Remember the good times? Those hazy, lazy days of our youth when we were actually complimenting some of the characters on Fear the Walking Dead for using their brains in good ways? Oh, wait, that was just last week. Looks like the honeymoon is over, because this week is just chock full of people taking leave of their senses, all for the sake of pushing the storyline incrementally forward.
This week’s episode also took the time to give us a nice little reminder that we were eventually going to see a contrived reason to bring everyone back together again. After all, the main characters didn’t get too terribly far away from each other, and you knew that there was no way they were going to keep everyone apart for too long. It was fractured storytelling, and, unless characters were just going to vanish completely from the show, they need to be reunited if we’re going to be able to get any movement from some of these characters (yes, I’m looking at you, Travis). So hey, maybe the season finale, which is just a few episodes away, will be somewhat kind and both bring everyone together, while simultaneously cutting wheat from chaff. Only three episodes to wait, but for now, let’s take a look back. Don’t worry, you won’t be turned into a Pillar of Salt.
5. Guard in the tower
Francisco, one of the runners, has decided that his family just isn’t safe inside the colonia any more. He may have a valid point, given that the medicine is eventually going to run out, and there are too many people at death’s door to continue sending them all efficiently to the walkers ringing the town. He even utilizes the zombie camouflage trick to get past the walkers without being in serious danger. True, they ended up getting captured by Marco and his crew, and will surely be giving up the location of the colonia, but that couldn’t have been foreseen. So what’s the error in all of this? The colonia has a guard stationed in the tower. They know, because of Nick’s recent actions at El Pelicano, that there’s a good chance the colonia could be in danger. What better time to take a quick little nap, right? I get that it’s probably been pretty dull, but maybe find ways to stay awake. Or get someone on the tower that can.
Oh, Ilene. Clearly stricken with grief, and just not handling things well. She was one of the driving forces behind trying to push Elena out of the hotel, all because of what Elena did when the virus took hold of the wedding. She follows up this week by approaching the room where Madison and company are trying to discuss how to run the hotel. Strand answers her knocking, and is greeted with a stabbing, because he is the one who “took away her daughter”. Listen, Ilene, your daughter was already gone, and you haven’t had a chance to mourn, but that’s no excuse to potentially bring an entirely new member of the undead into the hotel. Or forcing the people around you to use precious resources that could be saved for a better time just to try and keep him alive.
3. The hotel residents
We’ve already talked about Ilene, so let’s talk about the conversation that was happening shortly before that. We saw Madison and Elena work to fill up the generator with gas, and then test it to make sure it works. Thankfully for them, it does, but it starts to beg the question, what would be a better use for said gasoline. Would it be better to conserve the gas for the inevitable supply runs you’ll need to venture out on, or should you use it to make sure that you have plenty of ice and can take warm showers? Look, I understand that the desire for creature comforts is strong, but it certainly would have been nice if, while discussing the severely limited number of hours that the generator would be run, someone could have stepped up and said “We don’t actually need this stuff to survive, nice as it might be”. It is awfully hard to have a scotch on the rocks after a hard day of undead destruction without rocks, though.
2. Alejandro and Nick
These two are butting heads over the direction for the colonia. After it is discovered that Francisco has left with his family, Alejandro decided that he needed to lock down everything, and prevent anyone from leaving. This includes sending anyone to make the drug run to El Pelicano, despite knowing that the delivery was expected that day, and that Marco’s crew already had reason to be angry with the residents of the colonia. While he is trying to protect everyone, he’s actively making it much more dangerous. And Nick? Oh, Nick. Apparently, despite being SuperJunkie, Nick never learned how to be subtle with his own scheming. Nick at least seems to understand the importance of getting Marco his drugs, but he tries to gather an ally for his trip by seemingly asking as many potential partners as he can, and doing it loudly. These two are certainly going to have a more direct confrontation in the coming episodes, and the safety of the colonia will suffer the most for it.
From running the generator at all, through to the end where she ignores her own decree about not powering up at night, Madison spent most of the episode being driven by emotion, instead of logic. Everything really came to a head when she and Elena were delivering fish and ice to El Pelicano, and she happened to overhear Marco interrogating Francisco. Given the state of the world, most people would have laid low, gotten the supplies that they needed to save Strand’s life, and made it back to the hotel. Not Madison, who decided that she just needed to hear more about what was going on, and then heard about a random American who was also part of a settlement. Now she knows about Nick, or at least someone that matches his description, and she’s willing to jeopardize everything to try and get him back. At least Alicia called her out on it all, and may have gotten through to her enough that the lights got turned back out, but maybe the rest of the hotel should rise up and exile the woman who may have drawn a lot of unneeded attention towards them. Especially if it brings Travis.
So that wraps up this week. Honestly, there could have been so many more people added to the list, but let’s just keep it at 5. Otherwise, we’re setting a terrible precedent, and we’d hate to imply a promise for something, and then never fulfill that promise. The next episode is titled “Date of Death”, so does that mean we’ll be saying goodbye to someone? Only time will tell, and that time is just under a week. See you then!