Ashley Smart once more delivers a blow-by-bloody-blow recap of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD latest episode.
Nick was the true MVP of this weeks episode and Strand’s mysterious past was brought to light. Alicia’s trusting nature comes back to haunt them and the Abigail has some uninvited guests.
The episode opens up on a naked Nick swimming to shore which reveals how close our group is to the Mexican border; when we see the boarder wall and boats and helicopters on patrol. Nick came prepared with clothes in a bag and quickly gets dressed and walks through a ghost town camp. It appears that people set up tents/Rv’s and a small community outside of the Mexican border in hopes they would let them in eventually. “Save Us” in big letters is spelt out on the ground and it shows people were there for some time and desperate for help.
Nick knows what he has to do and has a game plan. He makes noise to attract a walker towards him and once he has one following him he quickly gets inside a tent and zips himself inside. The walker approaches him and once he pushes up against the closed screen of the tent Nick quickly moves towards it and grabs it by the throat. He toys with it a little and stares into its eyes before he stabs it in the head with his knife. He drags the walker inside the tent and cuts it open and begins putting the blood all over him. The smell gags Nick but he knows it’s what he has to do in order to be safe. Nick is aware that their blood camouflages him and lets him go undetected by other walkers. Nick really embraces the new way of the world and is able to adapt so quickly and it shows that he was surviving before the world came to an end.
Back on the Abigail Madison and Travis are discussing what Strand did to Alex and Jake and that they weren’t a threat. Travis doesn’t trust Strand and would rather throw him off the boat then keep him around. Madison knows it’s important to keep strand around since he’s the key to the house in Mexico and she keeps trying to convince Travis to trust him.
Chris can’t sleep because he has too much noise going on in his head and he joins Ofelia on deck. Chris strikes up a conversation with her asking her if she’s ever been to Mexico before and she tells him she hasn’t but her parents went through Tijuana when they left El Salvador. She tells Chris that her parents put everything into the barber shop and she put everything into watching over them. Chris asks if she had any time for relationships and she plays coy and tells him she had some. Chris tells Ofelia about his girlfriend he had before he moved back to LA. Ofelia tells him that she attended catholic school, made some bad decisions and had some fun her parents didn’t know about. She sees Chris deep and thought and jokes that there are still girls on this planet and not to worry.
Chris sees people in a raft approaching the boat and he turns to Ofelia and asks if he should shoot them. He shouldn’t have hesitated. There are two men and a pregnant women and they climb aboard and say they need help and that there’s something wrong with her baby. Chris is still unsure if he should shoot them but Ofelia gets right to helping the pregnant lady. Chris yells for his dad, trying to alert him about the situation. Travis, Daniel and Madison come up to see what’s going on and Madison takes the pregnant lady with her to check on her below deck. Travis asks the one guy where their boat is and he says that they lost their engines and that they’ve been drifting for days in the raft. Travis continues to ask the strangers questions and Alicia hears the commotion above deck and also notices that Nick isn’t in his bed.
Strand is being quiet above the rest and is sneaking around to avoid being detected. He quickly goes to his safe to get his gun but notices the clip has been removed and he can no longer try to get the upper hand and he seems worried.
Madison and the pregnant lady pass by Alicia and Madison tells her to stay in her room but she hears a familiar voice. She heads upstairs and recognizes the voice to be Jack’s, the guy she was talking to on the radio a few episodes back. Alicia says “Jack” and Daniel looks at her and asks what she has done and just as he questions her, the one guy punches Travis in the face and Jack takes Daniels gun. Down below in the bathroom the pregnant lady smashes Madison’s head off the mirror; knocking her out temporarily and she ties her hands up. Jack and the other guy tie up the rest upstairs and Alicia begs Jack to stop. The leader tells her he’s just doing his job and says to Travis that his son made a mistake. He should have shot him when he had the chance and says that if you have to ask the question someone should already be dead.
He tells Alicia to help Jack tie up Daniel and she doesn’t want to help and he says if she doesn’t; he’ll shoot him. He calls Jack “Kip” and tells him to search the rest of the boat to look for the captain and Nick. Daniel asks Alicia how they know their names and she doesn’t know since she never told jack that. They hear something outside the boat and go to check and see Strand paddling away in their raft. He’s trying to get away and the bandit tells jack to shoot him but Alicia begs him not to and he hesitates. The other guy fires a couple of shots and one of them hits the raft, causing the air to slowly leak from it. Jack asks if he shot him and he says if I didn’t the hypothermia will get him.
Flashback to before the apocalypse happened and we are shown news on a TV screen. Katrina aftermath in Louisiana and we see Strand drinking at a bar with an unknown man. He explains that his father never knew what he wanted to do which was; create, control and own. His father was a strip mall preacher and his mother wasn’t in the picture at all. He’s an only child and is from the west coast. Strand and the other man discuss business and that the man came here to buy but Strand bought before the storm and has lost everything he owns; his properties are all submerged and beyond salvageable. Strand is now bankrupt and has to start over again. He asks him why now and he explains, “When there’s blood in the streets, buy land.” This man is obligated to his business and to his father and you don’t have to care for that to which you are obligated he explains to Strand. He’s an opportunist and Strand calls him an optimistic but he says he’s a parasite. There is something between the two of them, they share a connection with each other.
