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Fear The Walking Dead Recap: “Wrath” and “North”

by on 10/05/2016
 

This is an historic day, people. This is the very first time I slumped back on my sofa after a Fear The Walking Dead episode and had these thoughts: “Wow, that was really good.”

The middling reviews from other sites honestly baffle me. This was the first time I felt the plot was strong, the actions of the characters made sense, and that many of the plot developments had real consequences. Just look at the readings on this thing!

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Let’s hope they can keep this up! I like actually giving a hoot whether these people live or die!

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When the first of two new episodes fades in, Nick and a companion are raiding Alejandro’s medicine shelf around 3 in the morning. Oh that Nick, he just couldn’t resist those midnight cravings, could he? He’s so crazy! Nick Nick Nick Nick Na-Nick Nick Niiick, Nick a crazy maaaaaaan!

But, actually….Nick is taking the sack ‘o drugs up to the warehouse for some last-minute pleading, to see if he can redirect the inevitable fate that no one else at that village seems to care is coming. Nick was one of the pleasant surprises of the coming two hours, as in a complete twist, he turned out to be…..THE WISEST MAN AROUND. Eventually he’ll wind up leading a hundred people right into gunfire, but before that happens, his record for competence will be at an all-time high.

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Alejandro isn’t happy about what Nick just attempted, but he’s willing to admit now they need some kind of plan. Suddenly, A ZOMBIE IS THROWN IN FOR KICKS! A dead patient rises, bites someone’s nose off, gives Alejandro his “second” bite and then turns on Nick. He has no knife or anything sharp to defend himself, so in one of the goriest scenes I’ve EVER seen on either show, Nick takes his thumbs and shoves the zombie’s eyeballs all the way into his brain, stopping him for good. Does this even work? Apparently.

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Boy, does Alejandro look spooked. Nick already has a good idea why, but Luciana has to ask. And here’s where Alejandro admits that the wound on his shoulder wasn’t caused by a zombie at all. He’s not immune; he just created the illusion he was to give the village something to believe in. As he argues, so what if it was fake? It worked, didn’t it?

…Never mind that it almost got them killed. Alejandro sees the light now. He agrees to spend the remainder of his living hours helping Nick lead the villagers to safer ground.

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Back at the hotel, Brandon and Derek, otherwise known as the Frat Bros, have entered the building. They tell Alicia they just came from a bad car accident in which one came out fine, the other suffered a broken arm, and the third was like completely wasted, and not in the drunk way, dude. Madison walks by, hears the name “Derek” and demands to know more. They are indeed the guys Travis already met.

Madison grabs them both and pulls them directly into the hotel offices for further questioning. To everyone else in the parking garage, this looks like Ms. M expediting treatment for their new guests simply because they’re American, or white, or something. “Waaait a minute…we see how it is! DOWN WITH THE QUEEN!”

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Like Madison cares what anybody thinks (and this is REALLY going to become apparent in a minute). The Frat Bros spin a tale about how the car accident killed Chris on impact and how they were so sad about it and buried him right away. But Travis notices a couple of contradictions in their story, and shoves them into a locked room. He goes full Jack Bauer on them and they spill the truth: Chris survived the crash, but he was badly injured, and this fell victim to their Bro Code like Baby James. They really shot him!

WHOA. I was nervous about a possible buy-back where Chris would return to Travis and apologize and everything would be hunky-dory again. I was hoping for a long arc where Chris became the feared Crime Kingpin of Me-hee-ko and the family tried to avoid his wrath. But I never expected the show to have the guts to make Chris pay for his actions with his life.

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And that’s IT. Travis completely loses it and beats the absolute, ever-loving crap out of both the teens. He winds up killing one of them right there, while the other is still breathing at the end (though it doesn’t look like he’ll survive). Madison thinks back to her insistence that order has to be kept within the hotel. SHE said if anybody harmed another person, they would have to be banished to the wilds. And now that rule applies to her husband! Good stuff.

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It should’ve been obvious to everyone else what was going through Madison’s mind at that point. She constantly bends rules and contradicts her own instructions to suit her needs, like some kind of presidential candidate (insert the one you hate here). So of course she was going to back out on the whole “banishment” thing. This makes a few hotel-dwellers irate enough to attempt a late-night assassination on Travis’s life.

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After a tense few seconds, Alicia uses her trusty butterfly knife to stab the assassin while Strand grabs his gun away. The attempted murder failed, but the message is clear. They have to get out NOW. They flee down the hall to the parking lot as fast as they can and pile into a minivan. Strand helped them escape, but he doesn’t want to leave….so they have to watch him in the window as they peel out. I have no idea if his actor’s contract covers the next season or not. Guess we’ll find out together!

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They arrive at the warehouse, but….oddly, no one is there. That’s because they all left to raid the village, just as Nick predicted. Madison picks the pocket of one of the prisoners (whom the bad guys executed) and finds proof Nick is back there. They’ll have to hurry…or will they?

When the drug lords arrive, they find the streets empty. Nick successfully convinced the townspeople to get out of harm’s way, and they’re happily heading down the road to the border. The bad guys are so thrilled the town is theirs, they waste about ten thousand rounds of ammo by firing into the air. What they don’t know is that Alejandro is still present. He’s got about five minutes of life left, but plans to spend them taking those guys down.

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He drags himself into the bus, crawls into the driver’s seat and with his last ounce of strength, pushes the gas pedal and opens the floodgates for all the Walkers to come into the village. It’s the only way in or out, and these idiots just wasted a good chunk of their ammo. Revenge taken!

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Later in the morning Team Madison shows up to find Nick. They don’t know he’s not there, and they fear he’s become one of the zombies that are now overpopulating the town. Good thing Alejandro is somehow still conscious. With his last breath, he tells Alicia that Nick escaped and headed north.

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And as I said earlier, what really lies north is an unfriendly military compound that Nick, Luciana and the villagers just stepped into. Now they’ve been taken captive, and have only wandered from one mess into another.

Gotta have some kind of bait for next season!

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