Not Without My Daughter!
Maddie protects her young ‘uns, Alicia takes a stand for put-upon girlfriends everywhere, and everybody’s pasts come back to haunt the fuck out of them. All these things and a couple others happen in…
Fear the Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 5: “Captive”
Alicia deals with being held prisoner on Conner’s boat by wandering off, hanging out with Radio Boy, and just generally doing whatever she damn well pleases until she finally tells Jack to go to hell and jumps back into the arms (and zodiac) of dear old mom. She also knocks Preggers McScowlyFace on her ass along the way. Nobody puts Baby’s steak in their baby-filled belly! Or something like that.
Maddie, meanwhile, scolds Strand for endangering Nick, tells Luis how things are and leaves them the hell at that, then pulls a ruse worthy of the A-Team when she manages to trade a snarling Walker (Reed, after Chris straight up executes him!) to Conner for the very-much-alive Travis before pulling Alicia from the water and speeding back off to the Abigail to (surely) live happily ever after.
While the women move things forward, the men – not so much. Travis, stuck in a cage in the bowels of Conner’s fortress of servitude and strip steaks for most of the episode is confronted by Alex, the plane crash survivor who Strand cut loose in the middle of the ocean, who naturally blames Travis for what Strand did to her and her now deceased sidekick (what’s-his-name). Like all king-sized douchebags, Strand gets a pass for being a murderous dick because, well, look at him – he’s a totally murderous dick, whereas Travis – kindhearted and doe-eyed as they come – clearly knew better but let it happen anyway. So yeah, totally his fault. Instead of dwelling on their differences, though, in true survivor fashion, they end up sharing their mutual tales of fear and mercy killing in the zombiepocalypse.
While Travis bears his soul to Alex, Chris, channeling his inner-Season-Three-Carl, gets fed up with the wounded Reed’s bullying and “stops him from turning into a zombie” by…turning him the hell into a zombie. Sense made.
The show’s exploration of family ties continues this week with a dark look into the twisted past of the Cult Brothers (Conner and Reed) and the story of Conner revenge – abusing their abusive dad, giving us a keen insight into how these two fellows found their way to brutality so quickly and so easily when the world collapsed. Much like Alexandria’s Ron and Sam, these two brothers would most certainly be reassured by Carl Grimes that their actions were justifiable because “your dad was an asshole.”
This history of violence also leads Reed to additionally goad Chris by telling him how his family, eventually, will cut him as loose as a life raft trying to hitch a ride on Strand’s yacht. Jack tells Alicia something similar when they’re alone in Conner’s radio room. Whether these words have any true impact on the mentality of the two teens or affect their view of themselves in the group, the truth of this blended, cobbled family is exemplified by the simple fact that Travis demands selflessly that Alicia (Maddie’s kid) save herself and let him fend for his own safety when she has a chance to escape their captors while he’s still caged, and that Maddie moves fast (in the midst of trying to save her daughter and significant other) to comfort Chris (Travis’ kid) after he’s killed Reed and possibly jeopardized the entire rescue. Maddie doesn’t react in anger or disdain but rather love and empathy, proving that even if there is no turning back from this horrible new world and the person it forces you to become, a mother’s love is one of the few constants a close family should always be able to count on. No matter what’s going on around them. This, I like to believe, was Fear’s blood-and-brains-splattered way of saying “Happy Mother’s Day.”
This Week’s Best Bits
O’ brother where art the rest of your face?
The hostage trade was a fantastically tense and fun scene. Conner was a short-lived villain, as it turns out. Cut from the same cloth as the Terminus hipsters, plying new arrivals with sweet talk and fresh-grilled mystery meat, Conner makes the similar mistake of underestimating his victims.
Jesse McCartney, too, I thought was terrific as the increasingly unhinged Reed and his hungry reanimated corpse. He brought a nice, ahem, bite to the part.
Oh, Ofelia…I wanna love you till the mornin’ comes
Of all the mean, villainous things Reed rattled off in his day and a half stay on the group’s yacht, his biggest offense was threatening the sweet, pure-hearted Ofelia. I like to think that this line-cross is ultimately why Chris saw fit to go ahead and shoot him in the face. “You can say a lot of shitty things to people in a world gone mad, but what you don’t do is threaten Ofelia,” is what I would have said just prior to the aforementioned face-blasting.
The Ana Lucia situation
That pregnant chick is so unlikable, I have to assume that Michelle Rodriguez was too busy filming Fast & Furious 12: So Much Furiouser to play the part herself.
Pardon my face
Travis is the best fucking head-butter ever.
And then there were two…(and a whole bunch of other people with no one else left to tell them what to do.)
In the end, as Maddie and fam sped off into the midday sun (this sentence would have been so much more dramatic had this scene happened at sunset—get on the ball, FTWD writers!), the last two villains left standing are Alex and Jack. It seems feasible that the capable and relentlessly hard-assed Alex would take over or work her way up to taking over Conner’s cult of punky pirates and that Jack and Preggers will be there by her vengeful side. (Who is that baby daddy, by the way, and how will his fate play into her anger issues going forward?) I assume we’ll see this group again, looking for payback.
Alex seems the one to fear most (she is capable, unflinching, and mean as hell when you’ve been involved in setting her adrift in a zombie-infested ocean, and clearly has a past that somehow managed to better prepare her for this life than that of your average folk), but I think Jack may become an even bigger menace and a villain of Negan-like proportions. After all, the fury of a woman scorned is something fierce indeed, but broken-hearted boys build Death Stars and destroy planets. And he may do just that in the name of his sweet Alicia.