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, 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.

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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.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 5: “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 5: “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame”
Directed by Daniel Stamm
Written by Suzanne Heathcote

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “100” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Red Dirt” – click here
Pic 1Russell (Worth Howe) wakes to find his wife Martha (Heather Wynters) having turned. He welcomes her into his arms. She can only gum at her neck, her teeth in a glass by the table. One of the more profoundly creepy things I’ve seen. These are the old people Nick (Frank Dillane) saw dancing before, in the previous episode. The old man puts a gun to his head, pulls the trigger, and kills him and his wife. Knocking over a lantern, setting fire to their house.
Everybody’s alerted to the fire. Jake (Sam Underwood) leads the charge to get water on its blaze, though all is lost in terms of the house. When Jeremiah (Dayton Callie) arrives he makes it clear: “Theyre gone. Save the water. Let it burn.” No sense in trying to save the people, already dead. Still, a harsh thing to watch.
Madison (Kim Dickens) gets a bit of flack from one of the men going out in a search party. Of course Nick and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) don’t want her to go, especially with Troy (Daniel Sharman). She’d rather keep the enemy close, understand the Otto family. She believes he won’t hurt her. I think she’s right, though I’m still wary of him. He’s a psychopath. All the same, Madison can handle herself. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it every time: she’s bad ass, tough as hell.
Pic 1AEveryone’s dealing with things in their own way. For her part, Luciana (Danay Garcia) thinks it’s romantic that they were “togethertill the end.” She wants to leave that ranch and get to Tijuana. She says there are prohibition tunnels she and Nick can use to get there. He stalls, which worries her. That he might not be able to leave his family.
In a car together on the road, Daniel (Rubén Blades) and Victor (Colman Domingo) have a bit of trouble. Strand doesn’t always say what he means, exactly. The old man just wants to track down his daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), so instead of waiting for the right time or a perfect plan they speed on through a horde of walkers. SPLAT!
Alicia and Jake are getting to know one another better. He’s taking the fire hard, the old couple were one of the “founding families” of the whole place together with Jeremiah and a couple others. So Jake and Alicia get talking, finding comforting in each other. More than just talking, too.
Out in the shit, Madison supports Troy, as they stop where a prison bus has crashed. Everyone takes a handheld weapon. She gets herself a nice medieval-style axe. The jerk from earlier helps her out when a couple walkers get the jump on her, but she fares well overall. The jerk actually gives her credit, not that she needs his approval. Goes a long way with those macho sorts, anyways.
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 2.51.22 AMThe title of this episode comes from Charles Bukowski. We see that Jake likes him, he’s a bit of a writer, too. Catch is when he gives Alicia a copy, she refuses it saying: “Whats the point?” This brings up an important part of the apocalypse. Some people still value things, such as art. Others feel as if these aren’t worth holding onto, when survival is pretty much the single thought on everyone’s mind.
On the other side, Jeremiah sees guns as art. Clashing with the worldview of Nick, who’s more a modern day hippie, if we’re meant to categorise him. A conscientious objector in the zombie era. Although he’s not opposed to killing for survival, like everyone else. Just not with a weapon like a gun, a cheap and easy way to death.
Jeremiah: “Its a beautiful gun
Nick: “Isnt that a contradiction?”
The search party gets to where the chopper crashed. Only it’s no longer there; someone, somehow, hauled the wreck away. They’ve got to figure out where these people are, and who, why they attacked their people. Why they killed some.
They come across a house on higher ground. Blood everywhere. No sign of anybody. Except for a pile of smoking, recently burned bodies. An old man sits on a chair, a hole in the back of his head. A raven picking at it. He’s mumbling the poem “Antigonish” by William Hughes Mearns. Everyone is shocked, one guy pukes. Madison puts him out of his misery smoothly, with mercy. Then they find a Native man named Qaletqa Walker (Michael Greyeyes), he’s known to Troy. A tense situation. Walker makes them drop their guns, even commands they take off their boots. Seems that the ranch is on Native land. Oh, shit. But Madison has her say, she reminds this man they shot down the chopper, that they killed her husband; a native of his own land, of the Maori in New Zealand. Gotta mean something.
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 3.05.14 AMStrand and Daniel arrive at the hotel after nightfall. The place is an absolute mess of dead walkers, blood, guts, broken glass, broken everything. Then the old man makes Strand tell the truth, nearly feeding him to the walkers. Although he manages to get away. Not quick enough, as he watches Daniel take off in the car without him. Again left in a horrible predicament.
Trouble brews a bit when Troy’s getting stressed, Madison tries to play the mediator. He doesn’t like that she steps out of line. “You wanna be a mamas boy?” she asks him. She uses the memory of his mother to quell his anger. Learning how to control him, a weak man with mommy issues. This is good. Gives her a leg up on things.
However, in the night he puts a blade to her throat. He doesn’t know whether he wants to fuck Madison or kill her. A dangerous, ugly thing. Which another man in the party witnesses, though he chooses to roll over and sleep rather than say or do anything.
In the morning Nick wakes up to see that Luciana’s left without him. The search party go for the rest of their walk without anything on their feet, as Walker and his people are ready to take back their land. There are many things about to happen come next episode. “Red Dirt” is the following chapter. Expect bloodshed and war, possibly. Or, who knows?
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 3.17.09 AM

