Fear the Walking Dead 614: Mother
Warning: This review contains spoilers!
Groundhog Day meets Fear the Walking Dead this week with Mother, an Alicia centric episode that reunites her with old friends and gives Teddy some more backstory. Considering Alicia’s history, Mother would at first glance appear to refer to her relationship with Madison, but after the pre-credits sequence Teddy has some momma issues of his own. Mother is loaded with call backs for long time Fear viewers and would make Norman Bates proud.
Now a steady diet of cold canned beans and Teddy’s manifesto pumping over the intercom would be enough to drive anyone crazy, but Alicia appears to be managing her time in captivity quite well. Even Riley seems to be wearing down waiting for Alicia to crack and join team Teddy. The bearded one decides to take matters into his own hands, which he hilariously does later – but that’s another matter – and takes Alicia on an errand to try to get to know her better.
Teddy and his crew have found some new digs that better suit their plans. Alicia’s refusal to join them holds up the move from Teddy’s old facility but instead of killing her and moving on he keeps her alive. Riley’s none too happy becoming a third wheel and he’s about as confused as we are as to why Teddy thinks Alicia is so important.
Dakota, Fear the Walking Dead’s teenaged assassin, shows up not long afterwards to add some spice to the mix. She’s gone underground trying to find Alicia and imbedded herself in a bunch of recruits headed for Teddy’s new compound. Alicia is less than thrilled to see her and when Dakota’s backstory is revealed, Teddy takes an instant liking to her. Dakota wants to atone for her sins by wiping Teddy off the map and figures she can do it with Alicia’s help because he’s old. Ah, kids nowadays.
It’s road trip time and Teddy, Alicia and Dakota make their way towards the stadium Alicia and her mom once called home. Before getting there, Teddy stops to spend some quality time with his dead mother’s corpse. If there were any doubts as to the levels of his insanity the sight of him affectionately hugging what’s left of her in the coffin should put those to rest. Mamma Maddox completes the quartet and Teddy tries to bond with Alicia and Dakota on the way back to the compound.
The common link between them is that they’ve all lost their mothers. Teddy, obviously still reeling from his loss is now on a quest to preserve the things he loves while destroying everything he doesn’t. Two blown tires give rise to Throw Momma from the Truck, Fear the Walking Dead edition. While the scene should be tragic, it comes across as dark comedy and is one of the few times if ever I’ve laughed out loud during any type of Walking Dead episode. The blown tires attract a group of walkers which Alicia and Dakota easily take care of. They receive a helping hand from and old friend when Cole appears out of nowhere brandishing a shotgun.
Mother gets a little twisted after Cole shows up with sweet memories of the past quickly going up in flames. Cole and the stadium crew, including Doug and Viv turn on Alicia blurring the lines between allies and enemies and proving that people are only as honorable as their options. Cole’s fall gives credence to Teddy’s doctrine, one that Dakota embraces. The twists continue when Cole tries unsuccessfully to shake Teddy down and the truth about the corpse in the back of the truck is revealed.
Teddy is a complex, calculating individual and his penchant for playing four-dimensional chess throws Alicia off balance. With several truths crumbling around her Alicia is tested and makes a fateful decision to break the cycle she’s trapped in. With Cole out of the way Dakota, Teddy’s new disciple, turns against Alicia and what Teddy has planned for the keys is revealed. It all goes back to the beached submarine, which is armed with nukes. Teddy’s underground utopia is necessary due to his plans to wipe out everything on the surface and Alicia is central to his vision of the future.
Mother rides a wave of emotions with some nostalgia, dark humor and more than a few twists thrown in for good measure. Dakota’s evolution from assassin to henchwoman is complete and Teddy’s grand plan is out in the open for all to see. Alicia’s in quite the predicament and how she gets out of it is anyone’s guess.