Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 16: “Sleigh Ride”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 16: “Sleigh Ride”
Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Dave Erickson & Mark Richard

* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 3 finisher, “Things Bad Begun” – click here
* Season 4 reviews coming next year
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.16.58 AMProctor John (Ray McKinnon) and his crew, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) included are heading into the dam. Carnage lies in front of them, bloody corpses in the water and the like. The Proctors have the upper hand, particularly as more of the men show up. They meet Strand (Colman Domingo) at the docks; Alicia’s pretty surprised, though they save any pleasantries and once alone, they plan in hushed tones. “Mea culpa,” Victor pleads after Proctor John finds out a dozen of his men are dead.
Stuck alone together in that room, Madison (Kim Dickens) and Nick (Frank Dillane) confront their relationship, all the ugliness. He asks if she ever wished he’d died, back in his junkie days. Now, her son isn’t sure of his mother, after what she did to Troy, so callously. However, he doesn’t think about all she’s done for him. All that Troy did, either. I understand where he’s coming from, yet he forgets so much.
There’s also Daniel (Rubén Blades) bleeding from his shot face, Lola (Lisandra Tena) helping him out of loyalty. She has to leave him at the bottom of a manhole, by himself, trapped below ground.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.21.02 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.21.33 AMElsewhere, Alicia changes Proctor John’s dressings while he talks about Buddhism, how he hates liars. Y’know: small talk. After which he asks how she knows Strand, the guy isn’t stupid. She tells him the truth about getting out of LA with his help, about her mother. He reveals she was there at the dam, that Strand made a deal for her safety, too. But the “larger negotiation” that was a part of has fallen to bits. If only Alicia might be capable of making her own deal. What’s required? Go to Houston with the Proctors, and mom is free.
Strand gets back to Nick and Madison, they’re not happy with him. He’s trying, I guess. He also tells them about Alicia, casually warning about Proctor John: “He likes his toys.” What our man Victor has up his sleeve is trying to sneak the Clarks out, right in plain sight with uniforms. Madison can see her tenuous friend’s stressed, so he explains the situation with Daniel.
As Victor walks his friends out, Lola comes in firing after discovering Efrain dead, a bullet in the head. She gets one of her own from Proctor John. Now, the gang’s found out, the plans have completely deteriorated. The Proctors do a bit of shit kicking with Strand’s face. At the same time, Madison angles to try getting them out of there. Doesn’t work. The boss says he’ll kill her kids while she watches. Everybody goes.
Out on the dam, the family says goodbye to one another, fearing they’re about to be murdered. This is when Victor reveals the explosives wiring the place. “Take his tongue already,” Proctor John orders. But Strand doesn’t have the detonator, Nick does. He’s ready to blow the place to the moon.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.28.39 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.30.38 AMBack to another Madison Clark daydream, in that nice house in the wasteland. All her friends are there, from Daniel to Jeremiah (Dayton Callie) to Jake (Sam Underwood) and Walker (Michael Greyeyes). Strand shows up with gifts. A happy holiday for everybody! Hugs and smiles and dinner ready for eating. Well, if you’re into eating Jeremiah’s chopped off head, I suppose? Yum! The nice dinner becomes a bloodbath, a nightmarish holiday, Christmas in hell. And once more, Madison’s left alone amongst the graves of everyone she knows.
What will Nick do? He’s ensuring safety for mom and Alicia. He’ll stay behind to make sure they get away. He explains this is his “suicide note.” A sacrifice for the greater good of his family. Nothing else to do. The two women and Strand head for a boat, to escape. Leaving Nick to the Proctors.
War was waiting to be realised by us, and here we are.”
Daniel’s gotten himself back on two feet. He’s got the skills still, as well. Disarming one man, killing three. He’s headed up top. Nick watches while his family and Strand speed off, waiting for the right time to detonate. Right as Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) pops a shot into one guy’s head from the distance with a sniper rifle, he and Walker keeping an eye on things like the loyal men we’ve come to know. Crazy Dog continues firing, just as Daniel walks in firing alongside him.
But Nick blows the dam anyway. The concrete rumbles, cracking, and the falling walls threaten to suck his family into the rapids, over a waterfall through the river. Crazy Dog and Walker assume the worst, moving on north. Nick awaits the end.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.38.33 AMMadison dreams more. She’s at Jeremiah’s grave. He hauls her in under the dirt. She’s actually floating in the water by the dam, being pulled by the rushing waters. As she imagines bursting out of the grave, Travis (Cliff Curtis) is there to haul her up. She slips back under, still in the water.
She finally opens her eyes, swimming to the surface. She makes it to land, seeing people coming to the shore, filling their buckets and containers with water after so long. In a way, Nick did what Efrain wanted, to get the water to the people. At what cost?
We’ll have to wait and see.
An intense finale. I mean, wow… I didn’t expect some of this to go down, not like it did. Very excited for Season 4. Not sure exactly where things will head, after all we’ve seen in these last few action-packed, plot-filled episodes. So much potential, the series is already wonderful. It can get even better.

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Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 15: “Things Bad Begun”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 15: “Things Bad Begun”
Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Jami O’Brien

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “El Matadero” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 finale, “Sleigh Ride” – click here
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.12.36 AMNick (Frank Dillane) has a shopping cart full of zombie heads. He’s cleaning the place up in front of the Bazaar. Why? He’s helping the man in the bar come up with more brain stem, y’know, for the local economy. And it helps their people fight harder, needing no sleep. But who are they fighting? Nick’s curious. Right now, he only cares about the cash.
There’s also Troy (Daniel Sharman) trying to fit in, trying to figure out what’s about to go down. He goes to find his buddy, telling him: “Your mothers in trouble, Nick.” Oh, shit.
Over at the dam, Madison (Kim Dickens) and Strand (Colman Domingo) talk, he tries convincing her of something bigger, better than right now. She wanted a future for her children, maybe grandchildren, a normal life again somehow. Only she’s there without her kids. Still, Strand believes they can make that life, if they want it bad enough. They even drink to it.
And elsewhere, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is driving around with Diana (Edwina Findley Dickerson). Out of nowhere, they’re smashed into by another vehicle. They take on the men, not allowing them to steal any of their things. Alicia manages to get a gun, but lets the men live, a foolish move. Diana’s leg gets broken in the scuffle, so her new friend has got to try and help her out.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.22.30 AMDaniel (Rubén Blades) gets a visit from Walker (Michael Greyeyes), returning a cross necklace Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) had worn. The grieving father feels guilt over not having stopped his daughter’s death. He discovers Walker feels the same way, too, and he has no answers, nobody does. This is life in the post-zombie landscape, nothing is forever, nothing is for sure. Ever.
Deny Odysseusjourney and who the hell is Odysseus?”
Drinking together, Madison and Strand ruminate on the future of the world, the future of stories, how long until The Iliad and other classics are forgotten in this undead world. The conversation turns to murder. She admits having to kill, whereas Strand hasn’t had to do that quite yet. Not cold blooded murder.
