Fear the Walking Dead – Brother’s Keeper
By: Tara Donahue
The last time we saw Troy (Daniel Sharman) he was being banished from Broke Jaw Ranch, driven out to the middle of nowhere and left to be tested in the wasteland. And that is exactly where we find him. He’s killing a rattlesnake and cooking it for dinner, writing in his book and walking. He finds himself at the McCarthy Outpost where poor Phil’s (Rocky McMurray) body is still sitting in that chair, atop the rock. Gone, at least, are the crows that were eating his brain.
Troy rummages, looking for any food. He finds a can of tuna and devours it quickly. Exploring further, he finds a piece of framed needlepoint hanging on the wall that reads, “God, help those who help themselves. Beneath it is a panel that holds a grenade launcher and ammunition. Troy does, in fact, help himself. Later that night, he gives Phil a proper burial and writes some more in his book before sleeping.
The next day, Troy is sitting in Phil’s chair, holding the gun with one bullet he was given when he was banished. It seems like he’s going to kill himself. Maybe he was, but something catches his attention and he stands, looking off into the distance. He shoots the gun into the air to draw whatever he sees closer and laughs.
At the Ranch, Nick (Frank Dillane), Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) and some others are having to kill both infected and cattle. Dead are drawn by the cattle. They’ll all die soon from the lack of water anyway.
Elsewhere, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) approaches Jake (Sam Underwood) and they talk about having to put down the herd. She thinks it’s the right call, but it wasn’t Jake’s call. It was the Nation’s and Nick backed it. Broke Jaw isn’t even a ranch anymore he feels. Alicia reminds him that he never wanted to be a rancher, but rain will fall and they’ll start over. She promises him that if they live long enough she’ll get him more cows. She reminds him that it’s livable here and they can’t say that about anywhere else, but Jake can. Vernon (Hugo Armstrong) was right, there are other places out there. Closer places even. They have a cabin and Jake wants the two of them to go. Everything he was fighting for is gone. Alicia thinks they’re lucky to have what they have, but Jake says it was supposed to be more.
Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) and Crazy Dog are talking about the leadership ranks. If Taqa (Michael Greyeyes) and Madison (Kim Dickens) don’t make it back, it’s on them. And Alicia and Jake he reminds her. But Ofelia thinks Jake is weak and Crazy Dog agrees. “I know they have to gain your trust, but I have to gain theirs.” She says and they decide to meet in the middle, where Nick already is. Everyone already trusts him. He has no want to lead and that’s why he should.
Nick’s on the porch of the big house smoking when Alicia joins him. He wasn’t in the mood for a steak when they’re going to have enough jerky to last a year now. She takes a cigarette and lights it, which amuses Nick. Alicia tells him he looks terrible and Nick reminds her that he killed a man and now he’s sleeping in his house. “You killed an evil, old man to save your family,” Alicia reminds him. She asks him if he’s worried about Madison. He is. He’s also worried about Troy. Alicia doesn’t think he owes Troy. He likes Troy. They share the same self-destruction. “Maybe I’m as sick as he is.” Nick points out.
Later Nick is asleep and he hears something. He grabs his knife and heads out onto the porch. Troy is inside. Nick reminds him he can’t be there, but asks him if he wants to sit. He can’t sit, he’ll pass out if he does. He can’t pass out, he’s on a mission. Troy tells Nick he saved him and now he’s here to return the favor. There’s a reckoning at hand. Something new, something to delight in. A beast from the desert. He tells him it’s bigger than he can imagine. Biblical. Nick tells Troy he has two options: sneak out the way he came in before Crazy Dog sees him or he can hide him for a couple of days. But Troy isn’t interested because in a few hours, the whole place is going to be obliterated. He needs him to get Jake because he needs to see it. It’s beautiful.
The next morning, at Jake’s place, he’s downstairs and Alicia comes down. She wants to talk about another well. It all runs off the same aquifer, he tells her. She says they can go outside the ranch then and pump it in, truck it in. But, that’s what Madison and Walker are already doing. No one’s even heard from them, though. There’s no way to know if they’ll find water or if they’re even coming back. Jake argues that they’ll be back, but what they bring won’t be enough. They need a Plan B. Alicia doesn’t understand how he can talk about leaving. She’s fighting for this place. He wants to know why. All she says is that they’re staying there and he needs to get right with it. They argue about what her true intentions and obligations are. Jake wonders if she actually even likes him – if it’s a relationship or an alliance. He questions whether or not it was the plan all along for Madison to work Otto (Dayton Callie), Nick to bond with Troy and her to seduce him. Before she can answer, Nick knocks at the door to tell him about Troy.
