Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fear The Walking Dead, Season One, Episode Four: Not Fade Away

This episode opens with Lou Reed's, Perfect Day, playing and Nick floating in the pool and Travis out for a jog, waving at neighbours as he runs past. Daniel looks out the window as Liza treats Griselda's clearly infected foot. I think the song choice on this one is absolutely awesome.  I'm shocked to see Nick in the pool because other than Daniel and Ofelia, he is the only one to really get a bit of a grip on what is going on.

Chris is up on the roof making a video report of what is going on.  From him we learn that the military has been gathering people up people in the DZ (read: demilitarized zone) and loading them up like cattle. Each person is allowed to take one suitcase each. No one knows where the people are being taken and instead, the only information available is in the form of rumors.  Didn't I say that military occupation wouldn't be a breeze? Chris goes on to add that they are all safe inside the fence but outside, everyone is gone. He notes that it's been nine days since the end began and that mother nature has taken back what is hers.  Chris notices a flashing light at a distance. It looks as though someone is trying to indicate where they are.

Madison watches the the clock waiting for the moment when the power will turn on.  It seems that electricity is restricted to certain times during the day.  When Alicia joins her in the kitchen, Madison announces that they have to paint the living room again because she can still see the blood stains. Alicia thinks that this is a waste of time, snarking, "No one is coming to the open house." I think I agree with Alicia on this one.  With all that has happened, who cares what the walls look like. Travis is back from his run, and talks about the fact that he could see the ocean on his run.  Travis notes the restrictions on the power and assures Alicia and Madison that the military probably doesn't want to strain what is left of the grid and will get things back to normal soon.  There we go again with the whole glass half full thing.

Travis informs Madison that he has to get going because Moyers is making an announcement and specifically asked Travis to attend.  Cue the bickering. Madison is pissed off that her house is a "refugee camp", that Alicia's room is an IC unit for strangers, that someone has to cook and clean and keep an eye on Nick.  It seems that Madison feels that Travis is not doing his fair share around the house.  It's Alicia who breaks up the argument pointing out that it's ridiculous for them to argue about domestic responsibilities while the world is falling apart.  Alicia is adamant that nothing they are going through is normal.  Alicia demands that Madison and Travis stop acting like everything is normal.

Chris is still up on the roof and now he is trying to signal back at the light he recorded earlier.  Travis heads outside and demands the Chris get off the roof and help Madison.  Chris asks him to look at the video that he shot.  Travis shows very little patience with his son but Chris manages to get him to look at the recording.  Travis is absolutely dismissive of the flashing light, asserting that there's no one outside of the perimeter. Travis believes it's just the reflection of the sun; he's dismissive and walks away from a disappointed Chris.

Madison heads out to the pool to confront Nick about the fact that he left his drugs on the counter. Nick says that he simply forgot to take his pill.  I don't believe that shit for a minute, he damn well has a source for drugs. Nick tells Madison to give it to Griselda because Griselda needs it more. Why the hell isn't Madison more suspicious?  Madison is shocked and points out the plan to wean and so puts the pill on the side of the pool in case Nick needs it.

A group of people are gathered in front of commanding officer Moyers for his announcement. Moyers announces that they are infection free for 6 miles around the base.  The DZ is off limits while they dispose of bio-hazard materials, anyone who tries to get around the border will be detained, sanitation will return as they get to total containment.  When the people ask about the people outside of the fence, they are informed they are but one of 12 camps and are lucky to be able to stay in their homes.

Alicia and Ofelia submit to a check over.  Travis is called to the side by Moyers to deal with Doug Thompson because he won't do the screening.  Moyers wants Travis to talk to him so that he isn't forced to take Doug down.  Given those options, Travis agrees to go and talk to Thompson.  When Travis enters the Thompson house, he sees Maria Thompson and the Thompson children in hazmat suits.  Maria says that Doug has locked himself away since dinner last night.  Apparently, Doug has always liked Travis, so Maria suggested that rather than having the military talk to Doug that it should be Travis.

Travis walks through a bedroom and finally finds Doug hiding out in the bathroom.  Doug is in full panic mode saying he doesn't think he can do it.  Doug is freaking out because his kids keep asking him if everything is going to be okay and he doesn't know how to respond.  Travis tells Doug that it's his job to tell the kids that everything will be okay and points out that his family needs him.  Hmm does this mean that Travis is not really the eternal optimist and actually has some doubts? Travis advises Doug to show the military and his family that he is okay.

Alicia is making her way through Susan's yard and in the process sees Madison painting the living room.  Alicia enters Patrick and Susan's home.  The pill bottle still lies ominously on the table.  Alicia makes her way into Susan's bedroom and looks at a framed drawing she made Susan when she was younger.  Clearly, the Clarke family meant a lot to Susan.  Alicia cries as she reads Susan's suicide note.