At the dam, Nick arrives to fill his mother and others in on the plan at the Bazaar. There are boats, guns, all sorts of weaponry, equipment. Lola (Lisandra Tena) knows a “siege” is coming, a brutal one, Efrain (Jesse Borrego) fears their cruelty. However, everyone has ideas. Nobody wants to desert the place. If they stay, they must fight. On top of everything, Madison worries about Nick, his being back on drugs, and he keeps warning the people coming are worse than anything they’ve come across this far. In the meantime, Walker and Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) are heading their own way.
We also find out Strand made a deal with the Proctors. He’s supposed to let them in, to be able save people and let the Proctors have things easily, under Daniel’s nose. Now, the whole thing’s fucked up, and he wants Nick to take Madison, to leave. Simultaneously we see Daniel becoming suspicious, his behaviour feeling dangerous. He asks Nick questions, quickly figuring out he’s lying. This is making things a little scary. “This is not a way to grieve,” the young man pleads. Nevertheless, he sits for a longer talk with the old dude.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.41.32 AMPeople dont change. We just walk in circles.”
Setting explosives as a last resort, Troy talks to Madison about feeling fear for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, when he was with Nick at the Bazaar, when they had their wild night. She asks that he look out for her son, he needs somebody. I wouldn’t exactly put all my trust in him, though.
Locked in a room together, Daniel presses Nick for information, on how the horde wound up at the pantry bunker. He gets nothing. And this is starting to make the treacherous old bastard. He’s convinced someone caused the horde, in turn causing Ofelia’s death. Soon enough Nick lies, pinning it on Jake (Sam Underwood).
Daniel accepts his lie. For now.
Alicia gets Diana to a man with medical experience named Eddie (James Le Gros). She’s brought to a man in a wheelchair, none other than the infamous Proctor John (Ray McKinnon). The Proctors were a humble motorcycle club. At this point, they’re doing all they can in the this new world. Unfortunately, Proctor John’s got a growth on his spine, rendering his legs fucked up. The man wants Alicia to help Danny in the medical department, to go on to Texas with them. If they fail, they die. Great “incentive,” right?
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.49.58 AMIn surgery, Eddie cuts Proctor John open, digging for the growth. Alicia talks to her patient, who won’t be put under, she tries keeping his mind busy, getting him chatting about his life. And he admires her “tough skin.”
Things aren’t well at the dam, not with Daniel paranoid and Strand scheming behind his back. Nick catches up to mom, telling her they need to leave, and then the truth about Troy comes out. The relationships deteriorate, as the last standing Otto rants about the ranch. Until Madison plants a ball peen hammer in the side of his head and busts his skull open in front of Nick who’s horrified. They leave his corpse to be swallowed in the likelihood of the explosion; you know it’ll come to that.
With the surgery complete, Proctor John is able to wiggle his toes. A sigh of relief around the room. No murder; today, anyway. At the same time, troops are moving for the dam – where Strand has pulled a gun on Lola and Daniel, the latter not believing anything will happen. The two men wrestle. Strand gets the gun under Daniel’s face and pulls the trigger, blowing a hole through his cheek.
Bigger things are going down – the Proctors have invaded the dam, shots are fired, everyone’s running or fighting or both. All out warfare commences. Strand finds Madison and Nick, stashing them away someplace safe. He takes the detonator, promising he’ll help. You can never tell with him.
Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.55.22 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 12.59.14 AMVisions of the Clark household at the holidays, Christmas music playing. The table’s set, the turkey’s being basted, everything is wonderful. A vision of festive happiness. It’s in the middle of the wasteland, and there’s no real happiness. Alicia’s dead, the Ottos are still dead. Nick has a child with Luciana (Danay Garcia), but they leave her behind, all alone.
What a great lead-up to the finale. “Sleigh Ride” – fittingly titled after this ending, is next. Giddy up.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 14: “El Matadero”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 14: “El Matadero”
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Written by Alan Page

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “This Land Is Your Land” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Things Bad Begun” – click here


Strand (Colman Domingo), Madison (Kim Dickens), and Walker (Michael Greyeyes) are headed back to the damn. They have Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) and Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) in tow, the latter of whom isn’t doing so well. She suddenly faints hitting the pavement. They stop the truck, but she says she’s okay, she only lost her grip.
But it’s more than that. She has a bad wound at her shoulder… a bite.
Out on her own elsewhere, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) hears a vehicle stop nearby in the night. She readies herself, nearby she sees people stop. But it’s only Nick (Frank Dillane) and Troy (Daniel Sharman). Her brother thinks she’s “crazy.”
At the Bazaar marketplace, Madison and the rest go through the gates, as Ofelia must do her best to keep her bite and burgeoning illness under wraps until they can meet with her father Daniel (Rubén Blades). They get inside, managing to stow away in Strand’s old hiding place. But the poor girl is getting sicker by the minute.
Madison: “Smile. Your life depends on it.”
Things aren’t so great, though. Madison and Colman are at odds over her decision to hand over a bunch of weaponry for entry. Believing when the time comes to make the deal for the water, they’ll be up the creek once Ofelia most likely dies and they have nothing else to offer.


After Troy and Nick leave Alicia, they head for the marketplace. The former also speaks about how similar they are, the “black sheep” of their families. Difference being he accepts his status, whereas Nick fights against it. But that IS the major difference: Nick is, beneath it all, a good man.
Walker and Madison try making Ofelia comfortable, it’s all they can do. They talk about loss. And Walker, tough as he is, all he’s been through, recognises sometimes there is too much of it. Everyone has a threshold. However, he thinks Madison must do right by Daniel, reunite him with Ofelia. No matter if it ends in violence.
On the road Alicia stops at an On-the-Go Burger joint. Inside are the remains of old meals, a ransacked building, flies and other insects. A customer or two left as withering corpses. While she looks for anything usable, locating a batch of instant potatoes, a walker creeps up. She quickly puts it down, only to notice a group of the undead shambling near the entrance. So she gets into the ball pit, waiting for any of them to make their way inside.
BUT SHE FORGETS WHAT COULD BE UNDER THE BALLS! A zombie kid attacks. She gets a knife in its brain, though the others come in the door. She hides under the balls as they pass. Soon, a woman (Edwina Findley Dickerson) with a pick-axe bursts in slaying them. She cuts off fingers for any rings, even using pliers to pull out gold teeth. This is a bad ass. The mysterious woman likewise steals the potatoes and gets away in a vehicle. Alicia follows her to a parking lot where they face each other. Eventually they come to a compromise: sharing is caring.
At the marketplace, Nick gives his mom a break. When she’s gone he finds the pain medication laying near Ofelia. He takes one; so much for sobriety. Dammit, Nick! I didn’t want this to happen. This is the last thing he, or any of them, needs right now. Troy’s out getting a bite to eat, freaked out by “all the Mexicans” and unsure about what meat is in the quesadillas. Immediately, he notices something a bit off about Nick, as well. Either way, they’re both on the pills, and drinking, too.
