We’re getting down to the last three episodes of this early run of Fear the Walking Dead, and shit, as they say, is starting to get real. So let’s not wait–
Blue Light Special:
We encounter one of The Vultures cleaning out a gas station with all the zombies locked up in the coolers. The dude is taking everything, even overhead lights and the bell that rings when you open the door. And he manages to haul all this shit to his van–
–When you hear John (Garret Dillahunt) somewhere off-screen, telling the dude to put up his hands. Oh, and don’t go for your piece ’cause even though mine is in its holster, I’m faster than you on my worst day. Quicker than you can say “Draw”, The Vulture goes for his piece and John shoots off one of his fingers.
John and Morgan (Lennie James) tell the dude they don’t want his shit, they just want to know where he’s meeting the others. When John finds the map, Morgan tells the guy to tell his friends not to show up as others are gonna be there to kill them. The dude takes off and John and Morgan take the van.
RT: And you just know Morgan’s idea of Utopia is just not going to work…
CF: The only person who has more bad ideas than Morgan is Rick, so it’s probably good both of them aren’t here—
Rollin’ Down the Highway:
Back in the SWAT Wagon Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is asking about Althea’s (Maggie Grace) rigged-up .50s. Al’s like fuck off, I’m just here for the story. Victor (Colman Domingo) and Lucinda (Danay Garcia) assure Althea they’ll tell her everything if they get them to the next Vulture meeting place.
Which means while they drive down the highway we get more of the story of–
RT: I’m a bit all over the shop with Althea and her stories. I really love the idea of someone getting down everyone’s stories and I think it is a great way to differentiate from The Walking Dead. But, every time I hear Al going on about her stories, I just want to slap her a little. Don’t get me wrong, I want her to continue collecting them, just not talking about it all the time.
CF: Given all the shit going on with “narration” in this first half, I’m certain we’re going to discover there’s some dark going on with her story telling. Remember, she was freaking out that one episode over a few of her tapes—
Back In the Before:
Naomi (Jenna Elfman) is removing some glass embedded in Alicia’s arm. When Maddie (Kim Dickens) comes in to see how her daughter is, we learn Alicia found three canned hams. Fine dining, indeed.
Lucinda and Nick (Frank Dillane) are trying to figure out where to go next while Victor is being his sarcastic self and Cole (Sebastian Sozzi) looks on. In a moment alone Cole tells Victor he’s glad he got to see the sort of person Victor really is, because you can read between the lines and see he’s glad he didn’t hook up with a fuck up.
Then comes the shit: Naomi is stopped trying to leave with a car. This brings Madison and Victor to the commotion. Naomi tells them that she wasn’t just trying to leave: she knows where there’s a place where there’s a whole lotta food and grain and seeds and fertilizer, and it’s gonna be what they need to get them going again. Sounds good, so Madison and Victor decide to tag along. Note: in the scene before Naomi tried to boogie we see that Madison and Victor have polished off about three-quarters of a pint of bourbon while talking about The Vultures. When they said they were going to leave with Naomi I was thinking, “I don’t know if I’d want a couple of drunks with me.” Then again, it looks like Madison and Victor have built up one hell of a resistance to booze by now…
Rollin’ Down the Highway–Again:
The Three Amigos decide to check into a motel before it gets too dark and there they dine on what’s left in the snake machine and chat. We learn that Madison and Victor once stopped in Roswell, NW, and likely had a good party in a hotel there, and that gets Naomi to ask about where they were coming from. They say they are from L.A. by way of Mexico, and we eventually hear about Madison finding Victor in a river and bringing him back to a cave–just as she’d done with Nick and Alicia–and nursing him back to health before they headed north.
RT: When the showwrunners said there was going to be more backstory about how they left Tijuana, I was not expecting a drunken evening in a motel while they explained it all. 🙁
CF: And since they were both half in the bag, how much of what they said was bullshit? Or, given we’re hearing Strand’s version of the story, how much of what he could remember was bullshit?
But we also hear about Naomi’s original plan, which was to run off with the car, pick up some stuff at a FEMA center where she’d stayed, and move on. She was going to leave behind a map showing the location of the center, so hey: no hard feelings? Victor sees otherwise. He wants the keys because he knows Naomi is a coward: that’s why she was going to run. So they settle in for the night–
And in the morning Naomi is gone, having hot wired another car. Madison and Victor are about to go after her and that’s when Victor comes clean about having a stash because he knows he’s a shit person and he still can’t understand why Madison saved him. She says it’s because she needs him and besides, who else am I gonna drink with?
Dealing With the Dead:
Naomi arrives at the FEMA center–which is in a huge building–and sees the place filled up with the dead. She manages to get inside and find a few things, including a journal which she hides away and we never hear about again. She sees zombies she seems to recognize and hand paintings done by a child and yeah, we instantly know where this is going–
RT: Yeah, this was pretty heartbreaking 🙁
She breaks down, the zombie hear, and Naomi is trapped on a high platform. Maddie and Victor show up just in time and rescue her ass. Outside, away from the dead, we finally hear what happened. Naomi had been at the center for a while with her daughter, Rose. The girl got sick and Naomi put her in a closet to hide–she said she was afraid they’d kick her out if the others knew her daughter was sick–and she went out, spending three days looking for antibiotics. Of course, when she returned everyone was dead because her daughter had died the day after she left and eventually infected everyone else.