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 4: “100”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 4: “100”
Directed by Alex Garcia Lopez
Written by Alan Page

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, TEOTWAWKI”” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame” – click here
Pic 1We see the journey of Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades), after escaping from the massive fire where he and the group were staying awhile back. So glad to see him back. Although not without struggle and pain. He didn’t simply escape the fire, he barely made it out. His hands and neck and legs burned. Walking through the streets, he winds up stalked by one of the dead. He barely makes it away from it when a dog draws the thing away.
One thing I fail to mention each episode is how much I love the low-key, subdued opening. I also dig the original series’ opening sequence, the music. But something about this series is more unsettling, very creepy, an ominous sound leading us into every episode.
Pic 1ADaniel comes across a man named Efrain (Jesse Borrego), he seems like a bit of a religious man. He kills the dead like an old school vampire hunter, only putting his version of the stake – a long nail – through the zombies’ heads. Either way, it’s another human to help Daniel, at least for now. He aids the old man in getting someplace safe; our friend isn’t well, and definitely parched. They get a bit of water from a nearby fountain, it looks like it only comes on at certain times a day. Each Tuesday, 5 PM. Ah, the water wars we saw last episode, a situation into which Strand (Colman Domingo) has put himself. Looks like Daniel may wind up there, too.
Daniel: “What are you?”
Efrain: “Me? Im the fifth Beatle. You?”
Efrain is a wild dude. He bottles water when he can, then heads out on a bicycle cart with a speaker shouting AGUA in the streets to alert the thirsty people. At the same time men patrol the streets in vehicles with guns, not wanting a black market on water to crop up.
Our water dealer takes Daniel to a woman named Lola Guerrero (Lisandra Tena). She assess his leg, that it’s starting to rot. Either scrape away the pants burned into the wound, or it’s possible he’ll lose it. Poor old lad, he’s got to take the pain in order not to draw out the dead too much. He and Lola sing a song together in Spanish, as she goes about scraping out the wound. Lucky for him it works, and he’s only relegated to a crutch for awhile until it heals.
Pic 2Something is rotting in you far worse than your leg
When Efrain and Daniel bond, the former learns more about the latter. Mainly the fact Daniel has killed “ninetysix” people, that he feels he isn’t a good man and has to pay a debt, to redeem himself for his sins. He tells Efrain about leaving El Salvador, coming to Los Angeles to become a barber. He also cuts his new friend’s hair; an intimate and powerful gesture in its own right.
Now the old guy’s biggest worry is for his daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), wondering where she is, how she is, if she’s safe, or what is the case. Even after nearly burning alive he’s still hard on himself. Because he believes he possibly burned his own daughter to death in that fire. He seeks forgiveness, but Efrain isn’t the one to give it to him.
I only hope Daniel doesn’t push himself too far. He’s determined to find redemption. So he prays. And out from the sky comes a lightning bolt, crashing into the head of a walker that nearly chomps down on him. A sign, if there ever were one. Still, Daniel ends up washing away in flood waters with the zombie. He winds up at the Gonzalez Dam, and by a stroke of luck he’s located by Lola. Dante Esquivel (Jason Manuel Olazabal) runs the operation, “distributing water” in his own fashion. A man named J.C. (Ricardo Chacon) confronts Lola when she brings the old guy around, though they cover, saying he was desperate for work. They put him out around the drainage area, hauling bodies. Where he’s able to get a good look at the dam’s entrance, where Strand soon winds up.
Daniel starts to see what daily life is like there, a far cry from where he once was and yet troubling. Everyone stands for Dante as he walks into the lunch hall, except for our man. It’s like a cult, ruled by authoritarian hand. This guy J.C. has got it in for Daniel, too. A fight breaks out when he tries acting like an asshole a bit too much. This gets the boss’ attention. Turns out, Dante knows a bit about Daniel, at least what he can gather from knowing the old man lived in El Salvador, the capital in fact.
