Fear The Walking Dead S03E09 “Minotaur” REVIEW

Fear The Walking Dead S03E09 “Minotaur” REVIEW

0 comments 📅11 September 2017, 22:01

Airing in the UK on AMC, exclusive to BT, Mondays at 2am and 9pm 
Writer: Jami O’Brien
Director: Andrew Bernstein

Essential Plot Points:

  • The militia, Nick included, take down a group of Walkers. At the ranch, Alicia pumps water and gets very little.
  • It turns out that Alicia is getting water for Jake who is much, much sicker than anyone knows.
  • Madison is in Jeremiah’s house. The stain of his blood is still on the desk. She fits in the chair just fine. Here comes the new boss.
  • The militia, it turns out, only just caught the Walker incursion in time. And then they see something else; Walker’s people. Coming to take their place on the land.
  • Jake and Walker shake hands. They are pretty much the only people happy to see one another.
  • Jake gives Walker one of the two keys to the armoury. No one is happy about this.
  • Later, Troy and Nick talk. Troy is furious. He wants to kill his father all over again. They bond over their terrible dads. And in doing so, Troy reveals he never saw his father’s body in the coffin. The same body that Madison removed the head of…
  • At the reservoir, Daniel reminds the new leadership they need to actually lead…
  • The militia and Walker’s men bond over the fact they haven’t actually bonded. Nearby Madison correctly calls Alicia on her lies about how well Jake is and Alicia calls Madison on lying about having a back channel with Walker…
  • At the reservoir, Daniel and the others are giving a line of people water from a truck. Walkers appear and they flee.

  • That night at the ranch, Jake gives a speech. He advocates for forgiveness and, to his massive credit, so does Walker. He makes it clear his grudge died when Jeremiah made his sacrifice. They do a REALLY good job of starting to knit their people together.
  • Nick goes to see Ofelia. Given the deaths she has on her hands, she’s an outcast.
  • Down the hill, Troy isn’t buying ANY of it. Not a thing. With the necessary lie of Troy killing Gretchen and her family, emotions are running high. And Troy is in no position to be honest.
  • Alicia finds Walker the following morning and warns him off trusting Madison. Walker isn’t minded to believe her.
  • Madison finds reports on the water table in Jeremiah’s desk. It’s dropping…
  • Terence, one of Gretchen’s friends, manages to get a gun and attempt to take ‘revenge’ for the murder of Gretchen and her family. He’s choked out, to the extent that his windpipe is crushed and he’s dying.
  • Walker is FURIOUS. He demands both keys to the armoury. With no choice, Jake agrees and the weapons are all handed in…
  • Aside from Troy. Troy really REALLY wants a fight. Very badly. Only Nick talks him down and lets a combined party of Walker, his aide Crazy Dog and Madison and Nick in.
  • And then draws on them.
  • Troy is flipping out. He throws everyone out bar Nick, who insists he can stay.
  • Walker puts together a kill team. Inside Nick tries to separate Troy from his rage and make him see that he’s sprinting towards death.
  • Troy knows. Troy doesn’t care. Troy has weapons and a plan and knows he’s going to meet death.
  • Madison tries to talk him down but it doesn’t take. Walker’#s men open up and Troy and Nick is trapped in the middle.
  • They flee upstairs, Troy bleeding from his wounds. He’s JOYOUS. He even thanks Nick for having his back.
  • At the dam, Daniel and Sofia talk about the supply lines. He admits he’s always looking for Ofelia. She firmly, and kindly, tells him to stop and move on.
  • Troy is getting ready to die. Nick screams at him to not let his father’s sacrifice be in vain, knowing full well that he killed him/ With nowhere else to go, Nick tackles the other man, screaming that they surrender.
  • Troy wins and Nick, officially with nowhere else to go now, tells Troy the truth. All of it.
  • Stunned, Troy turns his gun on Nick and then slumps, stunned and grief stricken as the door is broken open and…
  • The next morning Madison and Walker talk about what to do with Troy. He can’t stay but killing him martyrs him. He has to be exiled.
  • Walker wants the same for Nick. Madison won’t have it.
  • At the morning water run, the crowd turns ugly. They accuse Daniel and his people of stealing the dam (Pretty much true) and demand they give the water back (Not entirely possible). A riot breaks out and they flee.

