The TWD spin-off is back for another season with new cast members (three kids), new villains (led by "Max Headroom") and, soon, another "crossover" character from the original series (Dwight). We also see a helicopter with the same markings as the one which abducted Rick. Oh, and Daniel Salazar is back.

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NOV 1: This is a John Dorie episode in which he investigates an "accidental death" in Ginny's community. Both dorie and Strand have risen to positions of responsibility, but the difference between the two is that dorie is willing to sacrifice his standing to reveal the truth. Set to betray Ginny, he loses his control of the situation at the last minute and is "rewarded" for his "cooperation." (He is reunited with June, which is a reward, but for the wrong reason.) 

The one "willing suspension of disbelief" issue in this episode is pulling his own tooth, a molar. I had a molar extracted last year and I don't believe he would have been able to do it himself. And it came out so easily! 

It was a good episode.

The preview of next week's episode seems to set the mystery of Morgan and the key. 

I agree about the episode being good. I've really missed John Dorie. I was afraid we were going to lose him during that scene with the walkers falling into the grave. Speaking of which, I am surprised that there are so many walkers finding their way into town. It's supposed to be so regulated.

I assume the walkers were dropped on Dorie on purpose by agents unknown. During the scene I was wondering how the walkers were wrangled to get there.

I might be wrong, but if they were just random walkers, why would they be attracted specifically to that grave? There would lights and noise coming from the town. Also, we don't know who killed the dead guy, but almost certainly Virginia and her cohort were involved. When that story comes out, we may find out that those walkers were, in fact, aimed at Dorie.

Or maybe it was chance. As we've seen in other circumstances, walkers behave predictably except when the writers want them to act otherwise.

Virginia seems to know more about whatever group she's fighting than she's so far revealed. 

The producers need to let some more information slip because I'm rapidly losing interest.

Oh, also... who's attaching the "claws" to the walkers? And are they doing it before or after they turn?

I am honestly trying to maintain interest in this show. But when people behave stupidly over and over again, I get frustrated.

And my bar is not high. It's so low that if I could once -- once! -- get through an episode without being angry, I would be thrilled.

But right now I am watching the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead, and I am so pissed at the writers I have paused the show and am tempted not to watch the rest.

Here's where we are:

Alicia and Charlie (who should not be a pair, since Charlie killed Alicia's brother) find an old hunting lodge as they search for Dakota. They decide it's a trap. Alicia decides to go in.

Because Alicia is stupid.

OK, the writers are. But really. What? Call in backup, let them watch the place, and move on.

But Alicia goes in. It's dark, but evidently everyone in the apocalypse has a flashlight. (I'm not kidding! Look at the other two shows! Some have flashlights built into their SWAT vests, which just happened last year IRL but somehow got back-dated 10 years to the apocalypse!) So Alicia hears a radio/tape deck and follows the sound. Surely she must know, as we do, that this late in the apocalypse it's not a battery: There is human agency involved. Now is the time to back out and call for backup.

Nope. Because Alicia is stupid.

On her way in, she notices -- OVER notices -- some examples of taxidermy. Lady, if I was infiltrating a house right now that might be a trap, not in the zombie apocalypse, I wouldn't take time to notice the taxidermy. Which Alicia does, with wide eyes like, "Oh, this is scary." No, honey, it's not. People are scary. Zombies are scary. Stuffed animals are not. You're a zombie apocalypse survivor, this should not scare you in the least. I am not in the zombie apocalypse, i am not hard-core survivor of hand-to-hand combat with the walking dead. I am, in fact, a combat-poor marshmallow man, and I am still not scared of taxidermy.

Besides, this should give you a lot of information about what sort of person is playing that radio. You should be thinking about this, analyzing this.

But, no, Alicia is just really scared. But not scared enough to turn around. Because Alicia is stupid.

So I, the audience, am supposed to be scared, because Alicia is. But I'm not. Because A) Alicia has plot armor, and B) I would never do anything that stupid, apocalypse or not. I would investigate the lodge, if I had to, with all sorts of back-up and Plan Bs and so forth. I would NOT walk in there, right into the trap, with eyes wide open (and SCARED) with no way to get out.

Which Alicia does. And is SPOOKED by stuffed animals.

So, I don't know whether to be mad at the writer or the director. But I don't blame the actor. She was told to run through this scenario, and looked spooked, and she does.

But you know, this is Fear the Walking Dead. I get that the characters are going to do stupid things, that the plot isn't going to hold together, that I have to grit my teeth a lot. So far, I can handle this so-far terrible episode.

