Fear The Walking Dead – The Diviner
By: Tara Donahue
The second of the two-part mid-season premiere opens with Nick (Frank Dillane) serving his punishment in the hot box. He peeks out through the small window to see a zombie version of Troy (Daniel Sharman) coming towards him. He is obviously faking, which is evident when he rolls and stands back up, approaching the window. It isn’t the walk that’s the hard part, it’s the eyes he informs Nick. The eyes don’t look at anything, they just stare at the space between atoms. “Are you thirsty, Killer?” Troy asks an obviously dehydrated Nick, who insists he’s not “that.” Troy isn’t sure if he means thirsty or a killer. Nick tries to explain he tried to do it to save them all. Troy doesn’t agree and shuts the small window of the box, but Nick pleads for him to open it as there isn’t any air. Troy has the keys to let Nick out, but won’t do it until Nick says he owes him. When he finally does, Troy opens the door and holds his hand out, but as Nick reaches for it it’s closed. It was only a hallucination. “You’re so close to it,” Troy whispers, but he’s no longer visible. Close to what?
Madison (Kim Dickens) is telling Taqa (Michael Greyeyes) about what she found out about the water. Peace is too fragile to let the others know so they decide to go to a trading post in Mexcali to try and get some water. Madison makes the announcement that they’re leaving to try and secure more water because it’s a hot summer. They’re cutting down on water for now. Two gallons per person, per day. Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) and two deputies will have guns and maintain the peace.
Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) approaches her mother and lets her know she’ll keep an eye on Nick while she’s gone. She also knows there’s more going on than her mother is saying and she wants to know what it is. Madison tells her there’s only six weeks of water left but that no one can know. If they find out, it will be a nightmare and if that happens she wants her children to get out. She wants Alicia to be ready in case things go sideways and gives her a walkie-talkie. “You’ve always been the strong one,” Madison tells her daughter before going to say goodbye to her son too.
Nick is let out some time later and Crazy Dog gives him some water. He wants to know if he’s messed up like Troy or just another follower. He’s the one who talked him down. Things could have escalated, but Alicia shows up to help and takes him to the main house. She tells him about the water situation.
Alicia finds Jake (Sam Underwood) being complained to by his people about the water rationing. She comes to his rescue, asking if they’ve come to gang up on him and tells them if they don’t like it they can leave and promises them things are much worse out there. She reminds them that everything is going to be fine and that Jake has this. He suffered losses to protect them. They need to trust in him. They agree.
Madison and Taqa are camping for the night and she radios Alicia to check in on Nick and the situation with everyone at the ranch. Alicia assures her she’ll reach out if there’s a crisis and Madison promises to call her at the same time tomorrow.
Taqa thinks Madison “stands between her children and the sun” and probably even apologized to Nick for his punishment. She asks him if he has kids, but he doesn’t. He does, however, have three dogs. His dog, Bruce (who is dead now) got into a fight with a bigger dog and when Walker tried to reach in and save him the dog bit him. That was the only time he ever did that. Madison replies sarcastically that she sees things in a new light now.
Nick’s sleeping back at the Ranch when the militia guys sneak in. They just want to talk and thank him for standing up with Troy. They don’t want the Militia to be gone now that Troy is and are ready to follow and fight for Nick now. Blake (Michael William Freeman) gives him a gun because he deserves it.
The next day, Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) is overseeing the water distribution at the well with Crazy Dog. Blake notices some of the people from the Nation are double dipping on the water and wants to do something about it.
Walker and Madison arrive at the trading post. They have to surrender all their weapons and as payment to get inside Madison has to give up her radio.
Alicia goes to talk to Ofelia, who asks if she wants to come inside. But Alicia is just there to get ahead of something. She brings up their people going through the water line twice. Crazy Dog gets defensive and Alicia is just trying to keep the peace, like Walker wanted. Ofelia wants to know if she has proof or names and argues that no one double dipped. Crazy Dog tries to accuse Alicia of thinking they all look alike, but she just doesn’t want things to boil over. Ofelia has heard the militia is rebuilding, but Alicia reminds her she’s the one who killed them all. I really miss the days when these two were friends.
