Monday, September 19, 2016

Fear The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode Twelve: Pillar of Salt

Francisco and his family decide that it's time to leave the Colonia. To do this, they sneak through the streets while everyone is sleeping.  They get to the infamous bus and Francisco lures a zombie inside so he can slather zombie blood on himself, his wife and his family.  Yes, they're using the get out of jail card again.  I find it interesting that everyone of Fear The Walking Dead, seems to constantly slather themselves in zombie blood; whereas, it's something we haven't seen a lot of on The Walking Dead. Yeah I think that this means the writing is lazier on Fear the Walking Dead than The Walking Dead.

Francisco and his family manage to get free of the Colonia but are stopped down the road by Marco. It seems that Marco did not get his drug delivery on time since Francisco decided to leave and he demands to know where his oxy is and where the Colonia is.  Francisco goes mute in response and uses his body to attempt to shield his family, as Marco waves a gun around.  When Francisco refuses to answer, Marco decides to take Francisco and his family back to the factory.

The story moves to Ofelia. Yes Ofelia. I for one am glad to see her back.  It seems that Strand is correct, Ofelia took took the truck. Ofelia has lost all of her softness as she pulls up to a hotel. Now she's wearing jeans and a bomber jacket instead of the baby doll dresses she's been known for.  Ofelia marches into the establishment and promptly takes a hammer to zombie's head. Who is this woman?

When did she get so damn tough?  Ofelia walks to back of the establishment and sees an ocean front patio.

Then we get a flashback to Ofelia sitting outside at an ocean front patio with her boyfriend. The boyfriend proposes to Ofelia by having a ring placed in a drink. I get that this is supposed to be romantic but what if she had just started drinking without looking at the glass? Putting shit in people's food or drink is never a good idea.  Ofelia is absolutely stunned. particularly given the fact that he is moving to New Mexico and wants her to come with him.  It's clear that Ofelia wants to go but she stalls for time saying that she is going to talk to her mother about the proposal. Back in the present, Ofelia checks out a map and siphons some gas.

Things are going great at the hotel.  They have begun planting and the place is secure.  Madison works on the generator with..... Strand takes his place behind the bar and uses the freshly made ice to make a drink. Yep, that's living large and in charge apocalypse style.

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Hector is teaching Alicia how to surf on the sand. Ummm, given that they led the zombies into the ocean, how exactly is Alicia going to surf?  When Alicia jumps into a standing position she falls over. This leads to a conversation about her childhood with Nick and his reckless ways. Alicia admits that she misses who Nick used to be.  Hector brings up his brother and it's clear that Alicia and Hector just might have a lot in common when it comes to siblings. The conversation ends when Madison arrives with two glasses of ice water, asking for a moment alone with Alicia.

At the Colonia, Ronaldo knocks on Nick's door and it's answered by Luciana. Ronaldo reports about Francisco's defection which became evident because he was supposed to go with Ronaldo to do the trade. Luciana is shocked by Francisco leaving, saying that he was there at the start of the Colonia and there for her when she lost her brother. Luciana wonders if Francisco leaving has something to do with the loss of her brother. Ronaldo makes it clear that he won't go make the trade because Francisco was his partner and so Nick volunteers himself and Luciana to act instead because they are short on water.

Back at the hotel, Madison, Alicia, Elena and Victor are gathered in a hotel room discussing how they are going to ration supplies and when they will turn the generator on. There's a knock on the door and when Victor opens the door, he is stabbed by Ilana, who blames Victor for bringing and end to her zombie daughter. Yep, things were going to damn well so some bad shit had to happen.

 Victor calls out for Madison and she and Alicia run to Victor's side. Madison and Alicia get Strand to the bed and attempt to stop the bleeding. Oscar gets Andreas, who went to medical school for a year and a half.  Oscar then reveals that Ilene is in her room and blames what she did on the stress of losing her daughter, to which Victor responds, “I understand grief, but this is a little extreme.”  Elena, the original target of Ilena's grief asks what everyone is thinking, "What if she never gets over her grief?"

Andreas brings us back to the matter at hand which is that Victor is lying on bed bleeding from a stab wound.  Since Andreas cannot offer Victor a blood transfusion, they need to get drugs to restore his red blood cell count and antibiotics.  Luckily for Victor, Elena knows of a place. Yep, it's exactly where you're thinking of.

