Okay, Fear The Walking Dead is back and once again our merry band of survivors are seperated. It seems to be a thing with Fear The Walking Dead, the writers cannot seem to keep its cast together. I just hope that this time we don't spend the entire season until they are reunited.
When we last saw Travis, Alisha and Madison, they had been captured by the same group who had also taken Luciana and Nick captive. Travis is immediately seperated from Alisha and Madison, who are taken to an office and locked up. It's quite luxurious in comparison to Travis, who is measured, weighed and then locked up in a room filled with people. Travis is treated more like an animal than a person. This is when Travis is reunited with Nick and Luciana. It's not a happy reunion at all. Nick and Travis try to talk about what to do, as they hear soldiers laughing about killing other captives.
Troy Otto enters the room where Alisha and Madison are being kept and offers them each a cup of hot tea. Dude is seriously offering hospitality and claiming that all he needs to do is clear them. It's obvious right form the start that Troy is offering Alisha and Madison a measure of charm based in their gender and race. Travis, with is dark brown skin, is immediately understood to be "other" and therefore a threat. The group of survivalist look with suspicion on anyone coming across the Mexican border. When Travis declares that he is not in fact Mexican, but Māori, Travis calls him "warrior stock". Naturally, Troy has no problem passing Alisha and Madison but he has more reservations regarding Travis, who at this point Troy does not believe will turn into a zombie like white people. Oh the racism is thick with this one.
Having confirmed that Madison and Travis are a couple, Troy decides to seek out Travis. When Travis points to Lucinda and suggests that they get her medical care, Troy makes it clear that the only relief they have to offer is death. Travis, Lucinda, Nick and another prisoner are taken to another room where they see the experiments first hand. It seems that the prisoners are being killed and then the soldiers document how long it takes them to turn. Travis of course calls this demented and suggests that what the soldiers are doing is pointless, even as the soldiers argue that they are doing this for the sake of scientific research. When it's clear that he's about to be shot, Travis attacks and Nick and the other captive quickly join in. The four manage to make it outside to a sewer grate. Nick and Lucinda hop into the sewer while Travis stays behind to try and find Alisha and Madison. Travis is promptly found and thrown into a pit with walkers.
Troy returns to see Madison and Alisha only to be attacked. Never let it be said that these women aren't tough as fucking nails. Madison manages to get a spoon into Troy's eye socket and leads him outside demanding to see her family. Alisha takes off to see if she can find Travis.
Nick and Lucinda make it to the end of the sewer only to run into a herd of walkers, forcing to double back. Unarmed, Nick quickly finds himself attacked by a walker but thankfully, Alisha hears him yelling through the grate and throws down her knife. It's Luciana who takes the walker out with the knife, just as Alisha is captured by the soldiers.
Madison is completely surrounded by armed soldiers as she hold Troy captive with the spoon in Troy's eye. Tory screams for his soldiers to get out of the way and not to interfere. Jake steps up and introduces himself as Troy's brother. Jake says that Troy probably deserves exactly what is happening to him now. Jake promises to allow Madison to reunite with her family, if she lets Troy go and explains that Troy wasn't supposed to be doing any of this. Madison is taken to Travis who has killed all of the zombies in the pit and the two are reunited. Madison and Travis are joined shortly afterwards by Alisha, Nick and Luciana.
Jake reveals that they are from a survivalist ranch and invites Madison, Travis, Alisha, Luciana and Nick to join them. At this point, there aren't many good options in terms of safe lodging but given what they have been through thanks to Troy, Travis is not inclined to trust the survivalists. It's not just that Troy is bent, it's that all the people went along with what Troy was doing without concern. As much as Madison, Travis, Nick and Alisha are not keen on traveling back to the ranch, our merry band of survivors find themselves out of options when a swarm of zombies attacks the base. Once again, they are seperated with Alisha, Luciana and Travis getting into a helicopter with Jake and Madison and Nick getting into a truck and joining a convoy with Troy. Troy assures Madison and Nick that they are all headed to the same place and that she will be reunited with her family.
