Fear The Walking Dead: 7 essential episodes to watch before the S5 premiere

Maggie Grace as Althea, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC
Maggie Grace as Althea, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /
Walking Dead
Colman Domingo as Victor Strand, Alexa Nisenson as Charlie – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

With the premiere of Fear The Walking Dead’s fifth season fast-approaching, now’s the right time to get caught up on Season 4. But if you don’t want to watch the past four seasons again, check out our list of episodes that’ll prepare you adequately enough for the premiere below.

In the upcoming season of Fear The Walking Dead, Morgan (Lennie James) and his band of survivors will venture out into the post-apocalyptic world to help others. Morgan took it upon himself to continue Polar Bear’s mission in season four and now his friends have joined him.

Warning! Spoilers for the upcoming episodes of Fear The Walking Dead follow. Read on at your own discretion.

As for Season Five of FTWD, it’ll pick up a few months after the end of Season Four so there won’t be a huge time-jump like we’ve seen in the past. This is both good and bad because audiences need to be familiar with the past three seasons to understand exactly what is going on. You also need to possess some knowledge of The Walking Dead since another cast member will be making the transition over in Season Five.

Nevertheless, fans who’ve neglected to keep up with the show will undoubtedly have a difficult time comprehending the expansive plot. Those fans can spend the next few days binging through every episode of the past three seasons, but for a more streamlined recap, check out our list of essential episodes to watch before the FTWD Season Five premiere below.

7. Season 3, Episode 16 “Sleigh Ride”

Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) wasn’t present for the previous season of FTWD but he’ll be making his return in the upcoming Season Five premiere. Fans will learn exactly where Daniel has been since escaping the dam in the show’s junior year. Daniel is also going to be reunited with Victor Strand (Colman Domingo).

The last time we saw Daniel, he and Victor weren’t on the best of terms. Victor promised Daniel that he could bring his daughter back to him alive but he couldn’t make good on it. Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) wound up being bitten by a walker en route to the dam, creating a serious problem for Madison and Victor in “Sleigh Ride”.

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During that particular episode, Daniel attempts to take Victor’s life as recompense for his daughter. Victor wasn’t responsible for Ofelia’s death but Daniel’s fractured mind didn’t see the situation that way. Even though Madison (Kim Dickens) was the one who placed Ofelia in danger, Daniel felt like it was always Victor’s fault. Keep in mind part of that blame seems to have come from Daniel’s previous exchanges with Victor because they incidentally became foes in the process.

As for their upcoming reunion, Daniel and Victor will meet once again, though their reunion won’t be under the best of circumstances. Teasers for season five have shown Victor being held at gunpoint. He’s stumbled onto a new survivor’s settlement and Daniel is there to greet him at the gate. And with an assault rifle pointed at Victor, this could mean his former ally still holds some ill will towards him.

Walking Dead
Lennie James as Morgan Jones – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

6. Season 4, Episode 1 “What’s Your Story”

Seeing as how Morgan made the jump from TWD to FTWD in the Season 5 premiere, it’s obviously a must-see. The episode provided Morgan with a brilliant reason for leaving Virginia and details exactly how he winds up in Texas. And it’s there that he first encounters John Dorie (Garrett Dillahunt).

John plays an important role throughout most of Season Four as the brother-in-arms Morgan so desperately needs. The Walking Dead alum made it clear that he wished to isolate himself within the shadows of the post-apocalypse but he keeps encountering survivors who prove otherwise — John being one of them.

In “What’s Your Story”, Morgan also meets the rest of Fear The Walking Dead’s main cast. That consisted of Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Nick (Frank Dillane), Victor (Colman Domingo), and Althea (Maggie Grace). Not everything is copacetic amongst the ragtag survivors but a majority of them find common ground in the end.

5. Season 4, Episode 5 “Laura”

“Laura” is another flashback episode which takes place well before Morgan makes the trip from Virginia to Texas. In this episode, John and Naomi (Jenna Elfman) are the main focus. The audience gets to see how these lovers met, as well as the conflicts which led to their separation. Much of it consisted of John and Naomi living together but it was definitely the kind of story we’re in short support supply of nowadays.

Walking Dead
Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Danay Garcia as Luciana, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark, Jenna Elfman as June, Maggie Grace as Althea, Mo Collins as Sarah, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell as Wendell – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

4. Season 4, Episode 9 “People Like Us”

“People Like Us” is a bit of a turning point for the FTWD crew of survivors. The reason has to do with the episode being the mid-season premiere but more so because Morgan announces that he’s ready to return home — to Virginia. Morgan’s announcement gives his friends hope that they’ll survive the apocalypse and it also gave fans hope that AMC’s Dead series would finally crossover.

