Fear the Walking Dead is a whole new ballgame in the midseason premiere. The diamond is burnt to cinders. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is the last Clark standing. The entire premise is officially rebooted. Lennie James is now the lead. His name gets top billing in the opening credits. People Like Us takes place several weeks after Madison's sacrifice. As the characters come to terms with their new normal, a hurricane blows in to stir things up, literally and figuratively.
People Like Us opens with Al's (Maggie Grace) MRAV idle on a rainy street. Walkers are chowing down on a dead horse, only to be blown away by the gale force winds. The next scene takes place previously in the warm sunshine. Morgan (Lennie James) is killing walkers and collecting their supplies. He lays out all of his gear in a tent atop a carriage. He finds a walkie-talkie and contacts Al. Morgan has decided it's time to go home. He wants Al to drive him.
June (Jenna Elfman), formerly known as Laura and Naomi, is gutting a fish. She, John (Garret Dillahunt), and young Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) are living in a school bus on a bridge. John is recovering from his gunshot wound. Morgan stops by to tell him of his plan to leave and return to Alexandria. He wants them to come with him. John has no interest. He wants to take Charlie and June back to his cabin once he's healed. He views Morgan's trip back as too far and dangerous.
We next see Morgan walking towards a large mansion. Solar panels have been set up in the front yard. He kills a walker after Victor (Colman Domingo) drunkenly misses from afar. Victor and Luciana (Danay Garcia) have taken up residence. While Victor imbibes expensive wine from the cellar, Luciana obliviously listens to old records at unsafe volumes. Both have no interest in accompanying him back. Victor doesn't want to run into "people like us".
Morgan goes to the garden shack to find Alicia. He finds notes, "Help, I'm upstairs", by her dusty bed. Alicia is at the back gate killing walkers. The dead walkers have the notes drilled into their bodies. Alicia also turns down Morgan's offer. She wants to find whoever is sending the notes.
Back at their bus, June cleans John's wound. She overheard his plan for returning to the cabin. He says he "locked the door". They hear a scream from outside. A walker has washed up on the riverbank and is attacking Charlie. The girl does nothing. Al appears and kills it in the nick of time.
At the mansion, Victor is drinking himself into a stupor. He sees a trail of blood on the door. In her room, Luciana sits with her music blaring. A walker is right behind her, but Victor kills it with his wine bottle. He cuts off her music. She turns around shocked to see what happened. Victor tells her they must fix the breach in the fence.
At the bus, June asks Charlie why she didn't scream for help. The girl remains quiet. June deduces that something upstream is causing more walkers to come. She and Al go to check it out in the MRAV. Meanwhile at the mansion, Alicia has figured out where the notes are coming from. The bolts holding them in say "AGL", the name of a local lumber yard. She and Morgan go to rescue the note sender. As they walk away, the wind vane starts spinning ominously.
June and Al stop at a tree in the road. They find a box of supplies with a note, "take what you need". As Al videotapes the box, June asks her to stop recording. She's afraid to go back to the cabin with John. She was never Laura. She's been running the whole time. Al tells her that was the past. She's been with John, nursing him back to health. That is her today. Live for that.
Alicia and Morgan walk to the lumber yard. Morgan tells her about Alexandria. He speaks about Rick's words, that he would need people. Morgan admits he left to prove him wrong. He wants to go home and tell Rick personally that he was right. Morgan thinks Alicia has the same problem. She kills another walker with a note drilled to the body.
John cuts up a cereal box to make a scrabble board game. He tries to play with Charlie, who's still silent. John tells her he didn't speak for a long time, because he had done something bad. This affects Charlie. John notices, but a walker has entered the bridge. When he leaves to kill it, Charlie grabs her books and runs away.
Luciana and Victor are fixing the fence. Luciana wants more to life. She wonders what they're doing there. Victor is content with the new surroundings. He goes back to his wine. Dragging the dead walker to the front door, he runs into John. Charlie has run away. Victor doesn't care, but John says they owe him for his gunshot wound. Victor obliges, but says to leave Luciana behind. He's been drinking, so John has to drive.
Alicia and Morgan arrive at the lumber yard. A herd of walkers are inside. Morgan lures them out knocking his cane. Alicia cuts the hydraulics on a crane, the falling lumber crushes the walkers below. They enter the building and go upstairs. They find the man who had been sending the note, but he has already turned. Alicia kills it bitterly. She wanted to save people like her mother. She chastises Morgan for leaving. He could stay and help them survive.
June and Al see a huge flock of birds flying away. The wind has become much stronger. Al realizes that a massive storm is coming. The rain begins to pour down. John and Victor are in the car searching. John explains how he used to be a cop. Victor responds that he used to be a millionaire. John tells Victor of his plan to return to the cabin. Victor's response is what happens after that.
Alicia and Morgan are walking back in the torrential rain. Morgan wants to seek shelter, but she refuses. She doesn't need his help and walks away. At the mansion, Luciana hears a noise. She goes to investigate and finds Charlie. She curses at her initially. The girl runs off into the storm. Luciana finds a book she left behind, "The Little Prince". It was given to her by Nick. Luciana grabs her coat and runs after Charlie into the rain.
June tries to contact John by walkie-talkie. She warns him of the storm, but loses the signal. Al stops the MRAV. She can't drive in this wind. Walkers are smashed into the vehicle by the hurricane. The episode ends on the opening scene.
Morgan decides to go home and wants to take his newfound pals with him. They have an armored vehicle, loads of ammo, and enough booze to keep Victor quiet. But of course not, let's all go our separate ways in a hurricane riddled with zombies. Common sense and self-preservation don't exist in The Walking Dead universe. The storm storyline seems like a whole lot of filler. I'll withhold judgement until the resolve. I can't imagine the show killing off more characters in season four, but anything is possible. Tune in next week to AMC as the storm worsens.