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The survivors stranded in the mountains are fast running out of time to get away before nuclear disaster, so how is beer going to save them?

"Fear the Walking Dead" has always had a more optimistic and playful side, though both had been in short supply this season ... until this week's bonkers episode!

There wasn't a whole lot that actually happened in the episode, though. Dwight did reach the end of his search for Sherry, in a way. And the gang continued to prove absolutely terrible at convincing anyone to accept their help, with huge whiffs from both Morgan and Alicia. They're supposed to be our leaders here!

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this season is that we're six episodes in now and we've basically learned that there is no villain for this batch of episodes. Instead, it's the survivors versus an imminent disaster.

It's certainly a different approach to a zombie apocalypse series, but it also makes for hours that drag as bad as the farmhouse days on "The Walking Dead." Long-time "TWD" fans know what we're talking about there.

Without the immediate threat of much of anything anymore, it feels like we're just spinning our wheels -- or propellers, as it were -- waiting for the mid-season hiatus for something to actually happen. That was a dangerous pattern the parent series got into before Angela Kang took over as showrunner (and made it good again). The show has yet to recover in the ratings, though.

Grace Takes Power

No, literally, Grace dropped in and told Morgan she needed the truck stop generator to delay the meltdown up at the power plant. But it is only a delay, buying them some time. In other words, get it in gear and get the hell out of here sooner rather than later.

This where Morgan had his big swing-and-a-miss. After helping Grace clear debris from the road so she can get to the power plant with the generator, she lied to him about a second suit and left him stranded there. He tried to talk her out of it, insisting that there had to be another way, but Grace was insistent that this was her doing what she needed to do.

Just as Morgan trying to help people is his penance for the decisions he's made prior in his life, this is her penance. Here's hoping she's more successful at serving her penance than Morgan, because absolutely NO ONE seems to want his help.

Here's also hoping that Grace has been honest all this time and that's what she's really doing and what's really going on in the area. Actually, we kind of hope she's lying and will emerge as the villain, but it really feels like that's not the story the writers are telling this season. No real villains, unless you count this area of the world.

There were so many threats as we first started trying to make sense of this area, and then suddenly there were none. There were walls of horrifying walkers strung together. Kids making defensive walls. What are they hiding? Nothing. Just protecting themselves after their parents all died from the irradiated walkers.

The strange people in helmets and armor? One woman who proved no match for Al, fell for her and ultimately let her go. And then there's Grace, another lone woman simply trying to clean up a mess. There are no villains at all, and so the only threat -- save radioactive walkers -- is the power plant meltdown. And that's just not enough to sustain so many episodes with all those setup/letdown threat combinations.

Dwight's Dead End

We're not sure what the point is yet of having John pick up a new trail for Sherry only to find its apparent end at the next stop. It could have been an opportunity at closure for Dwight, but John denied him even that while trying to be kind. We can only assume Dwight will learn the truth soon enough.

After all, there's no way he'd leave Sherry in this area with an imminent meltdown, so he kind of needs to be told she left a letter telling him to abandon his search for and just let her go and live his own life. "Finding something to live for and live," she wrote him.

Presumably that something will be this new batch of survivors who have accepted him, but he needs the truth so he'll be willing to get on that plane and actually leave. John needs to rip off that bandage. If he doesn't, some of the harder survivors -- like all of them -- will do it for him.

This whole plot is basically about wrapping up Dwight's "TWD" storyline so they can start his "FTWD" one. They even made direct reference to Daryl Dixon, who was the last person to see Dwight in the original series.

"The person who sent me away knew all the shit I’d done, but he knew I loved her," Dwight told John. "So he said, ‘Find her. Make it right.'"

It looks like the "FTWD" writers have no intention of finding her -- maybe they can't secure Christine Evangelista to portray her again -- so they need to close this chapter. Having John withhold the letter only delays that. So either there better be a Sherry surprise in our future, or we're spinning propellers again to eat up screen-time because they don't have enough story to fill these episodes.

Alicia's Heart to Hard

Just like Morgan, Alicia proved that she's not very good at connecting with people and getting them to trust her. No one has been able to convince Annie to come with them when they leave, and Alicia's latest venture proved incredibly stupid. She gave Annie a way out and simply tried to tell her she understood her pain and that she needs to surround herself with the living.

A better option might have been to tell her this whole place could melt down at any moment ... and apparently will melt down eventually, so her choice is to surround herself with the living or join the living dead. Not much of a choice.

But Alicia didn't go that route, and because she's better at killing than connecting, Annie and her brood of children took the car she offered them and took off again, setting up an impressive roadblock of walkers to try and slow her down in the short amount of time since they'd left.

One, where do they find all these walkers? Two, how do they string them up so quickly without anyone getting hurt. They're very good with "living" walkers; perhaps better than any adult we've seen.

Nevertheless, Alicia decided to go in after them even as the clock was ticking. At the same time, Morgan headed in to his own danger zone to rescue their rescuers ... because in lieu of real dangers we're facing delays. We know they'll overcome all of them and get out, so it's just time filler.

Hot Air Beer-loon

There are times when we wonder if the writers of this show aren't drunk. It was visually one of the most ridiculous things they've done on this show, and that includes amusement park walkers. The sight of Strand and Charlie coming to the rescue in a beer-shaped hot air balloon has to top everything, right?

They'd come to bring the missing propellers. They had the balloon because Sarah and Wendell took everything from Jim's brewery, which apparently included this massive balloon. How did they not realize they had that? It's not like it's easy to pack away and hide ... it's massive!

Nevertheless, because we're playing a simple game of something going wrong and then something else going wrong and then something else going wrong, Charlie and Strand find out they're low on fuel and must land earlier than they'd hoped. And of course, they're landing beyond the radiation perimeter.

And of course their crash landing invites walkers. And of course some of those walkers are the radioactive ones, so if they get any of their blood on them they'll get sick and die, like the parents of all those kids. Yeah, that was a "revelation" we learned from Annie that we figured out weeks ago. Makes it less dramatic if we already know.

So there's the climax, such as it is. Victor and Charlie have brought the propellers to save the day (and fix the plane), but they're in the radioactive zone. Morgan is on his way to them, but he's on foot. Alicia is on her way to try and bring the kids back in. Grace is trying to keep the plant running a little longer.

All we need is a "24" clock in the corner or a countdown-to-meltdown so we can assess the stress we're supposed to feel based on the imminence of everyone's death should a meltdown happen.

Remember when Matt Frewer's Logan took over the gang's home base in the premiere. That sounds pretty interesting. Any chance of getting back to that story anytime soon?

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