‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Season 3 Finale [Recap] “Things Bad Begun”/”Sleigh Ride”
The season 3 two-hour finale of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead did not disappoint. We have a lot to cover so let’s dive into it!
***WARNING: Spoilers beyond this point! Some images may not be suitable for some readers***
“Things Bad Begun” – Episode 03×15
Nick opens the episode by shopping for heads of infected. He takes the heads to “el Matarife” who needs the locus coeruleus out of each of them. The fresher the better. Less chance of becoming infected. He informs Nick that the Proctors will pay for all that Nick can harvest. Nick agrees as long as he is paid.
Troy is outside observing the guards. They are gearing up for something big. He watches them gathering supplies, weapons and rafts. Troy asks one of the men, “what’s up?” He later finds Nick at a bar taking shots. He tells him that it’s time to sober up because Madison is in trouble. The Proctors are planning on attacking the dam.
Victor and Madison are at the top of the dam. He asks her what she’s sees when she looks out over the scenery. She responds with negativity and he asks her to look past that and into the future. He explains to her that there could be irrigation and agriculture, crops and cattle. Exactly what she wanted when she decided to return to the ranch. She explains that what she wanted was a future for Nick and Alicia and possibly grandchildren. She dreams about holidays that they could spend together and the dinner she could make. He tells her that she can build something for Nick and Alicia to come home to. They begin to drink. After some time, He tells her that she shouldn’t blame Nick and Alicia for wanting to venture out on their own. She tells him that she can, especially with the world being the way it is now. She tells him to come forward because she knows something is up. He asks her if she has ever killed someone and she answers that she has because she has had too. He tells her that he has never murdered anyone. She tells him that he is luck but his time will come but killing can drive some people mad. It doesn’t get you what you want but what makes it worse is that it gets easier every time. Daniel interrupts them to tell her that Nick has just arrived.
Alicia and Diana are headed towards the post to change the gold they have for goods. Diana tries to convince Alicia to sell her hair but Alicia refuses. They are suddenly t-boned by a group of men. Startled by the impact, Diana screams to Alicia to get out of the truck. The men attack and try to take what little they can. Doing a bada** job of fighting them off. Alicia sees one of the men strike Diana in the leg causing her to fall. Alicia grabs her rifle and shoots in the air, running them off. She checks on Diana whose leg is broken and bleeding with bone protruding through the skin. She kneels down and cuts off blood supply to Diana’s lower leg and tells her to look away.
UGH! She should have just killed the men! She should know by now that leaving ANY kind of threat alive will come back in a worse way. Going all aikido didn’t work for Morgan and it sure as hell isn’t gonna work for you.
Daniel gets a visit from Taqa who brings him the crucifix that Ofelia had when he found her in the desert. Daniel tells him that he keeps asking himself, “why her?” Taqa replies that he also asks himself but doesn’t know that answers because he wasn’t there. maybe if he would have been he could have prevented it, but he wasn’t.
Troy and Nick arrive and explain to Madison, Strand, Lola, Daniel and Efrain that the Proctors are getting ready for an attack. Efrain reminds them that the Proctors and narcos, drug dealers, were in business with each other before the outbreak. Lola believes that they will shut down the water and starve the people in the cities. Daniel decides that they can set up guards with the guns and ammo that they do have at the three points of entry. Lola asks him about them coming through the water. Efrain informs Daniel that there is C-4 left over from the construction of the dam. Efrain suggests to release the water to the people and take their chances rather than having to deal with the Proctors. Daniel agrees, they will defend the dam but if that should go south, they would have the C-4 ready to blow as a bargaining chip. Victor suggests that Madison leave with Nick but she refuses. She’ll stay and help defend the dam and asks how to set the C-4. Troy volunteers himself to set it but an untrusting Daniel questions his knowledge. Troy reminds him that he is the one that came to warn him. Madison defends Troy to Daniel.
Madison walks in on Crazy Dog and Taqa packing up their gear. He tells her that they heard that some of the Nation went north after the outbreak. She tells them that there is a possibility that they are dead. He tells her that he respects Daniel who is an honorable man but they are not willing to die at the dam. They say their goodbyes and leave.