Meanwhile, Strand is looking for Proctor John. Wants to make a deal for… something special. Hmm.
Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 12.31.03 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-09 at 12.31.46 AMIt’s time for Ofelia to go to her father. Madison asks Walker to stay behind, not knowing what Daniel might do if he’s there. So, he says his goodbye to his close friend, for the last time. The two women head outside together, waiting. As they talk, about parents, children, just as Daniel comes across the parking lot, Ofelia dies. The reunion lost. He goes mad, pulling a gun on Madison, believing it a “sick joke.”
I hate this dude. Used to feel there was redemption for him, but he only lashes out at everybody when he’s lived a lifetime of shit. So, I don’t know where they’re taking this character. I hope he does something major to redeem himself, otherwise he’s a horrible man. Later, Madison tries giving him hope. Although he deserves none of it.
Inside, Nick and Troy are buzzed, roaming around in a state of intoxication. Nick finds a place called El Matadero, and the man “with the things.” There’s everything from cocaine to morphine to heroin, to a bit of “locus coeruleus.” Some brain stem. It’ll take you higher than you ever imagined. Nick slugs it back, ready for a trip, as does Troy. Blast off, baby!
Alicia and her new friend eat together, the former talking briefly about the place she and Jake (Sam Underwood) talked about going, before he died. The woman warns it’s all endless ghost towns on the road, nothing to find. But Alicia’s determined, she wants to go her own way or perish. They get one chance to bond again, when they take on a group of walkers together.
Out on their hallucinatory trip, Nick gets wild. He covers himself, and Troy, in blood. Then he runs for a group of walkers, deciding on walking through them. Like he used to do. This time it’s a hell of a lot more dangerous. Yet when Troy sees how it works, he’s mesmerised. They both stand in the midst of a horde and Nick almost sees it as a reminder, that he can’t go his mother’s way anymore.
And this leaves the Clark family divided further, all over again.
Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 12.44.50 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-09 at 12.58.53 AMLoved this episode. Season 3’s been pretty stellar all around, so I’m looking forward to seeing where we go in these last few episodes. Very interesting things happening with many of the characters.
“Things Bad Begun” comes next week, our penultimate Season 3 finisher.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 13: “This Land Is Your Land”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 13: “This Land Is Your Land”
Directed by Meera Menon
Written by Suzanne Heathcote

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Brother’s Keeper” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “El Matadero” – click here
Pic 1Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) faces a new situation, as a type of leader rather than someone surrounded by those leading. She takes on a new responsibility, with everybody stuck in the pantry bunker. People are worried, some are missing. Outside is the constant gnash of undead teeth, the walkers scratching at the door. There’s also a bite inside, too. Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) and Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) show Alicia they’ve got other troubles, there’s no airflow through their vent. If they don’t do something, they’ll run out of air.
Out in the wilderness, Troy (Daniel Sharman) and Nick (Frank Dillane) are dealing with the aftermath of Jake’s death. They’ve got to figure out a way to help the people in the pantry, or else all is lost. Inside, Alicia and the others plan fast to try getting the air flowing again, and time is slipping, fast. Only way to buy time? “Fewer people.” They’ve got to “put down the bitten” – dark irony, coming from a militia man’s who’s been chomped.
Alicia levels with the others in the pantry about their predicament. She asks people who’ve been bitten to come forward. Nobody moves, until soldier boy reveals his bite to everybody, prompting others to do the same. For Father Gore, this is one of the more unsettling, subtly chilling moments of the entire series. It’s not often even ONE person will admit to their bite, let alone a handful.
Pic 1AStill, it ain’t easy. Some are very troubled by the process. However, one brave man steps up to take his morphine, to then be put down in as humane a way as possible. Alicia and her militia sidekick give him the dose, and after that he’s given quiet death. Although it isn’t so easy for the new leader to do, she takes it like most normal humans would, nearly going to pieces.
But Christine (Linda Gehringer) urges her to keep on going: “I know its Hell, but those people have done their part, you need to do yours.” Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Sadder still, she has to put down her helper when they’ve finished their work. Just dreadful.
Nick and Troy put another grenade in the distance to push the walkers in their desired direction, the latter getting a few thrills from driving through crowds of zombies. Soon, they crash, not far from the military chopper. They manage to get inside before they’re mobbed.
Down in the pantry, Christine and Alicia try keeping their minds busy, talking about their lives before the ranch, the younger of the two talking about the bond she shares with her brother, who’d do anything for her in the world.
Soon, the air quality’s getting bad, people are going unconscious. Alicia can barely see straight, too. Very scary shit. Particularly once she spies someone eating another person, reanimated, hungry. A weakened Alicia manages to pull out her knife, nearly getting a bite herself before falling over and driving her blade through the woman’s head.
That’d be fine, if there weren’t a bunch more people coming back from the dead nearby.
Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 12.15.37 AMIn the meantime, Crazy Dog and Ofelia are heading through the vent. He nearly hyperventilates, but she calms him down. We discover he was in Iraq, came back likely with PTSD. Occasionally has attacks, like that one. After going further, climbing up a grate, he goes limp and they fall together, a walker tumbling onto her. She has to pull out her gun, blowing its head off. Safe, for now.
Alicia comes to and finds more walkers, all around her. She kills as many as she can, trying to save Christine who’s passed out. Not sure if the old gal will make it either way. But our girl, she’s determined. She gets to one of the assault rifles then starts firing. Bad ass.
Nick and Troy get the chopper started, chopping a few zombie heads off. Eventually they smash the glass and start grabbing for the boys. As Troy’s starting to contemplate one of them using the remaining bullet, an explosion goes off.
Downstairs, Madison (Kim Dickens), Strand (Colman Domingo) come for Alicia, clearing out the rest of the dead. They all leave together. So it’s safe, relatively, again. They’ve got to head out for the damn once again come morning. Walker (Michael Greyeyes) and Madison tell Ofelia about her father being alive, that they’ll take her to see him. Likewise, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Nick must tell Alicia that Jake died after a bite. YET… Nick lies to his sister, for Troy. If only to spare them a big confrontation; that’ll surely come back to kick his ass later.
Problem is, Alicia’s losing faith. She’s lost it, really. She knows there is no place that’s safe, no matter where they go: “We die as quickly together as we do apart. I need to find a way to life, for myself. And I cant do that running in fear.” She wants to go on her own, someplace else, where she and Troy talked about together. And so, the family’s split up, familiar territory for them all. Nick offers to go watch her a while, to make sure she’s safe, scout the surrounding areas.
For everyone, it’s on the road again.
Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 12.46.49 AMDig this episode. Claustrophobic, terribly creepy at times in that pantry. Lots going on, emotionally and plot-wise. Can’t wait for more with “El Matadero” next week.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 12: “Brother’s Keeper”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 12: “Brother’s Keeper”
Directed by Alrick Riley
Written by Wes Brown

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “La Serpiente” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “This Land Is Your Land” – click here
Pic 1Out in the wilderness, Troy (Daniel Sharman) writes away in his little book, he eats whatever snakes and other animals he can find to quell the hunger. He’s surviving. But for how long? He has one bullet left in the chamber of his gun, nothing else. He goes back to an old ranch, where they found the old man having his brain pecked out by crows awhile back. In the shed he finds a bit of canned food, some normalcy. Behind a false wall he finds weaponry, as well.
So, for now, it’s a life for Troy. A sense of being back in the world. Except he’s still alone, there’s nobody else. No mother, no father. Not his brother. Not even Nick (Frank Dillane), or Madison (Kim Dickens), either. He’s got solitude and nothing more.
Until he fires off a shot and hears the faint sound of zombies in the distance. At least he has the dead. A super creepy moment.
Pic 1ABack on the ranch, Nick and Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) are actually working together, as well as the rest of the two camps. Our boy’s getting pretty comfortable with a gun. They’ve got to put down a herd of cattle, they’re not well. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is doing her best to keep Jake’s (Sam Underwood) head in the right place, he’s lamenting the loss of everything the ranch was in the beginning. Then it turns out he knows there are other places like the ranch, it wasn’t “a monopoly.” However, they can’t take everyone, it’d only be them.
Jake: “It was supposed to be more
Regardless of what’s going on, Crazy Dog sits uneasy, as Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) keeps his confidence up. But they’re always watching. Best is they do trust Nick, as does everyone. Why wouldn’t you? His character development’s been incredible since the first episode. Such a unique character, Dillane’s brought out the idiosyncrasies and the most impressive qualities of him and the writing.
The question in this season becomes, how far do you go to destroy a monster, or monsters? The human ones, not the walkers. To what extent must a person change, throw away their morality in order to save themselves, and save others? Alicia seems more inclined to be like her mother. Nick has doubts, even if he did kill Jeremiah.
Who turns up that night? Troy himself. No longer in exile. He claims he’s “on a mission.” Says he’s there to return the favour, believing Nick saved him; this IS true. Yet we can see with his talk of “Biblical” nonsense his mind has warped even further than it was already. He says the place will soon be obliterated, and that Jake needs to bear witness, too. Holy fuck. That’s ominous.
Pic 2Things are getting nasty between Jake and Alicia, their relationship breaking down a bit. All before Nick turns up to tell them about his visitor, all the weird shit he was talking. Alicia believes they’re being lured, though it doesn’t deter Jake. He wants to face his brother, after all that’s happened. When he and Nick go out looking for him, he tells a story about having to put down an animal. This is what he intends to do with his brother. A primitive parallel.
Soon after they discover an enormous dust cloud on the plains. Kicked up by a sprawling horde of the dead. So, the lads decide on trying to change their path. They can’t, because Troy is shooting off rounds in the grenade launcher he found up at the abandoned ranch. Alicia gets words back at the ranch, she talks to Ofelia about what’s going on, even about Troy. She wants help in helping to stop the approaching horde.
Nick wants to talk to Troy; big brother would rather kill him. He talks to the lunatic, who watches on as his “cleansing” goes on before him. He’s bonded with the zombies. He feels like them in a way. He pumps out another grenade, the explosion letting people at the ranch know something’s very wrong. In the meantime, Troy reveals to Jake what truly happened to their father, what Nick did, and what Alicia knows about.
Except Jake doesn’t care. Before he can kill his brother, though, Nick knocks him over the hill where he’s bitten by a zombie. This prompts Nick to cut his forearm off in an effort to save him.
This is evolution. This is Darwinian.”
No, this is murder, Troy. Nothing more.”
Murder. You really wanna go there, Nick?”
Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 12.30.41 AMScreen Shot 2017-09-25 at 12.33.33 AMThe ranch gears up, militia and the tribe together. For better or worse. Crazy Dog allows the weapons to go free, hoping they can fight off any coming attack. At the same time, Nick rushes past the zombies to try getting help for Jake. At the ranch, everyone lines up the trailers and RVs to form a path for the dead. The living hide on one side, pushing the horde further down. They just underestimated exactly how huge the horde was, how many of them were headed for the ranch. Zombies being crawling under the blockade, people chop and stab and slice.
From a nearby hill, Nick watches on, as Troy holds his bleeding brother. Our main man is sick of Troy, whose idiocy has led the ranch to utter destruction, his brother’s likely death and the possible deaths of many others between the ranchers and the Natives. Things are looking grim. Alicia orders everybody into the pantry, as one RV topples, and the dead crawl over the living. She’s left in the midst of it all with Ofelia, forced to put a bullet in one of the militia men’s heads to save him from being eaten alive, reanimated.
Just like Troy must put down his brother after he comes back as a zombie.
We see the resiliency of the human spirit, as Ofelia, Crazy Dog, Alicia, they fight tooth and nail against the walkers even as they’re surrounded by dozens of them. Luckily, many of them make it inside the bunker. Now they’re all trapped together, surrounded outside by walkers.
Troy: “I need some sleep
Nick: “No, we gotta find a way to save everyone you tried to kill. You can sleep when youre dead.”
Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 12.45.03 AMOne of the best episodes of the series! Just unexpected, good character work as usual. Lots to enjoy, to look forward to, and a bit to weep over. Really love Sam Underwood, too bad his character is gone. Yet in a way, I love they did that. Never saw it coming, plus Troy’s left and his morally ugly character will provide more plots to spring up, especially if he and Nick save everyone in the pantry.
“This Land Is Your Land” comes next week.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 10: “The Diviner”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 10: “The Diviner”
Directed by Paco Cabezas
Written by Ryan Scott

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Minotaur” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “La Serpiente” – click here
Pic 1Nick (Frank Dillane) is being punished for his role in helping Troy (Daniel Sharman), even if he did talk the guy out of some crazy shit. He’s being kept out in a can, a little slot to see outside; the hot box torture. Where he sees Troy talking to him, taunting. Afterwards he’s let out.
Or is he? No, it’s all a vision. No Troy, no getting out of his punishment.
Elsewhere, Qaletqa (Michael Greyeyes) and Madison (Kim Dickens) talk about things. What’s next for their shared group going forward. First thing to think about is collecting water, the survival elements. Walker’s taking care of the weaponry just fine, now that Troy is out of the picture.
At the same time, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) keeps an eye on her brother, on Jake (Sam Underwood), and her mother trusts her to keep the secret that they only have “6 weeks worth of water left.” Oh, damn. That’ll turn things bad. Nobody knows currently, except Madison, her daughter, and Walker.
Pic 1AMom goes off with Walker, while her kids stay at the ranch. Nick is out of his little tin can, a bit of water, cut free. The kids head home and Alicia tries keeping her secret, even from her brother. Upstairs, Jake is dealing with unhappy people concerning the rationing of the water. We see Alicia doing her best to speak strongly, convincing them to trust in the remaining Otto, that he has their best interests at heart.