Strand’s new friend had too much to drink and he brings him up to his room to make sure he gets there safe. Strand grabs him water and takes off his coat and lays him back in bed. He feels his wallet inside and takes it out of his coat pocket and takes all of his credit cards and puts them in his pocket. The man sees him doing this and says, “Maybe I won’t remember..” Strand leaves.
We flash back to the current timeline and Strand’s deflated raft is losing air quickly and he’s desperately trying to get his radio to work as half his body is submerged in the icy water. It’s the first time we’ve seen Strand panic. Back on the Abigail the main bandit Is being cruel and squeezes Ofelia’s bullet wound and jokes about it. Chris tells him to leave her alone and he asks where the keys are to the boat. Ofelia explains the guy they shot, their captain is the one that had the keys. He hits Chris and puts a gun to his head and Travis tells him to not hurt him and that he can get the boat started without the keys. Travis claims he can rewire the boat as long as he lets Chris go. The pregnant lady brings Madison back above deck and puts her with the others. Everyone else realizes Nick is gone and the main bandit tells Jack to find the spare radio and to reach out to a guy named Connor.
The guy tells Jack to take his “princess” with him and Madison protests but Alicia explains to her mom she’ll be ok; she got them into this and she’ll make it better. Alicia asks Jack why he lied to her and baited her but he tells her he had no choice. She asks about Connor and he tells her he is civilized and not a violent person. Jack tells her Connor likes him and that he’ll listen to him. Alicia mentions her family and that she wants them to be protected and he says not to worry since Connor listens to what he has to say.
Nick enters a gated community and pulls out a paper from his pocket with an address on it. He heads towards the address and a walker appears by him and he begins walking and acting like a walker to not cause the walker to be suspicious of him.
Another flash into the past of Strand’s and he’s in a hotel room with a robe on. It appears his life is getting back on track probably due to the fact he used the mans credit cards to help get him there. A knock on his door and he opens it and to his shock it’s the man he stole the credit cards from. He reveals his name is Thomas Abigail and his friends name is Luis Flores. Turns out he stole 36 thousand dollars from him using his credit cards by doing cash advances. Thomas sees that he spent some of the money on a new wardrobe and doesn’t seem angry about the situation. Strand tells him that he purchased 30 grand in credit card debt and in friends real-estate and in five years he’ll be back where he was before going bankrupt. Thomas says that’s beneath him and that he shouldn’t wait that long. He tells Strand that he looks the type that could create beauty from something coarse.
Strand sits down across from him and gets to the point. Strand let’s him know he intends to pay him back with interest and Thomas’s associate Luis is shocked since he stole from him and that he isn’t doing more about it. Strand thanks him for the pardon but Thomas tells him he didn’t pardon him, he obligated him. This isn’t the first time we heard this; in season one Strand says this to Nick when he saves his life when they are locked in the cages.
Back at the deflated raft, Strand drops his radio accidentally in the water and it sinks along with his confidence. He looks scared and begins freaking out; he clings onto the raft. Travis is checking out the electrical element of the boat and says that he needs to go the engine room to override it.
Madison and Daniel discuss a strategy to take back the boat since there are only three of them. She asks Daniel if he can get loose and he tells her to distract the lady so he can. As Travis is heading down to the engine room he notices Daniel trying to get free. Madison begins questioning the pregnant lady about her pregnancy and laying it on thick. Travis is below them in the engine room and is secretly gathering tools and hiding them in his sleeve as he explains to the guy watching him what he needs to do to get the boat going.
Jack radios Connor and explains the situation and Connor says they are approaching close by and asks if he found Alicia and that he looks forward to meeting her. Alicia asks Jack if anything they talked about were true and why he did this to her. She questions him about his girlfriend and he says he was with her for three years and her name was Alison. He explains when his brother died Connor saved him and put him to use, “When someone saves your life you owe them, you just do.” He tells Alicia that he doesn’t enjoy this and he’s sorry about Strand. She explains to him that Strand is no better than Reed (the other male bandit on the boat). Jack wants Alicia to go back with him but she won’t leave without her family. She tells him she’ll help contribute to their group as long as her family can go and will be safe. He explains to her their resources are precious and Connor doesn’t let just anyone join. Jack cuts her ties from her hands and she hugs him. It appears Alicia is doing this to get on Jacks good side and to get him to trust her more. I don’t think she has true feelings for him but is using the situation to help her family.
Nick makes it to the location on the paper and knocks on the door. Someone quickly approaches him from behind and it’s revealed that it’s Luis; Thomas’s associate and he has a gun drawn on Nick. Nick tells him Strand sent him and he shows him the paper from the Abigail. Luis says it’s about time and Nick asks why he doesn’t just stay where he is now and just secure the gate. Luis says he prefers Mexico and tells Nick to go shower before he gets into his car. Nick thinks it’s funny he still cares about his car even though once he gets on the boat he’ll never see it again.
