We follow up on Travis and Chris, while also getting more backstory for Madison and Alicia on the latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead.

Last week, Madison had several moments of making very stupid choices. None bigger than when she turned on the hotel sign during the very dark evening. She was hoping to send a signal to Nick – even though he’s not lost – but in doing so she signaled everyone in the area. Read the full recap of last week’s episode here!

The title of this episode is Date of Death, but there’s actually a lot more drama in this episode than there’s blood and death. All is relevant in this post-apocalyptic world, where people continue to be the greatest problem. In fact, not many of The Dead are seen in this episode!

The keyword of this episode is “choices” – or maybe it should be “moral”

This week, the episode opens with a group of people trying to get onto the hotel ground. They’ve all seen the hotel sign that Madison (Kim Dickens) foolishly turned on the night before. There’s 30-40 people outside, pleading to get in, and just 6 people on the inside. Including Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), who is not defending her mother, but merely letting everyone know that Madison is very aware she caused this problem.

FTWD - 2x13 recap - New guests at the hotel gate

When a familiar face pushes his way to the front, Madison seems to lose her mind again. This time it’s not about Nick, who isn’t featured in the episode at all, but Travis (Cliff Curtis). His annoying teenage son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), is nowhere in sight. When Madison and Travis talk, only separated by the fence, she asks where Chris is, and Travis only answers “Not here!”. In flashbacks, we’ll see what happened between them.

First, we need to get Travis inside. The smart thing would’ve been for Travis to signal that he’s to meet his wife or step-daughter somewhere else, but nobody’s smart here. After having pushed his way to the front, Madison opens the gate and by some miracle, the very few people on the inside have no problem keeping the desperate people on the other side out. Not exactly realistic, but whatever… this is after all fiction.

You know, while I might not agree with Travis, I do understand his thinking in trying to get his son back on track. Also, I think Travis is an interesting character in general. Smart, but way too forgiving in many cases. Well, except when it comes to himself. And this is what’s very quickly making him the weakest link on Fear The Walking Dead.

In a flashback, we see Travis helping James, who the home owner shot, before Chris shot him dead. James was shot in the leg, but the bullet went clean through, so Travis cleans the wound and stitches it up. After that, he tells the rest of the group that James will need time to heal. The two boys, Brandon and Derek, along with Chris, are enjoying some chicken and drinking whatever they can get their hands on.

Travis tries talking to Chris, and this time he’s really trying to get through to him, but Chris seems very cold. Travis wants Chris to feel remorse for killing the owner of this little farm, but Chris insists he did what he had to do. It’s a “kill or be killed”-world and Chris has no problem killing. In fact, he thinks his father is the one with the problem. Chris is enjoying this new world and plans on going with the three young men, when they head back to San Diego as soon as James is healed up.

Three young men and a father figure

After a week, they’ve managed to eat all the chickens – completely ignoring Travis’ advice to eat the eggs and keep the chickens, so the boys want to move on. James is still not feeling well, but is clearly scared of his friends, so he pretends he’s fine. They don’t even make is off the farm’s land before James passes out from pain, and Travis forces them to go back. Overhearing a plan to kill James, Travis grabs a gun from Chris and locks himself inside the barn with James.

FTWD 213 recap - Date of Death

Here James explains, that the friends have a pact to kill each other rather than let them turn into one of the infected. Of course, James isn’t dying, but he is holding them back and he knows what that means. Chris brings his dad some food, so Travis will let him in. Watching this, we all know he can’t trust his son. And while Travis seems to know this as well, he is tricked when a hug from Chris turns into a vice grip as Chris calls out for his new friends to kick down the door. They come in, and despite James’ cry for mercy, they shoot him. It’s clearly not easy for them, but not too hard either.

Chris leaves with Derek and Brandon, and even if Travis wanted to go with them, he is no longer invited to tag along. Travis pleads with his son, saying that he promised his mom that he would take care of him. Chris tells his dad that letting him go is doing what’s best for him, because really, Travis is holding him back. Derek and Brandon drive off with Chris in the back of the truck, and Travis yelling out to his son “God damn you”.