On the road, Madison is dealing with her own shit. Like Walker mansplaining how to deal with children when he only has dogs of his own. Bless her heart, she gives him that biting sarcasm to shut it down.
Meanwhile, Nick receives a visit from the militia men still kicking. They’re happy he stepped up, even if it isn’t exactly what he was doing at the time. Right now, they’re looking to him for guidance. Leadership, even. Without guns he feels nothing is worth doing. So the lads have brought him “a gift.” A gun not under lock and key, controlled by the tribe. Fuck. I love Nick, but lord, is his judgement ever suspect at even the best of times. I’m afraid what might happen if he becomes the militia’s leading man, and more so if he’s unable to control them.
Along the street, Madison and Walker come across a large outpost, the Bazaar. They have to hand over weapons. They can trade items for time inside, which prompts Madison to reluctantly use her walkie as credit. No contact with her daughter, sort of a scary thing for any parent in this post-zombie apocalypse. Inside the Bazaar, they find every sort of item for sale and for trade, from basic threads, handbags, to motorcycles and tattoos. Just as it was once upon a time in America.
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 11.15.25 PMAlicia’s discussing with Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), Crazy Dog, the issue of people possibly taking twice their ration of water. Something a militia man claims. Things are uneasy, getting worse by the day. “Control your own people first,” says Ofelia; maybe bargaining with the woman who tried poisoning everyone on that land ain’t such a hot idea.
In secret, Nick and militia are talking over a possible attack to take back the land. He advises waiting, though everyone else is hot to trot. At least he’s got a brain, despite whatever course of action he’ll decide on eventually. Worse, Alicia’s found his gun, not happy. He tells her it’s mostly just to keep the militia in line, they listen to what he says. But there’s a divide between even family members, as the little sister clearly has problems with her older, former junkie brother being the favourite. Moreover, she feels that mom is “broken” and that they’re only following after her mad plans to make her love them, to be the good kids she expects.
Sad to see this scene juxtaposed with Alicia then calling over the radio, not realising her mother’s intentionally sold off the radio. She fucks up later, too. Telling everyone about the truth of the water situation. Yikes.
Nobody is happy, then a slight riot breaks out before Crazy Dog fires a gun, forcibly taking over the well. That doesn’t work – Nick stands his ground, others stand with him. Getting tense as hell up in HERE!
Alicia: “There is no them and us.”
At the Bazaar, Madison and Walker are angling to get a massive amount of water to keep the ranch going as long as they can. While the Native leader tries bargaining, Madison runs into none other than Victor Strand (Colman Domingo). He’s in a bit of trouble, as usual. She winds up helping, as does Walker, to get him out of a jam. Also sacrificing the possible water deal. Best thing is they’ve got Strand, who knows a place for water. When they get away and hide, he talks to the pair about the dam briefly.
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 11.25.01 PMScreen Shot 2017-09-11 at 11.28.29 PMThings aren’t so great for Strand, he has a debt that needs paying to the proctor of the Bazaar. He’s in chains until the debt’s paid off. Madison doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her friend. “The whole world is lost,” Victor tells her, pleading that she just leaves and goes back to her kids again. So nonchalant in the face of danger, always.
And in the meantime Walker’s fixed the water deal.
My mother named me Victor because she knew Id always win
Victor and other debtors are put out in the streets, where they’ve either got to clear out walkers, or perish. But someone’s paid his debt, leaving Walker vicious when he discovers what he was using to pay for the deal. Madison has plans, though. She wants to use her old buddy’s connections to find a more permanent solution to their water woes.
Nick and the militia have been gathering whatever weapons they can, from bow and arrows to hatchets and everything else in between. They’ve sneaked onto the tribe’s portion of the land. Alicia’s working with the Natives, having seen a diviner that sparked her interest. Simultaneously, Crazy Dog and Co. are about ready to start firing.
Will this spark violence?
No. Nick goes to see Alicia, the tribespeople working to save the land, to find a better water source. And this gives even Crazy Dog, the militia, the boost to perhaps come together. Maybe all they ALL need is to see there’s another way; a path to survival, for everybody.
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 11.44.16 PMExcellent first two episodes after the mid-season break. The whole Native storyline mixed in with the post-zombie wasteland is very interesting, as is the idea of the border, the whole concept of the water supply (a genuinely real world concern if the apocalypse of any kind does ever come). Love the writing.
“La Serpiente” is next. Can’t wait to see more of Daniel, Strand, and more of Madison being an ass kicker.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 9: “Minotaur”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 9: “Minotaur”
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Written by Mike Zunic

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Children of Wrath” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Diviner” – click here
Pic 1“Death is Not the End” plays as we see how things are now at the ranch, since last we were with Madison (Kim Dickens) and her family, the remaining Ottos, Troy (Daniel Sharman) and Jake (Sam Underwood). And while things are okay, they’re certainly not great. They never are, not in the post-zombie apocalypse wasteland of America. Only gets so good. Nick (Frank Dillane) is getting closer and closer to Troy, fitting further into the militia-style living and I’m actually a bit worried about his mental state. Meanwhile, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Jake are living together, getting by, though he’s not feeling well; I wonder if his illness is serious.
The power structures at the ranch have changed, certainly. With the Otto patriarch gone, Madison is taking on bigger responsibilities, more leadership. Right now there’s trouble, and the tougher their group the easier things might go with Qaletqa Walker (Michael Greyeyes) and his tribe.
The trailers are arriving, Walker’s leading his people onto the land. But what will happen next?
Pic 1ATroy isn’t ready to “accept” only “tolerate” the tribe. His brother’s more willing to work with Walker, in order to make the transition smoother; Jake wants them all to survive, rather than a large number of them dying in a fight over the land. They’ve got the weapons and ammunition setup so that it takes both Jake and Walker to unlock the storage. They’ll attempt to co-exist.
My favourite thing about Season 3 is the dynamics of families. There are all sorts of father issues, mother issues, other familial issues plaguing characters. Nick and Troy talk about fathers, discussing their resentments for their own, their ends, so on.
South of the border, Daniel (Rubén Blades) is helping keep things on track, helping Lola (Lisandra Tena) take over as leader. I’m imagining he’s headed elsewhere, soon enough. Or perhaps he’ll surprise us. There’s of course more to come with Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) eventually, as well. If they ever come together again.
Rallying his group at the ranch, Jake makes the case to forgive, forget, to move on and try finding a way to live as one with Walker. “Fear creates fury, fury lets blood,” says the Native leader. He also says that Jeremiah’s “sacrifice” took away his grudge. Now, he’s ready and willing to fight the “hell outside” that lurks around them everywhere. And so all raise a drink with him.
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 9.42.04 PMYet all is not well. Because as long as Troy’s alive, and his lie about Walker’s tribe killing the Trimbles is allowed to live on, too, then there’s never going to be full peace. Never.
