Monday, September 12, 2016

Fear the Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode Eleven: Pablo and Jessica

The first question this episode seeks to answer is exactly how Strand and Madison escaped after being stupid enough to make enough noise to attract walkers.  Victor screams for them to head to the lobby and Madison ducks down into what looks like a kitchen when she hears Alicia scream. Hands reach for Madison and she's trapped, so she grabs a bottle, takes out the walker and slathers herself in its blood. Madison then coats Victor and he's clearly not impressed. Together they make their way outside to discover the car is gone. Victor is certain that this means that Ofelia and Alicia left them behind because the dead don't drive; however, Madison is not convinced.

They head over to the next building which is empty.  Victor forces Madison to drink some water and once again the debate begins about what happened to the girls. They stop to catch their breathe in a stairwell and Madison defends her position by saying that it wouldn't be like Alicia to leave.  Victor however argues back Alicia would if it meant surviving because she's independent and self reliant. Madison admits that she made Alicia that way. This is when they hear a knocking sound and shouting. As they get closer, Madison recognizes Alicia's voice. The mother and daughter reunite and Strand, who always has his eye on the ball, demands to know who the hell Elena and Hector are.

So, Nick is walking around his community and he sees the little girl who lost her father crying. An old woman approaches the child and comforts her. Nick heads into the hospital where he finds Alejandro. It seems that Nick feels remorse for putting the community in danger and has come up with a way to make up for what he did.  Nick, thinking like the junkie that he is, wants to cut the oxy with the powdered milk so that they will be able to stretch the oxy that they trade for food and water.  Nick argues that the junkies won't know the difference and will be happy because they will get high faster.

So it's time for the Jessie Pinkman/Walter White moment and the two work together to make the new pills.  Alejandro is impressed with Nick and Nick asserts that this will give the colony some hope. Nick turns the conversation to Alejandro surviving a walker bite. Alejandro asserts that Nick doesn't believe his story (yeah well he's a junkie not an idiot.) Alejandro suggests that Nick is having trouble because acceptance requires a leap of faith and that is something Nick would have trouble with.

school accept inordinate myselfive

Madison decides that they need to make a partnership with the other residents of the hotel. It's really smart actually.  Madison tells Ilene and Oscar that they need each other and when they balk, she reminds them that they haven't left the hotel. Madison thinks they should clear out the dead and then use the land for crops.  Interestingly, Strand is pretty silent during this and allows Madison to lead. It makes me wonder if Fear the Walking Dead is going to actually allow a competent woman to lead a group for a change?  Is that being too hopeful? Unsurprisingly, both Oscar and Ilene want Elena to leave but Madison argues that Elena did what she had to do. You know damn well that if Elena had done that Alicia and Nick, Madison wouldn't be so quick to be understanding and forgiving. Finally, Madison points out that others will come to the hotel and they might not be as peaceful as they are.

Victor and Madison head into the hallway for a tête-à-tête.  Strand is convinced that Ilene will not live peacefully because she is being driven by grief.  I think that Strand has read this situation correctly. Madison however is worried about losing their new home.  Strand makes it clear that he doesn't see the hotel as his home and that he lost his home when he was forced to shoot and bury Thomas.  I really like that they brought up the fact that Strand is still mourning the loss of the man he loved, even if I haven't forgiven them for killing off Thomas in the first place.  Strand does however agree to help Madison clear out the hotel.

Back at the colony, Nick looks over his work and is convinced that the dealers won't be able to tell the difference and Alejandro advises him to pray.  Nick decides to head out to make a trade and Alejandro stops him to explain about his bite.  It seems that there was another junkie kid who had stolen from Alejandro several times. One day while high, the junkie was confused with a walker and thrown outside the walls.  Alejandro attempted to save him but was attacked and bitten.  It was Luciana who found Alejandro and brought him back to the hospital.Alejandro waited to die but death never came.  Unfortunately the junkie he did try to save died.


Alejandro believes that Nick is desperate to walk among the dead and asks him to be careful. Nick thanks Alejandro for giving a shit. Way to keep it classy, even if Alejandro is full of BULLSHIT. Nick sees Luciana playing soccer with some of the kids and after her team scores the other side complains because they don't have an adult on their team. Cue friendship building moment. Nick admits that he used to play soccer (don't most suburban white dudes?)  Nick of course joins the game and helps them score.  

Fransisco who is covered in blood, rushes over to Alejandro. He says, "something happened, he's in pieces".  Luciana who by this time is paying attention to the conversation tells Nick that they found Pablo. 

Luciana and Nick head out to make a trade and with dealers as Luciana explains that Pablo was her brother. Luciana has to explain the relationship because Nick assumed Pablo was her boyfriend. Luciana is rightfully annoyed by Nick's sudden change in attitude and explains that Pablo was there for her when their father died (before the apocalypse) and when they lost touch with their mother when she went south. It was Pablo who went looking for their mother and helped Luciana accept that their mother was truly gone. Nick holds Luciana and tenderly before she walks off.  Please don't put Luciana together with Nick; she can do better.

Alicia and Hector get to work but he doesn't want to open one of the doors to let the walkers out. Alicia explains that if they leave them in there and one later escapes, they will have to start all over again.  Task done, Alicia starts dragging walker corpses out to the beach where Madison is tearing up straw from the tiki stands. And yes, the hotel residents have decided to help out which Alicia chalks up to Madison's example.

