Fear The Walking Dead – Minotaur
By: Tara Donahue
When we left off at the end of Season 3A, Madison had gone to great lengths to protect her family. She’d brokered a secret deal with Walker, though ultimately it had been Nick who had pulled the trigger, to keep the peace. Once the head of Jeremiah Otto was delivered, the war was over.
As we pick up with the mid-season finale, we catch a glimpse of what everyone is up to. Madison (Kim Dickens) is having a moment of peace and rest from her new bed, in the main house of the Ranch. Elsewhere, we see Troy (Daniel Sharman), Nick (Frank Dillane) and the rest of the Militia preparing to take out some walkers. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is trying to get some water from the well, but nothing much is coming out. She takes what she manages to get to Jake (Sam Underwood), who’s still recovering from the anthrax. He’s sick and weak, but it’s obvious he’s downplaying it.
The Nation begins arriving at the Ranch and everyone goes to the gate to greet them. “Here we go.” Alicia says. It’s obvious not everyone is going to be as welcoming as some, though. Terrance (Phillip Fallon) feels like it’s wrong that they’re there. He’s obviously still hurting after the loss of his friend, Gretchen (Rae Gray), and since no one else knows Troy is the one who really killed the Trimbols he is blaming Walker’s people.
Troy is also unhappy, specifically that Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) is there. After she killed his men, he doesn’t feel she has any right to be there. But Taqa (Michael Greyeyes) says she is a hero to the Nation. This causes some tension that threatens to boil over as Troy, proving he’s a chip off the old block, spouts off some racist comments. Jake reminds him they accept all of the under the negotiated terms. Troy doesn’t accept, though, he only tolerates. But he stands down anyway and leaves his brother to handle it.
Jake tries to prove he is willing to keep this peace by giving Taqa one of the two keys that are needed to unlock the armory. He will have the other. This way they have to be together for anyone to retrieve any weapons. He thinks they can make this work and survive together.
Nick finds Troy at Jeremiah’s (Dayton Callie) grave. He’s angry with what his father left them with. He and Nick bond over losing their fathers, both presumably to suicide. That bromance I’ve been holding out for seems to be blossoming.
At the dam, Lola (Lisandra Tena) is leaving to distribute water to people. Daniel (Ruben Blades) and Efrain (Jesse Borego) don’t want her to as it is too dangerous. But Lola is going anyway.
There’s a security check at Broke Jaw Ranch. Klah (Kalani Queypo) has a knife and refuses to enter without it so Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) denies him entry. A lady from the Ranch refuses to allow Crazy Dog to search her. Coop (Matt Lasky) wants to know where the name came from and finds out it was from his platoon. Neither of them like this situation, but it’s what their leaders want.
Madison finds Alicia, asking how Jake’s doing and upon her answer tells her daughter that lying’s not useful. Alicia insists he’ll recover, but she also tells her mother that back channeling with Walker isn’t helping Jake or the peace. Madison insists she isn’t. “Lying’s not useful, Mom.” Alicia turns her mother’s words back on her.
After we see Lola and Daniel dispersing water, we come back to the Ranch where Jake is holding a meeting. He wants to move forward and forgive. He reminds them the place has always been about building a better future. Taqa speaks up as he knows they’re all afraid of each other. But, he agrees with Jake. He wants them all to be one, to band together to fight against what’s outside.
Nick leaves the meeting to go and find Ofelia, who isn’t there. She’s been hiding out because of what she did. She doesn’t feel as much guilt as she felt she would. She’s her father’s daughter. Nick doesn’t answer when she asks him if he feels guilty for what he’s done. Ofelia tells Nick they aren’t so different.
Madison and Taqa talk about Troy. If something were to happen to Jake, he is clearly not fit to take over. Madison assures him that she can and will handle Troy if it comes to that. Meanwhile, Troy is stirring the already volatile and proverbial pot. Using his own hatred and words to manipulate Terrance, who’s grieving and angry over the loss of his friend.
The next day, Alicia finds Taqa burying his ancestor’s bones and he invites her to join him. He never told his people what he did. It’s best they don’t know. Desecration would anger them. He does want peace, but Alicia feels he should look to Jake for that, not her mother. Your mother does what’s necessary, he tells her.
Madison finally opens the locked drawer of Otto’s desk. Inside is a folder showing water levels and how dangerously low they are. He knew all along.
It seems Troy’s manipulation worked because Terrance has a gun and tries to make Crazy Dog pay for Gretchen’s death. But, in trying to subdue him, the boy’s throat is crushed and they can’t fix it. He’s going to asphyxiate and die.
This situation only makes things more volatile and Walker demands the second key. If the Ranch is going to attack his people, he’s going to arm them despite Alicia’s efforts to talk him down. Jake reluctantly gives over the key.
Later, Coop and Walker’s men go around collecting all weapons. The citizens are clearly not happy about this.
Nick, Madison and some of the others approach the main house to ask Troy for all his weapons. As expected, this doesn’t go over well and turns into a gunfight and a stand-off. Nick stays inside with Troy and tries, despite the battle waging around them, to talk him down. Crazy Dog sneaks up and almost stabs Nick, but Troy moves to save him, taking a knife through his hand. Nick is the last person Troy felt would have his back, but he’s grateful and he doesn’t mind dying. It’s good to have company.
Lola and Daniel discuss how he’s still searching for Ofelia in every face he sees. “Hope is a hard thing to kill.” He tells her. Lola reminds him how bad it is everywhere and constantly searching will break him. But nothing breaks Daniel Salazar. “I’m immortal.” He reminds her. “Remember?”
The gunfight is still going strong at Broke Jaw and Nick realizes that he doesn’t want to die. He tries again to talk Troy down, reminding him Jeremiah sacrificed himself and he shouldn’t take that away from him. But Troy isn’t in the reasonable mood and soon Nick tries to subdue him instead. Then, he confesses the truth; he killed Jeremiah. That, of everything, is what makes Troy stand down.
Troy’s behavior can’t go unpunished, though. “Peace cannot exist without justice,” Walker reminds Madison the next day. He has to go. Madison feels exile is a better alternative, otherwise, he’ll be a martyr to his people. Nick still has to be punished for his part in it. That’s fair, Madison agrees, but stands firm that her son stays there, he lives.
Lola’s efforts to give water to people turns violent when they get greedy and want more. Someone throws a rock and hits her, Daniel manages to get her out.
Jake and Troy have a last moment together at the ranch as he tells his brother he’s being exiled and can no longer return. Troy understands and doesn’t blame him, but he wants Madison to take him. He trusts her. The brothers hug.
Troy is given one knife, one gun and one bullet to survive as he’s handcuffed and hooded before being put in the back of the truck with Klah. Madison drives a distance away. Klah takes off his hood and Troy tells him Madison has a way about her. “White witch of the apocalypse,” he calls her as his sentence is told to him. Troy slams his already sliced hand down onto Klah’s knife and proceeds to stab him to death. Madison fires a shot and warns him. Troy taunts her over knowing the truth of his father’s death and then grabs her, telling her she’s still got sentiment left when he thought she was cold blooded. He tells her he doesn’t surrender. She headbuts him and gets out of his grasp, aiming her gun at him. Troy reminds her that she said she wanted him with her, that she needed him, but Madison doesn’t budge. He finally gives up and departs, leaving Madison standing there, watching as he walks away.