Fear The Walking Dead – Things Bad Begun
By: Tara Donahue
We open with a shopping cart, full of animated zombie heads. Nick (Frank Dillane) is gathering them. He takes them to El Matarife (Miguel Perez) and we learn where those brain stems from last week come from. He’s looking for fresh ones, they have less risk of infection. The proctors will pay for as many as they can get. It makes them fight harder, longer and without sleep. They are gearing up for something big, he tells Nick.
Troy (Daniel Sharman) is watching as the proctors are loading up for what looks like a battle. He approaches and asks what’s going on. Finding Nick, he tells him the proctors are planning to attack the dam.
Speaking of the dam, we see Madison (Kim Dickens) soon joined by Strand (Colman Domingo), looking out over everything. This isn’t quite the future she’d hoped for at the ranch. She wanted a future for her kids, some grandkids to spoil and a nice Christmas. “I make a damn good roast turkey,” she asserts. Strand is surprised, he took her more for a sandwich type. But not on Christmas, they had a family tradition. But now her kids are gone. Strand tells her they can build a paradise for them to come home to. He offers her some liquor, telling her she can picture it with a little liquid imagination.
Elsewhere, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Diana (Edwina Findley) are heading for the trading post to sell some of the things they’ve gathered. Diana tries again to talk Alicia to sell her hair, but she refuses – even as her new friend points out that it’s a liability and she’s sitting on a gold mine. Alicia is not selling her hair. Out of nowhere, another vehicle crashes into them. It’s a group trying to rob them, but our girls fight back and Alicia manages to get her gun and shoot into the air, chasing them off. But Diana was injured in the fight, her leg is broken and the bone is exposed.
Daniel (Ruben Blades) is shaving when Taqa (Michael Greyeyes) comes by to bring him the rosary Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) carried with her. He thought it might be an heirloom and wanted to return it. Daniel still has so many questions, but Taqa wasn’t there so he can’t provide any answers.
Madison and Strand are drinking and talking. He tells her she can’t blame her kids for striking out on their own, but she disagrees. She also knows that something’s going on with him. He asks her if she’s ever killed anyone and she tells him yes, she’s had to. He hasn’t. Madison tells him his day will come.
Daniel approaches, telling Madison that Nick is there. He fills everyone in on the proctor’s plans to attack. They have weapons and three boats Troy explains. Efrain (Jesse Borrego) tells them how dangerous the proctors are and that they’ll turn off the water, starve the people and demand tribute. Lola (Lisandra Tena) says they can’t allow it. There are three entryways, they can post guards there and those who attack from the water can be taken out from the bridge. Efrain reveals there’s C-4 in storage. They could wire it to blow and use it as a final bargaining chip if the proctors breach their defenses. Daniel and Troy butt heads and it’s clear there’s suspicion there. Madison vouches for Troy.
Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) and Taqa are packing to leave. They’ve heard some of their people went north and they’re going to find them. They appreciate Daniel’s generosity, but they aren’t willing to die there. “It’s been good walking with you Madison Clark.” He says, shaking her hand before leaving.
Alicia has taken Diana to Eddie (James Le Gros), who seems to be a doctor. He’s impressed with her medical skills after seeing how she set Diana’s leg in the field. She probably saved her life. She has no training, but she’s been a hospital volunteer since she was a kid and also helped out in emergency situations since the infection broke out. Eddie explains that he was a doctor who lost his license back in the 90’s due to a misunderstanding with a female patient. He has a surgery coming up and could use an extra pair of hands. Despite her lack of training, he can see she’s a quick study and has aptitude. He just needs someone to hand instruments and help with the patient.
Strand finds Nick in the kitchen and tells him he needs to get Madison and go. Nick notices how much he’s sweating and knows something’s up. Strand confesses that he made a deal with Proctor John (Ray McKinnon) to help facilitate a takeover of the dam. But part of his deal was protection for Madison, Nick and Alicia, if she appears. Nick knows there’s more in it for Strand and he admits he’ll be holding the dam in their name, once they move on. Now that Daniel knows they’re coming, he’s no longer confident he’ll be able to protect anyone. Nick tells him he sold out his friends for water, but Strand argues that he cut a deal to save his friends and set himself up. He knows if Madison finds out, she’ll tell Daniel and he’ll try to kill Strand. He just wants Nick to get Madison and go.
