Writers, if fans are supposed to universally love Madison, it is past time for her story to run parallel to your narrative about her. The self-interested woman of privilege, causes trouble for yet another community. Those who have seen her beacon for a disinterested Nick are at the gates, begging for entry. The group inside is guilty forced to hold them at bay. That’s when we see Travis without Chris. We find out that Chris has killed the farmer, and Baby James survived with just a gunshot wound to the leg. Travis cleans his wound and stitches him… with the dead man’s first aid materials. The only satisfaction we get is that there is no anesthesia for the kid. Travis, alone, buries the poor farmer with his family, unable to put his name on the wooden cross he builds for him.
While James is recovering, the other troll kids are laughing and celebrating the chicken dinner they’re cooking. Talking to Travis, James pretends he is doing much better than he is, and Travis makes it clear he needs to know what is really going on, if he is to help him. Later, the father and son are in conflict when remorseless Chris, full from eating the dead man’s food, defends his actions, saying he protected his “friend.” Travis reminds him that he has only known them two days – they aren’t his friends. Chris reminds his father of how he use to hide at recess to avoid being picked on by the football players. His father told him to play along to avoid conflict. Travis reminds Chris he was supposed to play along, not join them. Chris thinks there is no playing along with this group, it’s all in or nothing. He thinks Travis’ actions in saving James paved the way for both of them.
Real time, at the gate, Madison, woman of privilege, orders the gate to be opened – letting only Travis in. He tells them he doesn’t know where his son is. The crowd outside waits, preparing to die, as she is inside offering Travis food and a shower. He wants nothing. Attention turns to Nick and where he might be. Travis walks away when she asks where Chris is. The juxtaposed questions about errant sons is important. Travis’ focus on Nick and Maddie, to Chris’ detriment, paved the way for what happens.
At the farm the guys decide to move on. Despite being told to eat eggs, they have eaten all of the chickens. They ignore Travis’ warning that James is not well enough to travel and are confrontational with Travis, tired of hearing his lectures. Travis stops at the graves, looks around the house at the man’s family photos and is probably thinking what we are probably all thinking. The man died for nothing. A week on his farm, he is gone and the assholes who killed him are moving on – headed back to the U.S. because they miss home. He finds the man’s name and carves it into this makeshift grave marker. “Elias Suarez.” In the back of the truck, James is crying out in pain but asks Travis to not try to stop them from moving on. He is clearly afraid of Brandon’s reaction. James barely survives.
That night Travis realizes the guys are thinking of killing James. Chris, who thinks the world is kill or be killed, is on their side. Travis tells them that he understands why James is afraid of them before grabbing Chris’ gun to keep them from hurting James. He shoots at Brandon’s feet after Brandon makes it clear that he doesn’t believe that Travis has the balls to kill them. Chris is still on their side when it looks as if Brandon may kill his father, faulting him for creating conflict in the group. He is unimpressed when his father tells him he is doing this for him. I can only think of how many times Chris seemed disappointed in his father for putting Nick’s addiction issues first. Brandon has become his father figure and the foolish kid seems to think that Brandon would treat him better than he is treating “Baby James.” Back inside the barn, James explains the “Troy rule.” Troy was a buddy who was bitten and begged not to be allowed to turn. Brandon couldn’t pull the trigger, so James did it. He understands why the group would rather put him down than watch him turn. None of them wants that. James knows that even if he’s not dying, the others think he is and that’s the deal they made. He thinks of himself as dead weight.
The next morning, Travis is still watching over James. He cautiously lets Chris in, searching him before letting him fully into the barn. Chris claims that he gets it, life matters and no one is disposable, but Travis doesn’t buy it. Neither do I. Chris claims to know they would hurt him, given what they were willing to do to a guy they have known since he was 6-years-old. Chris betrays his father. He hugs him and holds him until the guys can ooze their way inside. James is begging for his life but to no avail. Brandon kills him. Before they go, Travis informs him that Elias shares his birthday. Unimpressed by the coincidence, Chris wants to be let go and feels he is better off without his father. He thinks he was just adapting, not broken as his father tried to make him believe. He finds it ironic that his father won’t do what needs to be done to survive – yet he did what needed to be done with Liza (and there it is!). It is most likely the last time they will ever see each other. The truck pulls off and after one last look, Chris turns away.
Once again, Travis is left to bury the dead, making a grave marker for James, before heading out to the hotel. That kid has been in so much pain for so long, and everyone treated him as if he needed to move forward with life, get on with things, and let them focus on what was important – the survival of Maddie and her children. We learn that Chris is barely 16-years-old. How hellish life has been for him in such a short period of time. When Chris left, Travis walked toward the ocean for two days, until he saw the hotel lights. At the hotel, Maddie tries to comfort him but he does not want comfort. He feels that he failed Chris and Liza. He wonders if Chris was right and he should have taken his own advice of not creating conflict, just to be able to be there for his son.
Travis wishes he’d told Chris he loved him. The last thing he said to Chris was “goddamn you” – the last words his son will hear. He finally knows how hard Chris’ life was at the end. Maddie goes to find Alicia and gives Travis some time alone. I almost expect to see Travis throw himself over the balcony he’s standing on. Maddie finds out that the group has had a change of heart and the survivors are in the parking deck, being examined. Andres has examined some, and they plan to work in shifts until they can figure things out There are 43 new people and there aren’t enough supplies for even half. They have to decide what to do with those who aren’t safe for the group. Maddie takes Alicia out to the pier to tell her the truth about her father, that he committed suicide by driving into the divider. She confirms the suicide by the note the father left in the glove box – “I love you all, but enough is enough.” Yup, now is the time to tell her. Right now.
Nick doesn’t know and he is the reason she kept it a secret (more crap Alicia doesn’t need to hear, including the part about how Nick was like their dad, lighting up a room with a smile, darkening it with his mood). She didn’t want Nick to end up like their father, but felt Alicia deserved more. She deserved the truth. Even now, it’s about Nick. Clears the air? Sure, but how will the truth help Alicia at this point? She feels invisible to her mother, and now abandoned by her father. He would have rather died than been there and she is now struggling to cling to life. While the mother and daughter bond and exchange warm sentiments, Travis is alone – crying in the shower.
That night, more people come. This looks like trouble.
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.