Back at the Colonia, Nick and Luciana tells Alejandro about Francisco leaving which leads to Alejandro becoming paranoid. Alejandro is quick to accuse Luciana of knowing about Francisco leaving and clearly doesn't believe her when she denies his accusation. Luciana responds by suggesting that Alejandro address the Colonia to quell any fears that the people might be feeling.

Victor lies in bed drinking scotch to deal with the pain.  Madison moves close and they start to discuss what to do with Ilene. They both agree that Ilene is a danger and is deranged but Madison worries that casting her out will lead to further trouble.  Madison stands and announces that there is to be no more violence because that is the only way they can keep everyone together.  Ilene is to be locked up indefinitely and the next person who is violent is going to get tossed out. I like that Madison is the one who made the announcement though she did consult with Victor. It's becoming readily apparent that Madison is in charge of the hotel group. Everyone agrees with Madison's pronouncement.

At the Colonia it's time for Alejandro to address his group. He equates Francisco's defection with a loss of faith, making him sound all the more like a cult leader. Some nod their head but Nick is clearly not convinced and so he asks Luciana if Alejandro is doing okay. When they approach Alejandro, he responds by yelling at Luciana for not completing a task he assigned her. Alejandro also declares that there will be no more trades until he decides. Nick is not at all pleased by Alejandro's decision, given that they are so short of water.

Madison notices that Elena and Hector are arguing as they pack up and get ready to head to the warehouse for supplies. Madison hops into the truck with Elena and Oscar, promising Alicia that they should be back in two hours. Madison is not impressed when Elena reveals that she was arguing with Hector about his brother and makes it clear that they don't have time for distractions.  Madison only expresses empathy when she learns that Elena and Hector lost Antonio to drugs and that Hector still hasn't forgiven Antonio for choosing the gang over his family.  Madison then encourages Elena not to give up.

Nick presses his feelings with Luciana and she makes it clear that she's the boss. Nick believes that Alejandro is scared, losing control and not thinking clearly.

Madison, Elena and Oscar arrive at the factory. Elena asks for Antonio, saying that she has something that she would like to trade. Only the women are allowed in and Oscar is ordered to wait outside with the vehicle.

Nick decides to approach Alejandro about making a trade because of the pressing need for water. Alejandro concedes that he shouldn't have been so rough on Luciana but doesn't explain why he did it. Nick argues that by not continuing the trade, Alejandro is putting the Colonia in danger. Nick firmly believes that Marco and his gang will come looking for the Oxy they are addicted to. Alejandro believes that Nick is talking out of turn and actually chooses to question Nick's belief and commitment. It looks like Alejandro has been sipping at his own Kool Aid for too long.

Madison and Elena meet Antonio. They hand over the list of medicine that they need and open a cooler filled with ice and fish. Antonio tells the women that the fish is good but the ice is better and Elena agrees to give them as much as they need. Elena then brings up Hector, but has no response when Antonio questions why Hector didn't come himself. Antonio tells them to wait there while he gathers the things they need.

Upstairs Marco is questioning Francisco. Madison sees what's going on and asks Elena to translate for her. Elena explains about Francisco's daughter being taken and suggests that she and Madison stay out of it. Madison presses for more information and so Elena tells her about Luciana and a gringo with ratty hair. Madison is quick to assume that this is a reference to Nick and takes off running with Elena fast on her heels. Madison bursts into the room and desperately pleads with Francisco and his wife to learn about the Gringo with the ratty hair, questioning if they have seen Nick. Filled with fear, Francisco and his wife don't answer Madison's questions, as Marco screams about everyone having lost someone. Madison and Elena are taken from the room by guards.

 Elena gets the medicine from Antonio and tries once more to convince him to come with them.  Antonio however says that Hector should have chosen him and warns Elena not to come back because they won't be there much longer.

Not able to get through to either Luciana or Alejandro, Nick makes an appeal to Ronaldo who snarks about Americans liking to fix other people's problems. Despite his snark, Ronaldo does agree to make the run with Nick but says that they have to wait until night to do so. With a plan in place, a smiling Nick makes his way to Luciana, who is finishing up a meeting with some men. Since she is a part of Alejandro's inner circle, it's only right that the men bring their concerns to her. Luciana notices that something is up with Nick but he turns charming and flirts. What the hell does she see in him? He's like a used vacuum cleaner salesman.

