Mother and daughter are back together to take on a new challenge in this episode of Fear The Walking Dead. Elsewhere, Nick is still settling in with his new group.
Last week, Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) battled her way through a hotel filled with infected and found her mom again. Madison (Kim Dickens) and Strand (Colman Domingo) had also managed to fight off the infected, but Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) is missing. Meanwhile, Travis (Cliff Curtis) saw what his son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) is capable of, and has probably lost all hope. Read the full recap of the previous episode here!
The title of this episode is Pablo & Jessica and it’s no strange code, but simply two important characters in a roundabout way.
However, before we get to them, I’m very happy to say we go back in time a bit, to see how Madison and Victor managed to escape the bar. They were drunk off their asses when the bar was literally invaded by the infected. Of course, neither of them are stranger to fighting, and when Madison hears Alicia calling for her, she becomes a regular wonder woman. Alicia – we know from two episodes ago – was calling for her mom and Victor, when she realized all the noise those two drunks were making, was attracting a group of infected.
Anyway, Madison and Victor fight off the first few infected and then use Nick’s trick of smearing infected blood all over themselves for camouflage. They then walk out of the bar and barricade the door after themselves. They see that the truck is gone, and Victor assumes Alicia and Ofelia have escaped in it. Madison meanwhile, refuses to believe her daughter would run. Alicia doesn’t leave, she insists. That’s what her son has always done, while Alicia is the polar opposite.
Madison and Victor end up in a pretty safe place with bottled water and everything when they hear Alicia calling for help. We get to see the great mother-daughter reunion from Madison’s side when they break down a door to let in Alicia, the hotel manager; Elena (Karen Bethzabe), and her nephew Hector (Ramses Jimenez).
The new group with Madison, Alicia, Victor, Elena, and Hector are trying to figure out what to do next. Madison knows how safe the hotel is, and when Elena says there’s food to last them months as well, Madison knows this is where they should stay. Of course, the food is with the other hotel group made up of wedding guests, who all want Elena dead or gone. The mother of the bride would probably prefer both. Still, Madison – who definitely understands why Elena reacted the way she did – insists they have to try and get along, and be stronger together instead of two divided groups. She tries to talk to the group, which is being led by Oscar (Andres Londono) – the groom from the wedding.
Madison is allowed to come up and talk to Oscar and the mother of the bride, but it doesn’t go quite as planned. The mother is nowhere near ready to forgive Elena, who she says killed her daughter. Madison is quick to argue that the disease killed her daughter, but it doesn’t do much good. The rest of the group is more open to Madison’s plan of working together, so several of them begin helping with both cleaning up and building a wall.
Meanwhile, Alicia and Victor are cleaning the inside of the hotel, by clearing out the infected rooms. It’s a slow process, but one necessary to making the hotel safe in the long run. Also, we still don’t know who Pablo & Jessica are!
While at the beach to gather stuff for barricading the hotel, Alicia joins her mom, and Madison finally gets a chance to really talk to her daughter. Madison appologizes for not being there for her daughter. Both now and especially when she was younger and her father died. Nick was always in trouble, so he was the one Madison had to worry about and focus on. Alicia says there’s nothing to apologize for and that her mother made her the strong woman she is.
While the two women are talking about how long it’ll take to clear the hotel of the infected inside, Alicia has an idea. There’s a long pier and a very strong current, so the idea is to lure all the infected out to the pier in a huge team effort. One person will get them to the end of the pier and jump into the water where a boat is waiting. The infected will mindlessly follow the human food source and land in the strong current.
It’s a dangerous, but effective plan and everyone is on board. Alicia, however, is not thrilled that her mom wants to use herself as the final lure and wants to do it herself. Madison insists that this is the best way since Alicia is great at controlling the infected and she’s quick on her feet. Also, she wants Alicia on the boat to come get her at the end of the pier, when she has to jump into the water. Madison is honest and lets Alicia know that she really doesn’t trust anyone else to save her.
The plan works like a charm. The one issue that arises is when the current is so strong that they almost can’t get the boat out across the first waves. They finally succeed, and Madison is relieved when she hears her daughter calling out for her at the last minute. In a parallel to an earlier episode, where Alicia jumped off of a docked boat – and left Jack the radio charmer behind – and Madison picked her up in a boat, Alicia is now in the boat and getting her mom to safety.
