The season 3 mid season finale of Fear The Walking Dead left the ranch seemingly leaderless and the residents and members of The Nation ready to go to war for the land they both look to as their deserved sanctuary from the ever decomposing world around them.
Jake keeps his word, and The Nation joins the ranch residents, but it doesn’t look like anyone one took a class on cultural sensitivity. It’s no surprise that there are tensions related to race, given that old papa Otto was an admitted racist himself. It doesn’t help matters that Mercedes Mason’s Ofelia has come back to camp after poisoning several residents, killing some. Interim leaders Madison (Kim Dickens) and Taqa Walker (Michael Greyeyes) have more than unity to worry about when they learn that the sanctuary of Broke Jaw Ranch is not as it seems, and they are in dire need of water, a fact Otto had been keeping to himself.
Madison is feeling more like a leader this week but still misses the boat here when she, once again, lets Troy walk free, even after he goes crazy terrorist and tries to singlehandedly disrupt the truce of the camp when the camps guns are confiscated. This reeks of the showrunners trying to keep crazy pants in the mix, but after going active shooter, it doesn’t make sense. This guy would never last in Alexandria. The psycho still had his fair share of support from the angry baseball cap brigade, and when Nick ends up by Troy’s side in an attempt to calm the situation, he becomes the de facto leader of the militia. We have a few minutes where we wonder if Nick has really gone to the dark side, but are thankful he comes around, in the end, showing that he has continued to grow as a person.
Madison and Taqa stumble upon an old friend, good old Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), at a bizarre bazaar inside an abandoned stadium where they have come to barter for water. Strand has, of course, has been getting himself into trouble, and Madison can’t help but help him.
We are still seeing a lot of people around since we are still in the early days after the outbreak. The larger number of people means more demand on resources, and we see two separate incidents of violence over access to water. After spending so much time in camp, it was great to be out in the world again, since this is a part of the descent in chaos we missed in The Walking Dead as it happened while Rick slept.
The story seems to be building to an ultimate showdown, with the reformed militia lurking in the grass to attack The Nation’s ranch base. A few members of The Nation have used the age old divining technique to find water, and are in the field looking for another source. Nick sees that he must be the example, and gives up his gun to aide in the digging. It is a relief that he hasn’t been drinking the Kool-Aid, as it seemed, and when he is followed by the militia members we finally see a glimmer of hope for peaceful coexistence. As we have learned well from The Walking Dead, we survive together, something Jake realizes, but the rest of the gang isn’t quite on board with.
Meanwhile Madison and Taqa, along with Strand, are making their way to the dam, which may be ready for some drama of its own as the local people have already started to ration water and have acted out against Daniel (Ruben Blades) and the new jefa of the dam, Lola (Lisandra Tena), claiming they have taken over the dam themselves. Seems like Taqa and Madison may be on their way just in time to lend a helping hand, and of course let Daniel know that his daughter is alive, and vice versa. It’s a good thing the dam is so close, considering Strand cost them all their pretty coins.
The episode brought together our survivors and gave us a more expanded view of the local communities. Is this Proctor going to become a problem? Madison and Nick are stepping up, while Alison is a bit lackluster compared to past episodes. This may be because she shares her scenes with Jake, who has only partially recovered from being poisoned, and as a result is weak and not terribly chatty. The question on everyone’s tongue, who takes over when he dies?
The Nation has certainly had a positive effect on the ranch. Their lackluster mess hall felt like a hot night spot and The Nation have added some much-needed vibrancy to the newly formed community. No doubt certain members of The Ranch won’t adapt fully, given that they are plagued with deeply embedded prejudice, but kudos to the show for continuing to face the issues directly, while still giving viewers a sense of hope for ultimate unity.
GEEK Grade: B
What did you think of the return of Fear The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments below, and visit us on the GEEK FB.
Directed By Stefan Schwartz
Written By Dave Erickson & Mike Zunic
Directed By Paco Cabezas
Written By Ryan Scott