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TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead - Season 4, Episode 11

08.27.2018by: Cody Hamman

Season 4, Episode 11: The Code

PLOT: Morgan makes three new friends, but they're not all as friendly as they first appear to be.

REVIEW: Morgan Jones (Lennie James) isn't sure whether he wants to stay in Texas or return to his former home in Virginia, and in our reality that means the character isn't sure whether he wants to stay on Fear the Walking Dead and continue interacting with its characters, or if he wants to head back to Fear's companion series The Walking Dead, where he was first introduced. Personally, I wouldn't mind if Morgan went back to the other show and left the characters who were on Fear before his arrival to try to move on without him, because I want this show to contine focusing on its established characters and stop drifting over to the new additions so much.

Morgan is firmly entrenched in Fear for now, though. All this talk of him going back to Virginia is just a tease for a major crossover that is now certainly possible, as every character on this show is aware of the Alexandria community that The Walking Dead centers on, but still not likely. Despite that, Morgan does make some progress in the direction of Virginia in this episode, when he falls asleep in a semi trailer while seeking shelter from a storm and wakes up when the truck comes to a stop in Mississippi. 

While I'm practically begging Fear to continue focusing on its returning characters, new showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg remain determined to introduce more and more new characters who are probably going to keep taking the spotlight away from them. The cast shake-up Fear has gone through this season has driven some viewers away from the show, but while the changes are concerning to me I don't feel compelled to give up on the show yet because its transformation has been interesting to watch, and I do like some of these spotlight-hogging new characters quite a bit.

The Code throws three more characters into the mix, all of them entertaining. First up are the trucking duo of Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) and Sarah (Mo Collins), who seem at first to be the pair who have been leaving those helpful "Take what you need" boxes that have been sitting around in recent episodes. The fact that they're not actually very helpful people is revealed with the arrival of the third character, Jim (Aaron Stanford), who Wendell and Sarah were attempting to abduct so he could show them how he brews his homemade beer. They may not be the most honorable pair, but Wendell and Sarah are amusing to watch - as you might expect if you know Collins from her appearances on 150+ episodes of MADtv. They spout funny dialogue, have a comedic interplay with each other, and even though they're armed kidnappers and thieves they never feel like they're much of a threat.

Jim brings a fun energy to the episode as well, going on about the important role beer will play in the re-building of society. I can see Jim carrying on through future episodes, but I can't really imagine Wendell and Sarah being useful for very long. They seem like characters who are better in small doses, just sticking around for an episode or two instead of becoming regulars.

The Code was very much like the first episode of this season, in that it followed Morgan on a road trip and brought in new characters while never dealing with the original cast members (returning characters only showed up at the very end of that first episode). The difference between the premiere episode and this one is that The Code ended up feeling like a filler episode. Since Morgan travelled away from Texas only to decide to turn around and go back, all it did was set up a meeting between Wendell, Sarah, Jim, and the other characters... and that could have been done in an episode that actually involved the other characters.

Well, it actually set up a meeting between the other characters and four new additions, as the episode did end on an intriguing note. A scene with a strange, seemingly sinister woman (Tonya Pinkins) who has a pet zombie. I'm looking forward to finding out what's going on with her.

Overall, The Code was a watchable episode, but a middle-of-the-road one. Let's get back to Texas. Back to Alicia, Strand, and Luciana (and sure, John Dorie, June, Althea, and Charlie, too.)

BEST ZOMBIE MOMENT: Hands bound behind his back, Morgan gets stuck on the roof of an SUV that's surrounded by around 20 flesh-hungry zombies.

GORY GLORY: Just when I thought this episode was only going to offer the sight of Morgan sticking his bo staff through the heads of multiple zombies, The Code went and gave him a different weapon: a mile marker sign, which was left dripping blood after he used it to chop into a walker's skull.

FAVORITE SCENE: Jim gives Morgan a lesson on the history of beer and its importance in a post-apocalyptic world.

FINAL VERDICT

Extra Tidbit: What did you think of The Code?

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