Fear the Walking Dead
May 8, 2016
Oy, this episode. After two fun, engaging episodes that moved the story along in interesting and unexpected ways, we get this one. It’s not that this episode was bad, exactly, it wasn’t. But compared to the rest of this season, it felt slow and plodding, a workabout episode, intended to get us from Point A to Point Alex and Jack Become Our Protagonists’ Biggest Enemies. (Which is totally going to happen, and I, for one, can’t wait.)
But until then:
After being taken by Connor and his pirates, Awful Teenage Daughter and Travis are treated in two distinctly different ways: Awful Teenage Daughter is fed New York strip steaks, cooked up by Connor himself while Travis is locked in a cell … somewhere else. Somewhere much less pleasant than the galley Awful Teenage Daughter is ensconced in.
However, Awful Teenage Daughter is stripped of her steak (such a good pun) by Grouchy Pregnant Lady the minute Connor steps out of the room to go check on a bum generator. When Grouchy Pregnant Lady goes outside to eat her steak in peace, Awful Teenage Daughter takes the opportunity to explore her surroundings a bit, and it’s revealed that they are on some sort of giant fishing vessel — and, perhaps more importantly, they are docked. Jack finds her out on the bow and drags her back inside, but promises to find out what ever happened to her family — if they were dropped off on shore as promised.
Later, Jack introduces Awful Teenage Daughter to the radar, and teaches her how to scan for ships to hijack. Awful Teenage Daughter is like, “Ew, no?” But Jack is like, “Dude, this is our life now, get used to it.” Awful Teenage Daughter pouts.
As they are logging ships, Jack notices that one seems … familiar, and consults a log, revealing that it is the Abigail. Awful Teenage Daughter does some quick math in her head and realizes that there wasn’t enough time for the Abigail to have dropped off her family and have caught up with them here, so WHERE IS HER FAMILY, JACK? Jack admits that Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney has a bad habit of killing the people they hijack, before agreeing to help Awful Teenage Daughter try to find her family. To this end, Jack radios Connor and claims that there is a nearby ship worth checking out, so that he and Awful Teenage Daughter have a window of time to escape.
Meanwhile, down in the hold, Travis is paid a visit by that Alex woman, who is almost unrecognizable what with her hair down and free and full. And Alex? She is NOT HAPPY with Travis. Seems that after Travis kicked her and Burnt Jake off the yacht and after Strand cut them free, they ran out of water, Burnt Jake took a turn for the worse, and she had to strangle him with her bare hands and throw him over the side of the raft. It sucked. Later, Connor found her “this side of death.” Upon rescuing her, Connor asked her what she had to offer, and she gave him information on the Abigail, demanding that they bring back Travis to her. So here we are.
EXCEPT. What is going on with this timeline, guys? Because at least according to the Walking Dead wiki, it has been ONE DAY since Strand cut Alex and Burnt Jake free. One day! They put Alex and Burnt Jake in the raft, Strand cuts them free, Strand sends Nick to swim to the border, Alex and Burnt Jake guzzle the gallons of water the folks on the Abigail gave them, Alex kills Burnt Jake, Alex begins dying herself, Connor’s pirates find her, she gives them info on the Abigail, and Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney, Jack and Pregnant Lady hijack the Abigail. All in one night! That makes NO SENSE. And yet, the writers haven’t given any other information to clarify just how much time has passed since Alex and Burnt Jake were cut free.
Anyway, Alex makes Travis feel really bad about abandoning her, and he’s all, “Yeah, I’m just as responsible for what happened to you and Burnt Jake as Strand is,” (BUT IS HE? IS HE REALLY?) before getting all emotional about who he’s become and whether or not they will ever be able to go back to who they were before. Alex is all, “LOL, NOPE.” As she leaves, Travis asks her what is going to happen to her, and she cryptically notes that Connor said he could use her, but “people don’t use [her].”
Later, Awful Teenage Daughter swings by Travis’ cell, and is like, “My new boyfriend and I are escaping and we’re going to come rescue you, so be ready!” But Travis is all, “Wah, leave me behind, save yourselves, etc.,” before telling Awful Teenage Daughter that it was Alex who told the pirates about the Abigail, she wasn’t responsible for what happened.
