‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Recap: “Pillar of Salt”

On Fear The Walking Dead last week, while we didn’t get any new news concerning Travis and his soon to be supervillain son Chris, we spent our time with the folks at the hotel as well as Nick at the colony.  Strand offered his assistance helping one of the hotel guests let go of his zombified wife after the group made the hotel safe for living.  Nick got in good with his new colony by not only helping cut Oxy, but he also got himself a girlfriend in the process.  We learned that Ofelia isn’t dead as she took a car and got out of dodge.

This week continued more from what was built on last week.  Sorry for Travis and Chis, but maybe we’ll see you next week.  That’s the downside to juggling characters, sometimes they get put on hold for weeks at a time.  This week we got to continue seeing Madison, Alicia, and Strand as they try and make life normal at their new home, the hotel.  Unfortunately, everything doesn’t work as planned.  First off, Strand gets hit (well, stabbed) with some bad luck.  Former zombie Jennifer’s mom isn’t too happy that her daughter was finally put down.  Remember, this is “early Walking Dead world, people are still holding onto their loved ones and still think the zombie version of them are the same person they once were.  Strand said it best: “I understand grief, but this is a bit extreme.”  This created the dilemma for the episode.

Although Strand’s injuries missed his organs, they were by no means superficial.  He needs medicine or he will die.  With none of the necessary medicine at the hotel, the group is forced to go on a road trip.  Madison goes with Elena to the supermarket to trade fish for medicine with the bad guys from a few episodes ago to get the necessary supplies to save Strand while Alicia is left to take care of Strand.  This comes with its own story.  Turns out Elena’s nephew has joined the gang and this has caused some tension within her family.  Much like Nick has left his mother for a life away from her after the apocalypse so that Elena’s nephew.

As they go to the supermarket, you realize everyone isn’t that far away from each other.  This is bound to have a conclusion where everyone will eventually become reunited.  Everything seems to be going well.  The bad guys are OK with trading fish for medicine.  Madison and Elena are to stay in a specific area while the medicine is being collected.  However, Madison overhears them interrogating a family about the colony and learns that someone resembling Nick may be at that colony.  Madison throws all logic out the window and walks in on what clearly is not her business.  Although she and Elena are allowed to leave with their lives, the damage is done and they burn that bridge with that group.

To make matters worse, Madison now knows that Nick may be near and does the stupid.  She turns the hotel sign lights on.  This pretty much puts a big target on their backs.  The bad guys are already looking for the colony because it’s a stronghold they can live at, the hotel is an even better option.  One person does notice the hotel sign when the light is turned on, Travis (who seems to have left his psychotic son).

We finally have an Ofelia sighting!

Although we know she escaped the hotel, we actually haven’t seen her for quite some time.  This episode we didn’t see much of her in action.  Much of her story was told through flashbacks.  Turns out she was engaged before the apocalypse and we get to learn a little bit about her parents.  Her father was a hardened ban due to the Salvadoran civil war.  Her heart to heart with her mother gives a unique perspective of the sacrifice the two of them made so that she could have a better life in America.  It was their love for her and their love for each other that made them decide to leave their home for a better life.  Ofelia decided that she loves her fiancé and will try to find him.  Off to America we go for her story.

At the colony, Nick is dealing with a dilemma himself.  At the beginning of the episode, a family has snuck out of the colony before everyone wakes.  Is everything hunky dory there?  Why would someone rather risk the outside than stay under Alejandro’s leadership?  Perhaps he’s not the “zombie Jesus” we thought he was.  Is he just another con man holding onto power?

With one family leaving, Alejandro institutes a lockdown on the colony which rubs Nick the wrong way.  In addition to restricting everyone in the colony, Alejandro also doesn’t want to do another deal with the bad guys as the supermarket.  Alejandro’s blind faith might end up being his undoing.  Nick then starts to make plans to work behind his back as he knows that eventually the gang will come and take what they want.  The big question is whether this will cause conflict with his new girlfriend Luciana, who has an almost blind faith in Alejandro.

Overall, the episode was strong.  However Fear The Walking Dead is having a few of the problems that the earlier season of Walking Dead had: it has a problem with women making stupid decisions.  Madison almost blowing up the deal at the supermarket and then placing a target on the hotel was another example of Lori or Andrea from The Walking Dead making decisions that no rational person would make in a real-life apocalypse scenario.  It almost costs Strand his life, and it’s alienating her from her daughter, the one who is actually with her.  She is willing to blow everything up on the hope of her son (who already abandoned his family) might be near.  In addition, Luciana’s blind faith in Alejandro seems not wise.  She seems to be a far more equipped leader than he, yet she’s following everything he says without question.  It almost seems as though there are no female writers who would raise their hands during a script meeting and correct this.

Because we now know everyone’s in a relatively close proximity, it’s only a matter of time before there will be a collision and the family will get reunited.  Nick will probably find his way to the hotel, as will Travis in upcoming episodes.

Next week looks like we’ll not only see what happened with Travis and Chris, but we will also see some new people as the hotel looks like it’s about to be overrun with refugees (thanks Madison!).