I still do not like Chris, because I do believe you still have a choice. We know this from The Walking Dead as well, and Chris would not be in Rick’s group. He would most likely be killed by Rick. Or he would be a good right-hand man to Negan. Or he would be Negan!

Fear The Walking Dead - 2x13 recap - Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris Manawa

A parent first and always

Still, Travis is completely broken hearted and starts walking towards to sea. Just as he reaches the shore, he sees the hotel sign that Madison turned on. The story of what happened between him and Chris was shown to us in flashbacks while Travis was telling Madison. Now we get to see Travis loose it completely. Stating that this “our children” was never really true, because he has Chris and Madison has Nick and Alicia. And even though they’re married and a family on paper, they’re both parents first.

He can’t forgive himself for leaving Chris… though of course, he never left Chris. Chris left him! Travis obviously did the right thing in order to be true to his own values. Still, Travis feels like he gave up and questions himself out loud: Couldn’t he just have gone along with killing James and stayed with Chris and the two awful young men – even though he doesn’t trust them?! This kind of talk scares the shit out of me. Pardon my French, but seriously, it terrifies me.

That kind of mindset is what enables young men and women to get away with truly heinous crimes. This whole “stand by your kids no matter what”, is dangerous and crazy thinking. It’s what creates dictators, rapist and psychopaths. Kids – especially teenagers, who are so close to being on their own – need to learn that enough is enough, and if you keep fucking up, then you’re on your own. That doesn’t mean you disown them, but is does mean, that they face consequences of their actions.

Madison bonds with Alicia by telling the truth about her father

Travis’ little speech – which went on for too long despite Cliff Curtis doing an excellent job delivering it – makes Madison think of Alicia. She finds her daughter, who is helping the people, who were previously outside the hotel gate. They’ve decided to let them in, since they are desperate families and don’t seem aggressive. Of course, they’re checking for bites and know not all will be able to stay, but for now, they focus on helping.

Madison asks Alicia to come with her, and they walk down to the pier. Here Madison apologizes to Alicia and tells her in no uncertain terms, that even though she felt like she had to focus on Nick, she never loved Alicia any less. She just figured her daughter was okay and so the focus was on the troubled son instead.

FTWD 2x13 recap - Alycia Debnam-Carey and Kim Dickens

To explain this, she also tells Alicia the truth about her father’s death, since Nick reminds Madison of his dad. Their father’s death wasn’t an accident, but a suicide. We already know this from Madison’s talk with Strand, but to Alicia this is brand new information. She questions how Madison can be sure, so she reveals there was also a suicide note. At first, Madison doesn’t want to reveal what it said, but Alicia insists. It was brief and to the point: “I love you all, but enough’s enough”.

It’s a tough, but very important and beautiful scene that will probably be important to their future relationship. And hopefully, Madison will no longer do weird things to find Nick… who still isn’t missing, but simply left.

As the episode ends, we see more people approaching the hotel gates. Including two familiar faces with Chris’ new best friends Derek and Brandon. However, Chris is nowhere to be seen in this final shot, so they probably didn’t make it far before running into trouble.

This is where we leave everyone on Fear The Walking Dead

Travis is back with Madison and Alicia – and Strand, even though we didn’t really see him in this episode. Ofelia is probably still heading back towards the US, which is where Chris was heading with his two new friends. However, the two “friends” are now at the hotel and we don’t know where Chris is. Nothing new with Nick, so to us he’s still with Luciana at the compound.

For the record, this is the official episode plot:

Refugees begin flooding into the hotel the group is staying at, and they recognize a familiar face among them. Madison has a hard time dealing with the entire situation.

Season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead is coming to an end, but we’ll be back next time with a recap for episode 13 of season 2. Watch the promo for the episode right here:

You can always follow the FTWD tag for recaps or anything else related to the show!

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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