Fear The Walking Dead should be hitting its season 7 stride, but “Divine Providence” taketh away much more than it giveth. Coming off the back of a strong season 6 that featured John Glover as a murderous cult leader, Fear The Walking Dead season 7 began confidently. Folding a nuclear wasteland into the existing zombie apocalypse proved an innovative way of differentiating the spinoff from The Walking Dead’s main series, and following the separated protagonists gave each episode a unique flavor.
Cracks started to show once Fear The Walking Dead’s main cast reunited. Weird timeline leaps bred narrative confusion, storyline momentum came in fits and starts, and too many characters found themselves lost in the shuffle. Nevertheless, season 7’s destination was always Victor Strand’s Tower, and Fear The Walking Dead finally gets there in “Divine Providence.” What should have been a standoff filled with resolution and drama, however, actually kills the three strongest plot lines of Fear The Walking Dead season 7 – the Tower war, Strand’s villain turn, and the PADRE mystery.
Fear The Walking Dead’s Tower War Is An Anti-Climax, Since Teddy’s nuke detonated, Fear The Walking Dead has been working toward a bloody battle between Victor Strand’s Tower and the Morgan Jones sub club. Relations steadily devolved from minor annoyance to outright hatred as Strand became more despicable and Morgan became more desperate. Season 7 has gradually assembled the pieces required for an almighty showdown. Alicia Clark declared outright war, Morgan went looking for weapons, and Luciana brought Arno’s people onside, while Strand further embraced his caricature of a pompous Civil War military general.
Victor Strand’s Villainy Vanishes During Fear The Walking Dead’s Tower Battle, Colman Domingo’s Victor Strand is a notorious moral chameleon, but Fear The Walking Dead season 7 made him truly irredeemable – a dictator throwing innocent people off his roof for displeasing him in the merest way. Dwight and Sherry compared Strand to Negan, and the comparison was not undeserved, but as soon as Wes betrays his master, Strand’s villainy performs a vanishing act Jacob the rabbi would be proud of. Strand and Alicia suddenly become best pals again, Strand helps Daniel come to terms with Ofelia’s death, and the entire Morgan feud is swept under the rug. The Tower turning against Strand was foreshadowed, and he does waver over helping Alicia at the very end, but Victor has played such a great antagonist throughout Fear The Walking Dead season 7, it’s disappointing how easily he transitions from despicable enemy to redeemable antihero in a few moments.
Fear The Walking Dead Doubles-Down On PADRE Being A Dud, Joining villainous Victor and the Tower war among Fear The Walking Dead’s strongest season 7 storylines was PADRE – the elusive haven everyone’s heard of but no one can find. The first block of episodes dropped a steady trail of PADRE breadcrumbs, creating a fascinating mystery for the season to run with. Weirdly, Fear The Walking Dead’s mid-season premiere then saw Alicia declare PADRE a myth, and the trail has gone cold ever since. In “Divine Providence,” Alicia doubles-down on her theory by broadcasting to every nearby survivor that the doomed Tower is PADRE, dismissing this major season 7 plot with a hand wave.