AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 3: “Teotwawki”
Directed by Deborah Chow
Written by Ryan Scott
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The New Frontier” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “100” – click here
We start with a survivalist, anti-globalist rant by patriot Jeremiah Otto (Dayton Callie). A video of him at Broke Jaw Ranch. “This is the end of the world as we know it,” he tells us: “Teotwawki.” This is something Trump voters would definitely buy into with buzzwords like “urban hordes” and other xenophobic rhetoric.
A bunch of people are gathered for Charlene, in her memory. The Otto brothers – Troy (Daniel Sharman) and Jake (Sam Underwood). Although people seem to blame Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) a bit. Some of them. Madison makes clear they’re only there to help. Mostly people want to know who took down the plane, to see justice for what’s happened and to prepare for anything worse. What’s clear is there’s a division amongst the ranks of the Otto family. And the camp as a whole.
“If you plan for the future, plan for a better one.”
Nick’s busy trying to nurse Luciana (Danay Garcia) back to health. She wants to leave, soon as she’s healthy enough. He wants to be able to be safe, to feel protected. He’s kicking himself constantly and feeling as if he’s the one responsible for so many things. But Luciana tries making him realise he’s not a bad person. He’s not a killer, either.
I worry about Troy. He’s clearly a psychopathic person, he has… tendencies. He keeps lurking around Madison, talking about Travis (Cliff Curtis). He asks about her past, so on. In a very unsettling manner. He even admits to having certain issues with social behaviour. The guy’s got a problem with her son now. First it was Travis, now Nick. He is deranged. Wants a woman and a mommy.
Back with Strand (Colman Domingo) we see him trying to find his way. He drives up past a load of Mexicans travelling, stopping at a sort of makeshift border crossing. Strand says he’s looking for a man named Dante, though nobody wants to entertain him, even after offering up his car. Lucky for him Dante (Jason Manuel Olazabal) comes out to say hello.
The Clark family are all worried, for different reasons. Nick says they ought to think of other options than staying at the ranch. Madison would rather stick with what they have, what they know. Also, she feels if they go it was a waste of Travis’ life. Regardless, none of them are on the same page.
Madison goes to talk with Jake and Jeremiah, wondering if they can “keep a leash” on Troy and quell all the resentment from everybody around the place. The old guy doesn’t seem to have much time for hearing about what his boy’s done. This gives me pause. He and Madison will have it out, one way or another.
Alicia: “It‘s all just different circles of Hell. Why not this one?”
Jake goes to his brother, telling him to stay away from the Clarks. We see the resistance of Troy to follow any orders, no matter who’s asking. If people at the ranch figure out what the guy is, WHO he is, they might not be so keen on following his lead. These brothers are coming to a head, too. There’s a confrontation of epic, tragic proportions in their relationship, I feel.
When Alicia goes to hang out with some of the young people, supposedly for Bible study, it turns out they’re actually going to smoke pot, drink booze, and enjoy life as it once was for youth. I actually thought for a moment they were plotting on doing something nasty. They only wanted to bring her into the fold. They’ve even got a zombie head kept in a bird cage: Jeff. Sick, but when you’re high? Hilarious!
In a room by herself Madison sees the outtakes of those Otto family videotapes. Jeremiah wasn’t a great dad. Handsy with mom. Not so sweet and kindly as he seems. The old fella strolls in while she’s watching, admitting he’s not perfect. They talk a bit about their past lives, his past wives. She tells of her alcoholic father, noticing the signs from Jeremiah’s former wife; Troy took care of her at the end when she was dying awfully.
Strand and Dante catch up, clearly having known each other quite a long time. They talk about Thomas briefly, a sore spot for Victor to bring up. Yet I feel something, not quite right here. Perhaps he’s rushed into something quickly without thinking it all through. Well, Dante has been busy. He’s killing people who displease him. Turns out they’re not exactly old friends; just business. Strand pleads his case, asking to be of help. To negotiate deals and organise things for him. Except it’ll be more of a forcible situation than he wanted. Stuck in servitude to Dante. Sort of fitting when in Hell, no?
Headed out at night, Troy asks Nick to go for a boar hunt with him: “Earn your keep.” Don’t like this! Don’t like this at all! Not even because of Troy, I almost worry that if the situation arises Nick would take a chance to kill him. Who knows. Back at the ranch, it seems like Jeremiah is warming to Madison, they continue bonding while the boys are gone. She really wants them to find a home somewhere, a place where they can fit in. She tells the old man about Nick being an addict. Both the Otto and Clark family have their respective demons.
Jeremiah takes her down to see “the pantry” where they’ve stockpiled guns, supplies, many things they have for prepared for a Revelations-style apocalypse. He wants to rebuild society, basically. She’s in, too. She wants to feel safe again in a community.
Although I’m still scared. Nick is out on the hunt and he takes Troy to the ground, gun on his throat. FUCK! This ain’t good. He only fires a shot next to the guy’s face and tears up the notes in his little journal. A bonding experience?
Troy: “I need to know why we spoil”
Things seem better at the ranch in the light of day. Nothing’s ever perfect in this post-apocalypse landscape. Now they’re preparing for possible trouble, looking for volunteers to head out on a search party to scout what’s happened with the helicopter. And Madison offers to go with them, surprising many. Tough woman. After that she goes and sits with Troy for breakfast. Because she knows if she plays mom that’ll keep her in his good graces.
And Strand, oh he’s facing a hard time ahead. In a prison work-like situation. Shit, he’s had it rough lately. One good thing? Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) watches over him: “I told you I‘d be your guardian angel.” I KNEW HE’D BE BACK EVENTUALLY! FUCK YEAH. Love his character.
I loved this episode all over, it opened many new things, expanding on those new stories we’re seeing. Plus there’s a return of a character whom I hoped was not wholly gone. We’re about to see so much happen starting in “100” next week.