Deadheads rejoice! The second half of Fear the Walking Dead has finally arrived with a 2-hour, 2 episode midseason premiere. Tensions are high, water is low, people banished and a Nick in a Box! So let’s get to it because we have a lot to cover.
We pretty much start approximately a week or so after the last episode ended. Jeremiah Otto is still believed to have committed suicide as an act of selflessness in order bring peace between the Broke Jaw Ranch and the Black Hat tribe. We all know that not to be true. You may also remember that Madison Clark made some sort of peace agreement with Qaletaqa Walker by bringing him Jeremiah’s head.
At the Broke Jaw Ranch, Madison tries to come to terms with Jeremiah’s death. She also seems to have taken over as a leader of the ranch by living in the Otto house. Alicia Clark and Jake Otto are still together but Jake seems to still be sick from the Anthrax poisoning. Nick Clark, Troy Otto and the militia are out killing infected and head back to the ranch. On their way, they spot a caravan headed in the same direction which angers Troy. As they arrive at the Ranch, so does the caravan and the entire ranch, unhappy I may add, is present to meet the tribe as they enter.
Qaletaqa is shown the militia’s arsenal and given a key, much to the dismay of Troy who disapproves of Ofelia’s presence. Remember, she poisoned most of the militia members in the first half. Jake assures Taqa that things will work out. Nick connects with Troy over each of their father’s death. Nick believes that his father’s death was not an accident and something he chose.
Madison and Alicia have words regarding Madison siding with Taqa. Alicia feels that she should back up Jake. Later Jake and Taqa meet with the ranch and tribe members. Telling them that they need to let everything in the past go, forgive and build a community there. Taqa tells them that they all are afraid of each other. “Fear creates fury. Fury lets blood.” They need to focus their fear, not towards each other but towards the threat on the outside. Later, Taqa informs Madison that if something should ever happen to Jake that Troy cannot lead the Ranch and she needs to take care of the situation if it arises.
Troy and the remaining militia members are still having trouble accepting the tribe at the ranch. Troy warns Jake that he’s sleeping with the enemy and Jake tells him that he needs to accept it. Troy, planting seeds, reminds his group that they killed Phil, the Trimbols (yeah, right Troy) and who will they aim for next. Gretchen Trimbol’s friend Terrence states that she was good and Troy agrees by saying, “she was.”
Yeah, we all know what you did Troy. You’re not fooling anyone.
Nick confronts Ofelia about her hiding. She is rightfully uncomfortable because she killed people. Nick asks if she feels guilt and she admits not as much as she thought she would and compares herself to Daniel. She asks the same of Nick who remains silent.
The next day, Madison finds Otto’s file regarding the ranch’s water levels and sees that they are running out. During breakfast, Terrence shoots a tribe member, others bring him down and crush his throat, leaving him unable to breathe. He will later die. To protect his tribe, Taqa asks Jake for the second key to the arsenal. Madison advises Jake to give in, Jake reluctantly hands over the key. Weapons throughout the ranch are collected. Troy refuses to give up his guns. No surprise there! Nick stays behind to try to talk him down. Tribe members shoot first and a gunfight ensues. Nick ducks for cover and Troy fires back. Troy saves Nick from being stabbed and they head upstairs and Troy barricades them in the bedroom. Nick, still trying to convince Troy to give up, knocks Troy to the ground and shouts that they surrender. The shooting stops and the tribe attempt to break down the door. Nick admits to Troy that he killed Jeremiah.
Discussing what should be done about what just happened, Madison and Taqa agree that Troy has to go but Madison asks not to kill him. Taqa decides that exiling him would be sufficient and she agrees. As for Nick, she begs that he stays. Taqa agrees that he will not be killed or exiled but must be punished, she also agrees. Jake informs Troy that he is to be exiled and Troy asks that Madison be the one to take him because he trusts her. Troy is given supplies, one gun and one bullet. At the drop-off, Troy manages to subdue the tribesman that escorted Madison and knocks him out. Madison fires a warning shot and tells Troy to go. He tells her that he knows about his father and they struggle. She manages to get free and grabs the gun. He reminds her that she stated before that she needed him and wanted him with her. He admits that he’s tired, gives up and walks off.
Well, that was awkward.
Nick in a box…a hot box, hallucinates a vision of Troy back at the ranch due to him being severely dehydrated. Not sure if he’s feeling guilty because he killed Otto or if he feels obligated to Troy because he did save his life.
Madison tells Taqa about the water issue and they agree not tell the ranch or tribe members to avoid panic. They decide to go search for more water. Madison leaves Alicia in charge of water rations, telling her that only 2 gallons per day are allowed to each person. She also warns her that if something should go wrong, her and Nick need to be ready to leave.
Meanwhile, at the dam, Lola, Efrain and Daniel are arguing over whether Lola should go out to give the townspeople water. Daniel tries to convince her to stay behind because she is now considered the leader and will either be loved or hated. She stubbornly refuses to stay behind. They are interrupted during water distribution by approaching infected. They all escape. Later that night, Lola pleads with Daniel that he needs to let go of his search for Ofelia. He tells her that he looks for her in every crowd of infected. She tells him that it’s going to break him. He replies that he’s immortal.