Liza is checking in on one of her patients. Liza has a clearly sick  Hector hooked up to a feeding tube. When Liza moves to leave, a grateful Cynthia offers her some soup for the road, clearly desperate to show her appreciation for all that Liza has done for her husband. Nick gets out of the pool and spies through the fence, as Liza leaves with the soup and Cynthia steps outside.

Chris takes the video to Madison and explains that though Travis dismissed it, there's a pattern to the flashing light.  Madison believes if someone is out there and needs help they would go to the soldiers. Chris points out that it may not be possible for them to do so and so Madison agrees to look at the footage.

When next we see Nick, he is under Hectors bed having removed Hector's medical drip and placing it in a vein between his toes. A junkie will be a junkie I suppose. I knew he was feeding his mother a complete line of bull.

Ofelia is making out with a soldier in a military vehicle beside the perimeter fence.  When things get a little intense, Ofelia asks that they slow down.  The soldier tells Ofelia that she is the only thing that makes him believe that they are still good people.  Ofelia asks about medicine for her mother and learns that the drugs are all locked up and that he has no access to it.  A message comes over the radio interrupting their conversation.

That night, Madison and Travis have sex in the garage.  Madison hops out of the car and says that she has things to do.  Travis asks her to come back but Madison continues to get dressed.  Travis asks what's going on and Madison brings up quarantine camps. Travis clarifies to say that he wants to know what is going on with her.  Madison asserts that Nicks needs to be watched and that Travis needs to pay positive attention to Chris.  Madison brings up Chris's video and Travis says that it's all a part of Chris's imagination.  Madison however believes that the video did show something. Travis and Madison argue about what the soldiers have done in nine days and Madison questions why the military cannot seem to get the phones working.  Travis thinks that Madison and Chris are being paranoid.

Madison and Travis are interrupted by a knock from Maria on the garage door.  Maria wants to know what Travis said to Doug because now Doug is missing.  It seems that Doug took his precious car though driving within the limits of the confined area is not allowed. Travis suggests that Doug is just clearing his head and Maria starts to panic.  Travis promises to find Doug but walks Maria and the kids home first.

It's morning now and Madison sits on the roof turning a flashlight off and on, signaling in the area where Chris saw the light the day before.  Travis walks along the perimeter. Travis goes to see Moyers about Doug.  It seems that military found Doug last night crying in his car.  Moyers has decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to keep Doug around because he's a "head case." Moyers didn't even bother to notify Doug's family.  Doug calls the situation a win win because Doug gets the help he needs and isn't Moyers problem any more.  Travis then brings up the light Chris saw and Moyers claims that the military went house to house and block to block in the DZ.

Liza finds Cynthia and she is with Dr. Bethany Exner.  Dr. Exner is with the military and says that in her chat with Cynthia, she learned that Liza is the reason why Hector is alive and that Liza is a nurse. Liza asks where Hector is and so Bethany asks to speak to Liza privately.  Cynthia hugs Liza before leaving the room.  Bethany notes that Liza used a morphine drip with Hector and used unorthodox methods.  Bethany says that Liza did well considering that she is not actually a nurse. Liza sits and explains that Hector was going to die and that she needed Cynthia to trust her so that she could help. Bethany asks Liza to lie to Cynthia a bit longer.

Madison makes her way to the perimeter fence.  Madison cuts a hole in the fence with wire cutters and makes her way outside.  In the DZ,  Madison sees postings for missing people. She walks into a deserted street littered with dead bodies and garbage.  Madison is forced to hide under a car when she sees soldiers coming her way and beside her on the ground is the body of a dead woman.

Liza and Exner are checking on Griselda and Exner says that Liza has done a good job so far but Griselda needs antibiotics.  Exner plans to move Griselda to a military facility where she can see a surgeon.  Exner adds that the location is fifteen minutes away.  Daniel demands to go with his wife and Exner assures him that this will be fine.  When Griselda starts to cry, Daniel comforts her.

Exner's next stop is to check in on Nick.  Exner asks Nick about needing methadone but Nick claims that he last used a few days before the world ended. They are joined by Travis, who tells Exner they are happy to see her.  Travis asks if anything is wrong with Nick and Nick asserts that he is fine but snarks about Liza telling Exner that he is the neighbourhood dope fiend.  Upstairs, Daniel watches the conversation from the window.  Travis asks about Doug and is told by Exner that she cannot discuss other patients. Liza assures Travis that Doug will be in good hands like Hector and Griselda. Exner notes that Nick has an elevated heart rate and Nick blames it on his supposed attraction to Exner. Well, someone is smooth as well as a liar.