The helicopter is just twenty minutes out from the ranch when it gets shot at. Travis is shot through the abdomen and the bullet exists from his throat. By any measure, Travis is a dead man. All out of options, because of his wounds and the fact that the helicopter is going down, Travis takes off his seat belt, as a shocked Alisha watches. When Travis starts to open the door, Alisha gets out of her seat to beg him not to do this. Travis and Alisha make eye contact before he jumps out of the helicopter. Good Bye Travis, you had a much shorter run than I anticipated.
Somehow, the helicopter is landed without anyone else dying. They make camp for the night with the idea to walk the rest of the way to the survivalist camp the next day. It's not long before they are attacked by zombies and Alisha, who proves to be a crack shot, saves Jake but is unable to save his companion. Jake is forced to shoot his companion before she can turn into a zombie. It's intense but it forges a bond between Alisha and Jake, who agree to carry Lucinda to the camp together.
Madison and Nick arrive at the compound with Troy and his soldiers. Troy immediately orders Madison and Nick to wait outside of the gates when he discovers that his brother hasn't arrived yet and that his father wants to speak with him. Alone, Nick wants to start searching for Alisha, Luciana and Travis but Madison is quick to point out the senselessness of this. Neither of them trust this group of survivors and Nick makes it clear that at the first opportunity he is going to go hog wild. Madison instructs Nick to hug her and then guides his hand to the small of her back, revealing that she managed to steal a gun.
Jeremiah, who is Troy and Jake's father, comes out with a cup of steaming coffee to have a little chat with Madison. Now we know where Troy learned his little trick of offering hot beverages in tense situations. Jeremiah is concerned that perhaps Travis did something to bring down the helicopter. He knows that the previous night didn't have bad weather and that there should be no reason that the helicopter didn't make it. Nick and Madison are invited inside and when Nick is resistant, Madison assures him that he doesn't have to trust the survivalists, he simply needs to trust her. Because Nick and Madison have been seperated, he has no real idea of just exactly how much his mother has changed. It's barely been a few days since Madison committed murder in order to save Travis.
When Alisha, Jake and Lucina make it to the compound, Madison is happy to have her daughter back but then quickly asks about Travis when she doesn't see him. Madison covers her eyes to block the sun and looks down the road expectantly. It's only when Alisha nods her head no, that Madison realises that Travis didn't make it. It's clear that Madison didn't read the handbook about how becoming the moral compass in this universe means that you are next to die.
Troy wants to kill Luciana because the survivalists believe Luciana won't survive her wounds. Nick tries to argue that the only reason Luciana is injured is because Troy shot her. At this point, Troy simply doesn't care and points out that if Luciana dies on the compound that she would be a danger to others. Not allowing the sick or injured in is their way. Troy moves to shot Luciana and so Nick asks for the right to do this himself. Troy stupidly hands over the gun and Nick points his weapon at Troy. How exactly did Troy think that this was going to end|? A shocked Madison tells Nick to put the gun down and Jeremiah steps in front of Troy. Jeremiah agrees to let Luciana enter the compound and get medical treatment, if Nick lowers is weapon and agrees to Luciana being restrained in case she dies.
Once inside the compound again, Madison asks for some time apart from Alisha so that she can mourn in private. Madison makes her way to a private area and cries and vomits. It's not long before Madison is approached by Jeremiah. The two talk about how Jeremiah turned to booze when his wife left him and his need to ensure that Madison isn't a danger to herself or others. Madison makes it clear that it's too early to tell. In the meantime, Jeremiah asks Madison to sign for the gun he knows that she took from the base. It seems that these two see each other clearly.
Alisha and Nick stand over top of Lucina, who is getting medical care, even though she's handcuffed to the bed. Nick questions if Alisha is okay and she cries in his arms. This is one of the few times we've seen Alisha break down since this all started.