He’s got a lip tattoo which reads SN, prompting the boss to speak the words “Sombra Negra“; in reference to the Black Shadow, a death squad in Salvador that targeted criminals and gang-bangers for execution in a form of government-backed vigilante justice. Now we see more of why Officer Salazar feels how he does about himself, why he’s in a sort of moral prison in his mind. He’s done some seriously bad fucking shit.
Pic 3With this revelation, Daniel’s ingratiated himself into the inner circle of the dam. Dante wants him on their team. Although our guy is mostly just concerned with finding a way to search for his daughter. So he’s out on patrols with the boss’ boys, they’re looking for sneaky people stealing water where they shouldn’t be. Daniel watches the clock, worried Efrain will show himself at 5 PM. Afterwards he leads them right to his new friend. What a cold move. He tries telling Lola that it was to protect her, that they’d find out sooner than later. Same kind of bullshit he used to convince himself while working on a Salvadoran death squad years earlier.
Lola: “This place is perfect for you. You are a thug. Go get your prize, thug.”
Finally, Daniel watches Strand stroll past the gates. Taken to see the boss. And later when Victor is placed in a cell, Daniel goes to see him with water. A meeting after so long apart. He hears that Ofelia made it out, she’s alive. This gives him hope, for the first time in forever. However, the old guy won’t believe him, believing this is all lies. Oh, christ. He’s going off the deep end. This is not good, at all.
Not to mention Daniel’s called int to torture information out of Efrain. This is ugly. Maybe some of the ugliest stuff we’ve seen so far on Fear the Walking Dead. As if he didn’t have any farther down to fall, after the death squad reveal. He’s being pulled back into that old, hideous life he fled in Salvador. If he even does make it back to Ofelia, he’ll never be the same person. And redemption can’t ever really come.
For Efrain’s sake, Lola throws herself on him. Before Daniel can kill him. Just a tragic situation altogether. You know where they’re being taken, too. Out to the damn, to face a fall. Strand, Lola, Efrain, and more are faced with execution for their crimes against Dante. Instead of tossing them all over, Daniel turns on Dante, pulling a gun and putting a bullet in his head. Saving the remainder of the people from a nasty fate. This is a start to redeeming what he’s done. He offers Lola a gun, a chance to do him in; he begs forgiveness. And it’s that she gives him.
Pic 4WOW, this is a stunner of an episode! One of my absolute favourites. Because Daniel Salazar was always interesting to me, this only upped the stakes. His backstory, his history is vile, and with the fall of society, the fall of civilised men comes another moment where he must face the ugliness of his past.
“Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame” is next week. Haven’t been this excited for a new episode in awhile.

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

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
Pic 1We 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.”
Pic 1ANick’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: “Its all just different circles of Hell. Why not this one?”
Pic 3Jake 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?
Pic 3Headed 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
Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 2.15.15 AMThings 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 Id be your guardian angel.” I KNEW HE’D BE BACK EVENTUALLY! FUCK YEAH. Love his character.
Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 2.21.15 AMI 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.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 2: “The New Frontier”

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
Pic 1Fleeing 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.
Pic 1ABack 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 dont trust these people.”
Madison: “Dont 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.
Pic 2So 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.
Pic 3The helicopter crew ready themselves to walk for the ranch. “Its a terrible world, isnt 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: “Its our fate. We suffered to get here.”
Pic 5Intense 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!

