Review: Fear the Walking Dead 515 – Channel 5

Lennie James as Morgan Jones – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 15 – Photo Credit: Van Redin/AMC

Fear the Walking Dead 515 – Channel 5

Propaganda and the power of television are powerful tools and in the wrong hands they can be destructive forces…even in an apocalypse. Maybe even more so. The videos Virginia and her people have produced to convince others to follow their way run counter to what Al and the others want for the future. To fight digital fire with fire, Al creates counter programming to make people aware of the misleading messages in Virginia’s videos.

The search for a new home, a promised land of sorts, one where everyone matters is the driving force behind Morgan’s group’s plans. Humbug’s Gultch, the theme parks based on the old west is their destination but finding one of them, even with John’s knowledge is just one of the obstacles they all face. Grace’s health continues to deteriorate and treating her illness threatens to slow down the group’s progress.

Channel 5 continues this season’s found footage style of story telling and while it serves it’s purpose it is now becoming a bit distracting. While it offers a window into several of the characters’ inner thoughts as well as a contrast between how they operate vs. Virginia’s modus operandi, the technique suffers during action sequences. A perfect example of this occurs during the bridge scene where Virginia’s crew intercepts Strand and the others.

With the weight of the oil tanker and all of the other vehicles threatening the stability of the bridge, it is not only visually jarring moving from camera to camera during the scene, but watching Charlie holding a camera catching the action while guns are pointed at her and her friends seems unrealistic. With imminent danger all around, documenting things as opposed to getting to safety would be the natural human instinct. Also, how are these cameras still running? It’s difficult enough to keep a full charge on a camera or cell phone during the best of times so doing so when energy supplies are at a premium is a head scratcher.

Speaking of the promised land, sometimes its not what is promised. When the group arrives at Humbug’s Gultch to find it overrun with walkers any glimmer of hope that exists within them evaporates. Faced with the choice of dying or joining forces with Virginia to survive, fissures begin to appear in the group. The reality hits Janice, Tom’s long lost sister the hardest and is particularly difficult for Dwight to accept given his past experiences.

What happens now that Morgan, Strand, Alicia and the rest have to beg for Virginia’s help to survive? Will they be able to look the other way when her methods conflict with theirs? Or will they eventually Trojan Horse the group and try to make change from within? Lots of questions and few if any of them will be answered before the lights go out on Season 5.