If you had to sum up the newest episode of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead, it would have to be “emotional.” It was one that pulled at the heartstrings, in both good and bad ways, and it laid the path for both scenes of devastation and hope. Some relationships were mended, but others were severed, and the effects of these actions are something that will leave an imprint on the characters going forward
Chris Manawa has been going down a dark path since his mother’s death, and his father’s fight to veer him back on track hasn’t wavered. In the wake of Chris’s most recent murder, this determination is perhaps strengthened, but all of Travis’ urgings fall on deaf ears. Chris is coming to understand this new world, and he thinks that he has found his place among this new group.
After stitching Baby James up, Travis confronts Chris about the group, and whereas Travis sees the most recent ordeal as a sign of things to come should they stay with the group, Chris sees Travis helping Baby James as something huge; they can both be a part of the group. But Travis’ differentiating mindset only becomes more apparent as the days go on. The group doesn’t ration their resources. They eat the chickens instead of eating the eggs, and within a week they are out of supplies and ready to leave. Their destination is San Diego, and even though Chris knows the city has been burned to the ground, he agrees to go with the group. He fits in, and he is enjoying this new role.
Travis’s suspicions regarding Brandon and the way that the group runs are confirmed, however, when they have to stay in the barn because of Baby James, whose condition is too critical to move him so soon. Baby James confides that they had made a deal back in Cortez: they won’t allow each other to become dead weight. Unfortunately for Baby James, Brandon views him as dead weight, and despite Travis’ attempt to be a sort of guard dog for him, he fails. It is Chris who stabs his own father in the back, pretending that he sees the wrongs he has done and of the group and is ready to leave them, but it is all an act to lower Travis’s guard, and within seconds Baby James is dead, and any last hope to save Chris goes with it.
The sequence culminates in Chris abandoning his father. He chooses Brandon and his new friends over his father. He has drawn the line between blood and bond, and this time, he’s not sticking with family. Chris confides to Travis that Travis had him feeling broken, but he was only adapting, and he’s better now, and whereas there was hope that Travis could adapt when he made the decision to kill Liza before she could turn, that hope is gone.
Flash-forward to the present day. Travis has arrived at the gates of the hotel along with dozens of other people seeking refuge, and unlike the others, he is lucky enough to be let in. He and Madison go to a room where Madison informs him that Nick left them. It is Madison questioning where Chris is that breaks him. Travis feels guilty. He believes that he failed Chris just as he had failed Liza. He now understands Madison’s actions back at Celia’s villa after Chris had threatened Alicia. Madison’s responsibility was to Alicia, and she did right by her, but Travis’ responsibility was to Chris, and he failed.
Her reunion and conversation with Travis is the catalyst that pushes Madison to find Alicia and reveal to her that her father’s death wasn’t an accident but rather a suicide. It is information that she kept hidden because she feared for Nick; there is so much of their father in him. And while her attention was focused on Nick for years, she never loved Alicia any less. Madison and Alicia’s relationship has been sort of tug and pull in recent episodes, but the game of tug of war stopped, and Madison relented, opening up to her daughter in a way that she never has before and providing Alicia with the love and attention that she has craved her entire life.
- If you need someone on your zombie apocalypse team, definitely choose Alicia Clark. Skills include, but are not limited to: medical, fluent in foreign languages, proficient with a butterfly knife, has killer style even in an apocalypse.
- Travis was grieving the life that his son took and also mourning the loss of the child that he used to know.
- Did they really have to kill all of the chickens?! More animals have died on Fear TWD than people I think.
- Young men in this show certainly do have a problem with running away from their family.
- So there are now 43 (44 if you count Travis) more people living in the confines of the hotel. Will they be able to support everyone?
- Chris’s group is at the hotel…but where in the world is Chris?!
- How many more reunions will there be? Will Nick be reunited with his family? Will Ofelia be reunited with the group? Or will we be forced to wait and see what happens until season 3?
Don’t miss the 2-hour season finale of Fear The Walking Dead Sunday at 9 EST on AMC.