Fear The Walking Dead – Eye of the Beholder
By: Tara Donahue
The two-part Season Three premiere picks up not long after the final moments Season Two finale. We see Madison (Kim Dickens), Travis (Cliff Curtis) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) handcuffed and being forcefully escorted by what seems like the military along a dirt road surrounded on both sides by corpses. They’re taken onto a military base and immediately Travis is separated from the girls and taken to an area where he’s essentially triaged, marked with a number and put into some sort of holding room with several other people. A glance around the room shows that they appear to be sick, coughing and mostly men. It doesn’t take long for Travis to spot Nick (Frank Dillane) and let him know that his mother and sister are there as well and that he’s going to get them all out of there. Nick asks about Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) and no words are needed for the meaning to be implied.
Elsewhere in the compound, Madison and Alicia are being held separate in some sort of office. It’s a vast contrast to the treatment of those where Travis is, especially as one of the soldiers, Troy (Daniel Sharman), comes in bringing tea since the coffee wasn’t brewed. He apologizes for their treatment, explaining that the border is dangerous and that they’d had attacks. He tells them they just need to process them and Madison asks about Travis only to be told he’s being processed separately. Is that what you call that? There’s apparently different kinds of processing for the men and the women.
Troy pulls out a notebook and starts asking questions, claiming to need to know where they were coming from, where they came from, who they came with and whether or not anyone was joining. Alicia wants to know what happens after this alleged processing and Troy says he just doesn’t want to send them out to slaughter, but assures them once they’re done they’ll get supplies and they’ll be free to go. Given what we’ve seen going on where Travis is, something tells me that won’t be the case at all.
There’s some sort of experiments going on in the other area. The soldiers, at Troy’s behest, are killing people and timing how long it takes them to reanimate. He easily picks Travis out and starts questioning what ethnicity he is. Upon finding out he’s Maori, Troy makes the comment that this is warrior stock. This scene has some pretty obvious racist undertones to it, which given what we’ve seen of Troy thus far, comes as no surprise.
Alicia and Madison, in their much nicer holding area, continue to look for a way out. They discuss the way that Troy is treating them. Madison thinks it’s too well and Alicia wonders why, but she’s smart. She knows he has ulterior motives. He’s not going to just let them go. Madison says she’ll force him to. This is where Alicia reveals that she has just the way to make him; her butterfly knife that she managed to hide in her boot.
Steven (Ross McCall), one of the men with Travis, knows a way out and he just needs someone strong to back him. If someone can get him out of the room, he can get them off the compound. But, before they can continue, the soldiers come to take another group out – this time including Travis, Nick, Luciana (Danay Garcia) and Steven.
Back to the office where Troy lets Madison and Alicia know they’ve passed the “processing” with flying colors. Madison asks about Travis, but is told he has different criteria. It’s not hard to figure out what he means by that. He protests that he’s not a bad person. Listen, Troy, if you have to preface something with that fact that you’re not a bad person it’s usually safe to assume that you most certainly are.
In the experiment/shower room, Travis starts questioning the soldier named Willy (Noel Fisher) about the corpses outside. He’s told it’s a force field and Troy discovered it. The dead have sight, smell, even taste they think. But they won’t eat anything that’s dead. So taste dead, smell dead, they avoid you. Travis doesn’t agree with their methods and experiments, but Willy claims they’re just good samaritans trying to shine a light. Murder for science is what Travis calls it, to which they ask him if he’s murdered anyone and he replies, “No one that didn’t deserve it.”
It’s Nick’s turn to be experimented on, but Travis volunteers, telling them his people are different, they don’t turn. When they go to chain him up, he starts a fight and it doesn’t take long for them to escape. Outside, Travis tells Nick to get Luciana to safety and allows himself to get caught while they head for the sewers. Steven is shot before he can follow Nick down the ladder and pleads with Willy to shoot him in the head. Willy slits his throat, telling him “happy hunting” as he pushes him down into the sewers.
Troy has caught up with his men that have apprehended Travis again. Instead of letting him go, as he told Madison he would, he tells them to take him out back since he’s special and should be treated as such, which doesn’t sound promising.
Nick and Luciana are in the tunnels and she tells him she’s slowing him down. But he won’t hear of it. He tells her, in very good Spanish, that he will never leave her.
Back in the office, Troy opens the door to see no one there. Madison attacks from behind the door with Alicia’s knife, but he’s too fast and knocks it from her hand. Alicia springs from behind the couch to grab it, only to get slammed into the wall. Madison grabs him and they struggle as she tries to find another weapon. She grabs a spoon and jams it into his eye, ready to scoop it out if he makes one wrong move. Alicia follows her mother’s orders and runs out to find them a vehicle that works.
Out back, which turns out to be a dug out pit full of walkers, Travis is forced to fight or die. Or perhaps both. Troy’s brother, Jake (Sam Underwood), is now on the scene having been tasked to find him. He’s trying to negotiate with Madison. He seems to be the saner of the two, even acknowledging Troy probably brought his current situation on himself. He manages to get through to her and makes good on his promise, taking her to where Travis has just survived the equivalent of the zombie Hunger Games. Guess he did have warrior stock after all.
Travis tells Madison he found Nick just as he came around the corner. It’s a very emotional moment as mother and son are finally united. Alicia joins them and they all hug. The Clark family is once again together.
Jake tries to talk them into coming to their ranch. His father prepared for end times and he promises his brother won’t be allowed to do there what he’s done here. But they aren’t interested. Now that the family is back together, they just want to leave. Meanwhile, it turns out Jake was sent by his father to find Troy because he had only been sent on a fuel run and none of this was supposed to happen. Troy tries to point out that his father gets it and Jake says that’s why his father had sent him. Cast one out to protect the many.
Everyone’s packing up to leave and Willy is back down in the shower area, getting his own things. He hears some thudding coming from inside the walls so he investigates. A horde of rats pours from the vent and as Willy looks more closely, he is attacked and pulled through the wall by a walker.
As they all prepare to depart, there are suddenly zombies everywhere. The group is once again separated. Travis, Alicia and Luciana board the helicopter and Madison and Nick end up in the truck with Troy, after he saves them. “We’ll meet them there.” He tells Madison, as the episode ends. “We’re all going to the same place now.”