“There’s a reckoning at hand…It’s biblical.”
~Troy Otto, Fear the Walking Dead
A horde of infected of biblical proportions, a Cain and Abel-esque sibling rivalry and a surprise “F-bomb.” That is what we get in tonight’s 12th episode of season 3 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. It’s like the Exodus only with infected! After last week’s filler episode we needed some action and we were not disappointed. Madison, Taqa and Victor have not yet made it back to the ranch but we do see what Troy has been up to since being exiled.
“Brother’s Keeper” Episode 3×12
We open with a starved and dehydrated Troy wandering through the desert eating rattlesnake and still vigorously writing in that journal of his. With only one bullet in the chamber of his gun, he eventually makes it to the outpost where he, Madison and the militia found the scalped Phil McCarthy before being confronted by Taqa and his tribe. He comes across some hidden cans of tuna and a grenade launcher hidden within the wall behind a frame reading, “God help those who help themselves.” He buries McCarthy’s body and continues his note-taking. The next morning he sits in the chair where McCarthy had been and contemplates his next move. Maybe, using his last bullet on himself? Whatever it is, his thought process is interrupted by sounds coming from behind him. The sound is of the wind blowing and infected snarling. He stands and pauses for just a moment before raising his gun above his head and shooting his only bullet into the air. The snarls of the infected become louder as he smiles at his discovery.
At the Broke Jaw Ranch, Nick, Crazy Dog and a few men are putting down a few Infected that have wandered into the ranch feeding on the cattle. Nick shoots one of the remaining cows after being told that with the lack of water, they will eventually die anyway. Jake is struggling with the decision of having to put them down. Alicia tries to reassure him that it was the right one to make. Jake confides in Alicia that there are other places like the ranch and they could leave together.
Ofelia and Crazy Dog talk about gaining trust with the ranchers and possibly having to become leaders if Taqa and Madison do not return. He mentions Jake and Alicia. Ofelia points out that Jake is weak and he agrees. He tells her that the ranchers and the Nation both trust Nick because he doesn’t have a desire to lead which is the reason why he should. Later, Alicia and Nick talk about his guilt with having killed Jeremiah. Killing him and then living in his house seems to be taking its toll on him. He is not sleeping but feels that he owes Troy something. They have a connection in their broken self-destructive behavior. Nick relates to him.
While in bed, Nick overhears movement and gets up to check things out. While on the balcony, he is startled by Troy standing behind him. Nick asks if he would like to sit and Troy refuses saying that if he did, he would probably pass out. He also states that he can’t pass out because he is on a mission. He tells Nick that he is going to return the favor since Nick saved his life. He warns Nick that there is about to be a reckoning. “A beast” from the desert with nothing in its way to stop it from growing. Thinking that Troy is just severely sleep deprived, he tells him that he has two choices. To leave the way he came in or he would let him stay and he could hide him for a few days. Troy walks back into the house, shuts the door and locks it. He tells Nick and there is a third way and to listen. He continues to warn Nick that in a few hours the ranch would be destroyed. Nick orders Troy to open the door. Troy tells Nick to go get Jake because he wants him to see what is coming and how beautiful it is. Troy disappears into the darkness of the house. Nick goes around to the other side and enters through an open door that Troy used to leave.
The next morning, Alicia and Jake discuss water options. Alicia’s suggestions are shot down by Jake, whose plan b is still for them to leave the ranch together. She, in turn, shoots him down saying that they are staying put and that he needs to accept it. She tells him that she is fighting for the ranch. He questions her motives and asks if she is really fighting for the ranch or her family. Was their relationship real or was it just an alliance. Her getting close to him, Nick bonding with Troy and Madison working with Otto. Before she can even answer, they are interrupted by Nick knocking at the door. He informs Jake that Troy was at the house, looked like he hadn’t slept in days and lost it. Nick also tells them that Troy wanted to warn them that something big was coming and that he wanted Jake to see it. Jake figures that he would have most likely gone to the outpost. Alicia warns them both that it’s a trap. Alicia tells Nick that he shouldn’t go but he tells her that he’s responsible.
While heading towards the outpost, Jake reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a gun. Nick tells Jake that Troy could have killed him the night before. Jake asks why Troy would kill him and Nick corrects himself by saying that he meant that Troy could have killed anyone at the ranch but he didn’t. Jake proceeds to tell Nick that when they were younger, he came across a rabbit that Troy had skinned alive. Nick asks what he did and Jake responds that he put it down because that’s what you do when something is sick. He knows that Troy is not going to change or get any better. Nick replies with a simple F-bomb and not because Jake has decided to put Troy down and he’ll lose his homie, but because he notices a dust storm that has been kicked up by a horde of infected in the distance and it’s headed straight for the ranch with Troy guiding it. He radios a warning to Alicia who, with the help of Ofelia and Crazy Dog, prepares the ranchers for what incoming threat.
