No matter where the Clark family goes, death and destruction soon follow.
That has been the one constant throughout the last three seasons of Fear the Walking Dead. Call it a serious string of bad luck, poor choices or even fate, but there is no denying that the Clark family has had their share of misfortune.
So, if you went into the Season Finale expecting anything otherwise, you'd be sorely mistaken.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 was chock full of wild developments, and everyone's cards were laid on the table.
Strand's motives were revealed, and as suspected, he cut a deal with Proctor John. However, the deal wasn't as selfish as I thought. Apparently, the Proctors have known about the dam for a while now.
I suppose it is kind of hard to miss.
The deal Strand made was to spare Madison and her family from any harm during Proctor John's raid of the dam. As expected, that deal didn't exactly go according to plan as John went back on his word.
The man doesn't exactly scream trustworthy.
Daniel was also desperate for answers to the mystery surrounding Ofelia's death. When he was questioning Nick and padlocked the door, we realized that Daniel was not playing around.
Nick is well aware of who Daniel is and what he is capable of, but he remained determined to cover for Troy. Daniel easily saw right through the deceit, but just when we thought things were going to get ugly, Nick was able to convince Daniel that Jake was behind it all.
Heck, Nick almost had me convinced that it went down that way, even though we know otherwise.
That horde did not materialize out of thin air. Every herd needs a shepherd.Daniel
Regardless, Daniel will never personally get justice for Ofelia even if he does know who it was. That's because Madison ended up being the one to take Troy out.
Nick spilling the beans to Madison on Troy being behind leading the horde to the ranch on Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 episode 12 put the final nail in the coffin in their relationship. Madison knew Troy was trouble from the moment they met, but they did have a twisted admiration for each other.
Madison killing Troy felt fitting, but I wish Daniel could have had the honor.
Things only escalated from there as Strand and Daniel finally squared off with one another.
We knew it was coming, but that didn't make the standoff any less tense. While I didn't think there was any chance in hell that Strand would kill Daniel, it was still a nerve-wracking moment between the two.
Suffice it to say, my jaw hit the floor when Strand pulled the trigger during the scuffle. It took a few seconds for my brain to process what had just happened. After his numerous brushes with death, could Daniel's luck have finally run out?
My shock quickly turned to relief when Daniel survived the ordeal.
The shot only grazed him, but hats off to the great camera play teasing viewers into believing Daniel was shot in the head.
The man has more lives than a freaking cat!
Lola: You should be dead.
Daniel: Many times.
Now some will likely view that scenario as a cheap fake out, and that's a valid argument, but at least Daniel's fate wasn't dragged out into next season. It was a clever little way to pull the rug out from under us before helping us back to our feet to breathe a sigh of relief.
It's unfortunate that there is so much animosity between those two. Imagine what Strand and Daniel could accomplish if they worked together. Between Daniel's ruthlessness and Strand's scheming, the two would be a dynamic team.
It is a shame because I enjoy both characters, and I feel torn between who to support. Just like two family members bickering and getting pulled into the middle of a disagreement, I feel conflicted.
On a negative note, I was extremely disappointed in how Lola's death was handled. It's not that I cared much for her character, but the fact that she died for the sole purpose of throwing another death into the mix was annoying.
Lola walking up to Proctor John's men and shooting them was ridiculous, and I'm surprised she got off as many rounds as she did before being taken out.
It was basically suicide, and the entire scene was pointless and unnecessary. Not everyone needs to be killed just for the sake of requiring a death or because the focus of the locale is shifting.
The same situation occurred on Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13. In what was otherwise a very solid episode, my only gripe with it was with how the entire ranch was wiped out simply because the story progression warranted it.
Proctor John: You're a tough kid.
Alicia: You have no idea.
While Nick stealing the detonator from Strand and being willing to sacrifice himself to save his family was noble, that whole scene was a tad frustrating. Realistically, any one of Procter John's men could have taken Nick out as he paced back and forth.
I hate using the word "realistic" when we're dealing with a series about zombies, but there isn't any other way to describe it. The scene was intended to create tension, but it ended up having the opposite effect.
Was Nick ever in any real danger of being killed when he blew the dam? Absolutely not, especially when Daniel made his way over as the foundation began to crumble. There is no way two essential characters would die off, let alone simultaneously.
It's a safe bet that Daniel and Nick are alive. Though, the condition that they're in after the collapse of the dam remains to be seen. The same could be said for Proctor John and his posse.
Proctor John's reveal was handled well. It was a nice slow burn throughout the second half of the season with little bits of info sprinkled about to keep his mysteriousness intact.
I'm glad that he wasn't a one and done villain, and my hope is that we'll get to see more of him going forward. The series finally has a worthy villain, and Fear the Walking Dead Episode 16 set up Proctor John to be a formidable foe going into Season 4.
Alicia: Are you testing my loyalty?
Proctor John: I'm testing your wisdom.
The most nagging part of the finale was the intermittent dream sequences. I really didn't care for them, and they didn't add anything to the episode. If anything, they detracted from the episode's pacing.
I'm still not quite sure of the purpose of those dream sequences. Based on the last one, my interpretation is that they were some sort of death dream while Madison was in the water.
Sure, the dreams were genuinely creepy at times, but their sporadic placement throughout the episode didn't gel with it overall. The only saving grace was seeing Cliff Curtis' appearance at the end.
Seeing Travis again was a sweet surprise, even if it was only a hallucination. It does, however, make me wonder how everything would have played out if Travis were still alive.
With the dam destroyed, at least Efrain got his wish with having the water released to the people. But where do we go from here? Madison is alive but is once again separated from her family. The episode ended in a way that completely opens its future up to numerous possibilities and routes that the series can take.
Fear the Walking Dead season 3 wasn't perfect, but it was a considerable improvement over the first two seasons. However, there is still room for improvement and with a new showrunner at the helm for Season 4, I'm hopeful that the series can be brought up to its full potential.
Other tidbits from the finale:
- Alicia once again kept her cool under immense pressure. It couldn't be easy knowing there are half a dozen armed men in the room willing to blow your head off at a moments notice.
- Am I the only one who noticed the striking similarities between Proctor John and John Proctor? Not just the allusion to the name, but also his appearance was very interesting.
- Nick harvesting the heads to sell to the trading outpost was typical Nick.
- I'm a bit disappointed that "Lady Pickaxe" was discarded so quickly. After the doctor patched her up, she was put on the back burner. I hope she returns in some capacity in Season 4.
- Walker and Crazy dog returning to help take out Procter John's men on the bridge was awesome. The only question is now that they're heading north to look for more of their people, will it be the last we see of them?
What did you think of the Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Finale and season as a whole? Hit the comments below and let me know.
There is a lot to digest and think about until Fear the Walking Dead returns for Season 4 until then you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online!
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Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.