Setting Diana’s leg at the site of the attack, Alicia managed to get her to the post where a doctor, Eddie, is casting Diana’s leg. He is impressed with her skills although she admits to having no formal training. He lets on that he lost his license and moved to Baja after that. He asks her to help with a surgery he has coming up. She tries to refuse but he tells her that all he needs is someone to hand him instruments. She agrees.
Looking for something to eat to appease his mother, Nick is interrupted by Victor who begs him to take Madison and leave the dam. Intrigued with his demeanor, Nick asks Victor what is truly going on especially that he seems so nervous. Victor confesses that he made a deal with the Proctors to give up the dam. They would have eventually gotten there anyway but the deal that he made was to ensure the safety of Madison and her children. Nick knows that there is more to it than what he is saying because Stand doesn’t do anything unless Strand benefits somehow. Victor also admits that once the Proctors secure the dam, Victor will be in charge of the dam but with Daniel now aware that an attack is in place, that may not happen. He tells Nick once more to take his mother and leave but not to tell her because if she knew the truth, she would tell Daniel and if Daniel knew the truth, he would kill him.
Nick walks in on Daniel while looking for Madison. Daniel tells him that she’s with Troy setting up the C-4 but before Nick can leave, Daniel asks him to sit with him. Daniel asks if Nick was with Ofelia when she got bit but Nick says no. Daniel questions him about everyone being trapped in the bunker. Nick agrees that that is what happened but he was outside trying to stop the horde of infected. He explains to Daniel about the horde coming, that Troy saw it, warned Nick and they both tried to divert it from heading towards the ranch. Nick tells him that it was just too late. Daniel gets up and padlocks the door. He turns to Nick who looks confused and concerned. Daniel simply tells him that he’s lying. He then asks him if he knows who he was, Nick replies that he knows that he was military and an interrogator. Nick asks Daniel if he is going to torture him because Ofelia wouldn’t have agreed with that. Daniel agrees but states the Ofelia is dead. Nick tries to convince him by saying that Ofelia thought that he had changed and then asks for the keys to open the lock. Daniel tells Nick that she and Nick are wrong, nobody can ever change, they just walk in circles. He orders Nick to sit down.
Telling Daniel about the horde coming to the ranch, Daniel asks Nick why hadn’t Troy slept. Nick tells him because he was scouting and the wilderness is dangerous. Daniel agrees but insists that Nick is lying. He knows that the horde of that magnitude had to be driven there and he wants Nick to admit that it was Troy. Daniel knows that it can only be one of three people: Nick, Jake or Troy. Nick bows his head and confesses it was Jake. Daniel doesn’t believe him. He wants justice for Ofelia’s death. Nick admits that Troy is a bigot and a killer but that he loved the ranch. He tells him that the ranch was troy’s whole world but that Jake was never right after Jeremiah died and especially knowing that Nick killed his father. Daniel confirms that Nick killed Jake’s father and Nick nods. He asks that if it was truly Jake and Nick replies that it was and that he was killed by the horde he led. Daniel reaches for the keys and hands them to Nick to let him go. Nick leaves but we can see that Daniel still doesn’t fully believe him.
While Troy and Madison are setting up the C-4, he tells her that the post was not a good place for him or Nick. They awkwardly touch hands which seems to make Madison feel uneasy. He tells her that he had never felt fear before or even thought that he could feel it until Nick showed him. To that, his is grateful and feels that Nick may be his only friend. Madison thanks him for looking out for Nick and asks him to keep doing it. Troy goes on to say that they have to look out for each other especially being in Mexico. Madison tries to persuade him from making any more racist remarks because it may be dangerous. She reminds him that they are guests and to act like it. He, in turn, reminds her that it wasn’t so long that they were guests at the ranch but now they are one big family. He tells her that he is right with all that has happened and asks if things between them are good. She responds that they are.
Alicia is brought to Proctor John. He takes a liking to her. He tells her about him forming the Proctors which was a motorcycle club from Southern California and the trade route he is hoping to form from Houston to California. The only thing that is holding him back is a tumor growing and causing him to be paralyzed. He wants Eddie to take out the growth. If all goes well, Alicia would have to opportunity to join them but if not, all will be executed.
Hmmmmm? Houston, huh? Well, with the recently announced crossover between Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead, Houston could be a possible location for that to happen. Abraham is from Houston. He and his family were held up in a store with other survivors. After returning from a supply run, he kills four of the men after finding out they raped his wife while he was away. They become more fearful of him and leave. When he finds them devoured outside, he is about to shoot himself when he hears Eugene’s cries for help. Of course, Eugene would be the next possible character for the crossover.
Before surgery, Alicia asks if Proctor John will be put to sleep. He tells her no. She reminds him that with a knife being in his back if he moves, there could be significant damage. Eddie tells her that that is what she is there for, to make sure he doesn’t move. She pills up a stool and sits next to John. He tells her that he had a sister almost as pretty as her. Knowing that Eddie is about to open him up, he asks John about the safest place that he can remember. He begins to tell her about his Aunt Jane. In obvious pain, she does her best to distract him. She grabs his hand and tells John that Eddie or whatever he is doing doesn’t exist but that she is there. He calms down and tells her that she is tough to which she responds, “you have no idea.” After the surgery, Alicia asks John how he feels and to wiggle his toes. They all look on for a while. Finally, his toes and feet move. A guard walks in with news that they are ready to move. Eddie tells John that it’s not a good idea. John tells him to relax because he has his angel of mercy, referring to Alicia. Knowing she has no choice, she helps him up.
While Troy is showing Madison how to detonate the C-4, Nick rushes in telling them that they have to leave. He tells her about Victor’s deal with the Proctors. Madison wants to warn Daniel and Lola but Nick refuses because he knows once Daniel sees Troy, he’ll kill him. Madison asks why would Daniel want to kill Troy, Nick shrugs, indicating that he doesn’t know. Madison looks to Troy who admits that he brought the horde of infected to the ranch. He refers to the Nation as the “Indians” and wasn’t happy that they were there. Madison takes offense to his reference and tells him that they all had the ranch. He tells her not him, he was exiled but she reminds him that because of that, he lived. She tells him that he took everything from her. Her husband, her children. He responds with she took his father and brother from him. She tells him that Jake’s death was on him. He admits that he would do it all again and that she would too. Disgusted with what Troy was about to say, Madison swings and hits hit across the temple with a hammer. Nick looks on stunned. Troy falls to his knees, looks up at her and begins to bleed. She swings once more, killing him. Nick turns and walks away in disbelief.
Daniel finds Lola who tells him that the water is running in the wrong direction. He asks why but she doesn’t know. Holding a gun towards her, Victor walks in and orders Lola to step away from the levers. She backs off. They know now that Victor sold them out to the Proctors. Daniel tries to negotiate with Victor telling him that he is not one to kill. He’s a con-man. He tells Victor to hand him the gun as he slowly approaches him. Daniel grabs the gun and they struggle. The gun goes off and Daniel is shot in his cheek. He comes to and Lola helps him up. Victor allows them to get away.
The Proctors make their way through the sewage pipes and to the dam. The guards try to defend as much as they can but are outnumbered. The Proctors confront Victor because they were not supposed to be detected. Victor tells them that Daniel and Lola are dead and they tell him to save it for Proctor John. Victor eventually finds Nick and Madison who are looking to escape. He tells them that they need to hide. He locks them in a room and tells them that he’ll do what he can to prevent anything happening to either of them.
“Sleigh Ride” – Episode 03×16
The second half of the finale begins with a cryptic dream sequence. Set during Christmas at the Broke Jaw Ranch, Madison seems to have everything she ever wanted. Making dinner, she looks out the window to see a truck drive through the ranch gates. No one else is there. No ranchers or nation. She puts on her coat and walks up to the truck as she passes three separate graves: Jeremiah’s, Jake’s and Troy’s. She meets up with Nick and, for the first time since she left the ranch, Luciana. She is holding a bundle which seems to be a baby. We don’t see the baby but we do hear a faint cry. Nick is not at all happy to see her. They apparently are there to visit another grave…the grave of Alicia. Madison invites them inside. Nick motions to Luciana and they head towards the truck. Madison grabs at Luciana’s arm, Luciana pulls away and we hear the baby cry and what seems to be a snarl at the same time. Nick and Luciana leave and Madison if left alone.
Alicia is riding in one of two Zodiacs headed for the dam. They pass a few dead and floating bodies. They dock. Alicia and Victor notice each other but don’t let on that they know one another. Proctor John questions Victor about the resistance they had taken over the dam. Victor explains that someone tipped them off but all is well. John asks for Alicia to change his dressing and for a tour from Victor. After John and his men walk away, Alicia quietly asks about Madison. Victor tells her that she is there and hiding. He promises that he can get them out of their situation but only if they work together.
Nick questions Madison about her actions after killing Troy. He asks if there is a point where she would stop. He noticed the look in her eyes when she killed Troy. Madison tells him that it needed to be done because Troy was dangerous and she made that choice for him and Alicia to be safe in the world they live in. Nick argues that she uses that in order to be who she always has been. She is not liking what Nick is telling her probably because the truth hurts. He tells her that SHE is what is dangerous. She tells him that there will be one day that he will have no choice but to have to make the decision to kill someone. He answers that that is what is scary. One day he may have no choice because she will have no choice with him. He pleads that she would never hurt him but he continues to argue that she may if it was necessary. She demands him to stop. They are interrupted by gunshots close by.
Lola stops their escape to check on Daniel who is still bleeding from his cheek. She tells him to keep pressure on his wound. She wants to go find Efrain, not knowing that he is already dead. Daniel gives her his gun and tells her that when she returns, they both will leave together. She smiles, climbs up the ladder and closes the manhole. She makes it to the office where she discovers Efrain shot in the head. She begs for his forgiveness. The sight of him angers her. She stands up and cocks the gun and walks out the door.
Alicia is changing Johns bandages and points out that he has a high tolerance for pain. He tells her what he doesn’t have a tolerance for is liars, mentioning Victor. He asks how they know each other. Alicia remains silent. John asks her again. Alicia admits that he helped them escape Los Angeles when the infection broke out. John asks why she didn’t acknowledge him. She answers that she didn’t because she thought her mother was there and they are friends. He reminds her that omitting the truth is still a lie. He asks her name and Alicia tells him, “Madison.” He confesses that she is or was there and that Victor made the deal to let them in only if they let Madison live. Alicia asks if he would still spare her if she is found and he responds that that deal collapsed with Victor’s lies. Alicia points out that she has served him and would continue if he let her mother live. He tells her that he will if she goes with them to Houston. They agree.
Victor walks in to tell Madison and Nick that Alicia is there with Proctor John. He tells them that he hopes John likes Alicia enough to let them go but not to bet on it. He gives them both coveralls and plans to walk them right out of the gates. They stall and he begs them to listen. Madison knows something is not right and asks if his “time had come?” She wants to know who he killed. He admits that he shot Daniel but that he didn’t kill him. He also tells him that it was the worse thing he has ever done. He tells her that he let Lola go because it didn’t get easier like Madison said it would. Nick comments that there is still hope for Victor but looks at Madison who he believes is too far gone.
“I haven’t had a good feeling about anything since 1997.” ~Victor Strand
Nick and Madison, wearing uniforms, are walking along the top of the dam with Victor behind them. He informs one of the Proctors that John asks him to dispose of them personally and he wants to take them outside the gate. They are given the okay to go. Victor hands Madison his gun and tells her to hide in the city and he will get Alicia and meet them there. Madison turns and notices Lola approaching while shooting the Proctors. Lola is shot and killed by John.