Meanwhile, back on the Abigail, Señor Barber tends to the surprisingly still-alive Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney and his nasty impalement while Awful Chris watches. Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney makes a lot of, “BOY ARE YOU IN TROUBLE,” and “MY BROTHER CONNOR SLICED MY FATHER’S ACHILLES HEEL ONCE FOR BEING MEAN TO ME,” and “MY BROTHER AND HIS DOZEN MEN AND HIS FIVE BOATS ARE GOING TO COME LOOKING FOR ME,” and, “MY BROTHER IS SURE GOING TO BE MAD AT YOU WHEN HE SEES WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME,” and, “ONCE I GET THIS WRENCH OUT OF MY GUT, I’M GOING TO DO TERRIBLE THINGS TO YOUR DAUGHTER,” noises. Señor Barber is not impresionado, and informs him that the most frightening men never say how frightening they are. Oh, snap in your stupid face, Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney.
Then Señor Barber puts Awful Chris in charge of standing guard of Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney.
Señor Barber shares with Madison and Strand what he just learned from Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney, and by seeking a cluster of five boats, they hone in on a possible location and head that direction.
Our new amigo Luis is not happy with this change in plans, and insists that they head to Mexico already. But Madison reminds Strand that she saved him — which she didn’t have to do, so he grants her a half a day to try to rescue Travis and Awful Daughter. In español, Luis reminds Strand that 1. they have someplace to be, and that place is in the opposite direction and 2. they only have enough dinero to get two people across the border, does Strand have enough money to cover seven more people? Strand assures him that everything is a negotiation, while Señor Barber is like, “¿Ustedes saben que puedo hablar español, verdad?”
As Madison drives towards their destination, she warns Strand to not use Nick for any more missions, and he’s like, “Geez, cut the umbilical cord already, Mom.” Madison hands over the steering wheel to Strand, and marches below deck where she finds Nick playing with a gun. There, she’s like, “NO MORE STUNTS FROM YOU, MISTER,” and Nick is all, “Ugh, Mom, gah, you’re embarrassing me.”
Elsewhere, Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney tries to get a rise out of Awful Chris by talking about his mom and how he’s an orphan and none of these people are going to be there for him. And guess what, it works! Nick finds Awful Chris in the hallway, looking bummed, and Awful Chris explains that this whole mess is his fault for not shooting Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney, Jack and Pregnant Lady when they boarded the Abigail. Nick points out that Awful Chris was never going to shoot a pregnant lady, but Awful Chris isn’t being rational, that’s not what this is about.
As the Abigail arrives at the pirates’ location, Connor radios to Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney to drop anchor and get back to headquarters. But Madison is like, “Hey, what’s up, Connor — not who you expected, right? You can have your weasel of a brother back as soon as I get my family back. Deal?” “Deal!” says Connor, a little too readily, but don’t worry about that.
But then the moment Madison gets off the radio with Connor, Awful Chris shoots Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney in the face because OF COURSE HE DOES. Awful Chris tells everyone that he had to do it, Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney was about to turn.
Madison joins Awful Chris down in his bunk where he is worrying that he ruined the trade. But Madison, to her credit, assures him that it’s no biggie, they’ll figure it out. And in the saddest, most moving moment of the episode, he thanks her.
Meanwhile, as Nick and Señorita are cleaning up the mess, Dead Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney DOES turn. Señor Barber is like, “HOLD ON UN MOMENTO, we can work with this!” And they tie up Dead Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney’s hands and throw a hood on him and throw him into a zodiac alone with Madison because that seems safe.
Madison and Dead Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney arrive at a dock where Connor and three of his goons are waiting with a hooded Travis and Madison is like, “NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER.” Connor assures her that they’ll hand over Awful Teenage Daughter as soon as he sees that his brother is safe. So they swap prisoners, and Connor takes off Dead Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney’s hood and Dead Former Teen Pop Sensation Jesse McCartney promptly takes a bite out of his brother while Connor’s goons stand around being worthless. Hey, guys, did y’all even consider bringing guns along? One of the goons also manages to get himself bitten, while the other goon starts a fight with Travis. Fight fight fight and why didn’t ANYONE think to bring a gun? Madison? What was your plan here, honey?
Anyway, Awful Teenage Daughter wasn’t brought along the prisoner exchange because she decided to hide from everyone instead. She goes to free Travis, but when she arrives at the cell, he’s long gone, and the only person there is Pregnany Lady. Fight fight struggle fight, and Awful teenage Daughter manages to lock Pregnant Lady up in the cell and get away.
Awful Teenage Daughter then goes out to the bow of the giant fishing ship, where she watches Travis and goon fight on the dock. There, Jack finds her and is like, “But I thought we were going to run away together? You’d rather be with your mom and brother and step-father and step-brother than me, some guy you just met?”
“YEP, BYE,” Awful Teenage Daughter says, before jumping off the boat and into the water where her mother and Travis collect her.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on AMC.
This post originally appeared on chron.com, a Hearst site.