Anyone who likes Patsy Cline and is that handy in the kitchen can’t be all bad. Connor makes Alicia about as good a meal as she’s probably going to have ever again in an act of good will. The only way she’s going to eat better is if she gets to Mexico in one piece. Connor tries to get to know Alicia but before that happens, the power goes out and he leaves to tend to the problem. Vida follows, taking Alicia’s steak with her before she was able to eat more than one bite. Pregnant or not, this girl has a shitty attitude. Alicia takes the opportunity to scout around, only to find that they’re not at sea at all, but dry docked in some kind of ship yard. Jack finds her and she convinces him to check on Travis for her.
Back on the Abigail, we find that impaling does not mean killing, and Reed is still alive but at the mercy of Daniel. I think Daniel’s character works best in this element, seemingly harmless but unafraid to get his hands dirty. As he cleans/tortures Reed, he learns some important details about Connor’s strengths. Strand is still recovering so Daniel and Maddie have taken over captain’s duties and are dead set on finding Travis and Alicia. Luis has a problem with this and bringing our heroes into Mexico in general, but Strand repays Maddie for saving his life by granting them time to mount a rescue.
Alicia meanwhile seems to be doing just fine, learning the ins and outs of piracy thanks to Jack. He even gives her a task: finding new boats to raid. All too happy to bring her into his world, he doesn’t notice when she slips his knife out of his back pocket. Alicia is a bit more street smart (sea smart) than I gave her credit for, and perhaps I was wrong to think that Nick was the only clever one in the family.
Travis is not so fortunate and wakes up in a makeshift cell. Ironically a book titled “Jesus Saves” has a paper clip bookmark in it. School teacher, nautical mechanic, and now master locksmith. Travis is really a jack of all trades. His lock pick is interrupted by Alex, previously left afloat by Strand and found by Connor. As if she didn’t see Strand cut the rope, she blames Travis for her misfortune and reveals that she’s the one that gave Connor Abigail’s position. I’m a bit confused by her recollection of events, but we’ll see how it shakes out.
Strand feels well enough speak with Maddie about Nick’s usefulness, and she makes it a point to try to dissuade Nick from any more away-missions. Her mothering seems out of place, since Nick has pretty much been on his own since the show began. Alicia seems okay with helping Jack find new vessels to raid, except for when the Abigail pops up on the sonar and she realizes that Reed, in his normal run of things, executes the people he finds on other boats. Jack seems to genuinely want to help Alicia and they find a ship for Connor to check out, with the intention of escaping with one of the boats in the dock while he’s distracted. Jack doesn’t appear to be a bad guy so it’s going to suck when the consequences of his decisions come back to him, as they surely will.
As Abigail approaches the marina, Travis and Alex spend quality time together mulling over the past and the nature of the world, good and evil, etc. While they share some of the same hardships, it seems that Alex was waiting for some kind of confession or apology from Travis because when he tells her he’s no better than Strand, since not stopping him was the same as cutting the rope, she gives him a bit of juicy info:
“Connor said he could use me. People don’t use me.”
Back on the Abigail, Reed tries to get into Chris’ head but Nick intervenes at the right moment. It’s a wacky world when the heroin addict is the chilled out voice of reason. Jack and Alicia find Travis, who spills the beans about Alex, and tells Alicia not to come back for him. We go back to the Abigail, where Maddie and Connor negotiate a trade of people: Reed for Alicia and Travis. It seems like this might be a straightforward deal, since Connor isn’t a rampaging psychopath like The Governor or Negan, but of course things get unnecessarily complicated. Chris, “Fuckup of The New World,” blasts a hole in Reed’s face, giving the excuse that Reed was about to turn. While he does seem to know that people turn after death no matter what, that still doesn’t change the fact that Reed is missing his jaw. It’s only when he hears Daniel and Luis arguing that he realizes how thoroughly the pooch has been screwed. It may be a moot point, since seeing Reed with a crowbar through his abdomen might have sent Connor into a rage just as much as seeing him dead, but now we’ll never know.
As Ofelia and Nick clean up Reed’s teeth and such, it’s apparent that they don’t understand the nature of walkers the way Chris does, that is until Reed wakes up. Nick goes for the kill, but perhaps a moment before Daniel stops him, I saw a new plan, and so did Daniel. An animate Reed is a trade-able Reed. Oddly, as Daniel is prepping Reed, he hears the Voice of Hispanics Past, telling him to take the gun. I’m sure this means Daniel is going to go insane later.
Amazingly, the hostage trade goes pretty well, with only a small hiccup in retrieving Alicia. Reed bites Connor and another grunt, while Travis delivers an impressive head-butt to another henchman. Alicia tries to rescue Travis from his cage but gets into a tussle with Vida, who ends up locked in the cell. Jack survives the whole encounter, perhaps suffering only a broken heart. But this isn’t to say that he, Vida and Alex won’t seek their revenge later on.
I really love the tension and drama. Things are shaping up very well so far. It isn’t just people against walkers, it’s people against people, and their own natures. Our heroes are straying into gray areas fairly quickly, while it took Rick and company a while to embrace the darker realities of the world. Travis, Maddie and Alicia motor back to the Abigail and the next stop, presumably, is Mexico.
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