Fear the Walking Dead delivers a rare beautiful moment in the zombie apocalypse. “Alaska” has Al (Maggie Grace) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) on scouting duty for Ginny. She’s forced them to wear body cams and check in on their progress. Dwight discovers that Al has been hiding a treasured secret. They search for it together, find a new group of survivors, and a long-awaited reunion.
“Alaska” begins with Morgan (Lennie James) installing a mobile for baby Morgan over her crib. Rachel (Brigitte Kali Canales) comments, “She likes it.” Rachel looks through the bags of food, clothes, and supplies Morgan has brought them. She realizes they come from a Pioneer town. Morgan has a man on the inside, and that person doesn’t know their location. He still doesn’t hold the baby.
Morgan cuts off the broken head of his staff. He affixes the axe blade to the top. He plans to find Grace, the others, and bring them there. Morgan wonders if his friends will recognize him. Rachel replies, “You’ll still be the man they knew.” He twirls the new weapon with a deft touch.
Al and Dwight clear walkers in an upscale funeral home. They have GoPro cameras on their shoulders, documenting their efforts. Dwight gives Al a license from Arizona for her collection. They separate to investigate further. Al’s radio squawks to life. She hears Isabelle’s voice tell another person the details for “Drop Site Baker.” She looks at the radio longingly, and is surprised by an embalmed walker. Dwight rescues her. He radios back to the rangers their location.
Outside the funeral home, they drink skunked beer on top of a casket. Dwight asks Al if she thinks about “beer lady” aka Isabelle. Her radio blares again about “Drop Site Baker.” Dwight is stunned, “Who is that?” Al refuses to say anything. Dwight realizes it has to be about the beer lady. Al makes sure their cameras are off. She thinks Drop Site Baker is in the city. She has been tracking their movements.
Dwight thinks they can be there when the helicopter arrives. He wants Al to leave with her lost love. “If I go AWOL, she’ll kill our friends,” Al replies. Dwight has a plan. They can find a walker that is Al’s size that has recently turned. Blow it’s face off, and then tell Ginny Al was killed. He “walked halfway across the country” to find Sherry. He won’t let Al miss this chance, “Get in the truck, let’s go find beer lady.”
That night, they drive to a tall office building. Al believes it is Drop Site Baker. There’s a helipad on the roof. Dwight searches the pockets of a smashed walker in the front. He finds an Alaskan driver’s license for “Mark Smith.” He gives it to Al for her collection. Al sets her watch for six hours. That’s when the helicopter arrives.
Inside the lobby, they see “The End Is The Beginning”, spray painted on the wall. They dispatch walkers at the base of a stairwell. Al sees rats in a cage. Dwight comments he had one in his sleeping bag a few nights ago. They start to ascend the staircase. It’s blocked by walkers behind a barricade of office furniture. They get off at the fifth floor, then are met by two people with guns.
Nora (Devyn A. Tyler) asks why they are in the building. Al responds that they’re trying to reach the roof. “If you think whoever’s been landing on the roof is here to save you, think again,” Nora warns. They shot her friend and threw him over the edge. She also wants to know why they’re recording. Al and Dwight are taken prisoner while Nora watches their footage. She gives them back the camera and asks them to turn it on.
Nora takes Al and Dwight to her group. Everyone is deathly sick. Dwight is about to give water to a man with pustules on his neck. Al holds him back. She turns off her camera. They can’t stay. Ginny will kill these people. They have Bubonic plague. She saw it before in Algeria. She pulls Dwight into the stairwell, and uses a fire axe to jam the door.
Nora begs for them to help, but Al keeps climbing. “The last time I felt alive was with her,” she weeps to Dwight. They have three hours left. Dwight decides to keep going. They reach the twenty-ninth floor. Dwight kills a walker with a Tennessee driver’s license. He wonders why Al collects them. She tells Dwight about the game with her brother.
Al asks what Dwight will say to Sherry when he finds her. Dwight says he never will, “I came to peace with the fact that’s not gonna happen.” He heard her voice on the radio, but now thinks it was a delusion. Rats are running everywhere. Al hears them in the wall. She breaks through to the pipes. They continue climbing.
The radio blares to life. The helicopter will be at the drop in thirty minutes. They crawl while surrounded by rats. They break through another wall back to the floor. Walkers surge towards them. They hide in a bathroom. Al notices a pustule on Dwight’s neck, “You’re infected.”
Dwight warns her to stay away. He remembers the rat in his sleeping bag. Al wants to get help, but Dwight refuses. Shots ring outside the door. Nora has killed the walkers. She asks them to contact Ginny for antibiotics. Dwight tells her that Ginny will not help. They have gas in their truck. Help Al get to the roof, and then they can look for a pharmacy. Nora replies that Al is probably also infected.
Roof access is blocked by an office furniture blockade. They’ll kill the walkers “nice and slow.” Nora uses her remaining bullets. Al grabs a fire extinguisher and starts smashing skulls. Nora kills a co-worker, then breaks down crying. Al gives her the Alaskan driver’s license of her friend. They make it to the roof, “five minutes ahead of schedule.” Al begs Dwight to leave and find a pharmacy. He tells Al goodbye, and that he’s left her message on her camera.
Al stands alone on the roof by supply containers. She finds a flare gun. Three minutes to spare. Al watches the video Dwight left. He tells her not to forget the pretzels when she’s drinking with the beer lady. Al hears the helicopter approaching. She fires a flare into the night sky.
Al calls them on the radio, “Reverse course.” Isabelle responds, “Who is this?” Al replies, “Just someone who wants to help you out.” She warns of the plague. It’s not safe to land. Isabelle recognizes her voice, but has to play it cool. She asks if Al is infected. Al doesn’t know. Isabelle knowingly responds that there’s beer in the supply crates, “Hope it’s not your last.” The helicopter turns around, “Drop Site Baker has been burned.”
Al finds bottles of Ciprofloxacin under the beer. She radios Dwight. On the fifth floor, everyone takes the antibiotics. Dwight asks what happened. Al lost a brother once, “I didn’t want that to happen again. The dear friends embrace. Al promises Nora they will find a place for her people. Everyone descends the staircase. Al examines the cage that held the rats. She finds spray paint beside it. The plague was no accident. Someone made these people sick. Al guesses it was whoever wrote the message.
A woman’s voice crackles from the radio, “I saw your flare. Is someone in trouble on the roof?” Dwight is stunned. He grabs it and whispers, “Honey, is that you?” The voice slowly replies, “Dwight?” He races outside of the building. Dwight stares in disbelief as Sherry (Christine Evangelista) stands in an alley. They fall into each other’s arms, laughing and kissing.
Dwight’s search for Sherry ends on a surprisingly happy note. She had been missing since season seven of The Walking Dead. We’ll have to see how long their reunion lasts, but it was a rare scene of joy on a bleak show. It’s likely that Sherry patched up Morgan when he was shot. So the others will know he survived. Al reconnected briefly with Isabelle, who I think is Elizabeth’s (Julia Ormond) daughter from World Beyond. The CRM storyline continues to bind the shows together. Fear the Walking Dead returns next week with John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) on AMC.
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