Fear the Walking Dead – This Land is Your Land
By: Tara Donahue
This season continues to get better with each episode and the action is only growing more intense as we build towards the finale coming up in a couple of weeks.
We pick up this week following last week’s tragic turn of events. Broke Jaw Ranch has fallen thanks to the horde of infected that was led to them by Troy (Daniel Sharman). Those that made it inside the pantry are looking to Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) for answers and leadership. A lot to put on the shoulders of an eighteen-year-old and she just needs a minute to get her bearings.
She walks over to the rations to get things to pass out and sees Blake (Michael William Freeman) who’s trying to examine something he doesn’t want anyone else to see. He’s been bitten. Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) calls her away before she can say anything and they’ve discovered there’s no air coming through the vents. Blake explains the place is sealed and wasn’t designed to hold this many. Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) feels there has to be some way to get air, but the vents are the only way. Without that, they run out of air.
Elsewhere, Troy is trying to dig a grave with his hands to bury his brother (RIP Jake), but there’s no time for it as they’re going to have to leave him Nick (Frank Dillane) explains. Troy laments on how his brother was too good to survive, but Nick tells him to shut up. The real reason Jake (Sam Underwood) is dead is because of the horde Troy brought down on them. Nick wants to do what Jake would have done and help those people or they were going to die.
Blake’s explaining the details about the air shaft to Ofelia and Crazy Dog and Alicia has pulled a Good Will Hunting and figured out that they only have two hours of air left before the carbon dioxide kills them. They decide if they put down the bitten, it will buy them more time. Alicia talks to the group, disclosing the truth about the air and asking those bitten to come forward to allow the others more time. No one moves at first, then Blake steps forward and shows his bite. Others follow suit.
Nick and Troy hatch a plan to drive through the infected to head for the fuel reserves while inside, Ofelia and Crazy Dog prepare to go into the vents.
Alicia and Blake address those remaining. They are going to use morphine on those bitten. It will knock them out and then they’ll be taken care of. There’s hesitation, pleading to wait and a woman even gets up to leave, to go over to her son, but Christine (Linda Gehringer) stops her. She explains that it’s morphine, they’ll be in heaven before they even get there. A man from the Nation volunteers to go first. He’s taken into the walk-in storage area for privacy and after Alicia gives him the morphine, Blake helps her roll him over and she uses her knife, pushing it through the back of his head to make sure he doesn’t come back. This understandably upsets Alicia, who comes out of the walk-in, crying and hyperventilating. Christine approaches her where she’s distanced herself from everyone and picks up the knife she dropped. She understands it’s hard, but the people have done their part, now Alicia has to do hers. “They need you. They need you because you’re strong. Don’t break on them now.”
Nick and Troy take a joyride through the infected, trying to get to the fuel, but collide with an RV instead. They get out, fighting through the horde as they go, heading straight for the helicopter barely making it inside.
In the walk-in of the pantry, Alicia is sitting with her hands on her head, a huge puddle of blood in front of her. She just needs a minute. The camera pans out to show the huge pile of bodies of the bitten she’s taken care of. All that’s left now is Blake, who isn’t looking good. He rolls up his sleeve, crying. He apologizes for what he did, for all those people. Alicia tells him it’s going to be okay before she gives him the morphine.
Ofelia and Crazy Dog are crawling through the vents and he has a panic attack. She manages to talk him down and get him to breathe.
Alicia’s talking with Christine, who’s sharing a story about her husband, who died in the attack on 9/11. She kept trying to call him because there was that chance that she just might hear him again. “Even when you’re hopeless, hope is all you have.” She explains, assuring Alicia she did the right thing. She gave them a few precious hours. Christine shares more, telling Alicia how she met her second husband and how they ended up at the Ranch. But they spent their last years hiding from the world instead of out exploring it. “Promise me you’ll never make decisions based on fear,” Christine implores.
