Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 3 really seemed like it wanted to be primarily a Halloween type of episode. As with most FTWD episodes so far this season, there were parts I really enjoyed and parts that I could have gone without. It premiered a week early on AMC+, and will air for the first time on TV on AMC on Sunday, October 31.
This article is a Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 3 review of the premiere based on watching the episode as it aired on AMC+. (Post Apocalyptic does not receive screeners.) There will be MAJOR episode spoilers.
The Way They Handle Nuclear Fallout Is Starting to Annoy Me
I’ll admit… I was in a bit of a bad mood when I was watching this episode, so I might be judging this one a bit more harshly than previous episodes. (It’s also why I’m so much later publishing this review than I normally am.) But I’m really starting to get annoyed with how nuclear fallout is handled. In previous seasons, we were told that nuclear fallout from a much smaller meltdown was catastrophic and getting any blood on you from a contaminated zombie was pretty much a death sentence.
Well, now things are different. One minute, we’re being told that the characters need to be really careful about radiation exposure and limit their time outdoors. They’re wearing suits and masks. But then we’re also being shown characters who are seemingly doing just fine. In last week’s episode, two characters endured so much harsh fallout that parts of their faces were falling off. Morgan freaks out when Grace takes off her mask, and she admits that she’s doing it because she’s ready to die. But then, by the end of the episode, both Grace and Morgan have spent a ton of time with their masks off and they head back to the submarine like everything’s going to be just fine. There’s no talk about how they will likely die an agonizing death.
Well, there’s more of that in this episode too. John Dorie Sr. and June have no protocols for decontaminating John after he’s been outside in his suit. The radioactive suit is just sitting inside the bunker with them, and no one is worried about this. It’s really starting to get to me… 🙁
But moving on…
This Was a Halloween-Themed Episode with ‘Ghosts’
In many ways, this episode was designed to be Halloween themed, because John Dorie spent most of the episode haunted by the ghost of Cindy Hawkins — Teddy’s one victim whose body John never found. Because he’s going through alcohol withdrawal, John starts hallucinating (which actually is a thing that can happen in severe cases, CompassDetox shares.) The hallucinations start when part of the wall to the bunker falls down and they realize that this was where Teddy tortured his victims. Ugh. There are some scenes that I turned away from because they were just too disturbing.
Unfortunately, John pretty much loses his mind and puts June in major danger. He goes outside to search for Cindy Hawkins’ body and ends up alerting some thugs to their presence in the bunker. When he goes outside yet again while under a delirium, he leaves June trapped. It’s absolutely horrible, because if he dies out there, she will die inside the bunker — trapped and unable to get to food or water.
But while he’s outside, he sees the thugs break into the bunker and he ends up taking all of them out. Knowing how great of a sharpshooter John Dorie Jr. was, I expected no less from his dad. At this point, he’s regained clear-headed thinking. He and June find Cindy’s body hidden in the wall, and he’s able to put her to rest like he always wanted. But then their entire bunker falls down around them, and for a brief second we’re left to think they might have both died in the avalanche.
John wakes up to find that he and June were rescued by Victor Strand and his crew. I’m still kind of annoyed at the caricature that Strand has been turned into. I always figured he would start his own community and thrive if he was leading an apocalyptic group — and he might even become a bit ruthless at times doing it. But it feels like he’s been turned too much into a one-dimensional villain, and Morgan has been turned too much into a saintly hero. I complained a bit in Season 6 when Morgan put all his friends in danger just to try to give Virginia a chance to live, including trying to free Virginia and Dakota and taking the chance that they would tell their people where his secret community was located. I sided more with Victor in those episodes, seeing how Victor had slowly built a military loyal to him so he could stage a coup against Virginia. But now it just feels like all the nuance is gone and we’re left with a “Victor Bad” vs “Morgan Saint” story. I think they’re trying to imitate the ideas originally posed for Madison before she was killed, but not approaching it in a nuanced way that would make for extra compelling TV.
With all that said, I’ll still enjoy seeing Victor rule an apocalyptic wasteland. Colman Domingo is a great actor and he’s doing a superb job with the script.
There are some nice continuity touches included in the episode. June and John talk a bit about John Jr., acknowledging his loss. We see Dakota’s burned-up zombie body still hanging out right by the entrance. Overall, I’d give this episode a good rating because of Colman Domingo’s and Keith Carradine’s acting skills. The storyline itself wouldn’t rank quite as high for me though.
Want to chat about all things post-apocalyptic? Join our Discord server here and our Walking Dead Fanatics Facebook page. And check out our Post-Apocalyptic Calendar, which we will keep updated with confirmed premiere dates.