When Madison finally reunites with her children, having cried her tears for Travis, Madison makes it clear that they are going to make their compound their home for now. Madison also asserts that if they have to, they will take it from the survivalists.
Victor is still at the hotel having chosen to stay behind when Madison, Alisha and Travis left. The gate is surrounded by people who are desperate for medical aid and shelter. It's obvious that the gate is not going to hold them back for long and so Victor pretends to be a doctor to calm everyone down and orders the gathered people to be allowed onto the hotel property. Victor almost blows his cover when he is called to deliver a baby but manages to do so successfully even without medical training. At this point, Elena realises that Victor's lie could expose them to even more danger and she demands that he leave immediately on foot.
Before Victor can take his leave, he is taken to Ilene's room because she is not eating. There's a concern that Ilene just might starve herself to death in the room and present a danger to others. Victor brings Ilene a sandwich and he talks about his new found hope having delivered a baby successfully. With Victor's own eyes, he's seen a new generation be born. Ilene is still in pieces, so Victor opens the balcony door so that she can finally get some fresh air. Ilene thanks Victor for freeing her daughter by gifting him with the keys to the car she planned to give away as a wedding present. Ilene then says that she no longer believes in the future and jumps to her death, leaving behind a stunned Victor.
Victor makes his way to the parking garage where he finds a brand new sports car. Victor may be leaving the safety and security of the hotel but he is doing so in style. The question now is how long it will take Victor to reunite with Madison, Nick and Alisha.
I have to say that even though Travis has always sort of functioned as the moral authority on Fear The Walking Dead, I thought he might have plot immunity because Rick does. It seems however that the writers have decided that it's Madison who will lead this show and that makes Travis expendable. As much as I am happy to see a woman take on a leadership position, because The Walking Dead Universe has an abysmal record when it comes to gender, it's not escaped my notice that it was a man of colour who was sacrificed to make it that way. Sure, we still have Strand, and who knows what he is capable of but Travis's death marks the death of a major character of colour in an episode which was rife with racism.
Though Fear The Walking Dead has largely occurred in Mexico, and beyond the obvious language barrier, race has really not been much of an issue until these two episodes. Alisha and Madison's whiteness brought them a measure of security that was not granted Travis or Luciana. It's clear that Troy has some deep seated racial biases but then that's exactly what you would expect from an American survivalist group. Jeremiah says that the world that they are building is not prefect and I believe that it's a small hint to exactly how dark this little compound is going to get. I think life on the compound is probably dark and very dangerous. Yes, Troy did kill some white people but he also made no apologies for making it clear that the reason he was killing people of colour is because of racial difference and belief that this difference makes people of colour inherently more suspicious.
I don't trust this universe to deal well with race. The only time race has actively been addressed on The Walking Dead, it's been brushed off as though it were nothing. Fear The Walking Dead has chosen to actively bring it into the conversation; however, at this point we have only seen the supremacist point of view. It's leads me to believe that race will be treated like a sledge hammer with absolutely no nuance to speak of.
Madison is starting to sound like season two Rick. At this point, she's willing to do anything to keep her family safe and is more than willing to steal the compound to do so. I could almost hear Madison speaking in Rick's voice. It will be interesting to see exactly how far this descent goes. I do know that Madison is a very calculating character and is clearly willing to bide her time to get exactly what she wants. If I were Jeremiah, I wouldn't sleep to soundly. I do however wonder what will happen when Madison and Strand are reunited? They are both very similar when it comes to personality type. Strand is also very quick on his feet. If these two do end up reuniting and joining forces, is there anyone capable of stopping them? One thing is certain, shelter in this universe only lasts so long.
On a final note, what the hell happened to Ofelia? She was also captured at the border and we didn't see her when everyone evacuated the base? I have feeling that Ofelia has just been dumped into the plot box and will reappear when convenient for the writers.