Alicia and Madison walk along the boardwalk and start to plan about the best way to get rid of the walkers.  There are three buildings with seventeen floors each and so far they've only managed to clear out one floor.They worry that this might take weeks to accomplish and Madison in particular is concerned that they will do all of this and someone will come along and take it from them. It's time for a mother daughter moment and Madison apologises to Alicia for forcing her to raise herself after her father died. Alicia however is quick to assert that Madison did nothing wrong.  With bonding done, Alicia notices the harsh waters. Alicia thinks that they should just lead the walkers along the boardwalk and let the water take care of them.

Nick's back at the colony having made the trade with the dealers.  He of course has to complain about having to suck up and how surviving feels like shit.  Alejandro rewards Nick's exploits by giving him a one room house in thanks for buying the colony some more time.

It's time to work on Alicia's plan. Elena explains that there's a main hallway which connects all three hotels.  It's time to split up and get to work and Alicia wants to stay with Madison but Madison is adamant that she wants Alicia on the boat because she doesn't trust anyone else. With tears in her eyes, Alicia tells Madison about the walker she found who looked like her causing Madison to promise they won't ever lose each other.  Ummm are these two women aware that they are in a zombie apocalypse? Madison's promise feels like famous last words.

Alicia meets up with Hector on the street in front of the lobby. He starts to make noise to attract the walkers and she plays music on her cellphone.  The two lead the walkers to the converging hallway. Strand and Elena run around the hotel opening up doors letting the walkers out. Madison is now in the lobby banging a pot to get the attention of walkers. Madison, Victor and Elena manage to meet up at the appointed spot but Alicia hasn't made it there yet. Hmmm what to do but before they have to make a decision, Alicia and Hector arrive. Together as a group they draw the walkers onto the boardwalk while someone locks the door behind them.

Out on the boardwalk, Alicia looks at her mother as if to confirm their plan and then heads with Hector across the beach to a dingy.  Hector struggles to get the boat moving but they manage to get to the end of the boardwalk. Madison keeps looking over her shoulder for the boat as she is rapidly running out of room. Alicia calls out to her mother and Madison leaps off the boardwalk into the water. Just as planned, the walkers fall into the water as Madison swims towards the boat and Hector and Alicia pull her onboard.

Nick is reading a Spanish dictionary in his new digs when Luciana knocks on the door claiming that she has trouble sleeping. Nick explains that he's trying to learn to speak to someone other than her and Alejandro and demonstrates by butchering, "you're wearing clean socks."  Nick explains that if he knew the apocalypse was coming, he would have taken Spanish in highschool.  It's time to get personal and Nick tells Luciana that he has a sister who he calls the "golden child with a future."

what wut bitch please oh no you didnt uh huh

Yeah cause Alicia had it so good while her mother was consumed with constantly pulling Nick's ass out of the fire because of his drug addiction.  Nick however does have the decency to hope that Alicia is alive and mentions that Alicia was with Madison when they got separated. Notice how this douche bag doesn't admit that he walked away from his mother and sister. 

Back at the hotel after a job done, it's celebration time.  Notably absent are Oscar and Ilene. Madison wonders if they should wait for them but is told that neither of them is ready for this.  Victor asks Elena where the honeymoon suite is and gets up to leave, promising to return before the toast. 

Strand heads to the bridal suite and finds Oscar guarding the remains of his wife. Oscar talks about how it took him a year to build up the courage to speak to Jessica.  Strand relates to him by thinking of Thomas but Oscar is not about to let Strand anywhere near what remains of Jessica. Victor says that this isn't fair and that it's not fair for Oscar to live like this. Oscar is worried because he doesn't know who he is without Jessica and Strand suggests that one day he will wake up and find himself as the person who came after this. Victor shows his softer side and tears up as he asks Oscar to be allowed to help Jessica. Victor uses the keycard to enter the room and closes the door behind him. We can hear the sounds of zombie Jessica coming from the room.

Back at the colony, Luciana awakens after falling asleep on Nick's bed and Nick in on the floor reading.  Luciana says that it's time to get going because people will start to talk. Nick brings up the fact that Alejandro claimed that Luciana was testing him and in response she kisses him. 

news face star today times

It was clear from the beginning that they were going to set these two up but I'm still not happy to see it happen. She can do so much better than Nick and I think that this makes her character disposable now. With Madison and Alicia holding it down for the women on the show, I don't trust The Walking Dead universe to allow three strong women to live, particularly when one of the women is a WOC. I'd bet money she is going to get killed off for Nick's manpain. You heard it here first. 

It's clear that this week that Madison and Alicia's relationship was meant to be juxtaposed to Travis and Chris's relationship.  Madison and Alicia affirmed how much they love each other and their willingness to always look out for each other while Chris continued to be a murdering creeper.  The apocalypse is bringing Madison and Alicia together, even as it is driving Travis and the creeper Chris apart.  

Though it was hard to see, I am really glad that they are showing that Strand continues to mourn Thomas. I liked that he used his loss to relate to Oscar. It reminds us that the love Strand felt for Thomas and the love Oscar felt for Jessica are exactly the same. Both losses are equal.  This feels like a turning point for The Walking Dead universe which hasn't been great when it comes to the few LGBT characters it has chosen to include.

I really don't care what is going on with Nick.  I find him to be the least interesting character on the show thus far.  I do however see the point The Walking Dead is making about people with a certain set of skills - or perhaps skills that weren't recognized in a functioning world being the best able to survive the zombie apocalypse.  In the past, the ability to cut drugs is not a skill which would have given Nick any acclaim and yet now it earns him his own private living quarters.

Shit is up with Alejandro and I feel that it's building up to something though he has taken on a father role to Nick.  At this point, I don't believe for one moment that he was bitten by a walker.  Are we really supposed to accept that he is the one person in the universe who is immune to the virus? Yeah, Alejandro is playing a game which is getting tired quick so Fear the Walking Dead needs to get to the damn point.