Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 3
I’m going to borrow a page from Teddy’s philosophy that the end is the beginning – at least when it relates to my review of “Cindy Hawkins.” Why? Because towards the end of the episode it occurred to me that viewers were enjoying Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 will depend a lot on whether you accept Morgan and Strand as arch-rivals.
This is an important consideration because everyone else is likely to end up in the crossfire of competing ideologies. Perhaps the only thing more dangerous than Morgan and Strand’s conflicting worldviews are the outsized egos that fuel a constant need to weaponize success. If I see June and John Dorie, Sr. I would also stay out of the fight.
Of course, June and her father-in-law are unaware of this power struggle, having spent the past more than two months in Teddy’s underground bomb shelter. It’s not a bad setup, all things considered. They have plenty to keep them busy, whether it’s generating their own electricity with a stationary bike or making upcycled hazmat suits. They even have a record player and board games. It was bittersweet to see June playing board games with her father-in-law; it was reminiscent of Scrabble-filled days at John’s lake cabin.
They go on like this for over two months without a complaint, ending each day with a toast to “another from the plate”. Still, the older Dorie understands the strange circumstances they find themselves in. “I’m sorry,” he says to his widow, daughter-in-law. “I know I’m not the Dorie you thought you’d spend your days with.” But they are content…until they discover the terrible truth about Teddy’s shelter.
Once they discover Teddy’s secret horror chamber, “Cindy Hawkins” literally and figuratively comes alive when Cindy (Brittany Bradford) begins to chase (and taunt) Dorie.
Given the dangers of going above ground, would I linger in a safe place where 23 horrific murders once took place? Hard to say. June seems determined to remain. Indeed, her days of running are now behind her. She understands that all the atrocities in that hidden embalming room are long gone; she and Dorie can’t seem to notice it now. But the silent killer who awaits them behind the crumbling walls of the bunker? The radiation will surely kill them.
Dorie also wants to stay, albeit for different reasons. He sees this unexpected discovery as a last chance for closure. And after being locked in the bunker for almost 70 days, what else are you going to do – play another round of life? No, this is an opportunity the former detective doesn’t want to pass up. He is very sorry; too many people died on his watch. Even Dakota’s death weighs heavily on him.
While his motives may be noble, a severe case of delirium tremens causes him to hallucinate. Worse, his hands are shaking so much that he can barely hold his revolver. I was all over it with all of this…until Dorie ventures out into a nuclear winter. Not only are the homemade suits unproven, he leaves the bunker door wide open to all sorts of infestations. I’d say the limited space he leaves behind isn’t nearly as claustrophobic as the hazmat suit and gas mask. The camera remains fixed on his face, alternating between his eyes and an incredibly narrow field of view. This tunnel vision – and being tied to ghosts – nearly kills him. It also almost kills June.
And yet, Dorie is determined to play out a hunch that means she has to go outside again. Cindy’s body is buried in an empty lot near her boyfriend’s house. As good as a detective he was (and perhaps still is), this is not a good decision. Yes, keeping a promise to the one victim whose body he never found would close them both, but it’s also a kind of suicide.
June’s response to all of this is straight to the point: “Why do you want to run to a world that will kill you in 10 different ways?” Dorie doesn’t want to stay, June doesn’t want to leave, putting them at an impasse.
Of course, there is also the issue of armed people trying to enter the shelter. And the shelter is about to collapse. In other words, things go to hell fast – so I don’t blame June for drugging Dorie. What bothers me, however, is that the sedative introduces a countdown in the last act, but it never happens.
I do have some reservations about an otherwise good episode. In last season’s finale, we saw Dakota evaporate from the explosion – and yet her reanimated corpse was outside the bunker. Could this be another one of Dorie’s hallucinations? Possibly. But similarly, Teddy’s corpse somehow survived the blast too – despite being only a few feet away from Dakota when the missile struck. Again, whine.
At the end of the episode, June and Dorie fall under the care of Strand. At the tower, with its stronghold of twisting death, leaving is not an option. And that’s a good thing, because they have nowhere else to go. It also means we might see them trying to take down Strand’s empire from within…