With Nick dead it’s time for a roadtrip down memory lane, with Althea asking the three survivors their story while also giving them chance to stop or back off if they wanted to since they’re all clearly doing stuff
They all tell the story of the day when they think everything changed and went terribadly wrong and how they all ended up where they are now. This is the day when they could have stopped it all.
So way back when Madison is still determined to hang around despite the Vultures camping on their doorstep. The head of the Vultures, Mel (I think) has a cautionary tale because he and his brother Ennis back in the day also had a nice settlement in a place surrounded by wildfires. Unfortunately they convinced their fellow settlers to stay and not run from the fires - and everyone but them die. And lo we now know how the Vultures started; they know settlements fail so scavenge from them because their settlement fails. Which… I guess but I think “let’s just not ignore wildfires” may be the better message
Or maybe people could possibly try different locations? Wildfires, rotting oil refineries? Trying to grow crops in a sports pitch - no doubt full of chemicals and heavily pounded and well used? Or maybe not the South-west? I mean a desert or semi-desert? With medieval level technology from a load of urbanites who have never grown a potted plant before? This is perhaps not an ideal place to set up.
Anyways, we flashback to three teams who went out on this oh-so-ominous day. Nick and Luciana, Victor and Cole, Naomi and Alicia. All have basically the same theme - the choice whether to run away or stick with the stadium
Victor and Cole go scavenging food with Victor warning Cole to keep his distance because if they get too close he’s such a bad person. All of this comes with the prior knowledge that Victor is gay and Cole is probably gay and making moves on Victor but without anyone expressly stating it but I’m hoping after this episode we can stop allowing subtext and assumption carry this relationship. Anyway, Cole finds out that Victor has a huge stash of food in case he has to run away which he shows to Cole with an offer that they can both run off together with a huge stash of food and never return.
Cole was just trying to get you to notice him, man, now you want to run off into the sunset together? Put on the breaks and slow it down, Victor?
Cole decides to go with no here - mainly because he really doesn’t want to abandon everyone who is starving in the stadium. But I think also because he may not even know Victor’s last name and he wants to elope.
Cole goes back to town and Victor follows with his own stash, not telling everyone he was about to run and presenting his hoard as something he found
Next group is Naomi and Alicia who find another failed settlement at a waterpark (it had a fence so was secure until the fence failed because water parks don’t really have security against zombie hordes). This involves lots of close calls trying to climb up slippery slides because slides are slippery and this shouldn’t be a surprise because they’re slides. It’s kind of what they’re for. If they weren’t slippery the park would be sued for unpleasant chafing.
They find another stash of supplies and Naomi almost bails on Alicia. Alicia has a really great moment with Naomi, discussing how Naomi doesn’t have to tell them all her past drama - because everyone has past drama - but they do kind of need to rely on her and not have her bail. She also suggests that maybe Naomi’s certainty is wrong and maybe she should give them a chance. Which she does.
And lastly we have Luciana and Nick. And Nick has decided to go to hunt for books because he wants to build a future with hope and stuff. Which is nice but, y’know, starving?
They find a book of maps of the southwest of the US and Luciana encourages Nick to flip to a page and just pick somewhere for them to move to rather than staying put. Which is not exactly a sensible job of planning for the future, but whatever. Instead they seize on going for an extra extra long road trip to pick up seeds and fertiliser to make the the stadium work.
So all of them decide to stay and this is why they decided this was the bad day - because this was the day when they could have all decided to abandon the stadium and set up elsewhere. Because they don’t do this, it led to all the events that eventually led to Nick’s death
All mournful story told, it’s time for them to go to bury Nick’s body. Along the way we learn John Dory used to be a policeman and he’s worried that as soon as they’ve finished this story arc, then Morgan will abandon them. Which is well found because Morgan is clear that yes he’ll do just that
Except when they go to bury Nick they find the guys have been tricking them and they’ve actually just been after a stash of weapons. Many many weapons. Which they intend to use on a big revenge assault on the Vultures which Althea and co aren’t super fans of. But in digging up the stash they also dig up some of Naomi’s old stuff - turns out she was actually John’s missing beloved Laura. And she’s dead
John is devastated by this and wants to be left alone - so Morgan, a man whose entire life is all about being left alone, decides to stay with him while Althea reluctantly goes along with the others on their revenge crusade