Daniel continues loosening his wrist ties and Madison continues grilling the pregnant lady. She tries getting her worried about the baby and if she has felt it move lately. She says what if the baby died and turned inside of her and she begins getting a rise out of her. Reed continues teasing Chris about Alicia and Jack. Travis hides the tools he stashed behind the cushion of the chair, behind Daniel and they head back up to the wheel house to start the boat.
A newly cleaned Nick talks to Luis about the rest of the people on the boat. He asks how long he’s known Strand and he tells him as long as he’s known Tom. Luis mentions his family works for the Abigail’s and that Tom and him were raised together by his mother. She’s staying at the Baja house and that she’s a tough lady.
A flash back shows Luis’s mother catering to Tom and Strand and she doesn’t seem to like Strand very much, just like her son. Strand has to leave to go secure a deal but Tom wants him to stay with him and live out their days there. He says it feels like the world has fallen away and nothing else matters. You can see that Thomas has fallen for Strand and cares a lot about him. He tells Strand they don’t have to work at all but you can tell Strand wants more.
As Travis is getting ready to start up the engine a small boat approaches the Abigail and Connor is one of the people on board. Travis starts the boat up. It seems Connor does have a heart and asks what happened to Madison’s head. Reed brings Travis down to Connor and Connor says he wants Alicia and him to go with them. He only wants the two of them and they put hoods over their heads and take them with them. Reed explains that Connor hasn’t adapted to this new world, he has good leadership skills but that’s it. He has heart, a strong mind but a weak stomach. Reed doesn’t want any loose ends and doesn’t want them coming back for the boat. They were never going to let the others go and were always planning on killing everyone else. The other two that got off the boat with Connor hear something coming towards them and go check it out.
Nick and Luis are approaching in the zodiac and Nick sees armed people on the boat and tells Luis they aren’t his people. Luis quickly grabs a sniper rifle out of his bag and aims at the red headed lady and fires at her, perfectly hitting her in the head and then he quickly shoots the other guy with a head shot. Reed goes to investigate what happened and Daniel gets free and takes his gun and Madison gets up and grabs the crow bar and stabs Reed with it right through his stomach and out the other side. Chris grabs ahold of him and pushes him into the wall causing the crow bar to push deeper. Nick gets on board with Luis and Nick goes to his mom. Nick tells them that Luis is a friend and he helped and he’s ok. Nick explains Strand sent him to get him. Luis wants to know where Strand is and Madison tells him he escaped when they hijacked the boat and that they shot at his raft when he was trying to get away. Nick tells them Luis is the way to Mexico and without him and Strand they won’t have a chance.
Flash back to Thomas and Strand pre apocalypse and Strand is heading to LA to close a deal on land. Thomas doesn’t want him to leave and he’s concerned for his safety. Thomas tells him there’s been an outbreak and people are rioting and dying. Strand mentions, “when there’s blood in the streets” referencing what Thomas told him before about buying land. Strand tells him he’ll close the deal quickly and will be gone two days only. They share a passionate kiss and Strand smiles as he zips his bag. You can tell Thomas really doesn’t want him to go and genuinely is concerned.
Strand is floating in the water and no longer holding onto the deflated raft. As he floats helplessly Madison approaches in the zodiac and saves him. You can see hypothermia has set in and he’s physically weak and scared. He is shaking and reaches out for Madison’s hand and she helps him into the boat. It’s the first time we have seen Strand this way; weak and in need of serious help.
How did the bandits know our groups names? Perhaps Alex isn’t too far and maybe she told them about the group and Jack put it together that it’s the same group he talked to on the radio. How else would they know that information and why do they only want Alicia and Travis.
Just as we think we are starting to learn more about Strand, more layers are to be found. He’s an opportunist and when he says something he means it. His word is his bond and he won’t break a promise. He doesn’t go with his emotions but stays practical when he needs to be. It’s unsure if he really does have feelings for Thomas or is he obligated or using him.
I find it interesting to see Nick interacting with the walkers. Like he said to Alicia before he was always around just hungry; it’s a good reference to what walkers do. They are always around and always craving food. Nick knows how that feels and when he was on heroine he would shuffle around “dead like” looking for food and his next fix. He always seems to look the walkers in the eye as if he’s looking for something or perhaps himself. He always seems intrigued by the walkers and doesn’t seem afraid of them. Nick is willing to take chances and do things that are risky because he likes the rush and thrill of it.
It was really cool seeing some familiar faces in the episode; Thomas Abigail played by Dougray Scott and Reed played by pop singer Jesse McCartney. Sadly Reed is no beautiful soul.
We are only on episode 4 and the season has really taken off and the pace has really picked up. Next weeks episode looks like we will get to see where Alicia and Travis has been taken and why.