“Here to Help” continues the show’s transformation, but it’s still difficult to care either way. For now, at least.
This Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 1 recap for the episode titled “Here to Help” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous season by clicking these words.
For those of us who still remember when Fear the Walking Dead was a good show, its execrable fourth season was something of a sharpened machine gun barrel under the chin. And that’s a good metaphor because the fact Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is still lugging that ridiculous thing around and posing for promotional materials with it just goes to show that Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 hasn’t learned its lesson. “Here to Help”, the premiere episode of the fifth season, didn’t do much to clear out the bad taste left by last year’s ridiculous two-handed finale, even if it did introduce some new threats, some old promises, and some potentially intriguing dynamics.
For one thing, Alicia seems to be losing it. She has developed a nasty case of wavering mental stability, displayed as it always is in this show by going ballistic on walkers and bellyaching about the pointlessness of it all. You’ll recall this was Morgan’s exact character arc last season and seemingly continues to be his character arc in this one, as a later scene in which he argues with Alicia over whether or not helping people is worth the effort makes the point quite clear. Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 is apparently still fascinated with this “should we or shouldn’t we?” dichotomy, despite the fact that there wouldn’t be much of a show remaining if they didn’t. (Not that there’s much of a show remaining at this point anyway, but let’s put that concern aside for now.)
I should note that the heroes — Alicia, Morgan (Lennie James), Althea (Maggie Grace), John (Garrett Dillahunt), June (Jenna Elfman) and Luciana (Danay Garcia) — have formed a kind of Scooby Gang, using Al’s tapes to locate people in need of help, and in “Here to Help” they’re on the hunt for Logan, a chatty survivor who is apparently in a spot of bother. They crash right into the season in a stolen plane, and Alicia promptly uses one of the giant propeller blades to off some walkers, this being another instance of the show’s bizarre obsession with having her utilize notably outsized weaponry. In the process, they meet some children — Max, Dylan, and their sister Annie — and run into several grisly clues that indicate an increasing threat to their safety.
That threat takes the form of Logan (Matt Frewer) himself, who staged his entire ordeal in order to reclaim some property he owns. At this point “Here to Help” toys with the idea of helping people vs. letting Darwinism sort things out by itself, this being a tired reiteration of the same idea espoused by last season’s utterly ridiculous last-minute villain. Glad to see that Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 is coming up with new ideas!
That having been said, “Here to Help” did at least bother to make some intriguing suggestions about where the show might be heading. For one thing, Althea stumbles across a uniformed walker boasting the symbol that, I believe, was also the symbol on the helicopter that took Rick Grimes away from The Walking Dead‘s ninth season. So that’s a promising lead. And Strand (Colman Domingo) believes he has found another plane for the group to use — the problem is that it’s the property of presumed-dead Season 3 badass Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades), looking very much alive. Good news, that. I hope it amounts to something.