‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Recap: “Date of Death”

Last week’s episode of Fear The Walking Dead ended with Madison stupidly turning on the hotel sign with the hope that her son Nick would see it and come to the hotel.  Of course, this pretty much screamed “New Castle For Anyone To Take!”  Lucky for her, her long lost boyfriend Travis (who was by himself) was able to see the sign and now has a place to seek refuge at.  So did Travis find hope (and his love)?

Yes, but he’s most definitely a changed man since they last saw each other.  He’s a much more broken man, and this episode we got to see exactly how.

The episode begins at the hotel.  While it first appears to be a large group of zombies at the gate trying to get in.  It turns out that the hotel group is going to have a refugee problem.  More than 40 people saw the hotel lights and all had the same idea.  As Madison, Alicia, Andres, and Hector to try and hold everyone back, Madison spots a familiar face, Travis.  At first, they were trying to turn everyone away, but as soon as Madison sees Travis, she lets him in and therefore, lets everyone else come.  What could go wrong with having an additional 40 mouths to feed?  Plus the are untrustworthy strangers as well.  This might become a big problem as well.

Madison and Travis reunite and she immediately asks what happened with his son Chris.  Last we saw, Chris was slowly turning into The Governor/Negan by killing an innocent man his newfound friends were robbing.  Since Chris was not with Travis, we know something bad happened.  But what happened?  Cue the extra-long flashback.

Most of the episode is spent in the flashback where we learn what happened after Chris killed the poor farmer.  Chris has pretty much gone off the deep end.  After the shooting, Travis has his “Saving Private Ryan” moment where everything slows down and he’s in shock.  He immediately snaps out to save James, the injured person from the new group they were with.   Although James’s injuries seem superficial, we see later on that he is pretty much done in after getting shot.  Travis uses his high school nursing training to try and stitch James up, but they will need some time for James to heal.

Turns out the “bro-pocalypse” group don’t want to wait that long.  After a whole week, they decide it’s time to get out of Mexico and head back to San Diego, even though Travis told them San Diego is in ashes.  To make matters worse, Chris also has drunken the Kool-Aid as well, to the point where he wants to go as well.  They only reason they are letting Travis come along is because he helped James.  So it’s off to San Diego in the pickup truck.

But just like Travis said, James is in no condition to drive and they quickly have to turn around to the farm.  Both James and Travis know that James is dead weight and the San Diego bound group want to kill him and continue northward.  Travis even has a heart to heart with James where James tells him that he’s just a guilty as they are having killed a former member of their group when that person was bitten.  In this new world, friends since childhood don’t have a problem killing each other when their usefulness is done.

Travis tries his best to remain the moral center of the show, but he’s pretty much lost his son in the process.  As Travis tries to protect James from the rest of the group, he has to lock himself and James in the barn away from the rest of them.  Chris ends up knocking on the door where he feigns an attempt to have a heart to heart with his father, but it was all a ruse to get the rest of the gang in so that they can euthanize James.  After please from both Travis and James, the deed is done and he takes a shot to the head.  

After his son’s betrayal, the gang gets in the truck to head back to the United States without Travis.  Travis pleads with his “too far gone” son to come back to the light side, but it’s too late.  Chris tells his father that he needs to let him go and even brings up his mother who Travis euthanized last season when she was bitten.  Chris gets in the car and heads north with his father pleading him not to go before saying “God Damn You!” 

Back in the present, Madison tries to help Travis know he did all he could, but it falls of deaf ears.  The only thing that he reflects on is that his son was once a good kid, but he’s broken because Travis wasn’t a good father.  Travis can’t seem to accept that the zombie apocalypse can turn even a saint into a sinner and there’s nothing he can do about it.  As he talks with Madison, he reminds her that she has her own daughter that she has to care for and tell her she loves her.  Madison decided it’s time to talk more directly with Alicia.

Madison decides it’s finally time to tell her daughter the truth about her father.  For her whole live, Alicia though that he father died because he fell asleep while driving.  Instead, her father actually committed suicide.  Madison kept the secret from her and her brother Nick because it would affect Nick and he could possibly relapse as a result.  She tells her daughter that she loves her and is sorry for not telling her.  The two reconcile, but it’s obvious that this might cause a problem trust wise in the future.  

At the end of the episode, there are some new refugees coming to the hotel: the bro-pocalypse group, minus Chris.  Looks like they didn’t end up making it to San Diego.

Look Zombies!
This was probably one of the first episodes that had absolutely no zombies (expect the brief shot towards the end).  For a show about the zombie apocalypse, we need to have zombies!  It’s understandable that the show tends to focus on the human monsters, as they are more dangerous, but we need the zombie as well.  This episode really dragged on because of that.

Madison and Alicia’s Spanish got real good within the last two episodes!

Even this episode was about Chris finally losing his humanity, it was also about Travis maintaining his.  Even at the cost of losing his son forever, he would not let James be killed by his hand.  James only dies because Travis was betrayed by his own son.  If anyone’s innocence remains intact during the zombie apocalypse, it’s Travis.  Alicia has become hardened, Madison has become hardened, Chis has become insane, and Nick has become hardened.  Only Travis continues to be the same high school teacher he once was.

Next week looks like all hell is breaking loose for control of the hotel.  Not only do the bro-pocalypse group want in, but so does the Mexican gang that Nick’s group is having a problem with.  It looks like it will be an all-out battle, which this season desperately needs!