At another water drop off point, townspeople become anxious and demand more water. The crowd riots and throws rocks, hitting Lola. Daniel tends to her and the escape as the crowd becomes angrier.
Nick is finally released from the Hot Box.
Alicia finds the ranch members arguing with Jake regarding the strict rations. She backs him up by telling them that if they don’t like the rules, they are free to leave. She reminds them of what he has lost in order to keep them safe.
The militia wants to reform with Nick as its leader and take back the ranch. Nick thinks they should lay low for a bit because he doesn’t want a fight. The next day while waiting in line for water, one of the militia tells Nick that he knows that the tribe members are doubling up on rations by going through the line twice. Later that night, Alicia talks to Ofelia about people complaining that some members of the tribe had gone through the line more than once. Ofelia assures her that she saw everything and did not allow it. Ofelia advises her that if she truly wants peace, she need to control her own people first.
The militia meets in secret, planning their attack to take out the tribe. Nick tries to reason with them to wait because they haven’t hurt anyone. The militia believes that they will. They are on their land, took the guns and taking more water than they should so what would be next?
Alicia confronts Nick with the secret gun he has. He tries to make her see that the militia will listen to him because they see him as a hero who helped Troy in the gunfight at the Otto Corral. She asks if they would listen to him if they knew the truth about Jeremiah. She knows that he didn’t kill himself. She admits that at first, she was upset that she wasn’t included but then was relieved that she didn’t have the burden of being Madison’s favorite. Still coming to terms with killing someone back at the hotel, she tries to make him see what killing has done to him. He replies by simply saying, “We’re alive.” She tells Nick that they keep trying to make her love them but she’s just broken.
The next morning at the well, Alicia notices one of the ranch members taking double her share and she confronts her. Alicia is accused of caring more about the tribe than them and she tries to convince them that there is no “us or them.” A struggle begins and she screams to get their attention. She informs the people that the water supply is running low and if they don’t work together, they will all die. Panic sets in and fists are thrown. Crazy Dog shoots into the air to stop the fight and says that they are taking over the well and will make sure they all get what they need. Nick steps in and refuses with other ranchers backing him up. Ofelia convinces Crazy Dog that now is know the time and to walk away.
Nick notices that the ranchers are gearing up for something and Alicia, back at the house, sees tribespeople in the fields searching for water using divining rods.
Nick and the militia discuss attacking the tribe. Nick tells them that it’s better to just disarm them and take over the guns and the back and forth crap will stop and there would be no more bloodshed. As the quietly approach the adobe house, One of the militia notices Alicia assisting in digging a hole in search of water. Nick decides to give up of attacking the house to help his sister and tribespeople. Ofelia, Crazy Dog, Claw and the remaining militia, follow his lead. They finally come together for a common goal.
But what about the quest for water?
Well, it wouldn’t be Mexico without a good old swap meet and that’s just where Madison and Taqa end up to try to trade for water. As they arrive, they notice several men chained to the outer fence fighting of infected. They trade their way into “El Bazar” and their quest begins. They find their water liaison and are just about to come to an agreement when Madison notices a scuffle in the distance and recognizes Victor. Strand must be up to his old tricks because they learn that he is trapped there because he owes the Proctor money and is not allowed to leave until the debt is paid.
Couldn’t con your way out of this one, huh Strand?
Madison and Victor share a moment, She tells him that they found Nick and him and Alicia are safe but without having to say it out loud, he realizes that she lost Travis. He consoles her and is interrupted by a captive Taqa telling them that they will all be killed. Later, Victor is tied up with a group of other captives and Madison is informed that he can go once his debt if paid off. She asks about the conditions and realizes that in order to pay off what is owed, Victor must be chained to the outer fence to fight off infected. He is then taken away and later chained to the fence with infected approaching.
Taqa tells Madison that he repaired the water deal and they should have what they need in the morning. That morning, he goes to retrieve that payment for the water and finds it’s gone. A chained Victor struggles to kill the infected and just as one is about to attack, they are all shot and taken down. Victor is unchained and Madison helps him up and tells him his debt is paid.
She and Victor head for the truck where an angry Taqa awaits and argues that she just killed everyone at the ranch to save Victor. She tells him that the unaware Strand will be the reason why they all live. He will take them to the dam and their temporary solution will now be a permanent one.
Will we see more of Troy and if so, When and Where? What will happen when Madison, Strand and Taqa arrive at the dam and Daniel sees Victor again? Do you think Madison will use her knowledge of Ofelia being alive as leverage/currency to get the water the ranch needs before telling Daniel? Will the Broke Jaw Ranchers and Black Hat Tribe work together now instead of fighting each other? What are your questions or predictions? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.
Fear the Walking Dead airs every Sunday night at 9 pm on AMC.