Alicia tries to talk them out of going, but they aren’t listening. Before they leave, she tells Jake: “Look, I did it for you. You’re the last good man I know.” As they drive out to find Troy, Jake pulls a gun from the glove compartment. It seems that Troy’s psychotic behavior has been building for some time, which we learn from a brief story he tells about a rabbit he found skinned alive and staked to the ground when he was twelve years old. Nick asked him what he did. He put it down “because that’s what you do when something’s lame or sick.” Jake doesn’t think he’s going to stop or get better. He’s warned him.
Nick sees something in the distance and, for the first time in “Fear the Walking Dead” history, drops an F-bomb. Though, for good cause it seems. It looks like it’s a sandstorm, but as Nick radios to tell Alicia what’s coming we learn it’s not good. It’s a horde of infected and it’s big. Jake and Nick want to try and lead them left, away from the ranch, but that’s not an option because Troy is down there, with that grenade launcher, guiding them towards the ranch. He led them here.
Alicia goes to tell Ofelia that Nick and Jake are in trouble. They went out this morning and came across a horde. Ofelia doesn’t understand why they broke protocol to go alone and Alicia is forced to tell the truth about Troy sneaking into camp. Crazy Dog isn’t going to be happy. Alicia says he doesn’t have to know how they know, they just need to stop it. Ofelia doesn’t trust that Troy’s not waiting to ambush, but Alicia trusts Nick and Jake to stop it and asks her to have a little faith.
Nick wants a minute with Troy, but Jake tells him there’s no coming back from this. He still wants to try. Troy says it’s a cleansing. Nick tells him he’s not in his right head, which after leading them for two days and two nights he admits he’s a little punchy. He tells them it’s evolution, Darwinian. No, it’s not. It’s murder nothing more. He asks Nick if he really wants to go there. They see the horde and they’ll run. If they don’t, he says it’s eviction or extinction.
Jake again tries to get him to drop the launcher. He doesn’t want to shoot him but he will. Troy doesn’t believe him. If he was going to, he would have a long time ago. Jake swears on his father’s grave he will kill him. Troy shoots the launcher again. Jake tackles him to the ground. Jake has the gun on Troy. Nick tries to tell him if he pulls the trigger he’ll wake up with it every day and he’ll never get it out of his head. That’s when Troy shifts it to Nick. Jake wants to know what he’s talking about. He figures it out but doesn’t care. Troy wants to know if he’s thinking of checking out. Jake tells him he has to take that trip on his own and he cocks the gun. Nick knocks him off.
The infected move in on Jake as Nick and Troy rush to help. But it’s too late. He’s bitten. Nick wants to know how long before it spreads. Troy doesn’t know, but Nick slices it off anyway.
In the pantry, Crazy Dog is asking why Nick and Jake are out there. As soon as he finds out Troy’s behind it, he starts to leave. “Lee,” Ofelia says, using his real name. He stops and relents, giving her the keys and agrees to arm up.
Nick is driving and Troy is holding Jake in the back. He tells him to keep pressure on it so they can treat him back at the ranch. But there’s going to be no ranch to go back to. There are infected everywhere. Everyone’s hunkered down, armed and waiting, as they horde approaches, hoping they keep moving along the RV wall that Crazy Dog has had them build. The infected tear down the wall and are on the ranch. They are coming beneath the RV’s and the ranchers are taking them out.
Nick is watching from a distance. Troy says Jake wasn’t supposed to die, not like this. He wasn’t the one who was supposed to die. Nick tells him he needs to put him down. Troy says he just wanted him to see what he’d done for them. Grabbing him, Nick forces him to look at what he did. Troy tells Nick to do what his brother should’ve done and kill him, but Nick tells him to kill himself.
Tons of infected are bumping against the RV’s, they’ve stopped coming under because they’re packed too tight to move. It’s not going to hold though. Alicia’s fighting alongside Ofelia, Crazy Dog, Coop (Matt Lasky) and the others. Ofelia tells her to get the others to the pantry. They’ll follow her, she needs to lead them. Coop is overwhelmed by walkers and he tries to shoot himself, but he’s out of bullets. “I’ve got you,” Alicia says, shooting him to put him out of his misery. Ofelia is pinned down and Alicia manages to save her too. They run.
Outside the ranch, Jake reanimates.
Alicia and Ofelia are almost to the pantry, but they are out of bullets and there’s a lot of infected between them and there. Crazy Dog joins them and they start fighting their way through. They make it. Barely.
Troy is forced to put a knife through his brother’s brain. Now, he needs sleep. No, Nick tells him. Now they have to find a way to save everyone he tried to kill. He can sleep when he’s dead. Looking down at the ranch, it’s completely overran. They will have one hell of a rescue mission on their hands.
Inside the pantry, everyone looks to Alicia for answers. Suddenly, she’s the one in charge and I have a feeling she’s going to rise to the occasion. I personally have been waiting for her to step up and be the leader I know she can be. She is her mother’s daughter, after all.