SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about the Season 4 finale of Fear the Walking Dead.
After a season of flashbacks, flashforwards, flashbacks within flashbacks, flashforwards within flashforwards and more time jumps than a DeLorean could handle, the season 4 finale of Fear the Walking Dead ended on a hopeful note that maybe — just maybe — this Walking Dead spinoff can get back on track after a season of struggle.
When we begin the season ender titled “…I Lose Myself”, we find Althea (Maggie Grace) stuck in a parking garage reaching out for help, but she eventually finds a way out but has a run in with Martha (Tonya Pinkins) who has stolen her tapes and her van. In desperate need of a spa day, Martha tells an armed Althea that “she likes her.” They exchange some more words until Martha sicks a walker on Althea. She shoots it, but it was merely a distraction as Martha knocks her out.
When Althea wakes up, she realizes that she is back with the gang. She is greeted by June (Jenna Elfman) and John (Garret Dillahunt) who says that she was essentially a carrier pigeon for Martha. She sent a video message with Althea that is meant for Morgan (Lennie James).
The gang makes a plan to make their way to the Alexandria area and Althea asks about the king and his pet tiger (Oooh! An Ezekiel reference!) and Morgan says there are places along the way where they can stop. The plan is to continue Polar Bear’s post-apocalyptic good Samaritan ways of dropping off boxes of supplies at mile markers to help people in need.
After they make the plan, Morgan watches Martha’s video message and his agenda changes.
“I gave you so many chances to be strong but you didn’t take any of them,” says Martha. “Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I wasn’t strong enough. You will see me again — I’ll be stronger than ever and I’ll make you strong too.”
Spoken like a true comic book villain.
After Morgan watches this message on a loop, he tells John that he needs to help her. He realizes that he sees a lot of his old-self in Martha, who thinks “killing is the only way” to stay strong. He says that he will go after her and will meet the get along gang in Alexandria.
Thus begins the narrative heft of the season finale. Morgan sets off on this journey to help Martha, who actually contacts him on the radio to say “I knew you would come after me.” She tells him her location and he goes out to find her. It seems as though this is the start of the final leg of a journey of self that he has been on and as the link between Fear and The Walking Dead, he provides a sort of familiarity to the series that adds dimension to this universe. And with how this struggling season, he acts as a guide to put the series back on track, even if it is on the basic side.
As Morgan sets out to meet Martha, the gang sets up camp in a convenience store before making their trek to Alexandria. They make some coffee and prepare for their road trip, but something’s not right. One by one, they start getting sick. This all seems too familiar. Remember season 3’s anthrax poisoning?
Meanwhile, Morgan finds Martha who, by the way, has this weird obsession with writing on people’s faces. Nonetheless, she is about to get a makeover of the walker variety as she has been infected. He insists that he can help her and forces her into the car to bring her back with the others…but it doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Their interaction is like a parent trying to force their stubborn kid trying to take medicine. It becomes a tad bit obnoxious, but when it comes down to it Morgan, being the good parent he is, just lets her throw her tantrum and lets things play out. It turns out to be the best for both of them.
We also find out that Martha poisoned the water that the gang used for the coffee with antifreeze. They are all sprawled out on the floor and suffering from the worst coffee rush ever. June says that they need to get a hold of some ethanol as it is a cure from ingesting antifreeze. Luckily, there’s a tank of ethanol outside but unfortunately, it is surrounded by walkers and when they try to retrieve it, it is anything but a success — and Althea is partly to blame. But she did what she had to do with good reason.
Towards the end of the episode, things start to conveniently pan out. Morgan comes to the rescue with a truck full of beer (as he says, “ethanol is just a fancy word for alcohol”) and all is well. They find a denim factory where Polar Bear worked and figured this would be a great place to build a home base instead of head to Alexandria. From here, they can continue their box drop off plans and help people (thanks to Althea’s videos) and build a community.
There is no cliffhanger to season 4, but it does feel like a soft reset considering how many of the original Fear characters have died and a new roster has emerged with Morgan at the reins. This finale swept up the mess from the previous episodes and tied it up in a nice bow so that season 5 can come in and rip it open for a fresh — and hopefully more streamlined — story of bloody betrayal, wild drama and, of course, rot-faced walkers.