We’re at the half-way point for Fear and all the stories are coming together. And just like Fear has done this season, I’m going to go a bit non-linear in this recap. So hang with me–
Down In the Diamond:
The SWAT Wagon is surrounded by the dead and John (Garret Dillahunt) is fading pretty fast. Althea (Maggie Grace) hands her camera to Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) and tells her to keep filming no matter what. Naomi (Jenna Elfman) says John is going to die and they need those medical supplies, so Morgan (Lennie James) suggest they use the Wagon’s .50s to clear a path. Which they do. And they do. Naomi and Morgan head into the stadium and trigger a booby trap, probably set at some point while the the Diamond was falling. Though it partially blocks the entrance, Naomi and Morgan are safe and they being killing zombies on the way to the infirmary.
As if shit wasn’t heavy enough, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Strand (Colman Domingo), and Lucinda (Danay Garcia) show up and start rocking and rolling on the Wagon. They want Naomi and they’re aren’t taking no for an answer, but then again, Al isn’t about to hand anyone over. Alicia says they’re coming to bust up Al’s shit and Al laughs it off: the SWAT Wagon is built like a tank in a bank vault, as she says. Then comes a bright flash and a loud explosion as Lucinda hit the Wagon with a M72 Law (Alicia at this point said, “How do you like the RPG?” and technically, she isn’t wrong since the M72 is classified as an anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher). While Al continues to smirk, Alicia manages to rip open the driver’s door and make the shit personal.
While Naomi and Morgan make it to the infirmary and begin collecting supplies, Alicia is letting Al know she’ll let them go as long as she can kill Naomi. John gets his hand on a radio and opens it so Naomi and Morgan know Alicia’s waiting to kill one of them. Alicia’s gets to using Charlie as a threat shied to get what she wants and she and Al go at it, almost killing Al in the process.
But Alicia is knocked away and in falling she manages to scatter a bunch of Al’s meals–something that trips Alicia’s memory. After asking where it came from, she start rummaging through the taped interviews. And one catches her eye: “Amina”. She looked up at Al with shock her in eyes and says, “You knew.” Because Alicia knows who’s interview is on the tape:
Back To the Beginning:
Because at the start of the episode we see Madison (Kim Dickens) creeping up on someone’s camp in the middle of the night and it’s pretty easy to see it’s Althea. Madison wants to take the SWAT Wagon but Al’s having none of that: in fact, she wants to interview Madison. She’s like, “fuck that”, and knocks Al out, but since she can’t find the keys to the Wagon, she takes the tapes and the camcorder.
A while later Madison is checking maps and dispatching a zombie, so Al decides it’s as good a time as any to reintroduce herself while holding a rifle on Madison. She ties her up and… if you say, “Interviews her”, you win a prize. In the middle of the night, with a light rain falling, Madison talks about how she’s looking for her kids, how they were split up after leaving what they thought was a safe space near El Paso.(Personal Note: I’m always trying to figure out where things are filmed, particularly with the Fear cast, as they go to some great locations. I knew, just from the scene, that the bridge they filmed near was a railroad bridge and likely one over the Colorado River, since that runs right through Austin. So I started looking and I believe I found the location: on the south bank of the Colorado River, next to the Union Pacific bridge just sound of Bastrop, TX. This is what it looks like on Google Maps: as you can see there is road access to the bank, and my guess is they filmed in the grove of trees in lower center. Since it appears they did most of the filming in what was winter, the trees wouldn’t have all their foliage, so they wouldn’t hamper filming.)
RT: You know I love it when you find these locations! Thanks once again Cassidy. 😀
CF: You know me: I love to know these places.
[Image via Cassidy Frazee]
We learn just how much Madison believe in her kids as she talks about how Alicia and Nick (Frank Dillane) saved a bird when they were younger, a bird with a broken wing they named Wilhelmina, or Amina for short. After the interview Al gives Madison some of her meals and Maddie hits the road, finding everyone–Alicia, Strand, Lucinda, and even Nick, together–and now that they’re together, she wants to show them something. It’s a new place to start over: a baseball stadium. And we now realize Madison and Al met up nearly a year earlier…
RT: This floored me when I realized the interview was from such an earlier point in time.
CF: Yeah, I got that same feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw Nick and the Diamond. I was pretty sure of what was coming.
Forward To the Present:
Al never knew she’d spoken to Madison, saying, truthfully, that she never named the kids, which Alicia knows from watching the interview. This means Alicia’s now in the mood to go murder Naomi, which was the only reason she returned to The Diamond. But dammit, Morgan’s not about to let that happen and he gets between Alicia and Naomi and talks her down and they all return to the SWAT Wagon.
John gets help and doesn’t die, which means the goodbye he recorded for Laura/Naomi never be played. Which means it’s time for Naomi to finally come clean and tell John her real name is June. But now that everyone’s together, there’s one question remaining: what happened?
This is What Happened:
Madison worked hard to rescue her kids and Strand and they did their best to clear a path back to the Diamond. The people inside didn’t think the walls would hold against the dead so they ran–and never made it out of the parking lot, all dying in the process. Mel took the one car that Alicia has set up for them in case they needed to leave, found Charlie in the parking lot, and returned to The Vultures. Naomi remained inside as long as possible before running and eventually hooking up with The Vultures.
Knowing they couldn’t fight the dead outside, Madison lit a road flare and Pied Pippered the dead into the Diamond, realizing if they were inside they could make their escape. It worked, but she found she couldn’t get out herself. Rather than allow the dead out to get her kids and friends, she locked herself inside and made a last stand. Radioing Alicia that no one’s gone until they’re gone, she threw the flare to the ground, igniting the oil-soaked dead, and died.Al finishes the interview with the survivors by a fire and labels the tape “Madison”. They all know that Madison died so Alicia could go on, Nick could go on, Strand and Lucinda could live. She gave of herself to save those around her. And with her gone, Alicia remains the last of the Clarks, with Strand the last of the people she knows from her start, years ago, in Los Angeles.
They live so they can go on and form friendships with others who want to survive as well.
Because no one’s gone as along as there’s someone there beside them.
Personal Note: Rachel and I have said for some time now that Madison Clark was perhaps the best character–truly the best leader–in the Walking Dead franchise, and her death only cemented that claim. Madison always appeared strong, always seemed in control, and when there was weakness she did her best to hide it from most of the others. And her sacrifice, to allow the people closest to her, to continue living, was the mark of someone willing to do anything to protect those under her care.
I’m going to miss Madison, but just like with Frank Dillane, I can understand Kim Dickens wanting to move forward and do other things. And as Rachel pointed out this morning, we never saw the body, and unless you see the body, no one’s gone until you know they’re gone. You know, it’s almost like the title’s trying to tell us something…
Then again, Madison will never really be gone as long as we remember her story. And she will not be forgotten.
As always, leave us 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
Nick Clark — Frank Dillane
Althea — Maggie Grace
Morgan Jones — Lennie James
June, aka Laura, aka Naomi — Jenna Elfman
John Dorie — Garret Dillahunt
Charlie — Alexa Nisenson
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday on AMC, 9 PM EDT.