Naomi knew there was stuff here because one of the women who she got to know had things stashed and ready to go: Naomi said she used to run “JIC Class”, which stood for Just In Case, and taught everyone skills they needed to live on the outside. They all find this woman behind the wheel of a large flatbed truck full of seed and fertilize and food and–well, everything. They dispatch her and ready themselves to return to The Diamond. NOTE: I’ll talk about this at the end.
RT: Not JSS, JIC…
CF: It was so close that when Naomi first said the initials, I thought she said JSS.
The End of the Begin:
Madison and Co. make it back with all the shit while Alicia, Nick, and Lucinda rub it in The Vulture’s faces. Mel (Kevin Zegers) else everyone to pack it up ’cause it’s gonna take too long to wait out these people and upon leaving he warns Maddie that one never really sees the bad things coming. While everyone gets happy about all the goods Madison’s searching the horizon for trouble. Alicia tells her not to worry, but Madison tells her to load up the Land Rover with food, guns, and ammo and park it some place it won’t be seen. Why? Just in case.
RT: Any group who hangs around for scrapings and then just up and leaves, hell yeah you need a JIC!
Back to the Now:
The SWAT Team make it to the next Vulture meeting place, an old horse track. NOTE: I did a little searching and while I couldn’t find the FEMA center location, this last part was filmed at Manor Down Race Track, which has been closed since 2011.
RT: *fist pumps* Yes! 🙂
CF: I’m gonna find the FEMA center if it kills me.
While Alicia, Victor, and Lucinda prep themselves and for battle and Althea gets it all on film, a Vulture van pulls up. It’s John and Morgan. They’re forced to their knees because the SWAT Team wants to know why they’re there. Morgan says they warned The Vultures off and there’s no need for killing. Victor smirks and says perhaps their warning wasn’t heeded:
The Vultures arrive and Mel and the others get out, ready to do battle. Mel says he’s sorry about Nick; Alicia says she’s not sorry about Mel’s brother. Morgan is going on about how this doesn’t have to go down, but no one is listening. Just then a woman’s voice comes over Mel’s radio and Alicia wants to know what it means. Mel’s like, “She didn’t tell you?” At this point, the Land Rover pulls up and I half expect Madison to get out.
RT: I totally thought it was Madison too!
But it’s not Madison: It’s Naomi.
John sees her and calls out to Laura, running to her. Alicia turns and see Naomi and draws down on her, shooting at her with an M-16. And just as John warns in the previous episode sometimes other people get hurt by guns–because he jumps in front of Naomi, takes the round in the chest, and goes down.
And just like that, Fear the Walking Dead is FUCKING WITH US AGAIN!
Personal Note: That last fucking scene… Holy shit. When I heard the voice on the radio my first thought was “Madison’s with The Vultures?” Then the Land Rover pulls up and Naomi gets out, and right up to where John is shot and goes down my mouth was literally open from surprise, as I didn’t see this one coming at all. I have had nothing but good things to say about the writing for this season, and this was a prime example of throwing all sorts of curves at the fans and keeping them guessing.
But then, I started to wonder about Naomi starting with the story back at the FEMA center. Yes, I believe she had a daughter and that Rose died, but the whole “I was gone for three days and it turns out she died the day after I left and infected everyone”, well… I got questions. Like, oh, if you were out on your own for three days, how did you know your daughter died the day after you left and infected everyone else? Were you getting spirit messages or some shit? I mean, the only way you could have known Rose infected everyone else was if you set it up for that to happen. There was also the matter of her friend in her JIC truck, but dead and turned. So, she got into the truck and then died behind the wheel? Or could it be someone killed her after she got behind the wheel and left her there because, why not? It’s not like the shit is going anywhere. We get that Naomi’s been on her own for about a month, but was she always with The Vultures? Was she just another set up like the kid?
RT: Yep, I had these exact same thoughts about Naomi’s story. This is not the end of it, that’s for sure.
I’ve told Rachel that I feel there’s a lot of unreliable narration going on, first with Alicia and Co. and now it looks like most of what Naomi is saying is bullshit as well. I believe we’re gonna have to get all the way down to Episode 8 to get the real truth on a whole lot a shit–and I don’t think we’ll be happy with what shakes out in the end.
Because next week is a holiday in the U.S., the next episode, The Wrong Side of Where You Are Now, will not air until 3 June, and by the looks of it we’re going to see all kinds of shit go down and blow up. Here is the synopsis for the episode:
Madison’s decision to help an adversary has unintended consequences; John Dorie’s life hangs in the balance.
As always, leave a comment and tell us what you think!
Madison Clark — Kim Dickens
Alicia Clark — Alycia Debnam-Carey
Victor Strand — Colman Domingo
Lucinda Galvez — Danay Garcia
Naomi — Jenna Elfman
Cole — Sebastian Sozzi
Nick Clark — Frank Dillane
Althea — Maggie Grace
John Dorie — Garret Dillahunt
Morgan Jones — Lennie James
Mel — Kevin Zegers
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday on AMC, 9 PM EDT.