I’ve never been bothered by “Fear The Walking Dead” echoing some of its sister show’s story beats. As I’ve said before, there are only so many scenarios one can dream up in a piece of zombie-apocalypse fiction, and as long as they’re well executed, I’m fine with a few recycled plot points.
“Captive” sags just a bit not because it recycles plot points, but because it recycles them too soon. Alicia finds herself at the same crossroads as countless characters on “The Walking Dead”: having to choose between two evils after realizing that, in this new world, everyone has become somewhat ruthless. In her case, the two parties are Jack and his fellow pirates, and her own family.
She naturally goes with the latter in the end, but the decision doesn’t feel as difficult as the series wants it to. For one, the murder of Reed isn’t completely unjustified on Chris’ part because 1) The pirates are the ones who made the first move, 2) It occurs when Travis and Alicia are captive, and 3) Reed, as we find out, is even more torture-happy and awful than we previously thought. Even if Chris may be developing an unhealthy thirst for the blood of his enemies, he’s not exactly The Governor, or even as morally complex as Rick Grimes. Is his act of killing hasty and perhaps unwise? Yes. But he has his reasons. And Daniel’s idea to use Reed’s reanimated corpse as bait for Connor — while cold — still results in a successful rescue of Alicia and Travis.
I can see how it looks like an especially brutal move in her eyes, but it’s for a worthy cause, plus we haven’t spent nearly enough time with her and Jack to suddenly buy the sympathy she has for him and his group. Is their bond really strong enough for her to have second thoughts about leaving the ship?
The other action on the Abigail that proves to be even more disturbing than initially presented is Strand’s marooning of Alex (see note below) and Jake. When Travis encounters the former on Connor’s docked ship, he discovers that, after the rope of her raft got severed, Jake’s health continued to deteriorate, forcing Alex to strangle him as a more humane alternative to drowning. But their separation from the Abigail was more on Strand than anyone else, and as it’s reiterated, the man had his reasons. It’s once again an unconvincing cause for Alicia to suddenly view her comrades as monsters. Had the show waited another season or even a few more episodes to depict Alicia’s moral dilemma — to explore the increasingly brutal actions of both her own family and the pirates — then maybe that final jump off the deck would have more weight.
[Note: IMBb and several press releases for “Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462” incorrectly stated that this character’s name was Charlie — thus the confusion in earlier recaps.]
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