On the last episode of Fear the Walking Dead Nick proved to be a great negotiator, while Madison and Strand dealt with a walker bar crawl. While Alicia tries to find Ofelia, we check in on Travis.
Finally, we get to spend some time with Travis, but he’s not in a good place. He left Madison and the others to help his son, Chris, but like I’ve said before… Chris is beyond help. While Travis is hopeful of surviving if he and his son stay away from people, Chris is more realistic. They need friends. Unable to walk on his injured foot, Travis finds a car while Chris meets a new character in tonight’s episode and kills a good friend of mine.
One of the infected is Dawn Noel. This talented dancer, actress, director and producer grew up in my old neighborhood in South Philadelphia. She was a neighbor. I did an interview with Dawn for Biff Bam Pop here and here. Dawn not only gets killed by Chris tonight, but she gets to play a zombie again in the upcoming episode 12. Chris steals food from Brandon, but it’s not the last time he sees the leader of the Bro-migos.
I love flashbacks and I love weddings, but tonight’s flashback introduces us to the wedding reception from hell. The fact that this reception is taking place during an outbreak just goes to show how the zombie disease is able to spread so easily. Pandemics spread quickly because people don’t usually think “Worse Case Scenario” and while they wait for the government’s instructions, civilization is already circling the drain. Unfortunately, for the newlyweds, they never get to cut the cake. While the father of the bride takes a nibble out of his daughter, Elena, the hotel manager, is quick to contain the situation.
Alicia is definitely more ready for the apocalypse than Chris is, but although Alicia impresses us with some cool butterfly knife routines, her plan to escape the hotel room has her jumping into an opened elevator shaft. I’m really happy to see Alycia Debnam-Carey’s character grow on this series, but where the hell is Ofelia? Is she dead or did someone take her? I really feel bad for Mercedes Mason because the script for Ofelia makes no sense at all. Daniel was a smart man and a killer. He would have instilled some street smarts into his daughter, but I’m getting this feeling that the writers don’t know what to do with Ofelia and that’s a shame.
We finally meet the person who has been placing all those “Do Not Disturb” signs on the hotel doors. Karen Bethzabe plays her Elena as a savvy hotel manager who has been routing the infected through the building’s hallways before locking them inside the rooms. Elena probably grew up around the hotel and was most likely a child of one of the workers. The hotel is her home and she’s trying to keep the living and dead separated, but a few disgruntled wedding guests are holding her nephew as ransom. They want the master keys and they want revenge because Elena locked them in the room with dear ole zombie dad.
We get to meet Brandon on tonight’s episode. Brandon was saved by Chris and now he wants Chris to join him and his friends. Kelly Blatz plays his Brandon as an opportunist, a punk, who is now living in his element. There are no cops to worry about and no rules to follow, which is perfect for this alpha male. On vacation with his friends Derek and Baby James when the apocalypse hit, Brandon now wants to return to San Diego. When Travis tells the Bro-migos that San Diego no longer exists, Brandon talks Chris into riding with them to the next town. Travis is not happy.
We were fooled into thinking that Travis could save his son with driving lessons and talks of camping trips, but we soon realize that there is something broken in Chris. Travis is willing to stay in the mountains, but Chris wants to find other people. What they find instead is trouble.
Brandon is dangerous and Travis knows it. Don’t forget that Travis was a teacher and he recognizes a predator when he sees one. But Chris is too impressed with his new friends to care. Chris is not afraid of death and he’s not afraid of killing and even brags about his 17 kills to Brandon. I was surprised when Travis talked about staying on the farm with Chris. Does this mean that he has no intention of finding Madison? Unfortunately for Travis, the farm is not deserted and the owner is not happy with strangers messing with his chickens.
The events of this episode jumped back and forth from hotel to farm as we watched how Chris and Alicia handled an emotional and dangerous situation. Alicia’s only thought was to save her mother, and until tonight’s episode, she refrained from injuring the living. But to save Elena and Hector, Alicia was forced to release the bar crawl walkers on the angry wedding guests. Luckily, the reunion between Madison and Alicia is a happy one and Alicia has finally won her mother’s attention and respect.
Tonight’s episode ends with the stark realization that Travis has lost his son. Chris kills the farmer in cold blood. Brandon has won this power play, but to keep Chris with him, he might have to kill Travis. The apocalypse, like a good game of chess, depends on leveling the playing field for both the living and the walking dead. It’s really a game with multiple checkmates and no real winners. See you next week, my little zombie snacks.
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