NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Fear the Walking Dead” are present in this review
Now that Al has finally returned to the group, and Dylan has inspired everyone to rebuild their plane, “The Little Prince” appears to build off of the positive momentum that seemed to be set up during the previous episode. Frustratingly though, it’s also the point where the writing of Fear the Walking Dead once again starts to slip, forcing a series of increasingly ridiculous challenges for Morgan’s and Strand’s separate groups, as they struggle to come together and devise a means of escape.
Fortunately, with all of the children being gathered at the truck stop with Luciana, the plane repairs go pretty smoothly at first. Al even manages to get the plane started at one point, with the engines working and everything!… Until one of the propellers flies off, once again ensuring that Morgan’s party remains stranded on the ground. Thus, the quest is on for a new propeller, something that Strand’s crew can provide, though unfortunately, they’re stuck on the other side of the mountains. Oh dear.
Things only get worse once Grace gets back in touch with Morgan’s group as well, saying that she needs a generator. Apparently, the generator preventing the remaining reactor from melting down has failed, and Grace must quickly set up another one to prevent another catastrophic radiation leak! Morgan agrees to help bring the generator, once again also failing to get his old stick back, as Grace prepares to go into the hot zone… By herself. Grace thus remains determined to sacrifice her life in order to fix the meltdown, but even then, it would only be buying time for Morgan and the kids. This is fair enough as a ticking clock, and this Morgan/Grace storyline at least marks one of the more satisfying storylines in this episode. Even with Grace being determined to do the right thing and keep everyone out of danger however, Morgan nonetheless proceeds after her once again during the final moments of the episode. What Morgan means to accomplish, I don’t know, but he better have an exit strategy, that’s for sure!
Back at the truck stop, Annie also once again expresses doubt over allying with Morgan’s party, after seeing Morgan go off with Grace. Annie thus becomes determined to take her brothers and the other children away again, so they can supposedly be safe from the impending meltdown. Oh come on, seriously?! Once again, Annie’s desire to run and hide doesn’t feel logical or smart, and only seems to be happening so that the show can force a conflict with the teenage survivors. Alicia tries to talk Annie down from running away, as does June, who at least wants her to promise to wait a week before fleeing, but sure enough, the kids take off, setting up an extra large barrier of walkers that Alicia is nonetheless determined to cut through later. Yes, the walker blockade thing is still really non-sensical, but the show is still seeing fit to try and push that. Honestly, Alicia should really just cut her losses, as should the rest of Morgan’s party, but as this season has continually proven, Morgan’s crew seem to have hearts that are bigger than their brains, especially by the standards of the walker apocalypse!
Fortunately, John and Dwight at least get another slightly better subplot in this episode, after John suggests re-tracing some of Dwight’s steps so that they can get a bead on Sherry again. After John suggests that an extra pair of eyes may be helpful, the two end up back at the remains of a diner that Dwight formerly searched, wherein John successfully finds a clue that Dwight missed before! How Dwight missed a huge piece of paper, albeit a slightly illegible one, I don’t know, but regardless, John manages to get Dwight back on the right path, where they come up to a house that Sherry happened to be staying in. Around this point though, John finds another note from Sherry, telling Dwight to stop looking for her, because she was disturbed at having to kill the man formerly hiding out in the diner. John chooses to hide the letter from Dwight as well, which is actually a really controversial decision, and one that I’m sure will have consequences down the line! I just wish that Sherry’s reasons for cutting ties with Dwight weren’t so forced and dumb though. She’s that bothered at having to kill somebody, years into the walker apocalypse? Moreover, wasn’t Sherry formerly one of the Saviors, alongside Dwight? Yeah, this doesn’t make any sense at all.
This just leaves Strand’s party, who are stuck after their own plane’s engines were sacrificed to save Daniel a couple of episodes ago. With no other options to move forward, Strand wonders if their groups won’t be able to reunite, frustratingly regressing back as a character, after all of his positive developments with Daniel during, “Skidmark.” Fortunately, Charlie at least notices something on the poster for Jim’s brewery, and goes with Strand to fly towards Morgan in a hot air balloon! This was a fantastically uplifting moment, one that was complemented nicely by being timed with Alicia discovering that the kids were gone. Regardless though, Strand and Charlie apparently run short of fuel before reaching Morgan, and have to crash land right in the middle of not only a bunch of walkers that they can’t kill, due to the radiation, but also the hot zone where Grace is trying to prevent the meltdown! Again, this feels a little forced, since it seems unlikely that Strand and Charlie would go on a hot air balloon without checking the fuel reserve beforehand. I guess we need to contrive more challenges for them in the next episode however, while Morgan races to try and help Grace, somehow, before the reactor meltdown occurs.
Fear the Walking Dead is yet again falling into the trap of sacrificing the quality behind its writing so that it can contrive more dramatic stakes. “The Little Prince” at least creates some more engaging obstacles for Morgan’s crew, but at the cost of these new hazards feeling rather head-scratching. At this point, it actively seems like cosmic forces are conspiring against Morgan’s party, who have faced so many obstacles and false starts that the probability of it all is starting to seem pretty ridiculous. It seems like we’re going to be stuck on this same escape conflict for at least the next couple of episodes too, what with Strand and Charlie being stuck right in the middle of the hot zone, and both Morgan and Alicia staring down trouble to try and save other survivors. Arguably the worst of this episode’s story turns however is Sherry’s inexplicable decision to tell Dwight to stop looking for her, simply because she had to do something morally questionable in order to survive. Well, so has everyone by this point, especially former Saviors! I hope that John withholding Sherry’s final note to Dwight at least leads to some better story developments later, but for now, I’ll be happy for Morgan’s crew to just get away from their current location, and hopefully start taking on some more interesting challenges during Season Five’s back half.
- A second meltdown creates a solid ticking clock on the plane repairs
- Strand's and Charlie's creative hot air balloon solution
- John choosing to hide Sherry's final note to Dwight
- Annie's illogical desire to flee again
- Strand and Charlie somehow thinking it's a good idea to fly without checking fuel
- Sherry's reasons for cutting ties with Dwight are stupid