Out burying those old bones, Walker talks with Alycia. She doesn’t want him and her mother talking too much, believing it’s creating discord and mixed messages. The man knows Madison enough now to realise she’ll do what needs doing.
And there’s some nasty business brewing. A kid named Terrance (Phillip Fallon) takes issue with the death of Gretchen, supposedly at the hands of the tribe. He tries shooting someone, though he gets wrestled away, only injuring a man. Then a tribesman puts Terrance in a headlock, crushing his throat. The kid’s as good as dead.
Things have become very tense. Not only that, there’s two lies floating around: the lie about Walker, as well as the lie being kept about how Jeremiah officially died. Could get wildly ugly should the truth soon slip free.
Guns are being handed over at this point. Jake tries keeping the peace, and safety – “one pussy ass rationalisation,” says his brother – so he agrees to let Walker have control over the arsenal. Only problem is getting the guns from everyone, particularly Troy. That doesn’t go over. He pulls a gun, and while Nick tries calming things down nothing’s easy. This puts them in a terrible position. Walker believes it’s a lost cause. Madison wants to try talking him out of anything fucking crazy.
What we have now is an utterly insane moment for Troy. He’s ready to start popping heads with a sniper rifle from the top of his house. His new buddy Nick, despite his previous feelings, actually doesn’t want to see anything bad happen to him. But lord, it’s looking scary.
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 10.00.47 PMBefore Madison can talk the guy down shots rain down on the house, with Nick still inside. Men lay siege to the place, as Troy returns fire. When one of the tribesmen goes to stab Nick, guess who’s there to take the blade right through his hand? You guessed it. This puts the two young men in even further cramped situations. At the same time, Nick is seeing the path he’s almost set himself on, falling into the militia thinking that’s taken the younger Otto into dark, dark territory.
Finally, Nick pulls Troy to the floor, fighting with him to surrender. What stops everything? He admits to killing Jeremiah. This rocks Troy, allowing time for the men to break in the door and put an end to the gunfight. Simultaneously, Madison and Walker discuss what justice will come to settle things. Troy will receive exile. They want to punish Nick for joining him, but he only did it to keep peace amongst the groups.
Then there’s the relationship between Troy and Jake. It isn’t great. Especially not since the older brother has to tell little brother he’s being sent out into the wasteland on his own. All he asks is for Madison to take him out there on his final ride, so he can be sure nobody kills him instead: “I trust her.” A surprisingly easy goodbye.
Troy still doesn’t go easy. On the truck ride, before he’s let loose, he does some hardcore shit then kills one of the Native men. Madison aims the gun, pleading that he just leaves. Then they have a little discussion about his dear ole pa. Before she can pull the trigger, he knocks the gun from her hand. She manages to get it back, headbutting herself out of his grip.
In the end, he walks into the horizon. Gone. For now.
Pic 4Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 10.08.36 PMGreat way to jump back into Season 3 after the mid-season finale! Love this series, almost at times more than The Walking Dead. Mainly because there’s a very desperate feeling of humanity slowly draining away in the earliest weeks and months of the zombie apocalypse.
“The Diviner” is next. Hope to see some more wildness, I’m sure we will.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 8: “Children of Wrath”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 8: “Children of Wrath”
Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Jami O’Brien

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Unveiling” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Minotaur” – click here
Pic 1We flashback to Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) on the road by herself, after fleeing Mexico and leaving the others behind. Right before she meets Jeremiah Otto (Dayton Callie), firing bullets at her from a distance. Before greeting her: “Welcome to America.”
She tells him where she’s headed, explaining about her fiancee. The old man says it’s best to probably go back to Mexico. The States are a wasteland now. There’s a clear air of racism about Jeremiah, he’s not a cheerleader for “brown people” and that’s something we already knew.
So he leaves her in the middle of nowhere. She continues on, dehydrating worse as the time passes, her skin beaten down by the wind, blowing sand, the desert heat. Later, she hallucinates seeing her father trying to keep her alive as she wants to lay down close her eyes. Who comes upon her? None other than Qaletqa Walker (Michael Greyeyes).
He takes her back to the Black Hat Reservation. He tends to her wounds, helps her wash the blood and dirty from her skin. Feeding her. Generally nursing Ofelia back to health. Not worried about the colour of her skin, as Jeremiah was before.
We cut back to where we left Ofelia previously last episode, running from the ranch after she set in motion a dangerous series of events, leaving many dead, poor Nick (Frank Dillane) half poisoned. Madison (Kim Dickens) chases her down – “What did you do?” she screams while beating her senseless. Violence everywhere. Luckily, the ranch survives, though their numbers have been chopped slightly, and many are left not well. Some still dying, turning into the undead.
Pic 1AMadison brings Ofelia at gunpoint to the Black Hat, confronting Walker. She wants answers, and resolution. She wants to know what was put into the coffee, what’s poisoned her son. “Anthrax,” he tells her. Incurable. At the same time, Walker respects Madison, not wanting her harmed. Says she’s “more of a man” than either of the Ottos. And she makes it very clear they’re not going anywhere. They’ll fight and die with the ranch.
Back south of the border, our man Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) is surviving, not yet food for the walkers. He’s crafty, a survivalist in his own right. Funny enough he stumbles onto his boat the Abigail near shore; little worse for the wear, but not entirely fucked up. On board are a group of zombies. He locates a harpoon, then takes them on one by one. He can handle himself, good as anybody. Nice aim, too.
Relationships at the ranch are deteriorating. Nobody’s clear on what to do next, both Troy (Daniel Sharman) and Jake (Sam Underwood) have their own ideas about what to do. Madison’s in the middle, as is Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey). All the while people are poisoned with anthrax, an attack by the tribe coming sooner than later.
Even Jake isn’t well, even as he pretends otherwise. He and Nick come together, that’s one good thing. he warns of getting too close to Jeremiah, that he’ll be let down. That all of this bullshit is due to him. Becomes clearer every episode that the Otto patriarch is a racist, with no problem stealing the land of a Native tribe.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.52.41 AMThe tribe finds parts of their land blazing in flames, Troy and the remainder of the militia, as well as Madison and Alicia on the horizon. Everything’s going sideways, fast. Back at the ranch, Nick is digging under his little house. He’s found something he wants to share with Jeremiah: a skull. To whom does it belong? The old fella tells a story about the Natives wanting their land back, killing cattle. He and the other Founding Fathers killed several of the men. The skull belongs to Walker’s father.
Jeremiah: “Get right with the past, or get off my land.”
Madison and Troy and the others get back with the tribe on their tails, a trailer in tow with tribal artefacts to help in bargaining. There’s also a big wedge now between Nick and Jeremiah, as the younger of the two calls the older out on his lies. The Clarks are trying to figure out what they need to do. Nick tells his mother there has to be “a line” where they draw their morality in the sand. More than that Alicia finally finds out the truth about what Troy did to the Trimbol family. The family’s real messed up now. Morality officially up in the air, scattered everywhere.
