Fear The Walking Dead – The New Frontier
By: Tara Donahue
Episode Two picks up as it’s dark and the helicopter is twenty minutes from arriving at the ranch. Suddenly, they start taking fire from unknown assailants and Travis (Cliff Curtis) is hit, it seems, in the neck. “Help me,” he says, reaching to open the helicopter door. Repeating his request for help, he unbuckles his seatbelt. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is freaking out and quickly moves over to him, trying to stop him. But as she grabs him, his jacket moves, revealing the true extent of his injury. The bullet has entered his stomach, tearing through him and exiting out his neck. He knows there’s only one result from such an injury and so does Alicia. She lets go of the grip she has on him, watching helplessly as falls from the helicopter. An unexpected and tragic (and quite emotional) end for one of our heroes. Rest easy, Travis Manawa.
Back in Mexico, at the hotel, people are trying to get in. It’s escalating fast and nearing a mob scene when Strand (Colman Domingo) steps in, claiming to be a doctor, and offering them shelter and medical help to calm their ire. He does all this in Spanish proving, once again, that Strand never plays his hand until he needs to.
The helicopter has crash landed, though everyone aboard has survived. Alicia is struggling with the death of Travis, not understanding why someone would just shoot them out of the sky like that and wondering if he might still be alive out there somewhere. Jake (Sam Underwood) sympathizes with her, but tells her that there’s no way he survived that fall.
The road convoy with Madison (Kim Dickens) and Nick (Frank Dillane) arrive at the ranch, stopping at the gates. As Troy (Daniel Sharman) goes in to speak to his father and find out why Jake hasn’t shown up yet, mother and son are left to wait outside the guarded colony. Madison has a gun that she’s stolen from one of the military vehicles and tells Nick that she plans to bring their family together, take what they need and stop anyone who gets in their way. It’s reasons like this one that make it quite clear who the Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) of this series is and that’s Madison Clark.
Strand, back at the hotel, is performing medical treatments on people. It then comes time for him to deliver a baby and he balks. But Elena (Karen Bethzabe) convinces him that it’s in his best interest to do it since he was the one who created the lie in the first place. So, Dr. Strand will deliver the baby he says with Elena’s help.
Back at Broke Jaw Ranch Troy and Jake’s father, Jeremiah Otto (Dayton Callie), comes bearing coffee asking Madison about Travis and whether or not he could have hijacked the chopper. Madison tells him no because Alicia was there and Travis would do anything to make sure he got her back to her mother safely. She questions why he would ask this and he tells her that his son and goddaughter were on that helicopter too. They aren’t so different in that respect.
Jeremiah is a doomsday prepper sort who had the place set up before the world fell. They’d expected the fall of democracy, but the rise of the dead caught them by surprise. He explains a little about the place and how they’re trying to build a new nation here. “It’s not perfect. It’s very imperfect, but it’s the safest place to live in a world gone mad,” he says. He provides them with living accommodations and inside Madison and Nick talk. Madison is trying to calm Nick’s anger and keep him from trying to start a war. She tells him he wants to save Luciana (Danay Garcia) and she wants to save them all. She will, but he has to help her.
Back in the middle of nowhere, Charlene (Lindsay Pulsipher) takes first watch while Alicia and Jake sit at the campfire, near a still unconscious Luciana. He explains to her that they can watch Troy when he’s close and that he can control his brother. “You make allowances for the ones you love,” Jake explains. No one knows that more than Alicia, who informs him that she made allowances for her own brother until she saw it was going to get him killed. Charlene whistling the warning signal interrupts their conversation and Jake gives Alicia a gun, telling her to stay there and if he doesn’t return to follow the trail to find the ranch.
Investigating in the dark, Jake slides down the side of a hill and discovers three walkers there, feasting on poor Charlene. They heard him fall and are now closing in on him. He can’t shoot them as the fall has caused his gun to jam and he’s about to meet the same fate as Charlene. Alicia saves him with three perfectly placed headshots like she’s been doing it her whole life. She leaves him to deal with his fallen friend.
Now that Strand has made it through the delivery, Elena tells him that the parents want to name the baby after him. She acknowledges how he calmed the escalating situation, but that now his lie was theirs and if discovered, they would all be turned on. She tells him he must leave. On foot, because they can’t spare any vehicles. But, before he can go, Hector (Ramses Jimenez) tells him he has one last patient to deal with. Given the gun he flashes, it doesn’t seem like a request either. There’s a woman who’s locked herself in her hotel room and won’t eat. Strand needs to convince her to eat so she doesn’t turn.
Upon entering the room, it’s pretty disgusting. There are flies buzzing, uneaten food everywhere and there’s a mannequin wearing a bloody wedding dress. The woman reveals herself and it’s Ilene Stowe (Brenda Strong), the mother of the bride who stabbed Strand last season. She apologizes for stabbing him as she had lost everything and felt hopeless. Strand forces open her balcony door to let some air in and lets her know he can relate. He tells her he can’t stay here, but he has nowhere to go and nothing to get him there. “No hope, no future,” he says before telling her about delivering the baby and how it gave him hope. It was a new generation.
Ilene wants to know where he would go if he left and (of course) Strand being Strand, he has a place in mind. She gives him something in a box, a wedding gift that was supposed to be for her daughter. He thanks her. “No, thank you,” Ilene says. “You freed my little girl, but there are no more generations.” She jumps from the balcony, leaving Strand shocked and shaken.
Luciana is still unconscious and Jake tells Alicia he will carry her the few hours it will take to arrive at the ranch. “It’s a terrible world, isn’t it,” Jake asks. But Alicia doesn’t answer. She knows it is. Instead, she just says she’ll help him carry Luciana so they can make better time.
A few hours later, we see them arrive and Madison hugs her daughter before she asks about Travis. The pain and emotion all over Alicia’s face are the answer her words can’t provide and Madison is devastated.
Troy shows up at the gate and has full intention of killing Luciana because they don’t seem to think she is going to make it. It’s policy, he says. Nick demands the gun, saying he’ll do it and once he has it, he turns the gun on Troy. Jeremiah defuses the situation by allowing Luciana to be taken to the infirmary.
Madison is not dealing with the loss of Travis well and Jeremiah finds her crying and throwing up. The two talk and he lets her know part of his job is to make sure she’s not a danger to herself or anyone else. He tells her he knows she has the gun and that if she wants to keep it, she has to sign for it. Another camp policy. He apologizes for her loss and leaves her.
In the infirmary, Nick is by Luciana’s side when Alicia enters. He thanks her for bringing his girlfriend back. She doesn’t really react, which prompts him to ask if she’s okay. Alicia isn’t okay and as Nick wraps his arms around her as she cries.
Strand is in a parking garage and we soon discover what Ilene’s final gift was. It was a Jaguar she’d bought for her daughter as a wedding gift. Strand is pleased as he gets in and drives off.
Back at Broke Jaw Ranch, the Clark siblings return to their new home to find Madison smoking and staring out the window. She assures them she’s okay. They’re going to stay there, she explains, and make it our home even if they have to take it over. Alicia finds this plan insane. Madison tells her it’s their fate. They suffered to get there, Travis died to get there and they have to accept it and be stronger. “Tell me how it happened,” she says to Alicia. “Tell me everything.” The episode ends as Alicia explains in the distance just how Travis met his tragic fate.