Review: Fear the Walking Dead Ep. 312: Brother’s Keeper

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Sam Underwood as Jake Otto – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 12 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Fear the Walking Dead Ep. 312: Brother’s Keeper

After spending last week’s episode focused on Madison and Walker’s quest to solve the Ranch’s water shortage, Brother’s Keeper shifts the narrative back to the community that Otto built. Tensions have calmed down somewhat as the ranchers and Walker’s people try to make do with dwindling resources while trying to find ways to co-exist.

Troy makes his presence felt after a short period of exile in the wild. After growing tired of dining on BBQ’d rattlers he takes refuge in the abandoned outpost once held by McCarthy. Troy’s time in the desert has done little for his sanity and with all of this idle time on his hands he begins to hatch a plan that could result in dire consequences for everyone at the Ranch.

Back at the Ranch there’s a lot of self-doubt going around. Jake continues to question himself and the future of the community while Crazy Dog and Ofelia search for answers to get both sides to trust each other enough to survive any hardships they will encounter. Nick is consumed by guilt as he reflects on killing Otto but leave it to Alicia, ever the realist, to put things into perspective for him.

Jake develops a bit of a backbone in Brother’s Keeper. After doing his best Hamlet over the first part of the season, he confronts Alicia and forces her to be real about her feelings for him. There’s also the matter concerning Troy and his brother’s master plan. Their little Cain and Abel act gets thrown for a loop and when the dust settles one has to wonder if the Clarkes aren’t more of a hindrance than they are a help.

Brother’s Keeper is a frustrating episode. While the all out whack-a-walker mayhem of the final act will delight some disappointment comes from the events leading up to it. For weeks the drama on the Ranch has built up some great tension and moments for character development. However, as the scenes in Brother’s Keeper unfold and character after character make head scratching decisions, compassion is replaced by disappointment by the time the screen fades to black for a final time.

Now it’s understandable that change is inevitable on a show like Fear the Walking Dead. The status quo is in constant flux but it’s how the narrative moves from one development to another that makes the difference. There’ve been hints of a reunion with Madison finally reconnecting with Strand and Daniel. The Dam and the Proctor’s bazar are two locations that have been thrown into the mix and depending on how things play out may become more prominent sooner than later. While those options are welcome the journey there and the impending resolution of the Otto/Walker storyline leaves something to be desired.