AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Directed by Janice Cooke
Written by Channing Powell & Alex Delyle
* For a recap & review of 6×13, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×15, click here.
We get a flashback of Teddy in prison, hearing reports on the news about hospitals filling up and violence increasing in the streets. Teddy sits writing in his cell, the wall covered in newspaper clippings about his case and about John Dorie Sr., the hero cop who put him away. Things in the prison were going along as normal. Another prisoner was being taken away to his execution as Teddy told him: “The end is the beginning.” In a sense, the zombie apocalypse is everything Teddy had been waiting for, long before the zombie virus was running rampant across America. Then one day, the alarms started going off and zombies were walking the prison’s halls, hungry for flesh. So what did Teddy do? He stayed out of the way as long as possible, until confronted with this new reality. He killed one guard reanimated as a corpse. But, generally, he was excited about what he saw as revelation. Then, out into the world he went once more.
Alicia’s still stuck at the Holding, listening to the ramblings Teddy pumps throughout the facility on the loud speakers; a constant, monotonous drone of repetitive madness. Riley comes to check on Alicia, asking if she’s “ready to accept his word.” They’re trying to break her down, indoctrinate her into their cult. But it isn’t working on Alicia, at least not yet. Suddenly one day, the speakers go quiet, and Teddy shows up to see Alicia. He talks about being locked up in prison, he’s trying to give Alicia a similar experience. He also says they’ve found “a new home” someplace else; a safer one. First, Teddy wants to be sure Alicia is committed to his cause. She’s not into that. Riley would rather shoot her dead, but Teddy grabs him by the testicles to make him stop in his tracks. What a weird place. Outside, a bus of new recruits arrives—one of them is Dakota. That doesn’t thrill Alicia. Yet Dakota came there to find, and hopefully help, Alicia, even if the latter doesn’t want her help.
Teddy decides to take Alicia and Dakota on the road with him. He’s bringing Alicia by the stadium, where Madison once grew crops and created a nice little community. She knows it’s his effort to break her down, despite him pretending it has nothing to do with anything particular. A psycho like him is always at work. They’re actually headed for a graveyard, where Teddy has them pull a casket out of a crypt. Inside the casket is Teddy’s mother; another Norman Bates-like psychotic in the world of horror. He wants mama to be part of their “new beginnings.” Who knows what that really means. Is he going to mulch her, too? All part of his mad plan.
When they nearly lose mom on the road, they have to stop. This puts them up against a bunch of walkers coming out of the forest. They fight some off, then a man with a gun comes firing, killing the dead a second time. Alicia’s surprised to see Cole, from back in the days when Madison was alive, back at the stadium. Another wild reunion in the zombie apocalypse wasteland. Teddy believes it’s “a sign,” of course. Alicia has to catch Cole up on things, including Nick’s death and the people who are still alive. But will he prove to be friendly? I mean, he wasn’t quite friendly before. Currently, he’s separated from his group and trying to get back. He’ll help Alicia right now at least. Teddy forces Cole to hand his gun over to Alicia, for trust purposes. An uneasy alliance all around.
Cole takes them to a junkyard, where they have a look around. That’s where Alicia, Dakota, and Teddy are taken at gunpoint by Cole’s crew and those “unsavoury types” he mentioned earlier. Alicia recognises more old faces from the stadium days. Now she’s a captive of this group. To what end? They’re all on the road again. Well, Cole’s group have been hoping to hunt down Alicia, Nick, Strand, the others. This gets Teddy rambling about “the patterns of the universe” and why everything must be destroyed. He doesn’t much care about threats, either. Now Cole and his people have a truck. But he wants more: Teddy’s well-stocked facility. Cole decides he’ll use the dead mother to twist Teddy’s arm, yet none of that works, even as he blows away the dead lady’s face. Because it isn’t actually Teddy’s mother. He was just doing it all as a performance, for Alicia. He was trying to find out if the people Alicia’s mother helped were dead.
“You became the people we were always fighting off”
When Cole asks Alicia to go with him she refuses. So he decides to kill her.
He puts the trio on their knees in the road. He wants to know where Teddy’s facility is, too. But he gets no answers, again. Zombies are crawling from the trees and all the hesitation gives Alicia a chance to distract Cole, resulting in the dead chomping on several of Cole’s group. Teddy, Dakota, and Alicia survive. Alicia uses a zombie as cover, in the most unique way, getting the drop on Cole. She’s angry about Cole effectively disrespecting her mother’s memory: “You were supposed to make it mean something.” She doesn’t hesitate much longer, putting a bullet between his eyes.
Teddy later claims that the key is so important because it will “launch a missile from a beach submarine washed ashore in Galveston.” That’s his plan to obliterate whatever he possibly can above ground while he and his cult go down below. So Alicia thinks she ought to kill Teddy, pulling her gun on him. However, Dakota’s been brainwashed into the whole new beginning nonsense, pulling her shotgun on Alicia. A tense and nasty standoff. Alicia calls out on the radio for Morgan, hoping to get a response from her friends. She’s answered by Strand, right as Teddy’s men arrive. Yet Teddy doesn’t anybody to kill Alicia. She’s passed some kind of test in his mind, “for what‘s to come.”
Now they’re headed to a massive hotel in the countryside where there was a bunker built many decades ago by the government. This is the cult’s new home. Riley and Teddy take Alicia inside to show her around the place. The cult leader is convinced Alicia will help along the new beginning. She isn’t quite sure what that entails. Right now she’s locked in a cell in that bunker. Teddy thinks a prison-like environment is what will help Alicia understand her new role and how she’ll rebuild the world. What an absolute maniac.