Ah, do you feel that? The sweet, sweet joy of hiatus being over? It’s a pretty good feeling, and after weeks with nothing to fill our zombie cravings, Fear The Walking Dead has finally returned to satiate our hunger.
When we last saw Nick in the midseason finale, he had abandoned his family and chosen to walk with the dead. When we first see Nick in the midseason premiere, he has still abandoned his family and is about abandoned another group to go off on his own. Nick has managed to escape the infected with the help of Sofia, one of the maids who lived on Celia’s villa, and while she intends to head south in the hopes of finding Juan’s father, Nick has every intention of heading north. With a parting gift of a gallon of water and a warning that this is the lawless world that the La Manas have been waiting for, Nick covers himself in the infected’s blood and starts in the direction of a mountain range heading towards Tijuana.
He walks for hours and rations his water, and when night falls he makes camp in an abandoned home. Things aren’t going too badly for Nick, in fact, it seems as if he is thriving in this new world. But good things only last so long, and Nick’s luck soon runs out. The home that he has made himself comfortable in isn’t abandoned, and he is woken in the middle of the night by a Spanish-speaking woman wielding a bat. He doesn’t even have the chance to grab his bag with all of his supplies before he is forced to leave.
Bad turns to worse when he is back on the highway towards Tijuana, scavenging what he can from the abandoned cars. A group of men in a Jeep, whom we can assume are La Manas, show up, and they show no mercy to anything living or dead. Nick seeks cover behind a car, but the radio that he had found suddenly makes noise, and he is forced to run from his hiding spot as the men fire their guns at him.
Exhausted, dehydrated, and quite literally in the middle of nowhere, he attempts to get fluids from a cactus, but it only makes him sick. In a last-ditch effort, he drinks his own urine. Things can’t get much worse, but in the world of the undead, anything is possible, and after having found a spot to sleep for the night by a rusted out car frame, he wakes to three dogs attacking him. They manage to bite his leg before he is able to climb onto of the rusted frame. Now trapped, he is forced to wait in the beating hot sun, and it is a herd of the infected that saves him. The dogs attack the infected, which in turn attack the dogs, and the sound of a horn draws the horde away. Nick uses a belt from one of the infected to create a tourniquet for his leg, and he covers himself in blood to blend in with the herd.
Back on the highway and in the safety of numbers, Nick’s physical state is deteriorating, and he begins to hallucinate Gloria amongst the herd. The La Manas show up again, and as they begin to shoot at the infected, Nick locks eyes with the leader, moving with the herd as they attack and kill him. He is too weak to continue, however, and he slowly falls behind the herd until he collapses to the ground.
Nick finds a saving grace in the form of a woman and two men, who have been carefully watching him. Luciana at first doesn’t want to help Nick, but when they approach Nick in a town, she brings him back to their community. A doctor patches him up and when he steps outside, it becomes apparent that he may have finally found a place where he belongs.
Throughout the episode, flashbacks are woven in that give insight into Nick’s life before the outbreak and his struggles with his addiction. He is in court-mandated rehab for dealing, and Gloria is trying to help him get out. She knows that he can use his relationship with his parents to help him, but Nick is reluctant to “shit on my parents for a get out of jail free card.” A little roleplaying takes place, and Nick reveals that his father is never there. His father used to be there, but then he just stopped, and where a father is supposed to teach his son how to be a man in the world, the world is too much for Nick’s father. On the day when parents visit, Nick’s world is turned upside down when Madison reveals that his father was involved in a head-on collision on his way home from work. It is his father’s death that pushes Nick back into his addiction.
Nick has always found himself in strange company. Before the outbreak, he was in the company of other addicts, and after the outbreak, he finds himself in the company of the infected, desperate to find a place where the dead aren’t monsters. He’s found a new community, a possible place that can be home, with people who may look on death and the infected in a different light than his previous group had.
- Whereas everyone else on the villa is trying to find family, Nick is trying to get as far away from his family as he can. He has no intention of going back to them. Juan is an orphan by fate, but Nick is an orphan by choice.
- Did anyone else get chills during the scene of Nick walking down the highway? It was very reminiscent of Rick Grimes riding a horse down the highway into Atlanta during season one of The Walking Dead.
- Will a dog ever survive in the world of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead? Apparently, the answer is no, and “Grotesque” upped the ante by killing three dogs in one episode.
- Can this new community be trusted? Can Nick trust the people who took him there? Will these people be any different from his own family?
- And let’s just take a minute to talk about those flashbacks. They were freaking amazing. Not only did it give us reasoning for Nick’s addiction, but it gave us insight into his relationship with his father and mother. Not only that, it showed us exactly what happened before the series premiere. We saw Gloria and Nick in the very place where they shoot up, and we now know the events that led up to Nick waking up and seeing Gloria chowing on one of their buddies.
Don’t miss an all-new episode of Fear The Walking Dead Sunday at 9 EST on AMC.