Fear the Walking Dead was a show that was handcuffed at the beginning by its own premise. Where the original show began after time had passed, allowing them to simply begin the story in an alien environment which would allow viewers to get to know the protagonists and bond with them immediately, Fear the Walking Dead had to endure introducing us to strangers we had no specific connection to, and waiting around till we became comfortable around them. It had to strain against the strands of knowledge that have to break before someone can accept that a zombie invasion is occurring.
It’s the same thing that has had Episode 4 and the series finale arrive like a breath of fresh air. Gone is the illusion that the cavalry have arrived, that there’s time for everyone to barbecue and explore their personal demons in connection with the world’s end. With the information tortured out of Ophelia’s boyfriend, we enter the season finale aware that there are a mountain of walkers, held back by chains and wood. Entering this episode, we know that if the family waits, they have less than 24 hours to live. We know, too, that the military has both abandoned them and signed their death warrants.
It is in this series finale that we see both the strengths and the weaknesses of the show. Every character has a scene where we see them at their best and at their worst.