Here we go...yet more cryptic scenery and new characters. The episode begins with people on a life raft and their struggles to survive. It looks like there are only going to be two survivors, who must play a role in this week’s episode after the burn victim decides it’s okay that he go into that good night. But wait, isn’t that life raft typically one you find on an airplane?
This show is really testing me. We are three episodes in and while we’ve had some great moments, which seemed impossible once our heroes set out to sea and denied us the vision of a true urban apocalypse…the writers have decided we want more boat drama. GET TO LAND ALREADY! JESUS!
Strand can’t seem to get a hold of whatever dark and mysterious people he wants to deliver our heroes to, and Travis and Maddie can’t get five minutes alone to reaffirm their humanity, if you know what I mean, before we run into a problem. Something has tied up the engine, and despite a gross lack of experience, Travis decides to put on scuba gear and investigate. Of course there’s a walker down below, one who was human during the intro. Then we’re shown that Travis is some kind of boat wizard, and a vital part of getting Abigail running again since walker scum and goop have clogged the engines. Strand asks as nicely as he can for Travis to get things running before the pirates find them again.
Daniel and Ofelia have a scene where it seems like her wound is more than what it seems, and Daniel is oddly xenophobic. Yet he’s eager to take the raft out so Nick, Alicia and Chris can recover supplies from a shoreline wreck. Before the excursion, Daniel hints to Maddie at his discovery about Strand. He’s taking them to Baja, which in any other situation would be awesome, but I guess in the apocalypse, Mexico doesn’t sound so great. Daniel leaves it to Maddie to find out why that’s their ultimate destination.
Meanwhile, Daniel, Alicia, Nick and Chris go ashore to salvage what looks like a plane crash. Of course Chris wanders off on his own instead of doing anything useful. Travis gets the walkers loose from the propeller and Chris and Alicia have a moment as Chris finds a captain’s uniform. It’s an existential moment for me...he was always waiting for this, to come into his own in a way, and now it’s his time to shine.
Chris, in his wandering, discovers that the wreckage is a bit bigger than what they saw on the beach. He strays into the fuselage of a decent sized airplane and finds a few walkers still strapped into their seats and takes a creepy sociopathic pleasure in killing one before someone he thought dead wakes up and asks him for help. If you watched the webisodes giving you the backstory of the outbreak, this downed plane is Flight 462.
Back on Abigail, Maddie grills Strand on his intentions and his ultimate destination. It’s a great exchange between two strong characters exchanging verbal blows. Strand and Nick bonded but Travis, Maddie and company broke them out of quarantine, and at a high cost. So Victor Strand comes clean and says that they’re all going to Rosarito, and it’s a little hard to believe that he has to explain where that is to Maddie. Any LA resident worth their salt knows about Rosarito. Anyway, the two begrudgingly come to a peace but Strand makes a HUGE mistake in saying that Maddie is not a killer. I think she’s going to be this series’ equivalent of Carol.
Daniel explores the wreckage and finds a rosary, which he tosses aside. I think this is an important moment for his character because I think his faith was shaken a long time ago, and that is a big part of what makes him who he is. Still, he doesn’t entertain Nick’s hijinks and goes after Chris when they realize he’s wandered off.
Chris is still an idiot, but it seems that he is being pushed closer to the reality of his situation. He finds a survivor of the plane crash, and beats him to death. Even though it was an act of mercy considering what bad shape he was in, this poor bastard didn’t deserve to get hammered to death by a kid with a man bun. Either way, it’s a rude awakening for Chris as he sees just how big the grey area is now. As Daniel searches for Chris, Nick and Alicia find a cache of meds, which appear to be antibiotics.
Meanwhile on Abigail, Maddie and Travis have a discussion about their destination while Travis demonstrates the nautical repair skills he learned as a high school teacher. Maddie seems onboard (ha) with going to Baja but Travis has more than a few reservations about Strand and Maddie herself. It’s the first time he’s hinted at dissatisfaction with the course (ha) of their relationship.
Daniel, while looking for idiot Chris, comes across another survivor. Charlie, from the webisodes, finally makes her debut on the show. She comes running over a dune, and unflinching, Daniel cocks his gun. A showdown is about to take place.
Nick comes across a walker himself in a sand pit and Alicia finds Chris, since Daniel is facing down a horde of walkers. Once they hear the report of Daniel’s gun however, they go running to his aid. Our heroes aboard the Abigail take notice and get her ready to GTFO. While Nick is still stuck under a walker, Daniel, Chris, Alicia and Charlie go to battle. This is the first time our heroes have really had to kill any number of walkers and while I gave Chris and Maddie shit in my recap of the first episode of this season, the rest of the group seems pretty aware of what’s at stake and kick ass appropriately. As valiant as their efforts are, they still find themselves cornered, that is until Nick arrives, covered in blood, to save the day.
As the rest of the group flees, Nick stays behind and learns a valuable lesson that took our TWD heroes a bit longer to figure out: If you look like a walker and smell like a walker, you’re a walker. As they drag the raft out to the surf, our unnamed survivor tells the group that they need to make a stop, and through the binoculars onboard Abigail, we see what she means. Our seemingly hopeless burn victim at the beginning of the episode (Jake, also from the webisodes) and Charlie are in tow behind Abigail’s away boat. They’re on the verge of rescue before Strand puts his foot down again, this time with good reason. There’s simply no room at his Mexican villa. Maddie seems to take the brunt of the heat for this revelation but Travis takes her side, perhaps to soothe the sting of their previous argument.
However, Alicia wants to know about their new companions. Strand wants to cut them loose, but after an impassioned argument, a compromise is made to tow them at least to San Diego. Travis assures them supplies but it comes as little comfort after the cold welcome. Abigail sets sail with a raft in tow. Strand paces, Nick gives Ofelia the rosary that had been cast aside by her father, and the woman in the raft tries to comfort her burnt friend. Sadly ironic that she tells him their situation is rock bottom, and that things will get better little by little, because Strand makes an executive decision and cuts the raft loose.
The episode ends thusly, and Maddie looks at Strand with a particularly interesting disdain. While Daniel may have his eye on Strand, Maddie seems to be the one that has the guts to act against him. Clearly, his property in Rosarito is not a vacation home. He has plans for our heroes but why is he so intent on only having specifically them reach that destination? I don’t really think he’s going to see his plan through because Maddie really seems like she’s had enough of his bullshit and I’m betting she kills him within the next two episodes. Place your bets, folks. I predict things are going to get really ugly...uglier anyway...for our tempest tossed heroes
Written by A Play On Nerds contributor, Jerry Herrera - Lover of horror, sci fi, and fantasy in that order. Semi-permanent Disneyland resident. I'm at least one of the droids you're looking for. Twitter: @FrankenJerry - Instagram: @GeraldoPedro