fear-twd

The key elements of this week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead were faith, hope and charity.

We had Alejandro continuing to rely on faith as a shield against outside forces that threaten the colony, even as he questions the faith others have in him. We had hope in the form of the seaside hotel finally taking shape as a safe haven, complete with ice and a working generator. And finally, we had charity, as several characters struggled with their path, trying to understand the role they are intended to play in this dystopian world, yet willing to sacrifice to attain what they believe is the greater good.

That fact that all of these elements ultimately lead to bad choices is made clear by episode’s end. What they do achieve appears to be a probable grand reunion of most of the FTWD season one characters, as tipped by a key scene at the very end of the program. Perhaps our wandering cast had to go their separate ways to realize that time apart only makes their bond grow stronger.

This week’s recap:

*** We open with Francisco, one of the men who brought Nick to the colony, making a desperate sneak escape from the safe haven with his family. He uses the increasingly annoying “smear walker guts” ploy to get his wife and daughter through the walker-infested outer ring around the colony, but there are worse creatures in the world. We’re referring to the warehouse banditos, who suddenly appear and quickly take Francisco and family prisoners. The goal?  Get them to reveal the location of the colony, which is a rich source of oxy painkillers.

*** Next, we finally learn that Ofelia did indeed escape from the hotel by taking the truck that brought them there. Her reason is revealed in flashback to a crucial juncture in her life, as she rejects going with her fiancé to his new job in New Mexico, opting to stay with her parents in Los Angeles. But now, she has a truck and a map, and perhaps she’s heading to reunite with her love.

*** Back at the hotel, the walkers have been cleared, and slow progress is being made on restoring services to the facility. A portable generator is powered up, which produces ice for the bar; vegetables are being planted; and the premises is being secured against marauding groups. But there’s one danger they didn’t’ count on – when Victor investigates a noise behind a closed door, he’s stabbed by Ilene, the deranged mother of the bride that Victor dispatched in the previous episode as a way to liberate Oscar, the groom, from his guilt over not being able to save her. It’s not a fatal wound, but the bleeding is enough to incapacitate Victor. Ilene is confined to her room, and Maddie warns that anyone perpetrating further violence will be ousted from the community.

*** Back at the colony, all is not well. It seems Francisco isn’t the first scout to desert the community, and Alejandro seems slightly unhinged that his control is ebbing. He accuses Luciana of disloyalty, and dismisses Nick’s concerns about the coming confrontation with the warehouse banditos, both signs that he’s not thinking clearly. When confronted, he plays on Nick’s sympathies, referring to him as a “son” and asking for continued faith, even as he capriciously forbids further trading with the warehouse for crucial supplies. Something is slipping off the rails here, and Nick is upset with Alejandro’s crazy ways. But Luciana remains loyal to her mentor.

*** Back at the hotel, Victor needs medication that will help him generate more red blood cells to replace the ones he lost from the stabbing. There’s no such medicine in the hotel, but Elena knows of a place that has some, the same warehouse that Nick’s colony has been using for trade. She takes Madison and Oscar, leaving behind Hector. It turns out that Hector’s brother, Antonio, is in residence with the banditos, and that’s a sore spot with Hector.

*** When they arrive at the warehouse, they ask for Antonio, and offer a cooler of fish and ice as barter for medicine. The ice is better received than the fish, and if the hotel people can bring more of it, they can pretty much have whatever they want. They wait while Antonio gets their supplies, but overhear Marco loudly interrogating Francisco and his wife about the whereabouts of the colony. Maddie asks Elena for a translation, and when she hears about a scruffy haired boy, she runs over to the interrogation, asking if the boy’s name is Nick. They fearfully refuse to answer, and Maddie is dragged away, but the seed has been planted, since the warehouse is just 15 miles away from the hotel. Nick must be in the area! Maddie refuses to abandon hope that she can find him.

*** Back at the colony, Nick enlists someone to go with him to the warehouse to get more supplies, circumventing the desires of Luciana and Alejandro. But as Nick looks out at the landscape, he’s observed through binoculars by Marco and Antonio. They’ve found the location of the colony!  That ain’t good.

*** There’s a final scene with Ofelia, flashing back to a conversation she had with her late mother. In the reminiscing, it’s related that mom knew to marry Ofelia’s father because “God whispered to me,” and she tells her daughter not to live in fear. Message received, and that’s enough for Ofelia to realize that she must head into the U.S. and find her would-be fiancé.

*** Back at the hotel, the Victor medicine is handed off, but Maddie makes a choice – she turns on the electric sign of the hotel, a sure sign that the place is occupied, and one she hopes will attract Nick if he is indeed nearby. It’s a foolish choice, given that it could also attract unsavory characters, and Alicia chastises her mother for putting everyone in danger.

*** Our final shot is a faraway man seeing the illuminated sign in the distance. It’s not Nick, but it is Travis, Maddie’s estranged husband. He sees the sign and begins walking toward it. But wait – what happened to Chris, the son he chased and vowed to protect,  abandoning the rest of the family? Did Travis give up on him after Chris cold-bloodedly killed a man in the last episode?

There are three episodes left in this season, and the forces of further action are congealing. The colony has been discovered, Alejandro and Luciana are losing their power grip, Nick is acting behind everyone’s back, the hotel has become known to those in the area, and the issues of Victor’s survival and crazy Ilene have yet to be resolved. Whatever happens next spells trouble!