AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 4, Episode 3: “Good Out Here”
Directed by Dan Liu
Written by Shintaro Shimosawa
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Another Day in the Diamond” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Buried” – click here
Nick (Frank Dillane) has to take care of his weevil situation in the turnip fields, so it’s essentially: start over. Thus is the struggle of living on the frontier, in a post-zombie apocalypse world. To build a community, it takes work; lots.
Cut ahead, inside Althea’s (Maggie Grace) SWAT truck, where Nick, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Luciana (Danay Garcia), and Strand (Colman Domingo) have her, Morgan (Lennie James), and John (Garret Dillahunt) hostage. Althea always wants “your story,” and she’d like to make a deal. Nick gets a bit aggressive, which prompts her to grab him, nearly starting something brutal. It’s quite the standoff.
Things go haywire in the struggle, the SWAT truck goes off the road, crashing. And the undead lurch towards the semi-wreck. Everybody in the vehicle is pretty roughed up. When they come to, the situation’s serious. The zombies are closing in. However, Althea and Co. have got their captors turned hostage, and they want to get the truck out of the mud. Needs a tow.
Can these two groups manage to work together? Or, will they end up at one another’s throats again eventually? Only time can answer us these questions. I know one thing, Morgan’s got his eyes peeled. Not only that, Althea keeps Nick tied for Morgan to watch as all the rest go looking for possible vehicles to tow their truck.
“The start of a negotiation often requires an act of faith”
Fascinating parallel between Morgan and Nick, both of whom tried to lead a solitary life at one point, on the road amongst the dead. The former even cuts the latter free when everybody leaves, allowing him to move on his own, feed himself. Morgan doesn’t neglect to show off his skills with the stick, either. Motherfuckers recognise. After that they share a peanut butter protein bar. That’s right about when a car drives down the nearby highway starting a ruckus, with Nick trying to get away, knocking Morgan over. In the process, the vehicle’s horn goes off drawing walkers.
On the road, Althea and the others look for vehicles. Strand wonders why she bothers collecting the stories of other people. She says that the “truth matters,” and that’s her reason. I can’t say I disagree, though. One good thing is there’s a tenuous trust between the groups, at least for Al and them. Nick, not so much – he leaves Morgan surrounded by walkers, stick-less, and runs across the highway.
Nick comes to a place with a bunch of bright blue flowers in bloom. He remembers back before, when he and Madison were on a run together for the first time in ages, as he was branching out again into the outside world. They were still left dealing with Mel (Kevin Zegers) and his group, hanging around by the gates. Mom tells her son about looking for the silver linings, the signs, “something good” still left in the world, and it’s how she can handle being out around the hordes of the dead. Jump ahead, as Nick finds himself attacked by walkers near the blue flowers. He gets his ass saved by Morgan, too.
This puts the unlikely pair back on the road, together for now. They walk on looking for shelter, anyplace temporarily safe until they can find their friends. They get into the nearby town, heading for a rundown drugstore to take cover.
We see Madison and Nick run into Mel’s buddy Ennis (Evan Gamble) and little Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) scavenging. That car from the highway Nick saw in the current day? It belongs to Ennis.
“I don’t kill”
A good discussion about revenge and killing ensues when Morgan asks Nick about the El Camino on the highway, then they start to get a bit intense. Morgan tries telling the younger man that revenge never plays out how the revenge-taker believes it will, and that’s a sound piece of advice. We just haven’t yet discovered exactly what happened back at their community, as well as why Madison’s not with her son anymore. Could she have been killed? I worry, and I’ve been worrying since the initial episode.
Althea and the rest find the truck with its horn ringing, covered in walkers. At least they have a vehicle with a makeshift winch. Meanwhile, John can’t rest while Morgan is out there injured. The group splits apart, as some stay and others go. More reliance on faith between them all. Alicia does some bad ass work getting the winch in place, proving, as usual, she’s awesome.
Nearby, Morgan finds Ennis and his El Camino, getting an unfriendly welcome. He tries telling the man to leave; no dice. Nick finds them, gripping his blood-spattered hammer tightly. He’s held back while Ennis taunts. Morgan wants to help someone else from descending into a hideous spiral of murder like he once did, long before. He can’t, and this leaves Nick battling Ennis, tooth + nail. Something inside him will not let him walk away entirely. Although it’s too late. Nick wrestles Ennis over a mounted rack of antlers, then drops him onto it, killing him. When Morgan gets back he tries to tell the younger man about his own struggle, giving him his book The Art of Peace. Maybe they’ll strike up a real friendship after all. SWAT is back on the road, and the group find Morgan and Nick in town soon enough.
We briefly see mention of “The Bog” on one of Althea’s groups of tapes; keep it in mind. We also see more of Nick and Madison. They came across a field of “blue bonnets” just as he did recently. This was one of mom’s signs, that the world was “still good out here.” Something tells me all is not well.
No shit. Because Charlie’s shown up in current day, to take revenge on Nick for killing Ennis. The little girl shoots Nick right in the chest before running off into the woods. Oh my god. OH. MY. GOD. He’s dead… Nick is gone…
Never expected the ending of this episode, whatsoever. Saddest due to its ultimate irony, how Morgan cautioned against revenge because of what it would bring only for Nick to see firsthand what it reaped for him personally. A tragic, early death for Season 3. I’m so heartbroken, I loved Nick.
“Buried” is next time.