‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Father knows best

Fear the Walking Dead
“Date of Death”
September 25, 2016

As predicted, after Madison lost her fool brain and turned on the hotel lights, people began arriving looking for safety and some ice. As the hotel guests tell the newcomers that they can’t let them in — lo siento no lo siento — who should show up but Travis looking worse for wear. And very much alone.

Inside the hotel, Madison offers Travis a shower and some food before broaching the obvious: where’s Awful Chris?

Well, it’s a long awful story.

After Awful Chris shot and killed Papa Oso, it takes Travis a moment to process that his awful son just killed a man. But he pulls it together and turns to helping the bro Papa Oso shot in the leg, Baby James. Investigating the wound, Travis informs the bros that the bullet went straight through without hitting an artery, so he can probably stitch Baby James back together.

Sure enough, using first aid supplies he finds in casa de Oso, Travis is able to sew Baby James’ leg up, and promises him that they won’t move him anymore, allowing him time to heal. “FOR HOW LONG?” demand the other bros, to which Travis explains through gritted teeth: “Until he gets better.”

Good luck with that, Trav!

That bit of business taken care of, Travis buries Papa Oso, but really he should have insisted that Awful Chris do that. His mess, his clean up.

That evening, while Awful Chris and the bros eat the farm chickens, Travis checks on Baby James who claims that he’s feeling just great! Like, dude, his pain, it’s barely a three.


Travis calls bullshit on this, and tells the kid that if he needs to be honest with him, or he won’t be able to help. He then goes outside and tells the bros to save the chickens and eat the eggs instead. And pull up their pants. And get off Papa Oso’s lawn.

Travis then pulls Awful Chris aside to talk, but Chris is being glib and awful so Travis smacks the drink out of his hand. WHAT DID THE FIVE FINGERS SAY TO YO DRINK?


Travis demands to know why Awful Chris is being SO AWFUL and Awful Chris is just like, “This is the way things are now. There is no more good, no more bad, no more right or wrong. It’s us or them. Kill or be killed. #sorrynotsorry.” Awful Chris reminds Travis that when he was being bullied in middle school, Travis implored him to play along and fit in — and that’s what he should be doing now. While Travis doesn’t fit in with bros, he proved his worth by saving Baby James. So, just, like, be cool. They need the bros. Awful Chris needs them.

Instead, Travis contemplates giving Awful Chris another drink just so he can slap it away again.

About a week later, the bros decide it’s time to go — they’re out of chickens and they’re, like, totally bored, dudes. Baby James insists he’s good to go to a skeptical Travis.

Before they leave, however, Travis goes into casa de Oso, finds Papa Oso’s driver’s license and adds his name and birth date to the cross he made for his grave. When Awful Chris tries to hurry him along, Travis asks him if he knows what the date is — which is an excellent question! Is anyone keeping track of that? “What?” Awful Chris asks, “No? Who cares? Anyway, the point is, the bros are ready to go, and we need your help with Baby James.”

They each pick up a corner of Baby James’ blanket and slide him into the back of the truck, but they aren’t halfway down the farm road when Baby James passes out from the pain. Travis checks his pulse and finding it alarmingly weak, demands that they turn back to the farm. NOW. OR THEIR BRO IS GOING TO DIE. The bros are all, “GAH, UGH, WHATEVER, BRUH.”


But they turn back, and put Baby James in the barn while they discuss what they should do: on the one hand, he’s their bro. But on the other hand, he’s not getting any better and, like, they’re SO BORED. When he realizes they are contemplating killing Baby James, Travis grabs Awful Chris’ gun, shoots at Bro Brandon’s feet, and then locks himself inside the barn to protect Baby James.

When Baby James wakes up, he explains that there was a fourth bro, Troy, who became infected. He asked them to kill him before he turned, but then when the time came, he changed his mind and begged them not to. Brandon wasn’t able to do it, but Baby James did what needed to be done, so, like he kinda gets it. Travis exasperatedly explains that this isn’t like that AT ALL — he’s not infected, and if he just had enough time to recuperate, he’d be fine, dude!

The next morning, Awful Chris brings Travis some food, and claims he just wants to talk. When Travis pats him down, Awful Chris asks incredulously that his father doesn’t trust him? UH, NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT, ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING? Finding nothing and convinced that Brandon and Other Bro are … somewhere else, who knows, Travis lets Awful Chris inside. There, Awful Chris claims that he “gets” what Travis is trying to do: to teach him that life still matters and isn’t disposable. But when Travis goes in for a hug, Awful Chris tackles him, calling for Brandon and Other Bro to come into the barn. Once inside, Other Bro holds a gun to Travis’ head while Brandon shoots Baby James in the face.

Oh, Awful Chris, just when I think you can’t become more awful.


With Baby James out of the way, the bros begin packing their things, and Travis begs Awful Chris to stay with him. He tells Awful Chris that Papa Oso’s name was Elias and that he and Awful Chris share a birthday, as if this is somehow going to make Awful Chris less awful. Awful Chris is all, “Cool. Welp, I’ve got to be going!” When Travis reminds Awful Chris that he promised his mother he’d protect him, Awful Chris argues that he is by letting him go, that he’s better off without his father.

And with that, the bros get in the truck with Awful Chris in the back, leaving Travis at the farm, yelling, “GOD DAMN YOU, AWFUL CHRIS!” as they drive away.


Back at the hotel, Travis whines that seeing Madison’s beacon wasn’t luck — if he hadn’t seen it, he’d never have to tell anyone what he had done, that he had left his son. Madison tries to assure Travis that he didn’t do anything wrong and that they’ll get through it, but he rejects this, insisting that he failed Awful Chris and he failed Ex-Wife. He then tells Madison that she was right back at the vineyard to tell him about Awful Chris threatening Alicia, that ultimately, before the two of them are a family, they are parents first. He then confesses that the last thing he said to Awful Chris wasn’t “I love you,” but “God damn you,” and that this will be the last thing his son remembers his father saying to him.

Madison is like, “That sucks. Anywaaaaaaay, I need to go talk to my kid, BYEEEEE,” leaving Travis to go take a sadness shower.

Madison finds Alicia with the other hotel guests who are busy inspecting the newbies they were forced to let in — THANKS AGAIN FOR THAT, MADISON. Madison takes Alicia out onto the pier and, for reasons that I don’t entirely understand, tells her that her father’s death wasn’t an accident. In fact, he left a note that read, “I love you all, but enough’s enough.” Alicia is like, “The hell?” And Madison begins burbling about how much Nick is like his father and long story short, she never told them because she was trying to protect Nick. Sorry!

Finally, we end that night with more people arriving at the hotel gate, including Brandon and Other Bro … but where’s Awful Chris? (Hopefully having a drink slapped out of his hand somewhere.)

Fear the Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.

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