“This is evolution. This is Darwinian”
Nick asks Jake to give him a minute to try to talk Troy down. Jake agrees, knowing that there is no coming back from this for Troy. Troy admits that he is not alright mentally and calls the horde a cleansing. He tells them that he has been luring them for the past two days and nights because they need something that will constantly get their attention. Jake begs Troy to stop but Troy blows him off. He tells Nick that what is happening is not murder but more survival of the fittest. The ranchers will either run and survive or if they don’t, they will die. Jake warns Troy not to set off another explosion or he’ll have to kill him. Troy responds by telling him that if he wanted to kill him he would have already. Troy shoots and Jake tackles him to the ground, wailing on him. Nick tells him to stop and to rethink killing him because he doesn’t want to have that weighing in his head. Troy hints about what Nick did to Otto and Jake asks what they are referring to. Nick apologizes but Troy tells him to apologize to Jake. Jake realizes that Nick killed his father but says it doesn’t really matter now. Just as Jake is about to pull the trigger, Nick knocks him out and Jake falls into a pit.
Jake comes to with infected approaching. While wrestling with one, he is bitten in the arm. Troy kills the other infected. Nick asks Troy how long before the infection spreads and a shocked Troy states that he doesn’t know. What the hell were all those notes for anyway?!?!?! Jake yells for them to just take it off and motions to his machete. Nick yells for Troy to straighten out his arm so he can cut if. After a few moments of processing, Troy kneels down next to Jake, extends his arm and Nick swings hard, cutting it off. Nick drives frantically back towards the ranch with Troy and Jake in the back. He tells Troy to keep putting pressure on Jake’s wound and he can be treated at the ranch. Troy informs Nick that there is no more ranch.
Back at the ranch, Alicia, Ofelia, Crazy Dog, Coop and the ranchers prepare by lining up all the RVs end to end as a barricade hoping to keep the infected moving instead of coming into the ranch. We saw the same plan when Rick and the group try to keep the quarry walkers from heading towards Alexandria in The Walking Dead. They arm everyone with guns. As the infected approach, they push against the RVs, rocking them. The ranchers stay alert on the other side. Infected begin to crawl from underneath the RVs but they are put down. Eventually, the RVs can’t hold the weight of the horde pushing against them so they give way. The horde pushes through. Alicia orders everyone to the pantry.
Nick looks on from a distance. Troy is with Jake who succumbed to his wounds. He tells Nick that Jake wasn’t supposed to die. Nick tells him to put Jake down before he comes back. Troy tells him that he wanted Jake to see what he did for them. Angry, Nick pulls Troy to see the ranch and see what he did for them. Troy begs Nick to kill him. Nick throws the gun to him and tells him to kill himself.
Ofelia tells Alicia to guide everyone to the pantry because they will follow her. While fighting through the horde, Coop gets bit by a group of infected. Alicia looks on. Coop looks at Alicia and raises his gun to his head and pulls the trigger. The gun is empty. Alicia knows that she has to put him down. She says, “I got you,” and shoots him in the head. She saves Ofelia and they all head towards the pantry. Running out of bullets, Crazy Dog, Ofelia and Alicia fight their way through the horde, barely making it to the pantry. They close the door behind them and the surviving ranchers all stand there listening to the snarls of the infected outside. Alicia looks at the survivors realizing that the two opposing sides being together in cramped quarters may not be so good after all.
“You can sleep when you’re dead”
An infected Jake opens his eyes, Nick calls to Troy. Troy, holding him down, struggles with having to put him down. When he finally does, he states that he needs to get some sleep, Nick tells him no. They have to first find a way to save all the people that he tried to kill. He can sleep when he’s dead.
Seem to be a lot of callback to the original series. The moral compass of the show getting killed off. The RV barricades that were mentioned earlier. Troy losing Jake, waiting for him to reanimate and putting him down as Jake tries to bite him. Reminds me of when Andrea loses Amy, waits for her to come back before putting her down. And finally, everyone pulling together to fight the horde is much like when Alexandria came together when the walkers broke through the walls and the community fought them all off.
Did you notice any other callbacks that might have been missed? What do you think will happen when Madison, Taqa and Victor return and the ranch is overrun? Will they even be able to get anywhere close to the ranch? How are Nick and Troy going to pull together to lure the horde away and save everyone in the pantry? What if someone inside the pantry is already bitten and no one knows it? Will the ranchers and nation continue to band together to survive? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
With only three episodes left in season 3, Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm on AMC.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo