Episode Two of Fear the Walking Dead has aired and it’s time to get into the gritty on what when down. And make sure you bring your sunblock.
The Sinking Feeling
Strand (Colman Domingo) is about to enter the lion’s den and he leaves a video because he’s pretty certain he’s not coming back. He parks the SWAT Wagon a way from his destination and walks. When he arrives at the gate he’s distracted by a zombie impaling itself, and it’s then he hears the rifle chamber cycle. He goes into one of his long monologues which, in short form, is “Don’t shoot me,” and that’s when Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) tells him what we all know: you talk too much.
As Strand is being invited inside the compound we meed Skidmark, the cat who spends a lot of time licking his butt. Which is what cats do…
When Is a Wreck More Than a Wreck?
John (Garret Dillahunt) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) are checking out the plane wreck and can’t find the body Al (Maggie Grace) reported. Nor the info she found. And it appears all the guns and ammo they brought along is missing as well. This is not good, as they’re not exactly flush with the very things needed to protect them from the undead. Seeing this as a dead end, they return to the truck stop.
‘Tis But a Scratch
Luciana (Danay Garcia) is healing, though it’s not only slow going, but she’s also in a lot of pain, which means June (Jenna Elfman) is starting the drugs early. Everyone wants to head out and look for Al but they also don’t want to leave Luciana by herself. She’s not worried, however, and assures everyone she can handle the situation–just as long as she’s not leaning to play the accordion, which is something that the drugs are apparently making her say. John leaves her one of the pistols and they all head out.
After rechecking around the wreck, Morgan (Lennie James) and Alicia go one way, June and John the other. Morgan and Alicia find another road block but Alicia finds something else: the engine of one of the parked vehicles is still warm. They wander off road and Morgan comes upon two zombies trying to get at some birds in an overhead box, so he goes in and kills them–
I should say, he kills one and is boloed around the ankles before the second is killed by a mysterious woman all dressed up like she’s about to party in a Superfund site. She keeps telling Morgan to undress and keep quiet, not to talk too much and the such, but you know Morgan: he just can’t keep his mouth shut. Just as this woman is about to put a cap in his a**, Alicia tackles her and takes her pistol.
With the situation defused we get the story. The woman is named Grace (Karen David) and she was the operations manager at a nuclear power planet 12 miles to the north. A plant that just recently suffered a meltdown of one of its units, which is why we’re seeing all the Danger, Radiation signs around the area. One of the zombies Morgan just tussled with died from exposure to radiation, which means the body is ticking off those heavy alpha particles like nobody’s business. Which means Morgan and his clothes need to be decontaminated now, or he could die.
The three of them head back to the crash site because, one, it’s on the edge of the zone; two, grace is pissed that the crash took out her fence and they need to put up more; and three, she needs to see if any of the dead heads there were from her plant. Alicia–these days a paranoid as Crazy Rick on a good day–doesn’t want to spend time with new fencing and looking for irradiated zombies: she wants to find Al.
Oh, and when some more zombies show up, with one of them looking like they got a little too many rads one morning, she refuses to give Grace her pistol so she doesn’t have to get close and contaminated. Of course, this means Alicia almost gets bit because she’s being a bitch, because she is starting to end up a lot like a former sheriff we all knew and dragged with great love.
Camp Radful Dead
After their truck breaks down, June and John find their way to the camp that was advertised on the side of the van the kids from Episode 1 were driving. They find signs of a huge shoot-out but also signs that people were in camp recently because John spots repairs to the fence. Given that it doesn’t look as if anyone is about, they proceed further.
It doesn’t take them long to discover the people who were there are dead, stuck inside a few of the cabins. They also find a place where a bunch of zombie bodies were burned. And, as they radio to Alicia, Morgan, and Grace, there’s a whole lot of those dosimeters–which measure radiation, something that was radioed to June and John when they said their truck was dead–laying there in the ashes–
This ’causes Grace to lose her s@*t and everyone heads for the camp. Turns out the bodies were from the plant and burning them doesn’t make the radiation go away, it just makes the ash from the bodies radioactive. So if you breathe it in, you get contaminated, then sick, then dead. Which is what happened to the campers. She gets geared up and tells everyone to back off, ’cause she’s got a lot of work ahead of her.
The Hurt That Will Happen
Alicia is kicking herself in the a** and Morgan can tell. She realizes Grace was right all along and she just couldn’t stop herself long enough to let her do her job too, you know, let her do her job. Morgan tells her that at one time he thought all he could do was kill–and Alicia tells him that is all she can do. She’s not like June, she’s not like John, she’s not even like Morgan: she can’t help anyone. All she can do is kill zombies and when it comes to anything else, she’s s@*t.
He tells her that it took someone telling him that he was more than that. He’s letting her know the door can open. She wants to know what door. The door that leads out; the one that leads to people; and, as it turns out, the one that leads to the hurt that will happen (title shoutout). It leads to being able to feel again, and while it’s painful, it’s better than being a dead-inside killing machine.
Later Grace is set to go dump bodies and remains in some caves nearby. Morgan wants to help but she can’t allow it. She tells them all something she’s kept to herself to this point: she was also irradiated while cleaning out the plant, so she’s dying, only more slowly than the others. And she needs to find the rest of her people and put them down before she dies. She’s given a radio and told to give a call if she needs something: she reminds Morgan radios worth both ways.
The Crazy At the Plaza
Luciana is chilling all alone at the truck plaza. She eventually hears from Strand and speaks with him, being assured he’s coming with the plane–more on that in a bit. She’s also hearing stuff outside, right about the time the radio cuts out. Turns out the big antenna which allowed long-distant communications is down: Luciana radios to the others that “the wind knocked it down”, but there’s no freakin’ wind and a close-up on the antenna cable sure makes it look like it was cut.
The dead start coming and Luciana, obviously in a lot of pain, makes it back inside, where she passes out…And is awakened by June sometime later.
Everyone has returned and they want to see what’s going on, as there are no dead around. What they do find are a lot of heads hanging from a nearby billboard, so while Luciana was out, someone was busy trying to scare the s@*t out of them. As John remarks, it would have been easier to just leave a note. Either way, no one’s going anywhere–yet.
About That Plane
What has been happening between Strand and Daniel? First off, Daniel is hold up in a place just brimming with goods: it’s like he’s become the Costco of Zombieland. It’s also apparent he’s alone, but looks can be deceiving. And they are not hitting it off well. Daniel doesn’t like Strand. He thinks he’s there to score something and take off. Strand says he isn’t: he’s really there to help his friends. Daniel tells him the last time he heard a line of bulls@*t like that, a dam blew up and he was shot in the face.
Eventually, Strand convinces Daniel to let him contact people and he speaks with Luciana. It is evident they’re waiting for him to show up with the plane and help them, and boy, they could use it. So that means Daniel’s going to give him the plane, right?
At the end of the day–literally, as it’s now dark–Daniel takes Strand outside and tells him to hit the bricks. He says he doesn’t give a s@*t if Strand says he’s going to help him, Daniel knows better, just as he knows Alicia will figure out how to get by without Strand’s “help”. So no plane for you, ever! And he warns Strand that if he ever comes back, he’s getting a rifle round in the face. And just to put a little more s@*t on this a**hole sundae, he fires off two rounds to attract the zombies, giving Strand a little extra incentive to go.
Locked outside with the dead approaching, Strand grabs a big rock and starts making his way back to the SWAT Wagon…
Fear the Walking Dead airs at 9 PM EDT on AMC