***Warning, SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT, If you have not yet watched the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead and DO NOT want to know what happens before watching, TURN BACK NOW.***
Fear the Walking Dead delivered another amazing episode this week. The fifth episode, “Laura”, focuses solely on John Dorie and Naomi’s, aka Laura’s, backstory.We also get a clue of what’s at the center of Naomi’s pain and another mothership connection. Did you catch it?
John’s days are routine. He makes his bed, brushes his teeth, cleans his guns, clears infected from the nearby river, plays Scrabble, and tends to his daily chores while trying to think of the best word to use with the Scrabble tiles he drew. With a callback to the first episode, he decides on “platypus”.
During the night, he hears sloshing through the water. Thinking it’s another infected, he approaches and realizes it is Naomi. She is injured and near death. He takes her into the cabin where he tends to her wound (not a bite, btw), and lets her sleep.
In the morning, he wakes up to an empty, ransacked house. He finds her outside trying to run. He convinces her to stay at least until she heals. She reluctantly agrees but remains cautious.
Throughout the episode, he does his best to take care of her and gain her trust. He cooks for her, gives her privacy, offers her food and shelter as long as she needs it. He even names her Laura, knowing that she is still uncomfortable. She allows him to help her stitch up her wound and admits she was a nurse. She wakes up that night to find him cleaning his gun but sneaks away before he sees her.
Naomi asks about the infected washing up by the river bed. He tells her that he believes there is something wrong upstream and he should check it out while picking up supplies at a local store. She volunteers to join him. He advises her to change from sneakers to boots, but she refuses and brushes them aside.
While in the canoe, she curiously questions him. She asks about guns and whether he liked being a cop. He replies that guns cause more problems than good. She can see that the topic is making him uncomfortable and she backs off. They come to a bridge and notice this is where that infected have been falling from and washing up by the cabin.
While looking for supplies, Naomi picks out a backpack and fills it. She picks up some duct tape and rulers and places them near the medical supplies in case they are needed to make splints by other survivors. He picks out a movie and signs for it. She takes notice of his last name and the irony of it.
Before heading back, they repair the hole in the bridge with aluminum sheet panels. Later that night, Naomi sits and watches the movie with him. They eat popcorn, brittle and then he falls asleep. Staring at him, she whispers to him that she lost her child. Not knowing what to say, he remains silent.
WOW, if you were going to let your walls down, girl, that’s the perfect thing to say to a guy! #AwkwardFirstDate
The next day, she asks John to teach her how to fish. He agrees. After catching her first fish, he shows her how to clean it. Their friendship continues to grow as she feels more comfortable with him, (He has a Scrabble buddy), but the boots that he offered her earlier remain set aside as a constant reminder that her time there is coming to an end especially that her wound is almost completely healed.
Struggling with his feeling and trying to distance himself, he reluctantly accepts her help with repairing the damage to the bridge. They decide to move a truck in front of the hole to block the infected from falling through. He snaps at her for bringing one of his guns, telling her that he doesn’t want to use them. She guides him while he parks the truck, blocking the infected. One approaches with a machete in its shoulder. She yells at him to shoot it but he refuses. The machete cuts through the vinyl window of the truck and attacks John. He narrowly escapes by savagely stabbing it in the head multiple times, covering himself in blood in the process.
While cleaning up, Naomi tells him how she has witnessed people become sick by being exposed to infected blood. (**cough, cough** Father Gabriel. There is your TWD connection) He confesses that the reason he doesn’t like using guns was that he unintentionally killed a man and that he couldn’t handle people viewing him as a hero.
Infected get passes the barrier on the bridge and attack the cabin during the night. Together, they fight them off until the trench gets filled with bodies and the infected are able to walk over it. Naomi falls into another portion of the trench with John looking on. (Spoiler alert – We know they live because they meet up with Madison’s group later so you can breathe now) John watches as the infected pile on top of Naomi and out of nowhere, YEP, That’s right, John comes to the rescue, guns-a-blazin’!
After the attack, Naomi thanks John and tells him that even though he doesn’t believe it to be true, he is still a hero to her for saving her life. He hands her one of his guns and tells her that if she is leaving, he needs her to take it. She later asks what is wrong when he avoids her. She presses the issue and he finally confesses his love for her. (OH MY GAWD!) As if we couldn’t love John anymore, he tells her that he will leave so she can stay to be safe.
“I need you alive. If you’re alive this whole world…this whole world feels alive.” ~John Dorie
John wakes up the next morning, calls to her and checks outside. The boots are gone and her sneakers are left behind. He turns to go back inside and reads what she has spelled out in Scrabble tiles, “I LOVE YOU TOO. I’M SORRY.”
John and Morgan are resting by the road. John closes a metal tin he has kept with Naomi’s Scrabble tiles in. He second guesses whether he should have told her and Morgan tells him that waiting is how you lose people. John thinks that it’s stupid to have believed that they would have a second chance. Morgan tells him that they are still alive and not to waste any more time.
Where are they going? Do they think that there is still hope that Naomi may still be alive? Are they going to help Madison’s group or try to convince them not to seek revenge? Could Alicia have told John that she was dead in order to make him join their fight? Maybe they do believe her to be dead but could she have gotten out without them knowing? The same thing happened to Andrea at Hershel’s farm when she got left behind. Oh…and I still need to know what the hell happened to Daniel!
Again, amazing performances by Garret Dillahunt and Jenna Elfman. This season keeps getting better with each episode. I am so glad showrunners are continuing to play with time because that means we will have more Naomi and Nick! I am also excited to see where John and Morgan’s journey will take them as well as finding out what happened to Naomi’s child. She seems to be broken and riddled with guilt, but why?
Three more episodes left until the mid-season finale. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm on AMC.