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 1: “Eye of the Beholder”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 1: “Eye of the Beholder”
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by Dave Erickson

* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “North” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The New Frontier” – click here
Pic 1Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), her daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey),Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis), they’re in the clutches of military men. Leading them pasts fields of corpses, of all kinds. Into a gated military base. My guess is these are less the honourable-types, more the sort we saw in the depths of depravity during 28 Days Later. Or maybe I’m wrong. Only time will tell. The place is massive, relatively untouched by any of the world’s latest troubles. Except that sinister things are most certainly going on.
The men split the remaining Clark-Manawa family up. Madison and Alicia are off together, as Travis gets processed alone. We see people with their heads shaved, numbers written on their bald skulls, others like Travis with a number put on their hand. He’s throw in with a group of others, stowed in the darkness.
Who does he see across from him?
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) and his new friend, Luciana Galvez (Danay Garcia). Whoa! They share a silent, affirming look. But what the fuck is NEXT? A spooky, subdued opener for Season 3. Let’s get it on.
Pic 1ATravis scoots over next to them. He tells Nick that his mom and sister are there, too. And, without words, that Chris is gone. They do a little catching up, though nothing overly cheery, seeing as how they’re in one hell of a nasty spot. At least together they’re able to start thinking, to start figuring out a way forward.
Meanwhile, Alicia and Madison are in an office, waiting it out. They look around to get a feel of the place. Unlike Travis, they’re treated much better. They get a bit of tea, pleasantries, yadda yadda. The women are smarter than that, they approach the man who brings it with caution. He’s named Troy Otto (Daniel Sharman), he wants to know why they came across the border, what they’re doing, so on. Supposedly they’ll be let go, given supplies. All a formality. Yet I don’t believe any of it, not for a second.
In one of the large shower areas, Troy and his men monitor the death and “resurrection” of a walker. They’re doing their sick tests, getting a thrill off it. Then Troy goes over to see Travis. Of course, he assumes him as Mexican, but Travis explains his Maori heritage. There’s a weird, jealous energy coming off the military man. He is DANGEROUS, I knew this immediately. By the minute it becomes more clear.
Alicia thinks they’re gonna get killed, Madison isn’t so sure. They don’t stop looking for an angle, though. Doesn’t hurt the daughter’s got a nice butterfly knife on her, that’ll help them. Mom also makes clear she wants to protect her daughter, at any cost. No matter how much she has to kill, she’ll keep that pledge. I feel as if we’re on the precipice of a primal, much more lethal Madison. Hope I’m right.
Pic 2A guy named Steven (Ross McCall) says that if Travis can get them out of the room, he’ll help free them from the compound. At the same time, Travis and all the others are forced to watch a man be chosen, then killed in front of them. Another experiment, to reanimate and study. This is a dark, dark place they’ve wound up. Travis bides his time, hard as it is, waiting until the right moment to try escaping.
Up in the office, Madison wakes to Troy watching he and Alicia sleep, scribbling in his notebook. Fucking creep. She worries for Travis, and clearly there’s some racist shit going down o the base. Downstairs, the soldiers – led by one especially excited man (Noel Fisher) – keep doing eerie things with the zombies. Travis pushes them, calling them out for their cruelty. Baiting them. He questions their integrity, their humanity, as the men take offence. Then they want to kill another person – Nick. Instead, Travis offers himself up.