Daniel is sitting with the rosary, Nick comes in looking for his mother, but she’s wiring the dam with Troy. Daniel wants Nick to sit with him, he wants to ask him something. He asks about the horde that attacked the ranch. Nick sticks to his story that Troy came to warn him, but Daniel gets up and locks the door telling Nick he knows he’s lying. He reminds Nick of his background and hopes this is just a conversation rather than an interrogation. After asking if he’s going to be tortured, Nick points out that Ofelia wouldn’t want that and Daniel says she wouldn’t yet she’s dead. Troy and Madison are putting up the C-4 and talking. He tells her he knows she’s worried about Nick and she has reason to be. Troy admits he’s never felt scared before, but Nick showed him and he felt fear. He says Nick is his only friend, he’s like a brother. Madison thanks him for looking after Nick and wants him to continue to do so. Troy tells her he misses this, being one big blended family, and that he’s gotten right with everything that happened as long as she has. Madison tells him they’re good.
Back to the interrogation where Daniel wants to know why Troy hadn’t slept. Nick tells him Troy was scouting and the wilderness is a dangerous place. But Daniel still tells him he’s lying. He wants to go again from the top and for Nick to tell him about Troy. Nick tells him he didn’t kill Ofelia and Daniel tells him that he believes that, but that horde didn’t just materialize out of thin air – someone had to lead it. He knows Nick knows who it was and doesn’t want him to force him to tell the truth.
Eddie and Alicia approach Proctor John in his wheelchair. John wants to know who the new girl is. She tells him, after he asks, her name and where she’s from. He asks if she knows who he is and she says he’s the leader of this place. John founded the proctors and in the beginning as they were just a motorcycle club. But he had aspirations and connections, so they expanded. Now, he has plans for continued expansion – a series of connected outposts from the gulf coast of Texas to San Diego. It seems Texas has its own electrical grid. He has plans, but the growth pressing on his spine is stopping him and leading to paralysis. The pain medication is dulling his mind as much as the pain is and now it’s time to excise the growth. Alicia again reminds them she has no experience and John says her only job is to assist. If the surgery’s a success, Alicia has the opportunity to build with them, to go to Texas and beyond. If it fails, his brothers have orders to execute everyone in the room…starting with Eddie. It’s more incentive for them to do their best.
Daniel has narrowed it down to three people who could have lead the horde; Nick, Jake or Troy. Nick says it was Jake, but Daniel says he knows it was Troy. He wants him to say it so he can get justice for Ofelia. Nick says Troy is many things, but he loved that ranch and that Jake was never the same after his father died. Nick confesses that he killed Jeremiah and Jake was so upset he destroyed the ranch to save it. The horde killed him. Daniel gives Nick the keys and lets him go.
The surgery is about to start and Alicia asks about putting John under, but he doesn’t want that since it’s not safe. She reminds him there’s going to be a knife in his back and if he squirms it won’t be good. He tells her that’s what she’s there for, to keep him from moving. She pulls over a stool and starts making small talk with him, to keep him focused on her instead of the pain. She asks what the safe place in the world is that he can remember. He tells her about his favorite aunt and her place in Santa Barbara. Eddie can see the tumor and Alicia reaches over to hold John’s hand, getting him to focus on her, not what Eddie’s doing or the pain.
Troy’s showing Madison how the detonator works when Nick comes in and tells them about Strand’s deal with the proctors. Nick says if Daniel sees Troy he’ll kill him and Madison wants to know why. Troy confesses that he led the horde to the ranch. Madison gets upset, telling him he had no right. Troy disagrees because Madison allowed him to run and gave him the right. He says he would do it again, all of it, and that he knows she would do it too because she understands and sees things. Madison swings her hammer, hitting Troy in the head and he falls to his knees, looking up at her confused. She hits him again, this time killing him. His body falls into the dirt pit below. Nick stares in shock as Madison grabs the detonator and they leave.
Back to Alicia who’s trying to have Proctor John wiggle his toes after the surgery. After several uncomfortable seconds, he manages to move them. Alicia helps him up and he’s ready to join his brothers in securing the dam. John knows it’s not a good idea so soon after surgery, but he says he has his angel of mercy and asks Alicia if she’s ready to hit the road. She asks if she has a choice and he tells her no and holds out a hand, which she takes.
Lola notices the water is running the wrong way and moves to the levers, but Strand pulls a gun on her and Daniel. He didn’t want things to work out this way, but when Nick showed up with his warning it messed up his plans. Daniel tells Strand he knows he isn’t a killer, he’s a con man. He tries to take the gun and Strand shoots Daniel in the face, but he’s not dead – the bullet went through his cheek.
In the tunnels, the proctors are arriving. There’s gunfire on both sides and we see Efrain shot multiple times, killing him. They confront Strand because no one was supposed to know they were coming. He tells them the Water Queen and her general are dead. They tell him to save it for Proctor John. Strand finds Nick and Madison and locks them in a room, for safety, telling them he’ll come back for them as soon as he can. Strand asks for the detonator and Madison gives it to him as the episode ends.