Dear #FTWD writers, you are clearly geniuses, but we need to talk. We have issues (or more to the point, I have issues with the show). The introduction of new characters gives viewers something to look forward to, knowing that there are pockets of humanity going strong and fighting back. The problem is that I could take almost any of the newbies in lead roles to move the show forward, without a second thought for most of the original cast. I have not yet forgiven them for freeing a stadium filled with walkers – destroying countless numbers of innocent people in season 1. Yup, got it… city bombed… unlikely that anyone would have survived, anyway. It doesn’t change how low our survivors have been willing to go. When will the enormity of their actions ever hit them? You could restart the show, in, say, Mexico. That‘s what I was thinking until the opening scene. Nick wakes up in time to catch yet another gruesome sacrifice. A child cries as the town chants and watches her father give himself to the dead. Sorry, but why not send the coughing woman from the clinic who was ill and could potentially infect everyone else (flu season, the prison, remember)? The difference between #TWD and #FTWD is that the cast of the former fights to live. Too many characters on the latter seek death or embrace walking death. Are we to believe this small community has trained the walkers to not attack, but wait for feeding time? They are only separated from the damned things by a chain link fence. I am almost happy to see Maddie and Alicia in the next scene (ALMOST). I am always happy to see the indomitable Victor Strand (always). He has to talk Madison out of continuing to search for Travis, no mention of looking for Chris. They need to get back to The Abigail. They are out of food, water, and nearly out of gas. She agrees to go.
We shift between the colonia and the small group. The bloom is off the rose for Nick and he is looking at the colonia differently. Alejandro (who is a pharmacist, not an MD) is nearby tending to patients as Nick helps several others. Alejandro talks one of the older residents out of giving up, at least for now. The trip to The Abigail is a bust, since the military waited for the crew to land and stole their ship. Ofelia suggests they all walk out to sea, ending it all. Alicia is not amused. Madison sees hope in sticking around and Alicia warns her mother that Nick and Travis aren’t coming back, she’ll have to make due with just her. The group’s only hope is a seemingly abandoned hotel. As they enter, they note that the doors were barricaded from the inside, Victor rings the bell to draw in any walkers. Nothing. They are a lot safer than Nick, who has been dragged by Luciana to “Camp Undead”. Apparently they keep the dead, in part, to bleed them and cover themselves so they can move about. Nick has the honor of accompanying her on a mission, because, she tells him, no one will miss him if anything happens. Sweet! The only requirement is that he keep his mouth shut at all times. I like her! Everyone else indulges his need to be indulged. Speaking of indulgences, the group finds the hotel banquet hall still dressed for a wedding reception, including cake. Ofelia opines about her lost fiance, who moved to Santa Fe as she stayed behind to take care of her parents. If only she hadn’t allowed Daniel to be tortured.
We shift back and forth between the colonia and the hotel. Nick, of course, breaks the silence to ask about the morning’s event. Luciana tells him that those near death “join the wall” and protect the group. She thinks it is no different from the sun burning the land, etc, making everything clean. The dead will be gone and the world will be new again. Let’s hope. Luciana claims that the man who gave himself to the wall had been bitten, though he did not turn. Nick does not believe her, but she swears it is true… so why THAT guy and not someone who was going to die? They apparently believe the sacrifices retain their consciousness and instinctively know to protect the group. At the hotel, Alicia is snippy with her mother and refuses to sit close by. Victor tries to ease the tension in the group, by trying to calm Madison down. Has that ever worked before? At the end of their trip, Luciana and Nick are at a warehouse run by gangsters/dealers to trade a bag of medicine for supplies. At the hotel Victor and Madison drink while Ofelia and Alicia scavenge for supplies in the rooms. Sadly, a guest tried to hang himself to avoid what he thought was his fate, only to have turned. Alicia puts the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. At the warehouse Nick and Luciana shop for medical supplies and water. They notice a small community in the warehouse, including sick individuals. At the hotel, Alicia and Ofelia talk about why anyone would give up. Ofelia gets it, believing none of them will make it, either. Alicia doesn’t believe in giving up and tells an unreceptive Ofelia that they are her family, now. Ofelia believes that only “family is family”. It’s good that Alicia is flexible, since Nick has been knocked out and probably slated for death as he’s caught shoplifting cupcakes. I am back to my original premise. Save Victor, start over.
Just as he is about to lose his hand, Nick offers to trade the colonia’s oxy to save the sister of the gang’s leader. He recognized the woman’s illness and tells him that he will wish she turned when their oxy soon runs out. They are freed, but Nick wants extra water. Luciana is glad they have it, but is still unhappy with him. Little things, but I am kinda’ peeved that they pass a healthy dog and haven’t taken it with them to safety. At the hotel we learn that Victor thinks of himself as “seducer of people” and that he would have hit on Madison if they were sitting at the bar before the world ended. Who didn’t see this coming? Madison turns serious, worrying about never seeing Nick. She says he was born lost, slipping through her fingers from day one. He has his father’s darkness. Leaving him alone leads him heading straight toward death. We learn that her husband didn’t fall asleep on the way home, he crossed the divider on purpose. She feels that she can’t save anyone from their destiny. A drunken Maddie is in the mood to smash barware. Victor rings the walker dinner bell by loudly playing piano. The walkers trapped in the shop across the street accept the dinner invitation. A freshly showered Alicia goes to tell Ofelia that she can shower next and finds that she is missing. In a panic, after seeing the dead throw themselves from balconies when they hear the music, she opens the door to the nearby stairwell and nearly becomes a snack. I realize I don’t really want the character dead. Not like that.
At the colonia, we find out that the snack cake Nick took was for the little girl whose father was sacrificed. Luciana gives him the least hardened face she’s given in two episodes. Alejandro is not so soft. The tables have turned. It Nick who says the girl needed comfort, that not everything can be about death. Alejandro shows him the dwindling medical supplies and water and tells him that he has even injected patients with saline, to keep them believing. He thinks the dead are moving to their final resting place and that they are the chosen survivors. When asked why he is so sure, we see the huge, healed, bite on his shoulder. What.The.HELL? They’re still dying on #TWD. What’s going on? Nick is threatened with being fed to the wall if he ever puts them in danger, again. At the hotel, drunken Victor and Madison finally notice the walkers, but are quickly outnumbered. At the colonia, Alejandro is pep-talking the chosen about faith and they chant the chant from the morning’s sacrifice, “From death we come, and to death we will deliver ourselves”. This is Nick’s bailiwick, so of course he joins in, fully glassy-eyed. At the hotel, all alone, Alicia is frozen, in fear. Be careful of what you wish for, you might just get it. Will she survive? I guess we’ll find out, next week – unless you watched the previews for next week and know that we’ll see Alicia and Ofelia. So, viewers, are you comfortable with the threads of mysticism running through #FTWD this season? Are you comfortable with Victor’s attraction to Madison or should he still be mourning Thomas?
I’m an exasperated soap fan who keeps hanging on – waiting for the daytime I once loved to return to its former glory! Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have a dream. I learned to love soaps thanks to my wonderful mother and grandmother. I’ll always have fond memories of daytime, most especially of ‘Another World’, my first stoap love. The ever great, but sadly defunct, daytime shows like Ryan’s Hope, Search for Tomorrow, The Doctors, Loving, and many others keep a special place in my heart, as well.