TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.8 “PADRE” (dir by Michael E. Satrazemis)

The seventh season of Fear The Walking Dead came to its mid-season conclusion on Sunday.  We learned a few thing as the show went into the hiatus.

We learned that PADRE is not a person but instead, it’s a place.  It’s some sort of secret government installation that has the resources that can be used to rebuild the world.  It was created by Senator Elias Vaszquez, just in case something like a zombie apocalypse happened.  Unfortunately, Sen. Vaszquez is now one of the walking dead and no one is quite sure where Padre is actually located.

We learned that Will, who we met in the first episode of the season, was the senator’s aide.  Will had managed to retain his idealism, even while the world was changing around him.  When Alicia said that she sometimes forgot that the dead used to be the living, Will said, “Maybe that’s why I’m here.  To remind you.”  Wow, someone certainly had a high opinion of himself.  Anyway, as we all know, Strand eventually threw Will into the moat and Will lost a good deal of his face and came back as a walker.  Alicia came across Will at the end of the episode and put a blade through his reanimated brain.

And that’s lead us to the other big thing that happened during this episode — ALICIA RETURNED!  I would probably be more excited about this if I felt like I really knew Alicia but, as I’ve mentioned in the past, this is the first season that I’ve really watched this show.  I do know that Alicia is one of the few remaining links to the show’s first season.  So, the fact that she’s back, has amputated an arm, is turning into a walker, and ended the episode by declaring war on Strand is a big deal.

As for this episode, it was …. well, it wasn’t bad.  It managed to neatly link together everything that we’ve seen and heard since this season began.  Hopefully, now that Alicia has declared war on Strand, the rest of the season can play out a bit more straight-forwardly.  (Keeping track of all of these flashbacks and trying to keep everyone’s chronology straight in my head has been a bit of a struggle.)  It’s hard not to feel that the first 8 episodes of the seventh season were basically just an extended prologue for something bigger.  On the one hand, dragging a prologue out over 8 episodes is exactly the sort of narrative trick that burned me out on The Walking Dead in the first place.  On the other hand, the episodes were largely well-done and well-acted and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in seeing where this all goes.

Fear the Walking Dead will return on April 17th, 2022!