Last week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead left a lot of fans disappointed. Unfortunately, FTWD Season 7 Episode 10 wasn’t much better. While this week’s definitely was better than the midseason premiere, it still left a lot to be desired.
This is a review of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 10, “Mourning Cloak,” along with a look at fan reactions. So there will be spoilers below.
A Charlie-Centered Episode Was Brave of the Show
Considering how hated Charlie has been among the fandom since she killed Nick, it was pretty brave of the show to create a Charlie-centric episode. And while there were elements of the episode that I enjoyed, there were still quite a few plotholes that left me concerned about this series’ future. I mean, I’m still pretty upset with how radiation is handled in general on the show. (Wear a gas mask here but don’t worry about it 10 steps away!) This episode took those concerns and magnified them, while replaying some storylines that haven’t been doing so great lately.
First, I’ll share something I liked about the episode. I enjoyed the idea that Victor Strand might be concerned with preserving species that may be endangered in an irradiated world. If that’s his reasoning for sending Ali out collecting butterflies, then I can certainly get behind it. But is that his reason?
During his expedition he ends up capturing Charlie, which should be enough to elevate him closer to Ranger status, but no one seems super impressed with that. Understandably, they don’t trust Charlie either. And they shouldn’t. Charlie was first introduced to the show as a spy for the Vultures, pretending to be interested in Madison’s Dell Diamond community. (Surely Victor would know this, right? And he would have warned his community about her?)
Meanwhile, Ali isn’t content with hunting for butterflies. He wants to be a Ranger and he wants to be a Ranger now. So they end up teaming him up with Charlie to explore an old, abandoned building that is full of walkers but might have some equipment they need to fix an elevator at the tower. Never mind that a kid already died of radiation poisoning from that building. Charlie is expendable I guess, and she’s willing to take the risk in order to carry out her plan. She wants to gain their trust so she can turn off the light at the Tower, shoo away the zombies, and give Morgan a chance to attack.
At one point, the Stalkers show up (I guess these are the people hunting Alicia? Why are there so many of them?) They’re terrible survivors and get easily killed by a few zombies.
Ali is 15 and Charlie is 13, and they end up falling in love with each other because there aren’t many teens left in this double apocalyptic world. Because of said love, Charlie confesses to Ali what her plan was, but that she no longer wants to follow through with it because of feelings. Ali is understandably angry. She planned to open the doors for Morgan to attack all his friends!
But he’s also a teen and super guilty over his dad’s death, so his emotions are all over the place. He ends up rescuing her and they decide to run away from everyone and live together. But Charlie collapses and Ali takes her back to the Tower for help.
Is Charlie Really Dying?
June diagnoses Charlie with radiation poisoning and says she really doesn’t have much time to live. This whole time, I didn’t buy it. I mean, I really didn’t buy it. I thought June was lying about Charlie so they wouldn’t watch her as closely. I thought Charlie lied and faked a collapse so she’d be taken back to the Tower. I thought June put red makeup on Charlie to make her look sick, because surely she’d feel worse than this.
But it looks like it’s true? If Charlie really does die, then I’m going to guess it’s to avoid that upcoming confrontation between her and Madison.
But here’s what I really think will happen. So far, we’ve seen Alicia and Grace be presented with illnesses that were going to kill them, only to have some handwaving happen that allowed them to live. My prediction — and you read it here first — is that Madison will have some kind of cure for Charlie and in a crazy act of selflessness, she’ll help Charlie live despite Charlie having killed Nick.
For some reason, Ali has decided “to hell with the Tower and all my friends here.” I get that he’s mad that Charlie was poisoned, but does he really want all his friends to die too? Charlie no longer even wants to follow through with her plan. She just wants to get word to Morgan that she’s out. But Ali decides to follow through with the plan anyway.
Look. I’d get Ali deciding to try to kill Victor’s righthand man, since it was his decision that led to Charlie getting radiation poisoning. (Unless it was actually a result of Alie touching her face and kissing her after he fought irradiated zombies.) But deciding to put everyone’s lives at risk by turning off the light? It doesn’t make sense.
Ali ends up being thrown off the ledge, and Charlie sees him falling and his dead body on the ground. She’s understandably traumatized at this point. And June finally asserts some of her I’m-a-doctor authority.
I think maybe my favorite part of this episode was June’s assertiveness at the end. Ali was an interesting character and I appreciated the actor. In fact, just like last week, I would have preferred that he stick around. But alas, this episode had to run parallel to the last one. 🙁
Fans Are Disappointed Again
Last week I shared how disappointed fans were in the episode. And if you check out the Fear the Walking Dead subreddit, you’ll see that they’re still upset.
One of the big complaints is this focus on new characters who are just going to die, when there are so many unused characters with so much potential.
An important question to ask as this review concludes… Which episode did you like less? This week’s or last week’s?