Warning: Review may contain spoilers!
Fear the Walking Dead 602: Welcome to the Club
After devoting all of the season premiere’s runtime to Morgan, Welcome to the Club welcomes back the rest of the Fear the Walking cast to the narrative. When we last saw everyone together they were in the process of being scattered in the wind courtesy of Virginia.
Her saccharine disposition and delivery belies a sadistic mind and Virginia’s worldview is on full display when her version of fight club Fear the Walking Dead edition goes off the rails in the opening moments of the episode. We soon catch up with Alicia and Strand in Laughton where they are stuck on poop patrol. They soon run afoul a ranger called Marcus who doesn’t take too kindly to Strand’s obstinacy. The tense standoff is eventually diffused and Alicia and Strand are brought before Virginia to hear what punishment awaits them.
A disturbing window into what their fate might be occurs when they meet Virginia who is having her hair cut by none other than Daniel. The real surprise however arises when he fails to recognize his friends and ignores Strand’s calls to him. According to Virginia’s recap of events Daniel’s memory is failing him due to a head injury he sustained.
Given a new assignment as punishment Alicia and Strand are whisked away to the very same location at the Tumbleweed Sugar plant where the walkers were contained behind the metal door to open the episode. This location is where the rule breakers end up but before Strand and Alicia can begin their task, they meet Charlie and Janis who get them up to speed on how things work around there.
Strand devises a gambit to escape but complicating matters is the arrival of Dakota, a young girl from Laughton. Dakota turns out to be a fountain of information revealing what is potentially behind the metal door and that she’s aware of the deal Strand has with her sister. Yes, Dakota is Virginia’s little sister. Strand’s return to his dubious deal making ways upsets Alicia and she forces Strand to come clean. Watching Alicia and Strand go back and forth elicits memories of Strand’s relationship with Madison. His admiration for her remains and it’s evident in how he treats Alicia as an equal.
Welcome to the Club is like one big molasses walker covered chess game. Virginia and Strand are on opposite sides of the chessboard shifting their respective pieces from square to square in a bid to achieve their goals. Some decisions are harder to make than others and Victor is forced to come to a painful reckoning for his plan to succeed. He’s not the only one making moves however and the episode’s last minute twist should not only bring a smile to viewer’s faces but also ramp up this season’s intrigue even further.