Warning: This recap for “The Good Man” episode of Fear the Walking Dead contains storyline and character spoilers.
Fear the Walking Dead: Set Sail to Survival? That’s where we seem to be heading in Season 2, as the FTWD Season 1 finale ended with the survivors — minus Griselda and Liza, R.I.P. — set to hop on Strand’s luxury yacht and try to ride out the apocalypse in “constant motion,” just like Strand advises. Here’s how we got there:
Use What Ya Got
Based on the knowledge of “Cobalt” that Daniel, ahem, procured, from Adams, Madison and Travis are packing up supplies and returning to their original plan to head east, into the desert, where they hope it’ll be safe to ride out the chaos. Daniel wants to take care of one more matter before they retrieve their family members: Adams. The soldier is of no more use to them, Daniel insists, and can go warn his fellow soldiers if they let him go. Travis insists there’s no need for more violence, and, without telling anyone else, sets Adams free.
How, Chris asks his father, will they get Liza, Nick, and Griselda back? Daniel has a plan, and it involves that auditorium full of infected that Adams told him about during his interrogation. Daniel strolls into the military compound where Adams told him Griselda and the others are being held, but he’s not alone — he’s got a convoy of infected behind him. The aforementioned auditorium is right near the compound, and Daniel has turned the infected loose, to keep the soldiers busy while he, Madison, Travis, and the rest of the crew spring Nick, Liza, and Griselda.
Fists of Fury
Inside the compound, Exner soon realizes the military, compromised by the chaos Daniel created, is not going to rescue her, her staff, and the patients inside the compound. She tells Liza and the staff to run.
Meanwhile, in a parking garage at the compound, Alicia and Chris are waiting with an SUV, to take the whole DIY family to safety. Alicia’s skeptical that will happen — “You can’t save everyone,” she warns Chris — but Madison, Travis, Daniel, and Ofelia make it inside the compound, to the cages where Nick and Strand have just freed themselves.
Nick and Strand try to maneuver their way through the facility, but locked doors and infected on their trail lead them to certain death… which is the moment Madison and Travis happen upon them, on the other side of the locked door. The infected are just seconds away from noshing on Strand and Nick when Liza shows up — reunion! — with an ID card that, after many tension-building swipes, opens the doors, and the group tries to make their way out of the compound and to the SUV Chris and Alicia are holding in the garage.
Or, were holding in the garage. A trio of aggressive soldiers have brandished their weapons to steal the SUV for their own getaway. So when the others return, with Nick and Liza in tow — Liza broke the bad news to the Salazars about Griselda — they have to come up with a new escape vehicle… as soon as they deal with Adams.
Yes, that Adams, the one Daniel wanted to kill, the one Travis let go. He reappears in the garage, waving a gun and pointing it at his flayer, Daniel. Ofelia immediately starts begging her former crush to spare her father, and Adams looks from father and daughter and decides how to hurt Daniel the most: He shoots Ofelia. Travis, guilty for freeing Adams (and still feeling guilty about telling Moyers about the house on the hill earlier in the season), snaps and finally lets his anger go by pounding his fists into Adams’s face over and over until the solider is bloodied beyond recognition.
Packed into Travis’s truck and Madison’s car, the group is on the road. Madison shared the plan to head east, but Strand proposed an alternate idea: his house, on the beach, which is packed with supplies. As they drive through Los Angeles, they pass infected, abandoned cars, and a generally shut-down L.A. that resembles the abandoned ATL Rick Grimes rides into. They reach Strand’s house — actually, it’s also a compound — a swanky, security-heavy home with food and water and plenty of places for an apocalypse survivor to rest his or her weary head.
Madison takes a moment to breathe and apologize to Nick for letting the soldiers take him away, but he shares a strange realization that seems to calm him: “I’ve been living this a long time,” he says of the chaotic world they’re surfing. “Now everyone is catching up with me.”
Nick then chats with his new pal Strand, who’s packing. His compound isn’t his final survival plan, he tells Nick, and no one else can stay at the house, either. He’s going to remain in “constant motion,” with Abigail, who he’d mentioned before. Abigail isn’t a “who,” however; she’s a boat — a big yacht, actually — and that’s how Strand plans to maneuver the next phase of the apocalypse.
Unfortunately, not everyone present at the compound will be joining him. Oh, Ofelia’s going to be okay. Liza has tended to her wound, and gives Daniel instructions on how to continue caring for her. After hugging Chris and telling him she loves him, Liza slinks out a door and makes her way down to the beach below, with Madison on her trail. Madison asks what she’s doing, and Liza lifts her shirt. She has a bite wound.
Somewhere in the chaos of the escape from the military compound, she was bitten. She hands Madison a gun, telling her there is no cure, no treatment, and that she will turn. She also reminds Madison that earlier, Madison had asked her to kill her if a similar situation ever arose, so that Travis would not have to, as it would break him. Liza expects the same, but Travis makes his way down to the beach before Madison has to make that call. Liza explains the situation to Travis, who doesn’t fight her decision for long, and ultimately does use the gun to shoot his ex-wife in the head, before breaking down in the water, with Madison hugging him and Chris discovering the body of his dead mother.
* Among the harshest deaths yet on FTWD: that bitten solider who, abandoned by his fellow soldiers, walked right into a helicopter tail rotor. Another harsh death in the finale: bribe-loving soldier Melvin, who was still alive when a zombie was noshing on his leg, and when Strand took his cufflinks back from him. “How do we get out?” Nick asked. Strand: “Good question. Melvin was my ride.”
* Daniel and Ofelia haven’t really had a chance to process or react to Griselda’s death, and now that Liza is gone, they’ll never get any further details on how Griselda passed. That’s almost certainly a loose thread that will continue to play out in Season 2.
* Strand, who’s clearly going to be the philosopher of the apocalypse, to Nick: “The only way to survive a mad world is to embrace the madness.” Can’t wait to see what all he’s done to apocalypse-proof that yacht.
* Final thought: Zombies can’t swim, right?
OK, Dead-heads, let’s hear your reactions to the Season 1 finale: Did it satisfy? Did it set up a Season 2 you’re excited about? Do you think Exner survived the meltdown at the military compound? Do you think Nick will prove to be one of the strongest or weakest links in the group’s survival plans next season? Will Chris forgive Travis for shooting Liza? And Strand is an amusing, entertaining, and resourceful guy … but can, and should, the others trust him?
Fear the Walking Dead will return for Season 2 next year on AMC.