Warning: this story contains spoilers for Sunday’s Fear the Walking Dead, “Reclamation.” Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 7 told its final story about Althea (Maggie Grace). The video journalist spends two seasons chasing the story of the Civic Republic Military and pilot-soldier Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), who warns Al to fear the black-clad helicopter group in the Season 5 episode “The End of Everything.” Al’s up-in-the-air love interest goes AWOL airlifting Al’s friends out of the blast zone of nuclear warheads to end Season 6, putting a target on Morgan (Lennie James) and Grace’s (Karen David) backs when the CRM touches back down in “Reclamation” to find and eliminate Ground 17: Isabelle.
After Al and Isabelle’s aborted rooftop reunion in the Season 6 episode “Alaska,” Al leaves Morgan’s group to find and warn Isabelle (a.k.a. “beer lady”) about Teddy’s (John Glover) plans to turn Texas into ground zero of the nuclear-zombie apocalypse. In “The Beginning,” an off-screen Al transmits the coordinates that get her friends shuttled to safety aboard a CRM helicopter piloted by Isabelle.
“Reclamation” is named for the two-man Reclamation team that Isabelle warned Al about in “The End of Everything,” dispatched with one mission: to destroy any evidence of their existence in the name of operational security. That means tying up loose ends Isabelle and Al, whose exit strategy is to be back on the road doing what she did when she met Morgan in “What’s Your Story?”: recording interviews with survivors.
Morgan and Grace put themselves in the CRM’s crosshairs helping Al find and save Isabelle, targeted by Reclamation One for going AWOL with intel that could threaten the CRM’s secret fight for the future. Leveraging CRM maps and flight plans she claims were given to her by the rogue Isabelle, Al lures Reclamation One to a fort to hand over video proof of Ground 17’s location. But it’s bait: Al springs a trap, killing the two soldiers.
In a video interview with Morgan, Al reveals the truth: she knows where the AWOL pilot is hiding, but she’s not going after Isabelle.
“She wanted me to come with her. She gave up everything to save people she never even met,” Al tells Morgan. “Because I asked her to. She gave up everything for me.” But Al couldn’t do the same because it would mean giving up taping people’s stories, Al’s way of honoring her late brother Jesse.
When Morgan asks why she chose the camera over people, Al admits: “I broke the only rule I ever had. I should never have let myself become part of the story.” Al hugs Morgan and Grace goodbye, telling them she’ll find a way clear of the fallout. “See you down the road,” Al says, walking off alone and leaving behind her MRAP SWAT van.
Morgan follows Al back to the fort, going after her one more time the way Al and John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) returned for him in “What’s Your Story?” When the CRM radios to recall Reclamation One, transmitting coordinates revealing Isabelle’s location given away by her helicopter’s transponder, Al knows the CRM won’t stop until Ground 17 is eliminated.
He presses Al to go after Isabelle instead of “chasing after whatever bullshit story those people are up to.” Wherever she lands, Al says “it’ll be one helluva ride.”
“You’re part of the story, Al. You were before, and you are now. Hell, if you’re alive, you are part of the story,” Morgan tells Al. “And you can pretend that there’s nothing’s there, that you’re a piece of machinery like that camera. You’re not connected or affected, but you are. You are the story. I’m grateful I got to be a part of yours. And I’m very glad that you got to be a part of mine.”
Al flies off in the CRM helicopter and lands outside an off-the-grid cabin in the Smokeys that belonged to Isabelle’s co-pilot Beckett (James Armstrong). Al finds Isabelle and alerts her the CRM is tracking her chopper.
On the other end of her camera in a videotaped interview playing on Isabelle’s television, Al says the CRM will never stop looking, forcing the fugitives to live looking over their shoulders. “If I have to give this up,” Al says on the tape, “I’ll just end up resenting you.”
But Isabelle is Althea’s story now. “You gave up everything,” Al tells Isabelle in the cabin. “So will I.”
Al destroys her camera. They’ll find something new — together. Embracing Isabelle with a kiss and a tight hug, Al asks: “Where should we go first?”
Co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss confirms “Reclamation” is Althea’s final episode on this season of Fear the Walking Dead. Grace joined the Walking Dead spin-off as a series regular in Season 4 but was removed from the opening credits in Season 7, receiving guest-starring credits for appearances in “Breathe With Me” and “Reclamation.”
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD and stay tuned to ComicBook for coverage all season long. New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.