‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Recap: “Pablo & Jessica”

Last week on Fear The Walking Dead focused on Travis and his soon-to-be-serial killer son Chris as he tried to veer his son away from the dark side.  Unfortunately, as soon as Chris met a group of like-minded individuals, whatever headway he was trying to make was quickly negated as his son ended up murdering an innocent man over supplies.  This served as a continuous reminder that when the zombie apocalypse happens, people change to adapt.  Sometimes they change for the better, sometimes for the worst.

This week, however, with everyone spread out in different areas of Mexico we completely ignore Travis and Nick and instead spend our time back at the hotel with Madison, Alicia, Strand, and their newfound hotel group.  We also continue to see Nick as he starts to adjust to his newfound community as they continue to show him the ropes, mainly through his interactions with “Zombie Jesus” Alejandro and his soon to be squeeze, Luciana.

We know that Strand and Madison ended up surviving the scene at the bar when the zombies started cornering them as they ended up saving Madison as she was almost attacked by them previously.  This week’s episode begins showing them go through the fight of their lives as they are cornered (and drunk) having to fend for themselves against an onslaught of zombies that have then cornered in the bar.  Lucky for them, they have also quickly adapted to survival and there also was a plethora of weapons available at the bar for them to be able to dispatch those that got too close to them.  

After a few close calls, they were able to escape into a nearby (and hidden) room.  After one zombie followed them and was easily killed, they once again had to “disguise” themselves by covering up in zombie blood to mask their smell so they can freely walk among them to make their escape.  While in The Walking Dead, in order to mask yourselves it needed to be zombie blood and guts, on this show it just needs to be blood.  Probably a minor deviation but not a large plot hole.  After they narrowly escape, they begin searching the hotel for Alicia.  Madison being motherly doesn’t want to stop until she finds her daughter.  Strand reminds her that he daughter has always been strong and will be able to take care of herself, something that Madison fully acknowledges and the two try to rest a little before continuing their search.  When they pick up their search, we get to see just how big the hotel is and one good thing is that the hotel is a place they can stay at long-term.  After all, this hotel seems to still have hot water and electricity, in the zombie apocalypse, this place seems to be a paradise.

When they finally find Alicia, she is on the run with her newfound friend, the hotel manager Elena from a last minute biting.  After reuniting with Alicia, the decision is made that they could fortify the hotel and have a place to stay.  They only have two obstacles: the zombies that are either walking around freely or locked in rooms by other hotel guests, as well as the hotel guests who are still holding a grudge against Elena for locking them in the room during their wedding killing many of the wedding party.  Madison and Strand end up playing peacemakers between the two groups having beef at the hotel.  In a very much “life together, die alone” fashion, they try to mend fences to have everyone work together in order to secure the hotel.  The hotel guests decide to sit this one out, leaving Madison, Strand, Elana, Elena’s brother, and Alicia to try and clear the hotel.

As they try to clear the hotel and are piling zombie bodies by the beach, they come up with a master plan.  Instead of burning the bodies, they realize that the beach has a very strong riptide and the easiest way to get rid of the zombies would be to lure them out to the pier and have them fall into the ocean where they can no longer make it to shore.  As long as no one is dumb enough to go for a swim (hey dumber things have happened on this show and other) they would be safe.  They then put their plan into action where they make noise to lure out all the zombies in the hotel.  Alicia is able to lure zombie by using her iPhone’s music… how does she still have power for her phone?!?  The plan is successful as Madison lures all the zombies out to the pier.  As Madison jumps into the water, Elena’s brother uses a zodiac and she and Alicia drive it into the water to save her and all the zombies fall into the ocean.

With the hotel cleared, now the wedding guests come out of their rooms and are ready to join the newfound group at the hotel.  As they all get together to have dinner for the first time, only one person is missing, the groom.  He just isn’t ready to forgive Elena for her past transgressions, he is also still keeping his zombified bride alive.  Strand realizes this problem/dilemma and goes to the groom’s hotel suite for a quick heart to heart with him where he shares his own history with his lover who was bitten and he ended up killing him.  Knowing that the groom isn’t ready to let go but needs to, Strand volunteers to help both the groom and his zombie bride and proceeds to go into the honeymoon suit to kill her with the groom’s approval.

Meanwhile, in Tijuana, Nick is still getting adjusted to his newfound colony that has a different approach to zombies.  Because he is still skeptical of Alejandro’s ability to not be turned after being bitten, he spends some time with him.  As they spend some time together, he learns of how Alejandro was bitten and although we don’t see the bite, Nick actually touches Alejandro’s shoulder and feels the bite.  He also learns that as the colony’s pharmacist, Alejandro is running low on supplies and soon will run out of Oxy, which is badly needed.  Being a professional junkie, Nick knows how to stretch a drug and volunteers to help “make it right” for Alejandro.  We are then treated to Fear The Walking Dead’s best Breaking Bad rendition as Nick goes to work on breaking the Oxy down into smaller pill forms that would help stretch the drug.  All that was missing was a 70’s music monologue and we would have been in an episode of Breaking Bad.  Nick almost played the Jessie Pinkman/Gus Fring moment for the iconic TV show.  This helps Nick earn his stripes and as a result, he becomes more accepted in the community.  He plays a game of soccer with the locals and Alejandro gives him his own house.

Meanwhile, Nick has been spending a little bit of time with Luciana.  She is teaching him Spanish, something he needs to know if he’s going to live in Mexico.  As he is learning Spanish, he and Luciana begin bonding.  Luciana learns that her brother has been killed and Nick offers to be a shoulder to cry on.  While she doesn’t completely let her guard down, the two end up spending some time at Nick’s new house where after asking is she was “testing” him as Alejandro said she was they begin to kiss (and probably other things).

One thing about this episode that made it “work” is that is shows even in the zombie apocalypse sometimes actually talking through a problem works itself out.  The peacemaking at the hotel done by Strand and Madison ended with them being able to secure the hotel and build a community.  In The Walking Dead, the first reaction is usually to go in guns blazing and sort out them problems that way, therefore creating more problems.  Because this is technically earlier, many are still clinging to the old world and will entertain the notion of peace.  We know it’s not long for this world but it’s still good when it works.  However, there’s a danger lurking.  Between the Cartel and Chris’s group, there are people who are the “takers” in this new world.  Both the hotel and the colony are ripe for the taking and those who live there will need to be ready to go the extra mile to defend it.

Next week looks like that danger is coming.