Strand’s drunk on champagne, lying by the radio on his boat. He hears a transmission from Russia, more about the rest of the world and its state. They share a few nice moments over famous “last words” from Chekhov to Karl Marx and more. A brief respite from the ugliness of the new apocalyptic world.
Do not wait until your death bed to enjoy your champagne, Victor.”
Pic 3Doesn’t look like a deal will go smoothly with Walker, even after Madison offers up the skull of his father. It’s either leave or die. No more options, no more bargaining chips. In with Jeremiah, Madison talks more about the situation, about how he’s leading them all wrong. She offers him a solution: kill yourself. He won’t, though. He wants her to kill him. He’s sticking to his racist guns. Then once Nick shows up the deed is done; he finishes it off before mom can take a shot.
Madison passes it off to Troy and Jake as a suicide. Making things look better for all involved, for everybody on the ranch. A new beginning for the place, a way to placate Walker and the tribe. But how long can Nick and Madison hang onto their humanity? If this is the cost of surviving in the new world, is it really worth it? These are the moral decisions with which people in the post-zombie apocalypse have to come to grip with, else they perish. Life or death at any given moment. For now, Walker has what he wants, and the folk at the ranch are safe.
For now.
Only question is, where do the people at the ranch go from here? Will Madison help lead them? Will Troy want to take charge as his brother Jake refuses to be the leader? We’ll see when the season returns after the break.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.21.35 AMI’ve always loved Fear the Walking Dead. No denying the quality has shot up in this latest season. Mid-season break will take us into the fall, likely somewhere around when The Walking Dead premieres for its 8th season. I do hope we’ll get a 4th out of this one, too. So many good characters, wild situations, various plots and twists. Can’t wait for the return.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 7: “The Unveiling”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 7: “The Unveiling”
Directed by Jeremy Webb
Written by Mark Richard

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Red Dirt” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Children of Wrath” – click here
Pic 1Out on his own, Jake (Sam Underwood) heads out in hopes to talk with Qaletqa Walker (Michael Greyeyes) about their problems. On the way he hears noises behind him: it’s Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey). She tells him about the Trimbol family being killed, that it was Walker and his people. Except we know the nasty truth. Of course it shocks Jake, though he wants to keep going, to try fixing things.
They arrive to the Native land, “ten miles” around either side of a gas station where the tribe’s headquarters is located. The place is intimidating, certainly. Particularly due to the fact Walker’s butchering a hog and is covered in blood. What a time for them to show up.
Walker: “Youre 200 years too late for peace, Jake. But youre just in time for lunch.”
Pic 1AMadison (Kim Dickens) worries when Alicia isn’t around in the morning, though Nick (Frank Dillane) says to leave it be, she’s a grown woman. Then there’s Jeremiah (Dayton Callie), he isn’t so worried. And he’s egging Nick on, further towards a violent edge, in the same way of Troy (Daniel Sharman).
On Native land, Jake and Alicia talk to Walker about stopping any further issues between them. But Qaletqa makes clear “the days of the white mans courts are over” now that the zombie apocalypse has commenced. It is the time for the “First Humans verdict” and time for the white people to get the fuck off their land. Oh, guess who’s kicking around with the tribe? Ofelia Salazar (Mercedes Mason). Whoa!
Alicia’s not that happy to see her, seeing as how she left them for near dead. Moreover, when the two talk Alicia discovers Walker and his people did not go out the night the Trimbols died. A deal may be worked out, a parley. This requires a swap of hostages, amongst other things. When Jake wants to send Alicia back to the ranch, she’d rather stay.
Sad when Alicia has to see the chopper that was shot down, being repaired by the tribe. The event which killed Travis. She confronts Walker with this fact. But he tells her “magnify that hate a thousand times” and you’ve got what he feels for the Ottos. Yet it’s still murder. She won’t accept his bullshit, either. Calling him a murdering hypocrite. At the same time Jake talks with his father about what to do, the deal they’re trying to work out with the Natives. Jeremiah isn’t keen on working with them.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.47.42 AMWalker shows Alicia the bones of his great grandfather. He had to take them from his grave, so as not to be desecrated by the Otto family and their plans for the ranch. This gets the two of them into talking about the afterlife. The Native leader he believes there’s a “grand plan” and that the apocalypse is merely the “Great Unveiling” to him. He believes it’s the “dawn of a New Age” where the impure are shed like snake skin. The First Humans will once again inherit the Earth.
Madison is pressing Troy to go into Native territory, to get Alicia out of there. That’s bad news, though. I’m worrying that her manipulation of Troy’s getting out of hand already. If she lets him loose there’s no telling what could be the result. Simultaneously, Jeremiah’s trying to smooth things over quietly with Ofelia; remember, they stumble onto one another at the end of Season 2. What exactly happened? Something not good in the least.
On tribal land Alicia is surprised when Troy and some men show up for her under cover of the night. Nick and Madison waiting with a truck for the escape. This sets into motion a violent series of events, as gunfire explodes in the dark and bullets fly every which way. Not exactly the clandestine mission for which they’d planned. Things are about to get downright ugly after the parley’s been broken. Furthermore, I worry about Troy’s bloodlust, how far Madison is willing to let it run wild. What the consequences are of that down the road.
Jeremiah: “Them that dont listen have to be brought to heel someday
There’s more division between the Ottos, too. Specifically the brothers, while dad is getting drunk and letting responsibility fly to the wind. Troy warns that Jake might not come back from the tribe’s land this time if he goes. I’m beginning to feel there’s an ultimate showdown that’s heading for these two, in one way, shape, or form. Ofelia also warns Alicia not to stay at the ranch. She knows that some of the Ottos are really bad people.
Jake indeed does get an ass kicking back at Walker’s place. After that he’s set to be killed, scalped. If not for Ofelia; she talks the man down. He says much violence, brutal and unforgiving is headed their way.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.06.59 AMBut Ofelia is cast out, as well. Beaten. She and Jake are dropped back home. Things are more unsure than ever before, for everybody. We also see the strength of Nick, saying he’s “suicide proof” and volunteering to stay behind to fight if things go haywire. Troy doesn’t dig that. It’s like he’s trying to create a whole new family, feeling protective over Madison and Nick, even if he sorta wanted to kill them at one point.
Alicia starts bringing her doubts about the Trimbols to Madison. I can only imagine how she’d feel if she knew Madison knows the truth of what Troy’s done. She might not be as forgiving as her brother.