At the hotel, Andreas offers assurances to Strand. When Andreas leaves the room, it gives Victor and Alicia time to talk. When Victor compliments Alicia's bedside manner, she reveals that she did some time as a nurses aid and doesn't do false assurances, having never needed any herself. Alicia explains how she always had to take care of Nick and her father and that Madison had her hands full. When Victor comments that Alicia has her mother to herself now, Alicia responds that she doesn't feel that Madison really sees her. Strand advises Alicia to force Madison.

Nick is taking in the sights beyond the wall when something catches his attention.  Marco is looking directly at the Colonia using a pair of binoculars.

It's back to Ofelia, and this time the camera focuses in on the cross on her rosary to lead to another flashback scene.  Ofelia has returned from hanging out with the girls and decides to ask her mother how she knew her father was the one. Griselda answers that God whispered in her ear and that she listened. Griselda then expands on this and saying that they suffered together, survived together and came to America for Ofelia.

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Giselda talks about how Daniel still wakes in the middle of the night screaming from his memories of violence.  This is something that neither she or Daniel want for Ofelia. Griselda finishes by adding that she would do anything for Daniel and for Ofelia. Back in the present, Griselda kisses her cross and says that she now understands what Girselda meant. Ofelia puts the rosary on the rearview mirror and turns the car towards the border.

Madison, Elena and Oscar return to the hotel and Elena shakes her head no to Hector in answer to his silent question about Antonio. They hand off the medication and Madison rushes to turn on the generator, thus turning on the hotel sign in the hope of attracting Nick. Alicia chases down her mother and yells at her for turning on the signing, potentially attracting predators and for risking the trade when she heard a vague description of someone who may or may not be Nick. Madison reminds Alicia that she is a mother and that a mother never gives up hope on her child. Alicia argues back that Nick chose to leave them and that she stayed. Alicia questions why she isn't enough and Madison responds by turning off the light.

Someone did see the sign - Travis. He's all by himself and so starts to walk towards the hotel.

There are three episodes left this season and things are really starting to heat up.  The fact that we saw Travis walking by himself towards the hotel suggest that he dumped Chris somewhere or Chris abandoned him.  Either way, father and son are no longer together and this is a good thing given the fact that Chris is violent and seems to have zero empathy or morality.  It's really too early in the apocalypse for Chris to be so far gone so this must always have been a part of who he is. From the clips of next week it looks like we will find out why Travis is travelling alone.  I suspect that it's going to be high drama.

As for the Colonia.  Once again we have Nick making more sense than anyone else and the writers are using Nick's past as an addict to explain his competence. Of course a junkie would know what another junkie would be willing to do to get their fix.  What gets me is that Nick has been around all of this oxy and despite the things he has seen, seems to have no compulsion to use himself. The writers have written his character in such a way that the apocalypse cured his addiction and made him a competent human being. This pisses me off more than I can possibly explain.  This is not the way that addiction works.

Things are falling apart at the Colonia.  They are all so caught up in Alejandro and his cult that they cannot see the forest through the trees. It makes sense to me that Francisco decided to flee.  Clearly next week when Marco arrives at the Colonia shit is going to get real. It will be interesting to see how Nick and Luciana handle this situation because clearly, Alejandro is too far gone.

We're still seeing ongoing tension between Madison and Alicia.  Alicia doesn't want to admit it but I'm certain at this point that at least a part of her is glad that Nick is gone.  Who can blame her. Nick would have been needy and deceptive while high on drugs.  It looks like nothing was leftover for Alicia and now she wants to be rewarded for her loyalty.  Madison and Alicia love each other but there are clearly many issues the women need to work out.

This week we got the return of Ofelia.  I wondered if and when they were going to get back to her character.  I love that Ofelia is now strong and independent. She is far removed from the young woman we meet in season one.  At this point everything that tied her to her old life is gone.  This is why she feels confidant leaving to try and find the man that she loves though it's like looking for a needle in haystack.  I don't think that we have seen the last of Ofelia's story and for the first time, I'm excited to see what happens to her.