, a woman driven mad by grief etc etc, that she change, hear her say what you want to say, relax your guard … and get stabbed in the leg.

Gotcha, that is indeed wise advice and one we’d all be wise to heed, along with don’t keep wandering off with delusions of messianic grandeur and say “Only I can do this” to John (Garret Dillahunt) over and over again.

Yes, Mo-mo, we know the martyr is strong with you but honestly it’s all getting a little exhausting watching you nail yourself to a figurative cross – although it can’t be long and you’ll doing on actual crosses I’m sure – and not listening to people when they tell you not to.

 

Al meanwhile preferring a rousing game of Zombie Dodge ’em to keep fit (image via Spoiler TV (c) AMC)

 

The weird thing is, and yes you are weird Mo-mo and I think it best you own that and own it heartily, is that people like John and Laura/Naomi/June aka LNJ (Jenna Elfman) keep treating you like you’re some kind of hotshot Tony Robbins leadership guru who has all his proverbial together.

Because you don’t, you really, really don’t and lord knows why you’ve landed the “This is the way forward my children” and not Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) who, grief issues aside, has her head screwed on far better than you and doesn’t, last I checked, change her mind every 5-6 minutes depending on which way the wind is blowing, whether there’s anti-freeze in the bottled water – there is! Don’t drink it everyone! Whoops, too late – or there’s someone called Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) wisecracking his way through the apocalypse.

How you landed the gig as Inspirational Leader of the Fear the Walking Dead troop is beyond me, because you’ve been written as a complete and utter flake, and I’m fairly sure that, apart from being simple but deceptively delicious chocolate bars, flakes don’t have much of a place in the messy existential entrails of the end of the world.

Still here we are, and yes I know you can hear everything I’m saying but the fact of the matter is that while it’s lovely that you came up with the idea of living in Clayton’s denim-cum-saving people from the worst of the apocalypse factory, leaving some more boxes at 10 mile markers, and agreeing to Alicia’s plans to honour dearly-departed Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) by turning the factory into a community for strays too – that Alicia had to suggest says a great deal about the smallness of your vision Mo-mo – you are a flake, and not the useful kind that sits rather yummily atop an ice cream sundae.

But yes, let’s get back to great ways to not dying.

LNJ, yes, I see you – go head. Right, yes, drinking ethanol straight out of a truck is a great way to negate the effects of the antifreeze in your bloodstream but make sure you don’t shoot it up first with machine gun fire from Al’s SWAT van. Duly noted.

Yes, yes Al I hear ya, you’re sorry and everyone would’ve died from excessive zombie chomping had you not acted but then they were pretty much dead anyway until Mo-mo, bless him, turned up with Jim’s (Aaron Stanford) beer truck and everyone got better by staging an impromptu kegger. Yes even Charlie (Alexa Nisenson), god bless her never touched by alcohol lips.

All good lessons and ones you best keep in mind for season 5 … for now what did we like about this episode? And yeah, not like so much …

 

And Martha? Well Martha was content to let her endless villainous mutterings burn up the calories (image via Spoiler TV (c) AMC)

 

As season finale episodes go, “… I Lose Myself” was refreshingly free of cliffhanger-itis.

Not that cliffhangers are a bad thing of course, but The Walking Dead got a little addicted to them, as did Fear the Walking Dead to some extent, and honestly, having an episode with some tension, some action and one very poetic death – well two really if you count Jim’s humane offing by Mo-mo – really was quite enough.

Sure, no one bought for a moment that the entire cast was going to die of anti-freeze poisoning and nor did we think Mo-mo wouldn’t make it back in time to save everyone, even with a gammy leg, and Mo-Mo’s constant, baleful self-martyrdom grew ever more tedious, but overall, this was a fine ending to season 4, which stumbles a little at first as it seemed to become “All Mo-Mo, all the time” but recovered nicely spending the back half of the season bringing the gang back together.

Fear the Walking Dead needs to do something about its tendency to crave crossover glory over in-show narrative and character integrity – witness Kim being killed, and Alicia being pushed sideways in favour of Mo-Mo who really is a badly-written, one-note character who has elevated whining to an apocalyptic art form – bot overall season 4 managed to recover from its early shift in tone and style to recover and deliver a show that remains distinctively different from the parent from which it shuffled.

Long may it remain so.

And that my friends and illiterate zombies is that for season 4 of Fear the Walking Dead. See you in 2019 for more undead fun under the Texan sun!

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