‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Border control

Fear the Walking Dead
“North”
October 2, 2016

Having killed Awful Chris and turned Travis into an unrepentant murderer, this show has to lighten up a little bit, right? Maybe give us something resembling hope that things might get a little better for our protagonists, right? RIGHT?

Hahahaha, nope. It’s almost as if I haven’t seen every single episode of The Walking Dead or something!

Boss Mujer deals with the devastating revelation that everything she believed about El Doctor was a total fabrication the way all ladies do: MAKEOVER! Worried that the other residents of La Colonia will see that he is, in fact, not immortal, she makes El Doctor up and informs him that he is to 1. go out there and reassure everyone that everything is totally cool and 2. get the hell out of La Colonia and go die.

Also leaving La Colonia: Nick, who has packed his cosas and is heading out. He begs Boss Mujer to join him, but she’s not budging.

boy bye serena beyonce

El Doctor addresses la gente and assures them that, yo, everything is cool, it’s going to be fine. I mean, sure, armed banditos are on their way here to kill us all, but it’ll be fine. It will be fine!

Meanwhile, Nick heads north until he spies something in the distance that gives him pause: a helicopter. Now, nevermind that someone, anyone, either Los Thuglitos or someone on a scouting mission for La Colonia would have certainly noticed a helicopter this close to Tijuana before now. The point is: HOPE!

So Nick returns to La Colonia to tell El Doctor about this discovery, and to ask him to allow La Colonia to leave. El Doctor wanted to be a great man, a hero: well, now here’s his big chance.

And either Nick’s words or maybe the hit of Oxytocin that he gave El Doctor to help with the pain worked, because the next morning he and Boss Mujer lead the people of La Colonia — all covered in zombie goo — towards the border. Boss Mujer carries cake girl, assuring her that they are headed towards a safe place and kisses her on her zombie-goo covered cheek. GOD DAMNIT, DON’T DO THAT. Not only is it gross — SO GROSS! — WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE RULES ARE HERE AND GETTING THAT CRAP IN YOUR MOUTH VERY WELL MIGHT MAKE YOU SICK, YOU TONTA.

Anyway. As the group are walking through the border crossing, gunmen appear from behind parked cars and just start shooting at them without warning, hitting Boss Mujer in the shoulder. The rest of the gente run away, but Nick stays with Boss Mujer until the gunmen start kicking them and separate them. Make America great again, indeed.

Meanwhile, back at La Colonia, Los Thuglitos raid the compound, only to find it completely deserted. Los Thuglitos are mucho impressed with themselves and begin firing rounds into the air, as thugs do. However, El Doctor stayed behind and once the coast is clear, he crawls into the You Go Die Now bus, turns it on, and pulls it away from the fence allowing the zombies to pour into the compound and nom on some thuglitos. Nevermind the fact that Los Thuglitos walked straight through the same mass of zombies on the way into the compound with impunity. Nevermind that.

logic nathan fillion.gif

Over at the hotel, things are also a bit chaotic. After killing two bros (who, honestly needed a little killing) and grievously injuring an innocent Oscar, Travis slumps in the corner of the room as Andres and Hector throw chairs through the windows to get inside. Killing is exhausting business, y’all!

Hector and Elena are like, “Alright! Off to hotel prison, you! Them’s your wife’s rules!” They drag Travis away, move poor unconscious Oscar to safety, and give Madison SOME SERIOUS SIDE EYE. As for Madison, she returns to the office where she pops a knife into the bros’s brains and has a good long sigh.

Back in the hotel, Strand tries to convince Madison to not try to talk Elena out of imprisoning Travis, so Alicia comes up with Plan B: they all leave with Travis. “Yeah, y’all have fun with that,” says Strand. “Strand out.”

Madison goes down to where Elena and Hector are keeping Travis, and pleads with them to let him out, promising that they will all leave at dawn. Elena agrees over Hector’s protests that Oscar is still unconscious thanks to Travis’s rampage. Madison sends Alicia to check on Oscar while she goes in and gives Travis the good news: he’s free!-ish!

