‘Fear The Walking Dead’ S3E11 Recap: “La Serpiente”

Last week marked the return of Fear The Walking Dead after a two-month long break, and things weren’t going to well at the Broke Jaw Ranch.  The new partnership with the Broke Jaw folks and the members of the Black Hat Reservation proved shaky at best.  For one, in order for the partnership to work, Brooke Jaw was going to be in charge of everything, which did not sit over well with the people who were there first.  Thanks to Troy wanting to make a stand for his family land, tensions were at an all-time high and one little thing could mean their slaughter at the hands of Black Hat.  For his efforts, Troy was exiled.  To make matters even worse, they only have six weeks of water left.  Without water, the little bit of normalcy that remains would quickly turn to anarchy.  Madison and Walker decide to head out in search of water while their seconds in command try to maintain the peace.  In their travels, they ran into Strand who tells them about the dam currently under Lola and Daniel Salazar’s control.  Will they be able to broker a peace for water, or will that lead to yet another confrontation?

The episode begins with the trio driving through a zombie-filled highway.  Walker already untrusting of Strand, things he’s led them to a trap (since he won’t say where the dam is located).  However, the ever-cunning Strand uses a keychain, which happens to be electronic and loud, to lure the herd away from them so that they can then continue without fear.

Strand them takes them to an abandoned parking lot, once again trying Walker’s patience.  However, Strand knew exactly where they were going.  After moving a well-placed car away from a manhole, he removes a sewer grate which will lead them underground to that they can find their way to the dam.  Of course, walking through an endless supply of feces (that has not been maintained by an actual sewer company since the end of the world) is not Walker or Madison’s idea of a fun time, they carry on.  Strand even gives them the warning of holding their breath on the way down, not that it will do them any luck.  Although Victor’s been there before (or so he says), he continues to get lost as they trek through the endless tunnels, angering Walker even further at not only Strand, but also at Madison for placing so much trust in Strand.  In addition to crap in the tunnels, there are also stray zombies that they try to stealthily avoid.  After endlessly walking around for quite some time, Strand finally sees the graffiti signs that will point him in the right direction, just in time to avoid the chasing zombies.  As they get to the storm drain needed to get topside, it’s being manned by a stuck zombie (something the previous owner of the dam used to ensure their safety.  After Madison takes out the obese zombies, she has to hack it apart and continue to pass its body parts back to Walker and Strand to clear a way for them to escape.

When they make it topside, they run into Daniel.  Daniel who is untrusting of Strand, knowing that he lied about Ophelia being alive (even he didn’t know she still was), confronts Strand to once and for all put a bullet into him.  Luckily for Strand and Daniel, Madison tells him the news that his daughter is still alive and at their ranch.  This gives Daniel a moment of relief, and once again allows Strand to have more than nine lives. Madison wants to propose a deal so that the ranch can get the water they desperately need.

The only problem is that Lola is having her own crisis related to being in charge of all the water.  Although she wants to be fair and give water to those who need it, heavy is the crown who wears it, and she has had to deal with a water riot where nearby people are shooting at her group for access to water.  Daniel, having his Salvadorian military mind, is seeing them as a threat and shot first in the latest water riot.  When they meet with Lola, Madison pleads their case and offers an alliance as the ranch has supplies they may need.  Lola unfortunately, cannot be seen in the eyes of her people as forming a relationship with “gringos” as her own people seem to think that she’s trying to horde water from them as the previous owner did.  She allows them to stay the night, which Madison hopes can give her time to change Lola’s mind.

Strand and Walker end up roommates, much to Walker’s discontent.  Walker warns Strand that because Madison used all his gold trading for his freedom last week in the hopes of getting water that if she cannot make good on her promise, it will be the Broke Jaw residents who suffer, as they will be kicked out of their home and left to fend for themselves in the desert.  Strand knows that he may be the cause of the deaths of many people is worried.  Daniel and Walker, later on, have a conversation about his daughter.  While Walker doesn’t flat out say it, he can tell that his daughter has a new boo.  Walker also tells Daniel that his daughter is following in his footsteps and becoming a killer.  Daniel is appalled as that’s not how he raised his daughter to be, but this is the zombie apocalypse, everyone kills someone at some point.  While Daniel has longed to get back with his daughter, he made a promise to Lola, and without him, the dam will fall into anarchy.  Walker has had enough of Madison and Strand and opts to walk back to Broke Jaw and enact his plan of kicking all the non-Black Hat people off the ranch.

Just as Madison and Strand are getting ready to leave and go back empty handed, Strand tells her to hang back.  Turns out, he wasn’t going to let Madison or the rest of her community suffer because of him.  After rigging an explosive to blow up a tanker and the front gate (with Daniel’s silent blessing), a few zombies get through.  Daniel blames it on people who desperately need water, convincing Lola that they need Madison’s help.  An agreement is made to give Madison 10,000 gallons a week until the spring rain comes in exchange for weapons from Broke Jaw.  They also require Ophelia also be at the exchange in five days.  Loa gives them a tanker full of water as an act of good faith and off they head home with water in hand.  As they drive back on the highway, they pick up Walker who is now all smiles.

Now, of course, they all have to hope that everyone at Broke Jaw hasn’t killed each other in their absence.