Side note: Let me just say, I love how this show is really coming into it’s own style and storyline now. We have parallels to older episodes and know how the characters will react. After this and the previous episode especially, I can clearly see how season 3 could be the one to really make this show as strong as the first season showed potential for. Season 2 isn’t even over and I am really excited for season 3 already.
After the joint efforts and success of clearing out the hotel, the hotel groups are enjoying a festive dinner together. Complete with champagne and everything. However, two people are missing: The groom, Oscar, and the mother of the bride. Madison and Victor both know that the mom will take time, but Victor asks where the honeymoon suite is, and goes to talk to the groom.
This entire episode, Victor has been off. Madison has tried to talk to him, but it’s clear that the idea of building a new home is too painful for Victor. He had a home and someone he loved, and he has just lost them both. And these are the feelings, he knows will resonate with Oscar. He finds the groom standing outside the honeymoon suite, and of course, Victor already knows that there’s one last infected still in the hotel; The bride in the honeymoon suite.
Oscar insists that he won’t let Victor kill her, but after a really heartfelt speech from Victor, he’s open to listening to him. Victor asks what her name was, and it is – of course – Jessica. So now, we have the Jessica from the Pablo & Jessica episode title. Victor goes on to explain that the pain will always be there and Oscar won’t be the same, but a new version of himself needs the chance to exist. In order for that to happen, he has to let go of the infected bride. Finally, Oscar gives Victor the keycard for the room and with tears still streaming down his cheeks, Victor enters the honeymoon suite to help Oscar let go.
Victor Strand is turning out to be an even deeper and stronger character than I would’ve ever guessed, and I am loving it. Also, Colman Domingo is so damn good in this role, which I hope we’ll get to keep for a long time. Always a dangerous wish in The Walking Dead franchise, I know.
Back in the little compound, where Nick (Frank Dillane) is living now, he is helping out with some good ol’ junkie skills. In order to still have something to barter with, even though they’re running out of drugs, he suggests they cut the pills with formula.
Nick and Alejandro (Paul Calderon) end up spending the day making pills, and also, Nick asks some questions about how Alejandro was bitten but survived. According to Alejandro, he was saved from being eaten alive by Luciana (Danay Garcia), who took him back to the infirmary, where they both expected him to die. Somehow, he just never did, and the bite he had gotten, simply healed.
They watch Luciana play soccer with some kids, and Alejandro also informs Nick, that she tends to test people, and is probably testing Nick right now. He joins her in playing soccer with the kids living in the compound when suddenly someone comes back from a run and looks very upset. Luciana immediately knows it’s about Pablo. So now we have Pablo from Pablo & Jessica, as well.
Nick assumes Pablo is Luciana’s boyfriend, but she corrects him immediately. Pablo was her brother. Later in the episode, Alejandro gives Nick a home. He says it’s because he needs the bed in the infirmary for other patients, but also because of the help – and hope – Nick gave them with the pill trick. While Nick is reading a dictionary, in an effort to try and learn Spanish, so he can talk to someone other than Alejandro and Luciana, the latter appears at his door. She couldn’t sleep and Nick is happy to see her, so he can try off some of his newly acquired Spanish skills, while also wishing he had taken Spanish in high school.
She ends up falling asleep on his bed, while he sits on the floor and continues reading. When she wakes up and starts to leave, Nick asks her if it’s true that she’s trying to test him. She doesn’t say anything, but walks over to Nick and kisses him. I guess he passed all her tests then.
This is where we leave everyone: Pablo & Jessica are two dead characters, we never got to know, but who had a huge impact on characters we are getting to know now. Nick is building a new home and getting very familiar with Luciana, while Madison, Alicia and Victor have found a new group of their own at the hotel. The big questions right now are: Where in the world is Ofelia? And is Travis still with Chris, now that he knows the kid is pretty much a homicidal maniac?
For the record, this is the official episode plot:
Alicia and Madison try to bring two competing factions together; Nick uses skills from his past for his new role.
We’ll be back next time with a recap for episode 12 of season 2.
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