One of the soldiers at the gate starts having troubles, his guts tearing him apart. Then another one. They’re throwing up, screaming in pain; dying. And they’re reanimating. The ranch is going wild, too. More people are convulsing, puking, until they’re dead and zombified. The place becomes overrun with the dead. Madison, Alicia, Nick, they band together, as do the militia men. But it may be a lost cause. The culprit of the whole mess? Ofelia, and she’s taking off into the shadows while hell breaks loose. Even worse is that Nick is sick, throwing up. Uh oh.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.17.05 AMA solid episode leading up to the mid-season finale. “Children of Wrath” is next and there’s a war about to go down.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 6: “Red Dirt”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 6: “Red Dirt”
Directed by Courtney Hunt
Written by Wes Brown

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Unveiling” – click here
Pic 1At the ranch, Nick (Frank Dillane) is doing a bit of shooting with his new buddy Jeremiah (Dayton Callie). In bed, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) worries about her mother Madison (Kim Dickens), not back from her search with Troy (Daniel Sharman) to find out who took down their chopper. Jake (Sam Underwood) assures her nothing will happen, his brother promised to take care of Madison.
Then the crew arrive, shoe-less, feet bleeding. Some of them worse than others. Some of them having witnessed things about Troy that are… troubling. Meanwhile, Troy and Jeremiah want to talk together, “in private” – doesn’t sit well with a few of the guys who were there, too. Neither do people at the ranch like this secrecy. Mike, brother to Gretchen (Rae Gray), the one most injured on the outing, won’t let it slide. He tells everyone what happened: “If we stay, we die.”
Things are shaken up, Jeremiah isn’t happy with his boy. Madison actually picks up for him, saying they were cautious. All the stuff about the land of the ranch being stolen from the indigenous people of that region comes out. Jeremiah chastises Madison for her “liberal judgement” when she speaks of Qaletqa Walker (Michael Greyeyes). The old man is full of piss and vinegar and misogyny. Starting to wear thin on Madison.
At least she gets to relax for now, not on the road anymore. Nick and Alicia take care of her, tending to her wounds. We also see the influence of the old fella on her son, he’s carrying a gun regularly now in a holster.
Pic 1AJake: “Most people here are libertarians, they dont take orders very well.”
Above all, I’m wondering how long until Jake completely breaks from his family. He isn’t like his brother, and it’s increasingly clear he isn’t totally like his father, either. He’s got the whole military stance, something bred into him by Jeremiah, he can handle guns and he’s partly, because of his upbringing, a survivalist. But that’s where the similarities end. His legacy is tied up in the ranch, his dad and the whole TEOTWAWKI philosophy. However, it’s evident with every scene he’s in that there’s a different destiny, a wholly other fate from that of his family towards which Jake is headed.
Gretchen talks with Madison, her family’s starting to feel the ranch isn’t safe anymore with everything that’s happening. Her dad knows of a “colony in Colorado” and thinks the Rockies are where they ought to be; them, along with others, anyone who’ll hear him out. Madison doesn’t like the sounds of that, she’s becoming a semi leader, though not openly. She wants to try keeping the good they’ve got.
Problem is, much as we want to believe it, one bad apple DOES spoil the whole bunch. And I think there’s more than just one bad apple at this place. That night, a fire starts; several fires on the horizon near the gates of the ranch. A message from Walker and his tribe. Yet ole Jeremiah’s dragging his feet. Still.
Pic 2Down in the storage room, Troy finds a couple of the Trimbol family looking to take a few things and leave the ranch. Things get tense, as Nick watches on. Although they defuse themselves, just barely. Outside, Gretchen’s dad Vernon (Hugo Armstrong) talks to Jeremiah about leaving. He wants to get out of there, Madison tries talking him out of it while Jeremiah couldn’t care less. More and more we’re privy to the real Jeremiah, as well. He’s getting a bit crazier.
At the same time he’s losing control of Troy, who’s refusing to let the Trimbols go. This puts the two Otto brothers at odds, they throw fists, and Jeremiah even punches Troy in the face. Holy shit, what a mess of a family. Finally, the Trimbols are allowed to leave, safe on their own terms. Everyone else left behind in ruins.
Jeremiah: “Some men have kids, turnsem into women.”
Madison is still watching Troy, keeping a close eye on him using trust to her advantage. The young man is damaged. Deeply. He has issues with people leaving, whether friends or family. Seeing Mike leave has him unsettled. Madison plays mother figure, trying to guide him to where she feels will be safest for everyone. Yet he’s unpredictable. Not sure how long this tenuous relationship will last.
We almost see a microcosm of the idea of open borders epitomised in this fictional apocalypse. Troy sees people leaving, those wanting to get in – even though the land IS native land, surely – and he feels cracking down, setting an “example” for everyone else, militarising further is the answer. I can’t be positive Madison’s able to control him past this point. He’s feeling power, a small army behind him. Could be a struggle seeing as how his father would rather the other brother in that position.
Pic 3Jeremiah’s back on the bottle, too. He fell off the wagon, hard. He’s real drunk, offering Nick some; the former addict refuses. This shows us how Otto is falling apart inside, the composed outer shell beginning to slip. Nick is sort of like a third son, from outside able to see inward where the other two have their heads wrapped up in other things. I wonder where their relationship goes, the endgame. Right now it’s friendly, a kind of comfort for the old guy.
When he wakes in the morning there’s a horse in the field, it belongs to Vernon. Uh oh. So he, Madison, and Nick head out in a truck. “Theyre dead, I know it,” says Jeremiah. Did Walker do it? Or just the ugliness of the post-zombie apocalypse life?
Simultaneously, Jake wants to go talk to the tribe, having known Walker for years because of the family’s legal battles with the tribe. This is where we’re able to see the attachment Alicia’s forming for the Otto brother, pleading for him not to leave.
Jeremiah, Madison, and Nick find the Trimbol vehicle; bullet holes in the windshield. They discover the whole family, zombified, several of them feeding on one of the horses. Old man believes it’s his son, as does Nick. Madison isn’t particularly sure. I would not put it past him. Not for a second.
They get back to the ranch, showing everyone the bodies of the Trimbol family. Madison takes a lead and implicates Walker, his tribe in taking down the chopper AND killing the Trimbols. This scares me. I worry for what this place is doing to Madison, urging trust in the ranch’s militia, siding with the Ottos in all their various ideals. And I know Nick isn’t so hot on it, regardless if he’s been playing with guns a bit more. I guess it’s mostly about staying safe, doing what it takes. She talks to Nick after, telling him it’s all just necessary. Problem is she isn’t trusting in her son enough. He wants her not to forget that Troy is a monster, despite how they might need him for the moment.
Later, the monster admits to his stand-in mother that he went out there and murdered the Trimbol family. She trusts he can control it, that she can from behind the scenes. Again: he can’t, nor can she. And there’s a strange psychosexual thing between them, coming solely from his side, that I worry about every step of the way; others say it isn’t implied, yet I’ve been scared of it since Troy first watched her sleep. He’s got mommy issues, and then some.
Nick: “How do you tell a lie that big and sleep at night?”
Pic 4Another fascinating chapter in Season 3. I mean, wow! I’ve loved this show since day one, but they keep on surprising me, making it deeper and more relevant and compelling all the time. Truly worthy of more praise than it gets. “The Unveiling” is next week, I’m wondering if something big is about to happen. I’d bet on that.