TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.1 “The Portrait” (dir by Heather Cappiello)


The latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead featured Morgan taking baby Mo to Strand’s tower, in order to try to find medicine for her.  Normally, Strand would have sent Morgan away and laughed about it but Morgan was lucky enough to show up while Strand was having an existential crisis about his role in the brave new world of the Walking Dead.

In short, Morgan got to enter the tower and he stayed there for a while before Strand ended up having one of his trademark changes of heart.  After nearly tossing Morgan to the Walkers, Strand changed his mind on the condition that Grace and the baby would stay at the tower while Morgan went back out into the apocalyptic wasteland.  Morgan then hooked up with Dwight and his “moral outlaws” and then they all ran into some Stalkers who are apparently different from the other Stalkers who have previously appeared and then there was a big explosion …. or something.

Look, I don’t know.  To be honest, I had a hard time following what was going on after Morgan left the Tower.  That could be because this is the first season of the show that I’ve really watched.  But, I will say that, when Fear the Walking Dead works, it works precisely because it captures the confusion of trying to keep track of who is who in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  It does a good job of capturing the paranoia that would go along with the end of the world.  If The Walking Dead and Walking Dead: World Beyond is occasionally a bit too neat when it comes to depicting its characters as being good or evil, Fear The Walking Dead is a bit more chaotic.

As for this episode, it kind of reminded me of one of those old episodes of Lost where Jack or Kate would end up spending a week with The Others and you would kind of end up thinking that, regardless of how you felt about The Others as a moral force, you’d really rather live in their little village than in the caves with Jack and the skeletons.  I wouldn’t necessarily want to live under the rule of a dictator prone to arbitrary rages but, at the same time, the Tower does look nice and Strand is keeping people alive (or at least, he is until he randomly decides to them off the top of the Tower).  One could easily imagine the Others living in the Tower and telling a disbelieving Morgan, “We’re the good guys.”

For me, the highlight of this episode was Colman Domingo’s performance of Strand.  Domingo, who has recently gotten some deserved attention for his performances in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Zola, is charismatic enough to be believable as a leader while also frightening enough to be believable as someone who could get his followers to go along with his often contradictory impulses.  I actually felt a bit of sympathy for Strand as he realized that he would always be viewed as a fearsome ruler as opposed to a benevolent monarch.  Of course, the rest of the episode was dedicated to reminding views as to why exactly Strand is so feared.

Anyway, it was a good episode.  Colman Domingo and Lennie James dueling each other to see who could control each scene was entertaining to watch.  The next episode is called Padre, so I guess we’ll finally get some answers as to who exactly is out there.

We’ll see!

2 responses to “TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.1 “The Portrait” (dir by Heather Cappiello)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 11/28/21 — 12/4/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 11/29/21 — 12/5/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.