Last week on Fear The Walking Dead was all about Nick. We had an entire episode dedicated to him finding himself and doing so, found a new group of people to hopefully call family. Even though he abandoned his current family, these people hopefully would be ones he could trust. So did it pay off for Nick? Are his new group of people to be trusted? And what about everyone else? During this show wasn’t going to be “Fear The Walking Nick” as he ventured throughout Mexico. His mother, sister, and everyone else is off on their own adventures as well.
Lucky for us, in this episode of Fear The Walking Dead we got to see a little more going on south of the border. We get to see Nick and he adjusts to life with his newfound group, but we also get to see Strand, Madison, Alicia, and Liza as they spend some time in a hotel to recuperate. Needless to say, both groups run into trouble on their own.
The episode begins showing us a little bit of the culture at Nick’s new compound. He gets a dose of how things are run there real quickly. Although he wanted to join a group of people who don’t see the dead as monsters, these folks might be taking it a little too far. When someone is the newfound group is infected they instantly become the sacrificial lamb of the group and have to go towards “the wall” outside the gate where they voluntarily feed themselves to the dead. In an insane world, it makes sense. After all, they are already going to die. Why not keep the other zombies at bay. However, the group has turned this into a quasi-religious ceremony. It’s almost a “circle of life” where the victim in a willing participant to get themselves killed to be among the dead. The compound is led by Alejandro (Paul Calderon), a pharmacist-turned-doctor-turned-group leader who has an unhealthy obsession with death.
He might have a good ready to. According to Nick’s newfound friend Luciana (Danay Garcia), Alejandro has been bitten and did not turn. This gives him all the street cred he needs to call the shots and in a very Jonestown manner leads the group. At first, Nick doesn’t buy it but later on after talking with Alejandro Nick sees what appears to be rotten flesh from a bite on Alejandro’s collar bone. Towards the end of the episode, it looks like Nick might also be drinking the Kool-Aid, but he also has a sense of hesitance on his face as well.
Later in the episode, Nick and Luciana go on a supply run towards the other end of Tijuana where we get to see a bit of how bartering is done in the zombie apocalypse. What appears to be former cartel members own a part of town that has the only remaining supermarket, so they can run commerce as they see fit. Luciana has drugs from Alejandro’s pharmacy to use as currency so that they can get bottled water for their community. Nick, however, sees a piece of candy that catches his eye and he’s just gotta have it. Luciana quickly nips that in the bud exclaiming to him that they only came for water and water only. As he and Luciana prepare to leave the cartel members stop them and thrown Nick on the ground. Turns out Nick pocketed the candy anyway. According to the cartel folks, this is a big no-no. As they prepare to enact some street justice, they prepare to take a machete to Nick's hand for stealing (the same way Rick got his had cut off in The Walking Dead comic book), Nick flexes his wits and intelligence. Having noticed one of the cartel people had a sick family member inside the supermarket, he correctly guess she needed Oxy and would only give it to them if he was spared and they got to get extra water. Nick gets to keep his hand, they get extra water, but now they have a big problem with the cartel folks.
Meanwhile, Nick mother, sister, Strand, and Ofelia have spent a lot of time looking for him. With no such luck, they head back towards Strand’s boat and will simply move on without him. Of course, a boat left along doesn’t remain on its own and has since been stolen. They now have to venture on their own and find a new way. After leaving a note in the sand for Nick, they venture onwards. They find a hotel and decide to hunker down there.
After breaking in the hotel and not really finding any supplies, they decide to split up. Ofelia & Alicia go to search the rooms in the hotels in the search of raiding the minibars for food/drinks and see if there are any survivors. As the two begin searching the hotel they notice that rooms marked “occupied” are full of zombies and they quickly learn not to go into those rooms. One of the rooms that weren't marked having zombies, however, they discover a person who hung himself and became zombified anyway. This leads Ofelia to start having dark thoughts related to suicide. After all, her family is gone. How much fight does she really have left? After taking a quick shower, Alicia cannot find Ofelia. With the balcony door open we are led to believe that she gave up and jumped to her death. Before Alicia can even look for her, she notices that zombies are coming out of their rooms and falling off the ledges because they hear Madison and Strand.
The two of them have found the bar. And in hopeless fashion, the two of them decided to throw a whole lot of drinks back and blow off some steam. Not only are they drinking heavily, but they are breaking glasses and playing the piano. Sure, get wasted in the zombie apocalypse, but don’t be loud about it! Soon enough not only the zombies in the hotel are after them, but those in nearby buildings that were locked away are all turning towards their noise. How are they going to get out of this?
While not a lot really happened narrative-wise for the show, it still does a great job at opening the world for the viewer. As said previously, we really didn’t get a chance to see how communities word in this world until recently on The Walking Dead because Rick and company were always on the move. Because Nick is pretty much set up at an isolated place, we get to see how that place interacts and works in this newfound world and helps us understand how things work.
OK, Alejandro’s bit is a problem. Throughout The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, if you get bit, you die. It doesn’t operate according to the George Romero zombie rules but works a little parallel to them. If you get bit by a zombie, your infection will grow and grow until you die and then you become a zombie. The only instances where it didn’t happen was when someone was bitten and was able to cut off the arm or leg before the infection took whole on the person. Alejandro was bitten on his collar bone area. Not only would a bit that size and at that location probably have bled out, but you always would have died and turned into a zombie. It looks like they are making him into some sort of “zombie Jesus” which goes against everything that has been set in stone throughout both series. However Alejandro is charismatic, so he could possibly be lying to the group and might not have been bitten but injured himself in another fashion. But people will believe you if you say you survived a zombie bite and you can pretty much say whatever you want and everyone will follow you. Either way, it’s going to be very interesting as that develops.
Next week looks to bring back Travis and his son and we’ll catch up on them. Will Chris still be in his serial killer mind frame? We’ll see.