Meanwhile, Andres tells Alicia that he’s going to have to cut into his brother’s skull to relieve the pressure building up on his brain, so be sure to thank Travis for him for having to endure that bit of emotional trauma.

The operation does not go well.

Upstairs in their room, Madison and Travis have a heart to heart about how he’s not the same man she used to know and blah blah blah wah, and Madison is like, “You think you’re the only person who’s killed someone? Bitch, please. You should have seen what I did to Santa Muerte. It’s cool, we’ll be killers together.”

After having to shove an X-acto knife into his brother’s brain, Andres is PISSED, and he and Hector head up to Madison and Travis’ room for a talk. And by talk, I mean, Andres pulls a gun on Travis. But before Andres has a chance to shoot Travis, Alicia stabs the hotel’s one doctor in the chest, killing him.

WAY TO GO, ALICIA.

And now they really have to run for it. Strand helps hurry them out of the hotel and into a van, but at the last moment he declines going with them. BYE, STRAND! WE’LL MISS YOU, STRAND!

Driving through the night, driving through the night, driving through the night, only to arrive at the supermercado, which is now empty but for the dead scout and his familia. But! On the scout’s body, they find a driver’s license with an address for La Colonia, so that’s something.

However, by the time they arrive, it’s empty but for a very nearly dead El Doctor who tells them that Nick headed norte before expiring. Madison pops his brain and then is like, “Alright, let’s go find Nick!”  Yeah, good luck with that.

R.I.P. El Fraud Doctor.

Aaaaaand that’s our finale: Nick, Boss Mujer and Señorita appear to be across the border with some very grouchy and heavily armed gringos — or “baskets of deplorables” as you might call them. Travis, Madison and Alicia seem to be headed straight towards them, and the only interesting character on the entire series, Strand, has stayed behind at the hotel. Clearly next season is going to focus on the border — I suspect everyone but Strand will reunite in this border area, which is a natural direction for this series. ¡Y muy político!

But it is interesting that they’ve kept the hotel in play as a location, if only because that’s a real hotel that needs to get back to business at some point. Strand is an obvious choice to become a group leader of some sort — and the creators have confirmed that he will be back. In this interview, showrunner Dave Erickson outlines where he sees Strand going:

I think what we are going to see as we move into season three, the con artistry of Strand is going to return. We are going to see someone who has recovered from his grief. We are going to see someone who is now on the verge of heading back out into the world and trying to do what Strand has always done: he builds. He will rebuild something. He will figure out what the new currency is in this world, and we will watch him stack that and rise again to a place of importance and a place of strength where he always intended to be.

So the question is will we be going back and forth between the two groups next season, or will we focus on the border group until the end of the season (or half-season) when they decide to try to return to the hotel?  Because it will irritate me if we have to go most of the season without Strand, y’all.

As for the finale itself, even though Awful Chris was truly, perhaps irredeemably awful, his death was shocking and even sad. As a parent, I am deeply sympathetic to Travis and his lament about how the last thing he said to his son wasn’t, “I love you.” It’s haunting.

But the more important takeaway from these episodes is that with the exception of Nick and Señorita, all of our major protagonists have now killed someone living. What this does to them emotionally and how it changes them will clearly be the focus of the series from here on out.

And it pushes us further into the bleakness of The Walking Dead‘s universe. Not that things on this series weren’t bleak, but because it’s so much earlier into the outbreak there was still a lingering hope among some of the survivors that life could, somehow, maybe return to normal. But between Travis and Alicia killing the living, and Nick acting as a sort of incompetent Moses leading his people through the desert to the land of the OH MY GOD THEY’RE SHOOTING AT US, RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! we’ve gone full bleak here folks. Find a crossbow, stock up on bullets and start looking for chocolate pudding, things are about to get DARK.

Fear the Walking Dead is on AMC and has been renewed for a third season to air in 2017.

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2 thoughts on “‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Border control

    1. OY, I don’t think so. I’m so far behind on everything else, that I’m not sure how to pull it off, especially with ‘Game of Thrones’ breathing down my neck next month. I want to, though, so I’m really torn. UGH.

      T

      Like

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