AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 2: “The New Frontier”
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Written by Mark Richard
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “Eye of the Beholder” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Teotwawki” – click here
Fleeing in helicopter, Travis (Cliff Curtis), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Luciana (Danay Garcia), and Jake (Sam Underwood) head for the Otto family ranch. Travis is, naturally, worried. He just reunited the family and quick as that, they’re torn apart. Their trip gets nasty when bullets fly through the window, someone below firing on them. Then Travis takes a bullet through the side of his neck. He goes into shock, opening the vehicle’s door. When Alicia tries helping she sees he also has a wound in his stomach.
He lets go and plummets from the side, into the air below. Lost. Gone.
Is this for real? No. He will survive, though I’m not sure in what shape.
Back to the hotel by the beach where the group fled in Mexico. The gates are teeming with people trying to get in, to see the doctor inside. The people remaining include Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), who calms the near rioting crowd. He claims to be the doctor, asking that the people be let in and given rooms. What’s he up to? You can bet he’s scheming, he’s always the planner.
When Jake manages to get their crew on the ground again, Alicia’s distraught by the loss of Travis. I still don’t believe he’s gone, not totally. She worries about having let him go. She’s already felt guilty over other things, I fear how badly she’ll take this latest blow.
Meanwhile, stuck in a car with one-eyed Troy (Daniel Sharman), Madison (Kim Dickens) and her son Nick (Frank Dillane) are totally unaware of the tragedy, headed to the ranch. The place is definitely impressive, with cows and land sprawling over the hills, armed guards and a gate. But they arrive and find Jake, the others, they aren’t there. This makes brother Troy worry.
For a guy who’s not actually a doctor, Strand does a nice job. He’ll do anything he can to keep himself in good graces, wherever he goes. But not in a bad way, we’ve seen the extent of his humanity. The makeshift doctor’s then faced with a pregnant woman, her broken water. This is fucking do-or-die time.
Nick: “I don‘t trust these people.”
Madison: “Don‘t trust them. Trust me.”
At the ranch, Madison and Nick try remaining calm. It isn’t easy, worrying for their separated family unit all over again. She assures him one good thing: she got hold of a gun for them. You can always count on mom taking care of them, in every which way. Nick doesn’t like these people. Nor does she, but she figures they’ll use them for their own gains. She then meets Jeremiah Otto (Dayton Callie), he brings a coffee and has a chat. He wonders if Travis hijacked the helicopter, and she doesn’t take kindly. However, he’s only concerned for his son and goddaughter on board.
So the Otto family, they’re “building a new nation” on the new frontier. Trying to make sense of a mad world. He acts like the Clark family are ungrateful. He doesn’t want to believe his son Troy is a fucking psycho, and y’know, I don’t fully trust either of the Ottos; except for Jake, who’s seemingly still a human being. But I do not like Troy, neither do I like anything about Jeremiah just yet. Nick’s got the idea, he doesn’t dig any of this stuff. Moreover, he’s blaming himself – he took Luciana to the base, Travis and Madison they went looking for him there. Poor guy, I hope he doesn’t let his old addictive habits crowd his mind again.
Across a fire in the wilderness, Alicia asks Jake about his brother, his… issues. They bond over “allowances” they give their loved ones; him with a psychopath for a brother, she with a former junkie. An interesting parallel. Yet things get tense, as whistles in the woods alert them to somebody else out there. Jake arms Alicia, then heads off to scope the situation out. He stumbles upon a walker in the dark, nearly getting chomped before Alicia saves him. Still, there’s never tragedy far from any of the people in this series. Jeremiah’s goddaughter is one of the latest casualties. Not good.
Strand is successful in delivering the baby. Only problem is the people at the hotel aren’t happy with his lie; it involves them, they’re at stake just as much as him. So, they kick him out. It’s on the road again for the now former Dr. Strand. And one last person to tend to, a woman who’s refused to eat and is barred in her room. It’s the mother of the bride from last season, Eileen, the one who stabbed him; she’s been in there ages. Not looking well. They talk and he reveals he’s got a place in mind to head after leaving the hotel. She then offers him what was meant as a gift for the wedding, a piece of jewellery.
Before plunging off the hotel balcony to her death.
The helicopter crew ready themselves to walk for the ranch. “It‘s a terrible world, isn‘t it?” Jake quips to Alicia, who even without response probably agrees wholehearted. They soon get to the ranch carrying Luciana, barely conscious in their arms. Then, daughter is forced to explain to mother where her husband has gone, why he hasn’t come back. A devastating moment.
Even worse is the fact Luciana is ready for death, so says Troy. Can’t be helped. They don’t want her turning. Nick offers to take care of it himself. Rather than doing that, he turns the gun on Troy, as the other armed men raise their weapons.
“I said let her in.” He is not going to listen to mom, and not with Troy condescending. A Mexican stand-off, if there ever were. Jeremiah steps in, assuring Luciana will not die if he turns over the gun. He does, on good faith. The Otto patriarch orders her taken inside and treated, though safely.
More than ever, Madison’s had her world turned upside down. She faces this new frontier without her beloved husband. Jeremiah tries comforting her, more concerned if she’ll be a danger, if she wants to commit suicide, the like. He’s missing a Beretta, the one she took. Doesn’t make a big deal, only wants it signed out officially in their records, which she obliges.
How will the family move on? Can they? Well, they have to; there’s no choice. Each of them deal with things in their own way. Madison now says they’re staying at the ranch. They’ll make it home. Even if they have to take the place themselves. Her children don’t agree, and thus starts more struggle.
Madison: “It‘s our fate. We suffered to get here.”
Intense episode, all around. Wow. I cannot wait for the next episode “TEOTWAWKI” because I just know… Travis can’t be dead. He survived too much in that pit to simply die this way; by law of the TV gods!