After the mid-season finale, it seemed as though Fear The Walking Dead was running out of steam. After fighting like hell to get to Mexico, it seemed that once they got there everyone started making a bunch of stupid mistakes. Also sometimes the story didn’t seem to move forward as much as the audience wanted. After all, last week was pretty much a “zombie-free” episode. As much as we like crazy humans doing crazy things, we also like the zombies. So would the second season of the Walking Dead spin-off teeter out and prove to be the red-headed step-child of the regular show? Or would it end with a bang like promised?
Well, actually both.
We were promised a grand showdown between the big bad cartel guys and the citizen of Nick’s La Colonia community. While we did get the showdown, it was very much a letdown compared to other big moments of the show. Instead, we got Travis finally adjusting to this new world and popping his cherry in regards to killing a person…. About time! Alicia also took that big step and did the same thing proving once again that in the world of as Rick Grimes once said: “You Kill, You Live!”
The episode spends a little bit of time letting us catch up with Ofelia as she continues trekking North back to America to reunite with her long-lost boyfriend who may or may not still be alive. At first, her car breaks down. It’s actually good they show that on this show. One gripe about both Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead, is that cars are perfect and always have gas. In a world where there are no longer working gas stations or mechanics, this should happen a whole lot more than it does. As Ofelia’s car is overheated and she is trying to work on the engine, she is attacked by a group of zombies. After dispatching a few of them and seeing more on the horizon, she takes it on the road with a gallon of water.
Surprising enough, she makes the border and is able to get into America when she finds a hole in the fence. As soon as she makes it through, she still has miles of desert to trek through. Unfortunate for her, she is found out by “someone” who starts shooting at her. The gunman (who’s Unser from Sons of Anarchy) walks up to her welcomes her to America.
The rest of the episode juggles between Nick and La Colonia and the hotel group.
At the hotel, Travis has joined but is still dealing with the trauma of having to let his son Chris go with the murderous Frat Bros. However when the two who Chris left with turn up at the hotel as refugees, that can’t mean any good news for Chris. After Madison overhears their names, she can put two and two together and knows that something bad has happened to Chris. Now the question is, does she tell Travis as it will probably cause him to lose all hope, or lie to the man she loves and probably lose his trust?
Lucky for her she doesn’t have to make the decision. After one of them needs medical help, she has to take him to the hotel. That’s when it all hits the fan. Travis can see them taking them into the hotel all the way from his balcony and goes to confront them. At first Travis is all chill and just wants to learn of his son’s fate. Brandon and Derek tell him that Chris died as a result of a car crash. Turns out Chris couldn’t drive and ended up crashing the car. However, the two can’t keep their stories straight and Travis can tell they are lying about the cause of Chris’ death. This is the death of Travis from the past and the birth of Travis of the zombie apocalypse.
Travis proceeds to start beating them mercilessly to get the truth. The two finally confess that they killed him after the crash. Because of how little they regard life, they knew Chris would slow them down. After all, he was badly hurt from the crash with his leg bones poking out and whatnot. That was the last straw for Travis. He beats the two of them to death. In his rage, he slams the door shut on one of the hotel people’s head, knocking them unconscious and this opens a whole new world of trouble.
Madison is the one who made the rule that if you kill a person, you are banished, no second chances. Madison knows it would be hypocritical if she made an exception for her boyfriend. So after a quick council meeting she makes the deal that she, Alicia, and Travis will leave the hotel for Brandon and Derek’s death. The big problem is that Travis critically injured Oscar when he slammed the door and even after his brother tried to do surgery on him, he ended up dead. This means Travis’ actions killed three people. There’s no way they get to walk out peacefully now.
They go up to Travis’ hotel room and it’s not to ask him to leave quietly. They plan to flat out murder him. Madison and Alicia plead for them to spare Travis as they will willingly leave at that moment, but it falls on deaf ears, Travis has got to go! Alicia then steps up and does her first kill by stabbing one of them in the chest. Now Travis, Madison, and Alicia have all killed someone. Can’t say they aren’t a family of the apocalypse. Now they have to leave. Strand, who didn’t even want Travis to stay because he knew something like this would happen helps them escape. Surprisingly Strand doesn’t escape with them. It seems that he’s had enough of their shenanigans. Hopefully, he’s back for next season and this wasn’t a way to write the black guy off the show.
Meanwhile, La Colonia is having its own problems. Nick can see the writing on the wall and knows that the Cartel folks will be coming to raid the place. La Colonia is better fortified than the broke down Wal-Mart they are operating out of, so why not take it over. Nick first tries to negotiate a deal with them by giving them drugs in trade for freedom from attack. That, of course, falls on deaf ears.
After heading back to La Colonia, Alejandro is pissed with him for leaving as he established a strict curfew. As the two and Luciana argue about leaving, one of the sick inhabitants of the makeshift hospital turns and starts attacking everyone. It’s that moment when Alejandro gets bitten. Nick is able to confirm what he’s known the whole time. Alejandro isn’t Zombie Jesus. He was bitten, but not by a zombie. He was able to con everyone as a result and become the leader of La Colonia. This shatters Luciana’s belief in him as everything he said was based on a lie.
Even with Alejandro’s deceit, she can’t bring herself to leave La Colonia and doesn’t care that it will be overrun by the Cartel folks. This puts Nick at a crossroad. Does he leave the woman he loves, or stay and get slaughtered? Nick leaves. However, when he leaves he sees something on the horizon. Because they are so close to America, he sees some sort of refugee camp complete with helicopters. He returns to La Colonia and tells Alejandro that he can lead the people to the refugee center and they don’t have to die.
Because Alejandro is sick from the zombie bite and going to turn, he remains behind when the Cartel attacks. Nick and Luciana lead the people away in search of the refugee camp. Alejandro’s last act is of bravery as he moves the school bus that held the zombies away from La Colonia into the area where they slaughter the Cartel folks. In the aftermath, Travis Madison, and Alicia turn up to learn that Nick is heading North to America. Looks like there will be a happy reunion after all.
Turns out not. As Nick, Luciana, and the people of La Colonia make it to the border, they are shot at. Luciana takes a bullet and it doesn’t look good. It appears that those helicopters are not of the government, but some sort of border patrol militia that are keeping people from Mexico out of America. It wouldn’t be surprising if the same person that Ofelia met was a part of the same group. It looks like the next season of Fear The Walking Dead will be dealing with border issues like racism and xenophobia.
While the latter half of this season wasn’t as strong as the beginning, it did end on a high note. Travis finally “breaking bad” is a welcome turn as he was somewhat irritating with him trying to keep the high moral ground. He finally has adjusted to the new world. Does this mean he’ll be the bad guy? Hopefully not. It does mean that he’s finally becoming more like Rick Grimes and he has a little “gray” to himself, which is needed for this new world. The same goes for Alicia who has always been changing and adjusting for anything that gets thrown her way. With her first kill, she and Travis are continuing to evolve for the new world order.
Nick has always been a strong and dynamic character, but it looks like he’s going to suffer his first defeat. Him leading La Colonia to America was supposed to be him assuming leadership and being strong. But it looks like he just led his newfound people to be slaughtered by a racist militia. Those who survive are not going to trust him.
Going back to America opens the world back up to a whole bunch of new possibilities. While there’s no government (assumedly), there will be some new power players. Fear The Walking Dead doesn’t yet have a Negan or The Governor, but this militia might bring us our first big baddie. We’ll have to wait until next season to see.