  • At the ranch, Jake tells Troy what he already knows. He’s all bravado, reveling at the chance to be ‘tested in the wilderness’. His one request is that Madison be the one who drives him out as he doesn’t trust Walker.
  • They drive him out to the middle of nowhere with a mask over his head. Troy tries to goad Walker’s guard into killing him and when he doesn’t, Troy catches the guy’s knife in his ALREADY WOUNDED HAND, THEN STABS HIM WITH IT.
  • Madison holds him at gunpoint, stopping yet more death. Troy asks if she feels guilty over Jeremiah and she admits she should have done it.

  • He jumps her and they fight, Troy adamant that they could have fought and won. She tells him Jeremiah couldn’t do what he did and, while he’s distracted she headbutts him, breaks free and gets the gun she lost in the struggle.
  • Troy says he’s so tired. He gets up, grabs his pack and walks off. Madison watches him leave before lowering, safetying and holstering her gun.


And this is how you start a half season, This episode ties off everything from last time but does so in a way that sets up what looks to be a whirlwind of a new run.

The most interesting, and best, news is that we seem to be settling in at the Ranch for a while. So much effort has been put into the place and the politics around it that we figure the show will stay there for at least the rest of this season. Honestly, we sort of hope Fear The Walking Dead stays there for a good long time, it’s a great location and a perfect chance to really explore the aftermath of the apocalypse. Plus, how great would it be if the core show really did do the rumored time jump and pick up news of a ranch down near the Mexico border that’s been secure since the outbreak…

Then there’s the show’s new found narrative tidiness. This episode brings everything from Daniel’s plot earlier in the season up to date and reminds us of how concerned he still is for Ofelia. The dam is the last major part of the season to fit into place and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s the flashpoint for the rest of the year. Especially now Troy has been exiled.

Which brings us to the best part of this episode; the performances. Frank Dillane’s continuing to find new and interesting depths to Nick and his apparent invincibility. His work here, especially when he tells Troy the truth, is just electrifying. Likewise Kim Dickens is relishing getting to play Madison as a human instead of the collection of mannerisms she sometimes was at the start. This is Madison in her element too; dealing with the ultimate problem children and doing her best to secure everyone’s futures. AT ANY COST.

But the break out here is Daniel Sharman. He’s impressed from the start of the year but his work here is just stunning. Troy is joyous at the thought of heroic death, whether through his own guilt or simply wanting to see how he spoils. He’s feral and wild and absolutely calm, exhausted and fizzing with energy. He’s a walking bag of trauma and what happens here is the best possible thing for him. We have no idea what happens next. But we do know the performances have never been better than they are this year and the scripts are right behind them. A blisteringly good entry in a fantastic season.


The Good:

  • Troy nicknaming Nick ‘Poet’ is sweet in a very creepy way. Also referring to Madison as ‘The White Witch of the Apocalypse’
  • Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane and Daniel Sharman all turn in just blistering work this episode. Sharman in particular, who we’ve interviewed about this episode (With more to come) has never been better.
  • Nick’s ‘…WHAT?!’ when Troy thanks him is glorious.
  • ‘You feel guilt?’
    ‘Not as much as I thought. I guess I really am my father’s daughter.’
  • ‘You can’t control your son. He sided with a sociopath. Who you ALSO can’t control.’
  • ‘Hope is one thing but waiting is quite another.’
  • ‘I don’t wanna die?’
    ‘Yeah, you may have backed the wrong horse.’
    ‘I don’t want you to die!’

The Bad:

  • Nothing. This is one of the best episodes the show has done to date.

And the Random:

  • Andrew Bernstein has directed for shows like Tyrant, Elementary, Psych and The West Wing.
  • Jami O’Brien has written for Hell on Wheels, The Deep End and more as well as being co-executive producer of Hell on Wheels.
Review by Alasdair Stuart

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