Then, they fight! Travis, Nick, Steven, they each take their chance and throw a few fists. One of the soldiers is taken by a zombie.
Travis: “Murder for science, huh?”
While things take a turn, Madison starts seeing more of the creepy Troy and his intent. Why’s he so fixated on Madison? Either way, Nick, Luciana, and Steven flee. But the latter is killed, and tossed into a sewer where the other two run, left to hunt them down when he turns. Travis gives himself up to save the others and give them time. He’s then faced with Troy, boasting about taking his family. I see things getting quite disturbing on this end. Simultaneously, Nick and Luciana struggle through the sewer; her wound isn’t doing well. They keep going, no matter what.
Pic 3Madison attacks Troy when he returns. He almost gets one up on her, before she puts a spoon into the bottom of his eye socket. She sends Alicia to find Travis, or else he loses an eye. Likely more.
When Nick thinks he’s found a way out of the sewer, he and Luciana only come across a massive horde of walkers. And now they’re able to get inside, too.
Out in the back of the base, Travis is led to a pit of walkers. He’s thrown in by the military men. Like a gladiator pit. So the Maori man gets his reluctant chance to be a fucking warrior. He uses concrete slabs, pieces of rebar, smashing others’ heads into the stone walls of the pit itself. Anything he can to survive.
Troy tells Madison her husband is a “dead man.” Then comes Troy’s brother, Jake (Sam Underwood). Pleading for his brother and his eye. She’s surrounded, though Jake says he’ll find her family. He believes his brother likely deserved his injury. So far, he seems trustworthy. He doesn’t immediately strike as psychopathic.
Finally, Alicia and Nick are reunited when she finds him struggling with a zombie in the sewer. She drops the butterfly knife inside so Luciana can kill it and save him. Only Alicia ends up in the grip of another soldier. At least Travis has survived the pit, reunited with his wife. Luckily, Jake reunites the family; all of them. Together after so much time. Better yet, they’re allowed to leave the base.
Pic 4The Otto family have a ranch where it’s much safer, apparently. Their father’s prepared well for the end (he’s Jeremiah Otto; played at the end of Season 2 by Dayton Callie). Mostly, the Clark-Manawa clan want to get the fuck out of there, away from those madmen. Just nice for Season 3 to start out on an equally brutal and emotionally rewarding note – Travis sort of got out a few demons fighting all those walkers, in such terrifying fashion, and now their family’s been pieced back together. Although they face another ugly trip ahead of them outside the base.
Troy and Jake are definitely not the same; the latter is smarter and more humane, the former past budding into heinousness and already a full-blown maniac. There’s nastier stuff to come from this family, you can bet your ass.
Downstairs, the tough soldier leading those experiments hears noises in a wall. He looks for a source, taking a vent from the wall. Only for a ton of rats to fall out, followed by a zombie who has a fierce lunch on his face, his throat, then pulls him bloodily through the wall to feast even further. CHRIST! ONE OF THE BEST EFFECTS ON THIS SERIES YET. Not just that, the base itself is clearly not safe. Not anymore. Anywhere there’s humans, there comes infection. Sooner or later.
Now the place is overrun. The undead are everywhere.
Travis, Madison, Nick, and Alicia get ready to bolt, as walkers turn up around every corner after moving up from the sewers. Mom and her son nearly get trapped, as Jake and Travis start gunning down the undead. Worse, Nick and Madison have to get in a truck with Troy, separated from Travis, Luciana, and Alicia in the helicopter with Jake. Divided between two brothers. Apart again.
Pic 5What a whopper to open Season 3! I don’t care, I love this series. Have from its beginning. Excited for “The New Frontier” next.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 15: “North”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 15: “North”
Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Dave Erickson

* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “Wrath” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “Eye of the Beholder” – click here
screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-1-55-51-am The finale is upon us! Who will survive, and WHAT WILL BE LEFT OF THEM?
After the head crushing finish of the penultimate finisher, “North” starts out on Travis (Cliff Curtis) having unleashed fury on the two young men who put Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) down after being injured in their car wreck. In the process, he hurt Oscar (Andres Londono) real bad. This isn’t going to sit well with anyone in the hotel. Elena (Karen Bethzabe) has him taken away, locked up somewhere. Everything is getting pretty rough at this point. Madison (Kim Dickens) tries her best to keep a cool head, at the request of Strand (Colman Domingo). She then takes Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) knife to go put walkers Brandon and Derek out of their misery. Feels like Madison is starting to rage in her own way, too. Ain’t just Travis anymore. Strand, he looks worried.
screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-1-58-37-am At the colonia, Luciana (Danay Garcia) patches up Alejandro (Paul Calderon), whose bite is fierce. He’s getting sick, and fast. She wants to try making him look “presentable,” but he sees the end coming now. It doesn’t look pretty. She stays with him to help, although Luciana’s not impressed. “This is ending,” Alejandro says. But she thinks there’s still a future there for the rest of them.
Strand wants Madison to calm down. Technically, Travis has gone against the rules they’ve set out. “Weve lost our place,” Alicia says about their situation in the hotel. Going against them, Strand believes Travis can’t stay there. And Alicia wants to leave, take him, set out on their own once more. She’s sick of losing people and wants to not become hardened people, willing to give up the lives of others for a safe space to lay their head. At this point, Strand is set apart from them. Not sure if they’ll come back together, or if Strand will stay at the hotel for good. The agreement is to let Travis out of his lockup until dawn when the group heads for the hills.
Nick’s packed and ready to leave the colonia, with or without Luciana. She stubbornly won’t go anywhere. Marcos (Alejandro Edda) is coming, at some point or another. “Do what you do, Nickrun,” Luciana taunts.
With Oscar unconscious things are awful for the people at the hotel. Alicia tries to help. Nobody really wants it, though. They’ve got their hands full trying to do homemade surgery on Oscar.screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-2-17-52-am In front of everybody, Alejandro limps sickly to his people and confronts them with the truth about Marcos. He does his best to inspire them. Simultaneously, Nick heads for the wall of zombies. He smears himself well with blood, then ventures into the vast unknown past their wall. While Alejandro spins a fairy tale of bullshit to the colonia, Nick spies a helicopter touching down in the distance.
Oscar’s surgery goes on as Madison and Travis spend their last night in the hotel upstairs. “Whoever you think I am, whatever part of me you think is the same, its not,” Travis tells her. She agrees those two guys deserved to die after what happened, after all that happened with them on the road. Madison believes herself worse than him. They’ve bonded closely over this brutality, and that’s how it goes in the new world post-zombie apocalypse. A beautiful little moment between these two; and boy, did they need it! Downstairs, Oscar lies dead on the table. So now, will there be war? Oh, it seems that way. The men go for Travis in the middle of the night. Andrés (Raul Casso) puts a gun to Travis for killing his brother. When Alicia stabs him, all bets are off. Strand winds up getting his hands on the gun flicking across the floor, and states the obvious: “We need to get out now.” If only for the fact Strand won’t leave with them. No, please! I love Strand, I hate to see the group separate. He’s awesome and I don’t want him to die. So as long as he sticks around on the show, that’s fine. Just don’t kill him AMC, you bastards.
The road ahead for Madison, Alicia, and Travis doesn’t look great. But better than getting torn apart by everyone back at the hotel.screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-2-31-31-am Alejandro gets a surprise visit from Nick. He’s come back after seeing the helicopter, finding Alejandro incredibly sick. They have a frank chat about dying. About whether to leave. Nick believes actually caring about the people in the colonia would mean doing the right thing; getting them out. To be a good man, Alejandro must “let them go.” That helicopter, it landed across the border in a camp. Nick sees hope out there.
In the big supermarket, now empty, Alicia, Madison, and Travis search for information about the colonia. They also see hope – that maybe they can find Nick again. Well, they stumble across that death room where Marco had a bunch of dead bodies. Not a nice place. Although they may be able to figure out how to get to colonia if there’s anything left on the corpses. And there just may be some clues.
In the daytime, Marco and his crew roll out to the colonia. There, they first come across the wall of undead. Heading into the bus they find it’s “too easy.” After they’re all the way inside Marco discovers a veritable ghost town. Nobody visible, anywhere. Not from far away, anyways. Alejandro’s still lurking, looking to die a “beautiful death” as Nick predicted. He’s well enough to get to the bus, put it in drive, and let the walkers crawl on in. Colonia no longer secure.
Along a city road Nick and Luciana lead the good colonia citizens elsewhere, out towards the border in a bid to maybe find that camp, maybe a helicopter. Anything’s better than being slaughtered by drug dealers.