Crazy Dog is taking a minute after that freakout. It hasn’t happened in a while and he didn’t think it would be a problem. Ofelia asks him about being in Iraq and tells him her father saw stuff that haunted him his whole life. Crazy Dog lost it once, in front of his son, who was terrified of him after that. It was one of the last times he saw him, he was living with his mom before everything went to hell and Crazy Dog wasn’t there to save him. After talking, they’re ready to continue on.
In a lighter moment, Alicia and Christine share happier moments from their lives, which includes a memory Alicia shares about Nick that reveals some of her true feelings about her brother. No matter what Nick did, everyone always loved him and when they were kids she used to be close to him. She used to look up to him, more than her dad even. But it changed. The carbon dioxide is starting to affect her at this point and her vision is blurring. Everyone around her, including Christine, are falling unconscious.
Outside, infected are swarming the helicopter and it’s not looking good for the boys. Nick turns on the rotors and the blades manage to kill a few, but there are just too many. They’re starting to break through the glass and Troy thinks this is the end.
Trying to stay awake, Alicia is singing to herself the song she’d only just told Christine about her brother in his efforts to help her singing and stealing the spotlight from her at summer camp. A sound catches her attention and she shambles towards it, discovering that someone has died and turned. The zombie is fast, much faster than Alicia in her weakened state. Alicia fumbles for her knife and it’s a very stressful moment where it looks like she might not make it, but ultimately she does. Luckily, she falls backwards and the zombie falls, impaling its head on her blade. She loses consciousness and we see more infected rising around her.
Crazy Dog and Ofelia have found the air problem; one of the infected is stuck in the fan’s blades. She tries to climb on top of his shoulders to shoot it down, but he loses consciousness and collapses. Ofelia falls and the zombie falls on top of her, but she manages to shoot it and the fan starts.
Air rushes into the pantry and Alicia wakes, surrounded by infected. She grabs Christine, who’s not looking very good, dragging her into the armory cage. There’s no ammo left, but she manages to find one clip with some and she starts shooting the approaching infected.
Troy and Nick’s situation is looking grim. Troy’s got a gun with one bullet and he offers to let Nick choose who gets it. Suddenly, there is a huge explosion.
Alicia steps out of the armory cage shooting, but soon runs out of ammunition and starts fighting with her knife. It isn’t looking good for her when suddenly there are shots firing and infected dropping. It’s Madison (Kim Dickens), Strand (Colman Domingo) and Taqa (Michael Greyeyes) who’ve returned just in time to save her. But she’s not leaving without Christine and rushes over to wake her, only to find she’s already dead. Alicia’s upset, but apologizes and gives her friend mercy.
Madison talks to the group as Alicia lays in the cab of the truck under a blanket. They’ll head back to the trading post, supply up and make it to the dam by morning. She approaches Ofelia and tells her about her father being alive. At first, she doesn’t believe her, but when Taqa confirms it she cries and thanks her.
Alicia gets out of the truck and looks around, asking where Jake is. After finding out he didn’t make it, she wants to know where the horde came from, but Nick covers for Troy.
It’s time to go, but Alicia has had enough. She’s not going. They keep searching for somewhere safe, but that place doesn’t exist. No matter how much they kill and die for it. Madison thinks she’s in shock, but Alicia’s seeing things more clearly than she ever has. “Your way doesn’t work. It won’t ever work and I can’t do it anymore.” Madison argues that they’re safer together, but Alicia doesn’t agree. They die just as quickly together as they do apart. She needs to find a way to live for herself and she can’t do that running in fear or with any of them. She’s leaving and it’s not up for debate. She’ll show her where she’s going, a place Jake showed her, but she needs to go alone.
Nick tells Madison he’ll follow Alicia to make sure she gets where she’s going. But his mother doesn’t want to lose both children. Nick tells her to think of it as a scouting mission, he’ll find out what’s out there, make sure Alicia’s safe and meet back at the dam. She agrees and tells him to take Troy with him.
Alicia is crying as she drives away from the burning remains of the Ranch. She’s broken and she’s had enough. This has changed her and she’ll never be the same again.