Another week, another hour to spend with the family that just won’t die. At least, not completely. Sure, there are still questions that abound as to exactly how this particular collection of people has been able to make it this far into the apocalypse. Those questions just lead to unsatisfying answers, however. At least the doomsday preppers that we’ve started to get to know prepared for something to happen, and seem to have some level of survival training that would have helped them get to this point.
This week, we spent a lot of time fretting over Walker, and his tribe lurking somewhere outside of the walls of the Broke Jaw Ranch. This allows our characters to delve into the story aspect of humans being the true monsters for this season (face it, this metaphor is pretty much needed every year). While the reanimated are still a threat, they are definitely playing second fiddle to people that have been wronged by other people. With the mid-season finale looming, we’ve only got so much time to enjoy all of this Red Dirt. Well, maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word, when you’ve got people ignoring common sense just this frequently.
Maybe it’s the glow of getting to sleep with the newest member of the community, and one that you didn’t spend all of your childhood growing up around, but Jake suffers from a crippling attack of dumb when he’s at the range, practicing his shooting skills. Well, he’s actually fine until the moment he knows that Alicia is there, and willing to learn. He’s got hearing protection available for both of them (do they just hang out at the range for anyone to use, or did Jake bring a second pair just in case?), but then he neglects to actually cover his ears with them before Alicia starts firing. Maybe we just don’t see that moment, or maybe Jake is just preparing himself for the inevitable gunfire without hearing protection that looms in his future, but it seems like he would have been more careful.
Alicia has her own issues at the shooting range, but more troubling is what she decides to do after Jake has departed to find Walker and his people. She spends some time trying to convince him that Jake is heading on a fool’s errand, and that this is different than any situation where he confronted (and beat) Walker before. Then, after Madison, Nick, and Troy return with their news about the Trimbol family, Alicia decides she’s going to head off to the reservation after him? Because a young woman setting out on her own will totally help change Walker’s mind about the Broke Jaw Ranch.
You and your patrol group have just returned, limping and dehydrated, from an exploratory mission that went wrong, and where Walker sent a message to the Broke Jaw Ranch. You’ve listened to your friend Mike let the cat out of the bag regarding how dangerous Walker and his people may be. So immediately try to push to bring the attack to the man who ambushed you. I mean, at least take some time to heal your feet, and maybe think about getting some reconnaissance before launching your revenge schemes.
On one hand, Jeremiah was able to talk Troy back from the ledge, keeping him from launching an ill-advised attack against Walker that the Broke Jaw Ranch wasn’t ready for. On the other hand, he’s seemingly willing to underestimate what Walker is capable of, and doesn’t seem terribly disturbed by watching people from within the Ranch break away from his power center. In fact, his way of reacting to the fact that he is the only founder left of the ranch is to drink, but not actively do much to change his fortunes.
Okay, so you’ve been spending some time getting to know Jeremiah and his family. You’ve gotten the community to start seeing you as someone who is more help than they originally believed. You’ve also got plenty of reason to try and keep Troy from exerting any level of control over the people living at the ranch. So why are you siding with Troy? No, seriously, I’m going to ask again, why are you possibly siding with Troy? Especially with all the evidence pointing to the possibility that the Trimbol deaths were not caused by Walker, but by the man you almost cost his right eye? Unless you’re planning on supplanting him yourself, which could be your gambit. Is it worth it, though, to align so clearly with a man who, mere episodes ago, almost killed your husband and family just for his experiments.
That’s it, everyone. Just one more week, until we’re fed a two-hour mid-season finale. This is the second time we’ve been delivered two episodes in the same sitting. It’s almost like even the powers that be are looking to make sure that we don’t have too many weeks to put up with these characters. Check back in next week!