“What fresh hell is this, gentlemen? What fresh hell?” ~Proctor John
Victor later tells John that he was going to kill everyone himself. John doesn’t believe him. He questions that since he said he killed Lola and obviously didn’t, whether Daniel is still alive. Victor swears that he killed Daniel and Madison backs his statement saying he admitted it to her. He realized that she is Alicia’s mother and orders her to go to her. He then asks Nick his role and Madison tells John that Nick is her son. Another Proctor tells John that Nick was with Troy who was asking questions at the post. Nick confesses that Madison killed Troy who was a threat. John tells Alicia that although she has been helpful to him, he is going to have to kill them all. He explains that he has to kill Alicia because he is going to kill Nick and he wouldn’t be able to trust her after that. He tells Alicia that he will kill her first so she doesn’t have to suffer watching the others die but will leave Madison for last to watch the whole thing.
Nick, Madison and Alicia walk hand in hand along the top of the dam. John tells them to say their goodbyes. They all hug then Nick turns to Victor and wishes him, “safe travels.” They embrace and Nick kisses him on the cheek. Before John can kill anyone, Victor tells him that there is something that he is not aware of. The dam has been set with C-4 explosives. John thinks Victor is lying and orders his men to kill him. Victor begins to fumble through his pockets searching for the detonator but can’t find it. Nick calls out to Victor and holds up the detonator which he picked out of his pocket while they hugged. Victor begs Nick not to touch the other button. Nick asks if he means the one to detonate.
Somehow, and not sure why we go back into Madison’s dream sequence. Dinner is ready and those that are at the table are ready to feast. We see the return of Jeremiah, Jake and Troy. Taqa is at the head of the table sharpening the carving knife. Daniel is there seated next to Coop. All are happy and enjoying life. Doorbell rings. Madison opens the door to welcome Victor, arms full of gifts for all. They all hug and kiss and Madison finally has everything she wanted. But where are her children? Maybe the price she had to pay to establish relationships to ensure security and safety for them was just that. It costed her her relationships with Nick and Alicia. She joyously lifts the cover to unveil the turkey and joy turns to sadness as Jeremiah’s severed head lays resting on the platter. Taqa is now dressed in his regular clothes and when she presented him with Jeremiah’s head to make the deal with the Nation. Jeremiah’s headless body is seen slumped over where he was seated before. Jake reaches across the table and Taqa cuts his arm off like it had been when he was bitten. Blood begins to fill the table as everyone goes about their business. Some still joyful at the chaos and others concerned but silent. Troy and Jake are saddened at the sight of their dead father at the hands of Madison. Victor gets up to leave and Madison goes out after him. Outside, there is no sign of Victor but the field is now filled with dozens of tombstones. She looks up to see a jet fly above.
That same jet brings us back to the dam with Nick threatening to blow it up. Nick orders John to tell his men to put their guns down. They comply. Nick paces a bit and demands that Madison and Alicia take one of the Zodiacs and escape. Alicia begs him to go with but John tells her he can’t because the detonator has a range. If he were to go he would lose his bargaining chip. He tells John that he isn’t negotiating, it’s his suicide note. A pained Madison begins to cry. Nick goes to her and tells her to go because she has no choice and if she stays, they all will die. Nick begs her to leave. She looks at him, not being able to say anything because she knows he is right. She eventually takes Alicia’s hand and walks away. Alicia, stunned, follows. Nick orders Victor to go with them to take care of his mother and sister. John lets them go with plans of searching for them later. Nick states that he doesn’t survive what is about to happen. John is intrigued and Nick tells him that he’s not afraid to die. John questions if the detonator is real.
Victor, Madison and Alicia race to one of the Zodiacs.
Daniel approaches a group of Proctors asking for help because he is visibly wounded. As they get closer to him, Daniel attacks using his Salvadorian ninja skills and kills them all.
As Victor, Madison and Alicia make it to the Zodiac, John tries to convince Nick to give up because he can’t destroy the dam. It has so much potential. Nick tells him that it’s just another thing for people to want to control.
Alicia struggles with the Zodiac’s motor but gets it running. They are finally on there way upriver. Nick keeps a lookout while stalling to make sure they make it far enough to be safe. John reminds him that even if he blows up the dam, the people in the cities will still fight over the water. He tells Nick that violence breeds from civilization. Nick smirks and tells John that he killed the last man who told him the same thing, referring to Jeremiah. John tells him that he understands this world like Madison does. Nick tells him that there has to be another way to be instead of embracing the violence.