Alicia is in a bedroom giving herself a tattoo.  Madison returns to the house and is confronted by Daniel, who wants to know where she went.  Madison quickly admits to being in the DZ.  Madison notices Exner and Daniel explains that Exner wants to take Griselda for surgery.  Daniel asks what Madison saw in the DZ. Madison reveals that she saw bodies, the infected.  She came across people who were shot but showed no signs of sickness.  Daniel tells her the story of when government people came to his town and took people away in El Salvador.  His father went to investigate and was told by the government that people always come come.  Later, Daniel was fishing and he found them - they were floating in the water.  Daniel was told by his father not to hate because men do things not because of evil but do evil because of fear. Daniel then realised that his father was a fool for believing there's a difference.  Daniel warns that "if it happens it will happen quickly" and that Madison must be prepared. Daniel then asks Madison to look after Ofelia for him if he does not return.  Madison points out that Ofelia is a grown woman but Daniel simply asks his question again. Madison shakes her head yes and Daniel thanks her.  Daniel warns Madison to keep her son close.

Madison goes to look for Nick and finds him looking for drugs.  Nick doesn't even try to deny what he was doing.  Madison then proceeds to beat the shit of Nick, telling him he has no idea.  Madison then storms out of the room leaving Nick on the ground.

Alicia opens Nick's door and he quickly closes it, telling her to go away.  Alicia tries pushing at the door again asking what happened to Nick's face. Travis notices the disturbance and walks over to Alicia but she tells him that she can deal with whatever is going on.  Alicia asks Nick again to let her in and threatens to get Madison if he doesn't comply. Nick finally complies but refuses to tell Alicia how he was hurt.  Nick says he does not want to talk about it and so Alicia wraps her arms around her brother, telling him that it's okay.

Travis goes out to the garage to find Madison drinking in the car.  Before Travis can confront Madison the military arrives.  With Liza's help, Griselda is lifted onto a stretcher and prepared to go to the military hospital.  Daniel warns Ofelia that he doesn't know how long he will be.  Travis tries to intervene and Liza assures him that this needs to happen because otherwise, Griselda will lose a foot. Daniel moves to follow his wife and is stopped. A soldier informs Daniel that the names on his list are Griselda and Nick. Alicia yells her brother to run, as Madison tries to say it's a mistake.  The soldiers roughly handle Daniel and Madison.  When a soldier point his weapon at Chris, Travis steps into the line of fire and calls out to the soldiers that they are getting rough and that Nick is a kid and Daniel and old man.

Nick is hauled out of the house by two soldiers. Liza chases after Exner, claiming that Nick is not a risk, promising to look after him.  Instead of answering Liza, Exner asks Liza to come with them because they could use someone with Liza's skills.  In the house, Travis asks to speak to Moyers but the soldiers ignore him.  Nick is placed into a vehicle, as Madison watches from the house.  Liza says she has a son but Exner points out that Chris is safe but that the sick people need her.  Chris watches through the window as his mother gets on a truck.  Madison rushes outside begging to know where Nick is being taken and is restrained by two soldiers.  Madison is forced to watch as Liza waves goodbye to her.

In the house, an angry Chris punches at a window.  Madison returns to the house and tells Travis that Liza did this.  Madison makes her way back to the garage.

Alicia has secluded herself and is reading Susan's suicide letter. Susan writes to Patrick that she loves him and that she saw something that horrified her.  Susan saw what was coming and tells Patrick that she will see him soon.

Travis has made his way to the roof and he finally sees the flashing light.

I understand that Travis is trying to reassure everyone and have as much control over the situation as possible however his glass half full view of the world irks me.  I just want to see the mask he wears slip even just a little bit.  It's clear that Travis believes that it is his responsibility to stay strong.

Madison has the initiative that Travis does not have. I was shocked that she left the safety zone but then I realised that in this world, the characters don't really have any idea of what it would be like to confront a swarm.  Madison is aware that they are not being given all the information and is determined to get to the bottom of things. Though Madison's fight with Travis about domestic responsibilities bothered Alicia I don't think Madison's point is wrong at all.  If you think back to the first season of The Walking Dead, it was the women who were doing all of the washing of the clothes, cleaning etc,.  The world may be falling to shit but they don't have to fall back on gender rolls.  There's no reason that Travis cannot help out.

Once again, I find that I have no sympathy for Nick.  I know that addiction is an illness but seeing him take that man's morphine really made me dislike the character.  I have to admit I cheered when Madison attacked.  I think in that moment she had to face the fact that her son is a liar and cannot be trusted.  She clearly took out her frustration about everything that has been going on out on him.

Daniel watches the world around him carefully and makes assessments on people and situations.  I loved getting a little bit of Daniel's back story even if it was painful.  Now we know why Daniel trusts no one and why he is always watching.

As for Griselda and Nick, I think that the government is eliminating those they see as surplus population.  It certainly would explain some of the dead bodies Madison saw in the street.  Nick still has a chance because he still has two good feet, things however are looking grim for Griselda.  I guess we won't know the truth until Liza comes back from the supposed military hospital.  Speaking of Liza, I cannot believe she got on the truck. Yes, things look stable but you don't leave your kid at a time like that.

Okay, what's the deal with the flashing light?  Who is behind it? Hmmm.