Fear The Walking Dead – Los Muertos
By: Kelsey Juntwait
Beginning the second half of season two with a bottle episode focusing solely on Nick’s (Frank Dillane) journey to Tijuana, “Fear The Walking Dead” left fans with a few more questions than anticipated last week. The most anticipated question of them all being: Will Nick ever bathe again!? Luckily, in Los Muertos (the second episode in an already exciting season) held that answer. I’m happy to report that Nick has full bathing capability this week and looks pretty damn good after doing so. As viewers are shocked by Nick’s fresh new look, he is experiencing a shock of his own as his safe new sanctuary quickly turns sacrificial, reminding us that nothing is as it seems in this world. While Grotesque took us on a journey to find believers who don’t view the infected as monsters, this week is proving what “The Walking Dead” fans have known all along- maybe it’s the uninfected that are actually the monsters.
As anyone could’ve guessed, Nick’s newfound cleanliness didn’t last long. Luciana (Danay Garcia) is taking full advantage of his fearlessness and brings him on a supply run to a grocery store run by a local gang. Along the way, he learns a few things about the community he’s just entered into and realizes he needs to play by the rules if he wants to survive.
First thing he learns: Luciana is one sassy, independent woman and nobody wants to be on her bad side. That is not just because she has an anger that bites, but also because she’ll sacrifice you to the infected defense squad that lines the perimeter of their camp. Explaining that those near death must deliver themselves to the dead, she believes that the ones being sacrificed are protecting the ones who remain healthy. This community Nick is now apart of feels as though the world is being reborn – it’s part of a cycle. The world is washing itself clean and for it to sustain itself some must survive while others must not. Alejandro (Paul Calderon), the pharmacist in the camp, seems to be the leader behind this idea and is preaching it to what seems to be a cult following. With a possible bite out of his shoulder from an infected, I think I’d believe whatever he was saying too though. Maybe Celia (Marlene Forte) was right. Maybe the dead are among us.
Once at their destination, Nick is introduced to the gang controlling the local shopping center and they don’t seem too friendly. To get a cart full of water, Luciana trades a bag full of drugs, but all doesn’t go as planned. Nick tries to pull one on the gang and steal a bar of candy for a little girl whose dad was sacrificed back at camp. Bad idea, Nick. As the gang shows no mercy and as his hand is about to be chopped off in vengeance, he somehow barters his life back and is hit with the reality of this dire situation he’s gotten himself into.
As much as we love Nick in all his gory glory, fans finally got a taste of what the rest of the crew was up to during Nick’s lonely walkabout last episode and it isn’t pretty either. Madison (Kim Dickens), clearly struggling from both Nick turning his back on her and Travis’s (Cliff Curtis) decision that Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) needs him more than she does, is on her own mission to find the rest of her family. Strand (Colman Domingo) still haunted by the death of Thomas (Dougray Scott)is determined to get back to the one thing he still has left of him – the Abigail.
After realizing the Abigail has been taken, the demons that Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) feels from losing both parents awaken and she suggests giving up, leading us to believe that she may not last long in this fight. Madison isn’t far behind Ofelia though, realizing she may never see the rest of her family again. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), showing a completely different side of the moody teenager she once was, blatantly states to her mom, “It’s me and you now, whether you like it or not.” Leaving behind a message to the others in the sand, but still holding onto hope, they head to an abandoned hotel for shelter and supplies.
As the four scavenge the first floor, the hotel appears to be empty. Alicia, proving to be on the rise for a power role in this show, suggests they go room to room and grab what they can, despite Madison’s overprotective wishes. Playing adults for the day, the two teenage girls make their way through hotel rooms as they are collecting food and clothes and finally having a touching moment we all had hoped for. We learn a little more about Ofelia’s loss of her father, Daniel (Ruben Blades), and her attitude in general when she states, “We’re not going to make it” and that she’s tired of surviving. Alicia, on the other hand, is trying her best to push on and talk Ofelia out of it. After coming out from a shower to find Ofelia missing and noises stirring off the balcony, Alicia thinks she may be too late.
Back in the lobby, Strand talks Madison into a much needed drink (or five). I’m not sure if it’s the incredible lack of romance on this show or just that these two have been slurping martinis, but I sense serious flirtation between Madison and Strand. Maybe this would add to the increasing drama this season or maybe they just realize they’re all they have left now. A drunk mind speaks a sober heart, even in an apocalypse, because the vulnerabilities around these two tough characters are getting more shattered with every drink. As Madison questions her past and the decisions she’s made about her kids, it comes out that Nick and Alicia’s dad didn’t just accidentally fall asleep at the wheel like she told them. This drunken realization and Madison’s built up regret brings about a noisy and belligerent rage, attracting some very unwanted guests and leaving fans at the edge of their seats until next Sunday.