I mean, I'm not even going to mention that one of the problems Our Heroes have is that Virginia is so all-knowing and all-controlling that John Dorie, Victor Strand and most especially Dwight and Althea can't make a move without someone asking on the radio where they are and what they're doing, and if the answer isn't satisfactory, the Rangers will swoop in and kill them. Evidently, Virginia is able to police Texas better than today's law enforcement can police it. Huge geography isn't a problem!

Which is ridiculous. Especially because it evidently doesn't apply to Alicia and Charlie, who are hanging out at a fire watch tower and, apparently, nobody is bugging them on the radio.

But I won't mention it.You're welcome.

Anyway, Alicia gets to a balcony, where she can see someone -- and his radio -- doing scientific experiments (pronounce it like Colin Clive in your head). Oh my!

(Again. Alicia should be all "Whatever. Seen worse." But no.)

Then the guy disappears. Immediately, a voice in my head said, "He's going to come up behind you!"

This is not because I've seen a lot of horror movies.

This is not because I've read a lot of stories.

This is not because it's a 44-minute TV show and something must happen.

This is not true because of my age and experience.

No, it's because when I was in elementary school, I played a lot of elementary school games. Hide and seek, Tag, etc. Which virtually every other child in America did as well.

And every single one of those of us who played those games knows that this guy, who has planned this trap, is coming up behind us! We've all dealt with this sort of Cunning Trap when we were 7!

But Alicia does not. Alicia is the only person in the world who did not know that trap-setter, when he had suckered you good, and then disappeared, was off to spring the trap. Alicia, sadly, is the stupidest person in America. The stupidest person in the history of America. Possibly the stupidest person in the history of the world. Because any American child in the history of American children would know that when trap-setting taxidermy guy disappeared from the scenario he designed for you to see was going to sneak up behind you! We all played those games as children!

(I say "American" because I don't know what games children in the rest of the world grow up playing. I suspect the same games. But I do not wish to presume.)

Anyway, I had to pause the show to register my disgust. Now, having done so, I eye the remote with reluctance. It waits for me there, like a poisonous sponge, waiting for me to hit the "play" button.

I will. But I won't like it.

OK, now he stabs her in the neck with a syringe.

Any medical people here? That doesn't really work. If you were stabbed with a syringe full of anesthetic. You'd probably bleed a little, be really mad, and in about 10 minutes it might actually hit your blood stream. But on TV, it's magic.

Now a new thing is happening. I still think it's stupid. But they got the chess right. (Queen's gambit. Only white can do it.)

"We are making a deal that destroys your dreams."

"OK, but I'm going to lock you up until morning."

"Cool. We'll leave in the morning."

Instead of "No, we're leaving right now, because we left Dakota outside with no word."

Oh, look, Alicia somehow knows how to operate a short-wave radio. Do you?

Oh, look. The crazy guy is crazy.

So they're trapped. I'm not worried, because they all have plot armor, and I'm furiously thinking "how can they plausibly get out of this, since they're going to?"

It's Fear the Walking Dead, so I can forget about the plausible part. I was hoping, but no.

Charlie shows up. (She was outside.) She's got guns! She's got radios! And, unseen, she has sedated the bad guy!

But not killed him. (Which I would have done. Which you would have done. What the what?)

So, yes, he shows up as they are trying to escape the trap even after bad guy has set off loudspeakers outside that we have never seen before but somehow got wished into being and he is attracting walkers. Oh noes! We are trapped, instead of sneaking out the back! Or turning off the power, waiting a few days until there's a hole in the walkers and running away! No, we're doomed, and we have to stay here and look scared during the commercial break!

Oh, crazy guy shows up. Says, to everyone, but mostly to Charlie, that you have to hit a vein for the anesthetic to work. Ha ha!

(Is THAT what Charlie did? WHY? And, how did that happen anyway? We never saw it! Charlie sneaked in, found the bad guy, and disabled him with a syringe? How did she know about the syringes? Why didn't she just slit his throat? Or find him, not know what to do, and run away and find Alicia? But no, she somehow knew about the syringes, stabbed Bad Guy with them, and ran away. Without making sure he couldn't follow.)

Also, it should be mentioned: Bad Guy stabbed Alicia with a syringe, and she went down for about 10 hours, but Bad Guy got stabbed with a syringe, but it "didn't work" because Charlie "didn't find a vein."

Now he's got a gun, and tells Alicia to put her gun down, or else.

Gun, not guns. Because evidently their multiple guns became a single gun. Also, when Charlie sedated Bad Guy, she stole his radio, backpack and supplies ... but not his gun.

And of course, when Bad Guy  says "put your gun down," Alicia does, because FTWD characters always do, even when if, and especially if, it's the worst idea in the world. FTWD characters LOVE to surrender.

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