Blake, Coop (Matt Lasky) and the rest of the remaining militia want to finish what Troy started. Nick wants to wait. If they take anything else, they need to be ready to stop them.
Alicia found Nick’s gun and confronts him about it. She’s upset because it’s what they’re trying to prevent from happening. This time, he won’t just be put in the hot box. He tells her the militia guys are listening to him. She says it’s only because they don’t know the truth about what he and Madison did. Alicia knew that Jeremiah (Dayton Callie) didn’t kill himself. At first, she was upset that she wasn’t a part of it. But then she felt relieved because of the burden it is being Mom’s favorite. Nick insists he didn’t do it for her, but Alicia knows he’s not the type of person that would do it for the Ranch and the people there. She tries to talk to him about what killing has got them and what it’s done to them, but he says they’re alive. “We keep trying to make her love us. She’s broken.” Alicia tells her brother in a revealing moment.
Later, Alicia is trying to contact Madison by radio at the planned time, but because the radio was given as payment to get into the trading post, she doesn’t respond. “I don’t want to be the strong one anymore.” Alicia whispers. It’s both heartbreaking and sad to see her like that. It’s easy to forget that despite always being the strong one, she’s only eighteen years old. She shouldn’t have to be the one taking care of her mother and brother.
At the trading post, Madison and Taqa are meeting with Maria Lu (Keyko Duran), trying to work out a deal for water. She can’t get them the ten thousand gallons they want, but can get half for the gold Taqa shows her. Their meeting is interrupted by a fight in the background, which Madison can’t help herself from going to check out. It’s Strand (Colman Domingo), who has apparently gotten himself into some trouble (again). This time it’s with someone named Proctor John, the mysterious ruler of the trading post. Maria is no longer interested in dealing with them because of it.
It turns out Strand is in debt to Proctor John and no one leaves the place until their debts are paid. He casually mentions the dam as he’s talking and says they need to rest and they’ll figure out the rest tomorrow.
It’s watering time at Broke Jaw Ranch and Alicia finds someone, this time a resident of the Ranch, who is double dipping on water. She tells her to put it back and the woman accuses Alicia of being on their side. There is no them or us, she tries to explain, but it escalates instead to a physical level. Alicia manages to get everyone’s attention and tells them about the water situation and how if they don’t work together they’re going to run out and die, so they need to stop. This only makes things worse and a fight erupts, causing Alicia to get knocked to the ground. Crazy Dog fires his gun into the air to break up the chaos. They’re going to take the well to make sure everyone gets what they need. Nick steps in front of the well and pulls out his own gun. Ofelia manages to talk Crazy Dog down and things don’t escalate further.
Madison and Strand are alone, talking. He asks her if she trusts Walker. They both want and need the same thing, she tells him. He asks about Nick and Alicia. Madison tells him they’re both safe and alive. Strand realizes that Travis (Cliff Curtis) is dead. He wraps Madison up in a hug. She found Nick, but lost Travis. “God’s a feckless thug.” Strand tells her, but Madison doesn’t feel like God had any hand in it.
Proctor John’s henchmen have found Taqa and are going to kill them all unless they get Strand. Madison questions what they’re going to do to him. They tell her he has to work off his debt. Strand tells her to go back to her children as they lead him away.
Things are going to go to a bad level at the ranch as we see the people all arming up with shovels and various tools they can use as weapons. Alicia spots some of the people from the Nation using dowsing rods, looking for water.
Taqa tells Madison he’s managed to fix the water deal and Maria will have it for them at first light. But as he goes to meet her and pay for it, there’s no gold coins in the canisters. It turns out, Madison took it and paid Strand’s debt. Taqa is angry, but Madison tells him the tanker of water was only a short term solution, but Strand has a permanent solution. He’ll take them to the dam.
Nick, the Militia and other people are sneaking up the hill towards the house where Crazy Dog, Ofelia and another man are. Coop spots Alicia helping some of Walker’s people digging for water. Blake says the water table is tapped, but Nick says Alicia is trying to save them. He gives up his weapon and walks over to join his sister. Crazy Dog puts down his gun and he and Ofelia walk outside. Soon, the others approach the dig site and finally it seems they have found a common ground. They will all work together to find water and save the ranch.