The rest of Morgan’s friends took the news quite well, of course, that’s before a series of mishaps derail their journey. No one is gravely injured but most of them are worse for wear at this point. Luciana and Alicia are grieving over the loved ones they lost, Charlie goes into a state of shock after killing Nick, and Victor, he’s keeping himself busy by perusing through a stocked wine cellar. Fortunately, Morgan has decided to take them somewhere safe — somewhere they can start over.

3. Season 4, Episode 11 “The Code”

“The Code” is an integral episode as it introduces several new companions to Morgan’s journey back east. The survivors who he encounters are comprised of Sarah (Mo Collins), Wendell (Daryl Mitchell), and Jim (Aaron Stanford). Sarah and Wendell bump into Morgan after he takes shelter in a big rig they stole. They don’t realize Morgan has stowed away in the back until they’re in Mississipi.

By the time Morgan understands what’s happened, he’s already been separated from his group. He intended to grant them sanctuary at Alexandria but losing them here puts a big dent in Morgan’s plans. Morgan is troubled by this predicament and it inevitably leaves him with no choice but to go home by himself.

On the way back to Alexandria, he encounters another survivor. The thing is, this survivor has been tied up and blindfolded, essentially left for dead. Morgan sees the man running through a field and proceeds to help. He takes down the walkers nearby and then frees their potential victim.

With the man unmasked, he introduces himself as Jim. He tells Morgan a story of how two drifters came across him and help him hostage for information. When Jim wouldn’t give them what they wanted, the strangers threw him to the wolves. Jim is telling his new friend this whole story while Morgan contacts Sarah and Wendell again. He sets up a meet for them but when Sarah arrives in the truck, Jim recognizes the vehicle and identifies Wendell and Sarah as the people who kidnapped him. The situation gets a bit tense at this point.

Walking Dead
Danay Garcia as Luciana – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

2. Season 4, Episode 13 “Blackjack”

In “Blackjack”, the survivors are still split up by the torrential storm which blew through their region. Victor and John have it the worst as they’re marooned on a patch of land surrounded by water. The water isn’t the hindrance here, it’s the fact that an alligator is preventing them from reaching a nearby highway.

The episode also gives us an answer as to what happened to Luciana earlier in the season. She disappeared after chasing Charlie into the storm and wasn’t seen again. When Luciana pops up, she’s unharmed and searching for her friends. She tries to find a working vehicle but instead stumbles across an injured man: Clayton. He was in a car accident, being gravely injured in the process. Luciana attempts to help him but the wreckage has Clayton pinned inside of the car. *More on Clayton later.*

1. Season 4, Episode 15 “I Lose People”

As the penultimate episode of the season, “I Lose People” is an important one. Not only does it set the stage for an epic finale but Episode 15 is also a big turning point for Morgan. He’s seen more than his fair share of inner turmoil and the dam finally bursts, so to speak.

The reason Morgan finally snaps is that his efforts to save others only place them in more danger. When he attempts to lead his new friends to a temporary shelter, Morgan inadvertently gets them surrounded by walkers. Technically it’s Martha (Tonya Pinkens) who lures the dead to their location, but that doesn’t change Morgan’s mind on who’s responsible.

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Once he realizes the predicament they’re in, a switch goes off in Morgan’s head. He doesn’t become deranged or anything like that but he loses all hope. Morgan reasons out that he led his new friends to their death and their fate would be the same as everyone else’s. In essence, Morgan gives up.

Despite witnessing their leader collapse into himself, the rest of Morgan’s friends make a plan to get out of the Hospital alive. This requires a sacrifice be made but it’s a necessary one. Said sacrifice wouldn’t be considered a major loss, though watching him go was difficult nonetheless.

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What other episodes of Fear The Walking Dead should you watch?

Apart from the episodes summarized above, there are a few others that you may want to revisit if you’re intrigued by a specific character’s story. Victor Strand, for instance, has been around since Season One and his journey thus far played a major role in shaping the man he is today. But unless you watch Season Two, you might not understand why Victor turned out the way he did.

What other episodes do you think are essential viewing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Fear The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres this Sunday on AMC. Seasons 1-4 are currently streaming on Hulu. For more on FTWD, follow us on the Hulu Watcher Twitter Account @HuluWatcherFS or on the Hulu Watcher Facebook Page.

(Source: Entertainment Weekly)