On their own way, Madison and Travis head into the colonia. Fuck, shit, FUCK! Always one step behind Nick. Outside, Alicia waits by herself, but then decides to go in towards the bus. The tension is killing me. Of course the inner sanctum is covered in walkers, dropped guns. Even Marco is a zombie. Every last person is dead. Alicia finds Alejandro at the bus and makes him comfortable. He tells them about Nick and the plan to head towards the border. At least they know which direction he’s going. Someday they may cross paths again.
The border is littered with cars, a scattered zombie here or there. Nick and Luciana take the group through the gates. He looks out towards the horizon spotting a helicopter through binoculars, a refugee camp not too far off. Then from nowhere a man with a gun. Luciana takes a bullet. Reynaldo, as well. Armed militia-style men take the group over. Nick and Luciana are cornered.
With Madison, Alicia, and Travis seeing Alejandro out of life once and for all, Nick is beaten down by the armed men. Nobody’s future is certain, as we always know a little too well. How will the next season begin? Where will they all be?
screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-2-45-54-am A tragic and exciting end to this season. I dig it! Very ominous. Lots could happen.
Let’s await Season 3 with a new season of The Walking Dead in a few weeks.

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 13: “Date of Death”

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 13: “Date of Death”
Directed by Christoph Schrewe
Written by Brian Buckner

* For a review of the previous episode, “Pillar of Salt” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Wrath” – click here
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Swarms of bodies are at the gates of the hotel. But not walkers: people. They’re refugees trying to find safe haven. Madison (Kim Dickens), Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Elena (Karen Bethzabe), they all stand there not knowing how to turn people away, yet having to do just that.
Then in the crowd Madison sees a face – it’s Travis (Cliff Curtis). He’s finally come back to her.
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We switch back to some time before with Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) standing over the dead man he shot. This is the moment which ultimately devastates his father. For the time being, Travis sticks around to try helping James (Israel Broussard) got shot in the process, doing a bit of stitching to the best of his ability. The humanity of Travis is still there; he digs a grave for the man who owned the farm, even makes a cross to go on top: “I dont even know your name,” he laments over the closed up grave afterwards. Later that night everyone sits by the fire and eats chicken, enjoying the farm’s commodities, except Travis. He has no time for the way his son’s acting after having murdered a man in cold blood. I genuinely don’t like Chris. He is a “savage” just like his father says.
Cut to Travis at the gates of the hotel. Alicia asks him outright where Chris is, and the look on his face certainly does nothing to assuage any fears she might have in her heart. But again, I can’t stand Chris. He deserves whatever he gets.
Madison and Travis talk about Nick (Frank Dillane) a little. Inevitably, Chris comes up. Travis tells her “I had no choice.” And so we’re back to the farm again. The chicken is gone, then the crew are ready to move out after a week; heading to San Diego. Feeling it isn’t the right choice, Travis does his own thing around the farm a while. He searches the house to try and find the owner’s name. After finding a wallet, he’s able to carve out the name in his cross: Elias Suarez. Soon they all board the truck and leave. Not long and they have to stop because James isn’t healed enough to travel. And you know what that means – Travis is at odds with the group again, as they’re ready to leave James behind to die.

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Guns are drawn and shit gets serious. Travis waits it out with James to try protecting him from the group. Chris ends up coming in and tricking his father, they hold him down and then James is murdered in mid sentence. “Your way doesn’t work,” Chris tells his father before leaving with the other two men: “Im better off without you.” He believes that who he’s becoming is right. He has actually become a sociopath. Much as I hate him, seeing Travis have to watch him drive off is heartbreaking.
At the hotel, Travis at least feels lucky to be at the hotel with Madison. He still feels guilt for what’s happened to his son. “I left him,” he tells Madison. She tries to reassure him things will be okay, but sadly too much has happened and right now Travis is profoundly wounded. His morality is all mixed up for having lost his boy.
Meanwhile, there’s all the refugees. They were let in because the people at the hotel haven’t become hardened, they still want to help others as much as they can. Alicia is checking people out in a makeshift medical tent, although her mother comes to get her – Madison reveals the truth about her father’s death not being an accident, and in fact a suicide. His note simply stated: I LOVE YOU ALL BUT ENOUGH’S ENOUGH. This, of course, rocks Alicia. The honest openness of Madison is enough to keep mother and daughter from any hurt feelings, even if it’s tough to digest. Alicia is strong, though, and together these women can get through anything. At the same time I can see there’ll likely be fallout from this decision of Madison’s because Alicia still feels upset deep down. And who wouldn’t be?

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They’ve got worse things to worry about right now. Because at the gates, up turn the group Travis left behind. You know he can’t be in the same place as them. Will Chris pull Travis back in and will they be let past the gates? Or will someone let them through unknowingly? Is Chris even with them??
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Can’t wait for next episode – “Wrath” – and I’m hoping for a big, angry confrontation! This was a nice episode. I’ve seen reviews already saying it was boring, nothing happened, same old stuff. This is the episode I’ve waited for, to see a rift open up between father and son. Again, that’s also paralleled in the troubles Madison has with her own kids, albeit less intense than Travis and Chris.
Either way, pumped for the next chapter in Season 2.