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'Fear the Walking Dead' Returns for Season 4 – Part II
August 12, 2018  | By David Hinckley

Caution: Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen the first half of Season 4.
Even by the standards of a Zombie Apocalypse, things feel uncomfortably out of sync when Fear the Walking Dead returns Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
While no death in the Walking Dead world feels totally unexpected, the fiery demise of Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) in the first half of the fourth season seems to have left many of the survivors as stunned as it has left many viewers.
It’s not that the survivors talk about it. To an almost eerie degree, they don’t. We just see them going about their lives in ways that feel slightly disjointed, speaking in ways that suggest they’re still numb.
The exception (sort of) is Morgan (Lennie James, top), who earlier this season became the first character to cross over from the East Coast-based Walking Dead mothership to the Southwestern-set Fear.
While Morgan has worked through his share of fatalism and despair over the seasons, he has flashes here where he almost becomes a cheerleader.
Althea (Maggie Grace, top) seems pretty much unaffected, perhaps because she didn’t know Madison well and perhaps because she’s always maintained her focus on telling the stories of the people she meets. The Zombie Apocalypse simply means she’s telling different stories than if the world had continued on its earlier course.
Meanwhile, we learn whether John (Garret Dillahunt, left) survived the serious gunshot he sustained while being noble back in the first half of the season. His fate, in turn, affects June/Naomi/Laura (Jenna Elfman, above), who confesses she has felt insufficiently brave and now may want to try to make up for that.
While there’s action in this return episode, with more than a few walkers being dispatched, we also return to Fear’s fondness for introspection and the psychology of the people who are periodically reminded that their present situation is weird, not normal.
Still, several of the characters remain mysterious, including the young Charlie (Alexa Nisenson), who in the past has chosen not to share the reasons for her seemingly fluid loyalties.
In the end, the characters whose behavior seems to have been most drastically altered by Madison’s death are the logical ones: those who knew her best, most notably Strand (Colman Domingo, right) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey).
Strand reverts to some of his old attitudes and shows he hasn’t lost his knack for finding the increasingly scarce physical comforts of the ZA.
Alicia, who earlier this season had lost her brother Nick and now has no blood family remaining, was often an exasperated wild card even when Nick and Madison were alive. So we’re not really surprised to see what she’s now taken to doing.
We still know, however, that Alicia is smart and capable and strong-willed, meaning that if there is to be any meaningful community among the ragged and stunned survivors, she’d be a natural one to step in and help lead it.

If she’s going there, she’s taking the scenic route. Which is probably okay, because team spirit, always a fragile entity on Fear the Walking Dead, is undergoing some serious renovations.

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