The motor on the Zodiac goes out and Alicia tries to remedy it. John points out that Nick has not considered that if he blows up the dam too soon, his family wouldn’t make it anyway. He asks Nick to hand him the detonator as the Proctors approach Nick cautiously.
Making his way to the top of the dam, Daniel finds Lola with a note placed on her saying, “Reina del Agua” or “Water Queen.” He sits beside her and places Ofelia’s crucifix in her hands knowing that he failed her.
Alicia gets the Zodiac running again as the Proctors get closer and closer to Nick who continues to stall. John orders them to take the detonator and just before they attempt to, Shots are fired, killing a few of the Proctors. Taqa and Crazy Dog are in the hills above. Taqa compliments Crazy Dog for the headshot but Crazy Dog states he was going for a heart-lung combo. Taqa comments that it must have been the wind that made him miss.
Not knowing for sure where the shots were coming from, John accuses Nick of bluffing because he’s not one to kill. He also points out that the Zodiac isn’t far enough to which Nick asks if they would like to find out. John states that he’s bored and orders his men to kill Nick. Just as they raise their guns and Nick is about to flip the switch, more shots are fired. John spots Taqa and Crazy Dog and orders his men to shut them down.
All the commotion gives Daniel a chance to get closer. He approaches, shooting some of the Proctors.
Nick watches as the Zodiac gets further away and smiles. Madison looks back at Nick. Nick detonates the C-4, setting off explosions from under the dam. The ground begins to rumble beneath him. The Proctors try to get John out as the dam begins to crack and split. John looks at Nick with anger and disbelief.
Alicia struggles with the Zodiac as the motor sputters and they get pulled into the suction of the dam’s current.
Seeing that there is no possible hope to save anyone, Taqa and Crazy Dog gather their gear and head North.
Water is flowing through the dam as we look in on those that were lost, Efrain in the office and Troy as the water engulfs him.
Daniel makes it to Nick who watches in horror as Alicia, Madison and Victor continue to struggle with the Zodiac. The water is flowing through the flood channel.
In the final part of Madison’s dream, She is paying her respects at the grave of Jeremiah Otto. Maybe realizing that killing him wasn’t that right thing to do. He wanted what she did, for the ranch to thrive and to build a life there. But her actions set everything into motion and on a downward spiral.
She touches the ground and a hand from the grave grabs her, pulling her in. We then see her underwater as she is obviously unconscious from being thrown from the Zodiac. As the dirt in her dream is caving in on her, she falls deeper and deeper into the water. Back in her dream, she reaches out through the dirt to the surface and a hand grabs her. It is Travis. He begins to pull her up, she looks at him in amazement then falls back underground. Maybe letting him save her meant that she would join him? Who knows? She finally awakens but still underwater. She kicks for the surface and swims to safety. She sees the people from the city coming to fill whatever they can with water that is flowing freely. A little girl approaches her and greets her, Madison smiles and greets her in return. The townspeople continue to gather water.
This was by far the best season yet. With Dave Erickson exiting and Scott M. Gimple coming on for season 4, I’m looking forward to what is next to come for Madison. Is she really as dangerous as everyone thinks she is or is she just doing what needs to be done to stay alive and keep her family safe? What about her family? Is anyone still alive? If she made it to shore, could Alicia and Strand be alive too? We know that Alicia can swim but we also know that Victor cannot. Remember in the second season when he almost died trying to escape the Abigail?
Were Nick and Daniel able to make it safely to solid ground as the dam was falling? And if they did, then it is quite possible that Proctor John did too. And as for this crossover…Who do you all think would be the most likely character? For me, money is still on Abraham Ford but in The Walking Dead Universe, anything is possible. I mean it’s fiction and fantasy. A world where the dead walk the earth. So whatever they plan to throw our way, we will love and those who don’t, will complain but continue to watch because “We ARE The Walking Dead” and that makes us all family.
We’ll just have to wait to see what Gimple has in store for us when Fear the Walking Dead returns for season 4 in 2018. The Walking Dead returns this Sunday with the season 8 premiere of its 100th episode at 9 pm on AMC.
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