Fear The Walking Dead – Pillars of Salt
By: Kelsey Juntwait
Episode Pillars of Salt is finally answering the question we’ve had since Ofelia’s (Mercedes Mason) disappearance a few weeks ago. She proves to be alive and well and has picked up new skills with a weapon of choice along her lone journey. We get a look at Ofelia’s past this week as she pulls up to the restaurant her fiancé proposed to her at. He asked her to move to New Mexico with him, but she expresses concern about leaving her parents. As she grips her cross necklace, she thinks back to asking her mom how she knew to marry Daniel. Her mom explains that they survived a bloody war together and wanted to start over. She didn’t want that life for Ofelia. With her necklace in hand, she begins driving back to the United States.
Things happening at Colonia lead viewers to believe it isn’t the safe haven we all originally expected. It began with a family (Francisco, Ana and their daughter) escaping through a loose panel in the wall. Making their way to the bus, Francisco (Alfredo Herrera) grabs an infected, guts it and covers his family in blood. Escaping the horde, they think they’ve made it to safety. That is until a truck with Marco’s gang pulls up and starts questioning where they’re coming from. They recognize Francisco and demand oxy from him. He doesn’t have any though so the gangsters take the family back to the supermarket.
Back at Colonia, Alejandro (Paul Calderon) receives news that Francisco fled. He knows relations between Colonia and the supermarket are reaching their boiling point and refuses to allow anyone to go trade with them. They need water, though. Luci (Danay Garcia) and Reynaldo (Cuauhtli Jimenez), knowing Marco will come looking for them if they don’t make the trade, decided to go against Alejandro’s wishes and make the trade anyway. Nick (Frank Dillane) and Reynaldo decide to sneak away that night. While Nick is killing time, waiting for nightfall, he’s keeping an eye on Colonia’s surroundings and he sees someone looking back at him: Marco.
At the hotel, we’re given a small glimmer of hope for these people. Happy music is brightening the mood while folks are gardening, fishing and getting the generator running. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is even learning to surf, although falling off the board (while not even in the water) she may want to stick to zombie killing. Everything seems good. They have a home. They have safety. They have food. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, if you guessed Ilene (Brenda Song) would stab Strand (Colman Domingo) for taking her bridezilla daughter, then you’re right. Everyone is gathered in a room, going over some rules. Someone knocks at the door and as Strand opens it. Ilene wastes no time in plunging a knife into his abdomen crying, “You took my daughter.” Oscar’s brother has some medical experience but Strand is losing blood fast. The pharmacies close by have already been raided, but Elena (Karen Bethzabe) knows a place. Madison (Kim Dickens) makes it clear that Ilene must stay locked up until they get back and anyone else who gets violent like that will be kicked out.
Madison, Elena and Oscar (Andres Londono) head out. Elena begs Hector (Ramses Jimenez) to come but he won’t. During the car ride, we learn that Hector’s brother, Antonio, is at the place they’re going to and Elena wanted Hector to convince him to come home. We soon find out that this “place” is actually the supermarket where Marco’s gang is and where Nick has been coming to trade. They ask for Antonio and make the trade – a cooler full of fresh fish and ice for medical supplies. As he goes to get the supplies, Madison overhears someone questioning Francisco and his wife. Elena translates and says they’re talking about a boy with ratty hair that delivers the drugs. Madison knows it’s Nick. She rushes into the interrogation, begging them to tell her where he is. The family refuses. Elena is fearful and Antonio (Ruben Carbajal) warns them to never come back.
While Madison is out causing trouble, Alicia is taking care of Strand back at the hotel. Alicia explains how she’s always wanted her mom to pay attention to her like this, but didn’t want it to happen this way. They bond over love, loss, guilt and how this new life is changing everything they once knew.
The three return with supplies. As Oscar rushes them to Victor, the lights turn on even though they discussed to leave them off to not attract unwanted guests. Alicia runs outside to see Madison is the one who turned them on. Madison explains about the ratty haired boy mentioned and how she can’t lose hope on Nick. Alicia, clearly upset that her mom would risk their safety and their lives for him, replies, “I’m here. Isn’t that enough?”
The light does get someone’s attention though: Travis’s (Cliff Curtis). This leaves fans wondering when and with whom the first reunion will be.