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Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 12 Review: ‘Sonny Boy’ Leaves Fans Confused

FTWD S7E12 Review

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Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 12 took a downturn after how much fans enjoyed Episode 11. Although the episode was entertaining enough, there were moments when character decisions made no sense and seemed only designed to move the plot forward. 

This is a review of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 12, “Sonny Boy.” So there will be MAJOR spoilers below.

I’ve been a little under the weather lately (which is a bit of an understatement, to be honest), so today’s article is focused more on reviewing the episode rather than recapping it. Last week was a breath of fresh air for the series, but I felt like we were back to square one again with “Sonny Boy.” So many plot points and character decisions made no sense at all, and I couldn’t help but wonder just what the writers were thinking. 

Much of the episode was focused on John Dorie Sr. trying to gain Strand’s trust in order to give Baby Mo a chance at a better future. He doubted Morgan’s ability to keep her safe in an irradiated landscape, considering that both he and Charlie are succumbing to radiation poisoning despite taking all precautions. But he thinks if he can get Strand to listen to him and make him a confidante, then he can turn the world of the Tower around for the better. (Or at the very least, unseat Strand and make it a safer place for Baby Mo.) 

His motivations at this point make perfect sense. And since he’s not above doing something underhanded to move ahead, he ends up framing Howard in order to get closer to Strand. June just wants Baby Mo out of there for the baby’s safety and so Morgan is freed up to attack the tower. Her motivations are understandable too. 

In the end, John Dorie Sr. uncovers that it was June who had hidden Baby Mo all along, with the help of Grace and some others. But he wants to turn the baby back over to Strand because he thinks that’s the best recourse. At this point in the storyline, the show was still entertaining and these motivations all made sense. 

But then things take a hard turn. 

Strand’s Decision to Kill Howard Made No Sense


On the rooftop in the dark of night, John Sr. confesses to Strand that he framed Howard. Howard has always been loyal. He took these drastic steps to get Strand’s ear, but he never wanted the baby taken from Strand. Strand decides that if John’s going to go through that much trouble just to talk to him, then he deserves to stick around. 

But his next reaction makes ZERO sense. After senselessly killing other people this episode, Strand decides that it only makes sense to have John Sr. throw Howard off the building too. Howard helped Strand build the community to what it is today. He’s always been completely loyal to Strand. Why on Earth would someone as paranoid as Strand about a rebellion choose to KILL the one person that he knows is loyal to him? Not only is that harmful to Strand’s own safety, but it also sends a clear message to everyone around him that loyalty means nothing, and the rule of law is just “kill or be killed.” 

I don’t like how this show has corrupted Strand’s past personality. He was always very self-invested, but he was also cunning and super smart. He was the only person originally even prepared for an apocalypse in season 1! But now he’s basically lost his mind and the show is just trying to sell us on the idea that he’s insane. 

OK, got it. But if he’s this crazy, then people should be trying to kill him right and left, because he’ll eventually kill them anyway if they don’t. 

John’s Decision to Let Strand Live Also Made No Sense


John Dorie finally gets Strand to trust him, but now he knows without a doubt that there is no way to trust Strand or make him see reason. So instead of taking advantage of Strand’s weakness and killing him (especially now that Howard’s out of the way and he’s going to die of radiation poisoning anyway), he decides that Baby Mo is safer AWAY from the tower in the land of radiation. This makes no sense either! And he still could have killed Strand and bought enough time for Baby Mo to escape anyway. This wasn’t a “one or the other” type of moment. 

John spent his entire life trying to track down Teddy, a serial killer, and bring him to justice and make him stop his senseless killings. Now Victor is basically a serial killer too, and John just lets him live? 

None of this made sense. None of it. I was yelling at the TV when John walked out with Mo. It’s just Victor Strand Plot Armor. 😥

Not to mention, this really puts June and Grace in danger. But hey, whatever. Strand is keeping them alive to have leverage over Morgan for now, I guess. 

Then John gets all armored up and walks through a bunch of zombies (some of them whom I believed are irradiated) with Mo protected beneath a plate of armor, while singing “Sonny Boy.” Never mind that FTWD is the show that invented the idea of using zombie guts to make yourself less of a target (a la Nick.)

He doesn’t even try the zombie guts thing. 


And then in the end, after he hands Baby Mo over to Morgan, he decides to “buy him some time” by simply letting himself get eaten alive. This really doesn’t buy Morgan anytime, considering that he’s still able to walk away at a leisurely pace without a single zombie following him. 

The episode ends with Wes wanting to be Victor’s righthand man. But Wes just left Luciana because he couldn’t stand how she was lying to Daniel and manipulating him to achieve her end of taking the Tower. Victor’s no better than that, so I don’t get Wes’s motivation here either… 


There were a lot of moments in this episode that truly frustrated me. But John not killing Victor — while Victor did kill Howard — were the two that will haunt me for weeks to come. 

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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