For a key Fear the Walking Dead character, the writing appears to be on the wall — scrawled in blood, naturally. In the AMC drama’s midseason finale, we learned that the character in question — revealed below; you’ve been warned — had been bitten by a walker and was now convinced that the end was near. There was just one thing left to do before joining the ranks of the undead, but it was a biggie. Read on, and we’ll discuss not only what that was but how you-don’t-yet-know-who got infected.
‘WE NEED FRESH COMPOST FOR THE GARDEN’ | Since Sunday’s “Padre” had a line drawn through it dividing past and present, I’m going to break this recap in two in hopes of giving you an easier-to-follow, linear read. (We’ll see if it works.) First, we flashed all the way back to Season 6, when Teddy locked Alicia in the bunker to protect her from his nuclear blast. Soon, an unwitting cultist apprehended her and was about to feed her to “the garden” — you remember, that walker tied to a tree in the main hall — when Arno intervened. “She’s the one we’ve been waiting for!” Though not necessarily what they were expecting. Alicia stole her captor’s gun, fed him to the walker and took a hard pass at being the nutjobs’ leader. Arno wasn’t fussed that she ran off, though; there was no escape, he was sure.
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Upon meeting Will down below, Alicia heard all about how he’d come to be in the bunker with Sen. Vasquez’s team and had been hiding since the cultists came in and killed everyone. There might be a way out, Will said. “What?” she asked. You’ve been here all this time, and “you haven’t tried?” Erm, no. He’d been hiding. When the cultists caught up with Alicia, Will encouraged her to go back and play along; he’d find the way out for her. (Mmkay, total stranger.) Back upstairs, Alicia had her trusty old weapon returned by Arno. In her room, she found a Padre file left by “the old tenants” — in other words, Vasquez’s peeps. Shortly, Will was dragged into the main hall as an intruder. Before he could be fed to “the garden,” Alicia asserted her leaderly power and forbade it. Did walkers remember anything of who they were before? Will asked. Negative, Alicia replied. Which was especially crushing to Will as the walker affixed to the tree was, of course, Sen. Vasquez.
By and by, Will filled in Alicia on Padre, a safe place with the resources to start civilization all over again. Trouble was, Vasquez was the only person who knew its top-secret location. Anyway, if Will found Alicia a way out, he wouldn’t go with her, he said. Too scared. So she gave him the St. Christopher medallion that had already been passed from Daniel to Strand to her. So then he was scared but… with a medallion. Soon, Alicia had gutted Vasquez so that she and Will could cover themselves in his innards, and they’d begun following him out of the tunnels that the rats used to get in and out. The vermin, they hoped, would lead to the exit, then Zombie Vasquez would lead to Padre. Unfortunately — luckily, since they weren’t blown up? — before they made it out, Teddy’s warhead went off, and they became separated by rubble. Worse, Alicia was stuck with Zombie Vasquez, who realized thanks to her yelling for Will that she was edible and took a big honking bite of her arm. Urging her to live, Will came thisclose to saying that he loved her. Too fast, buddy. You’ve known her what? An hour?
Using her iconic weapon, Alicia cut off her own arm in hopes of stopping the spread of the infection. When she awakened a week later, she was in the room that the cultists had reserved for her. Were her friends OK? she immediately asked. They had tried to stop Teddy, Will said he’d heard, but Strand had gotten in the way. D’oh! Alicia had had a terrible fever, Will reported, but it broke, so he was sure she wasn’t infected. Alicia was significantly less sure. What’s more, she was furious that he hadn’t killed her. In the tunnel, he’d promised that if she developed a fever, he’d make sure that she wouldn’t hurt anyone. “I give you one job to do!” she didn’t say but might as well have. Though she hadn’t been able to save anyone up above, she could still save everyone down below. “I can help,” said Will. “No, you can’t,” she replied. So the next time she awakened, Will was gone. “Don’t worry about me,” read his goodbye note. “I’ll figure it out up there. Maybe one day, I’ll get to see the world you built.” Hmm… so not quite the banishment story he told Victor in the Season 7 premiere.
‘YOU TRIED TO KILL HIM IN HIS HOUSE!’
| In the present, we picked up where we left off in last week’s episode (recapped here), with Alicia, Morgan, Dwight, Sherry & Co. running from nuclear gas. Morgan, as he always does, tried to play 20 questions with Alicia, and she shot him right down. “It’s a long story,” she said, “and now is not the time to tell it.” Finally! The morning after, Morgan explained to Alicia that her camp was basically dead to her and her people; way too radioactive. That being the case, she really needed his help. With? A walker in a suit that Dwight and Sherry had found for her. Who was it? “She won’t tell us,” Dwight explained to Morgan. But Arno didn’t want her to find that particular walker, who — you’ve probably already guessed — was Vasquez. Alicia wanted Morgan to help her follow Zombie Vasquez all the way to Padre. She was sure that he still remembered where it was somewhere in his zombified brain. So off the twosome went, playing Follow That Zombie until Strand found them and opened fire with his men. Upon realizing that Alicia was with Morgan, Victor apologized; he hadn’t known. Rather than stop and catch up, Alicia pushed Zombie Vasquez off a cliff into a lake and jumped in after him. “You were right, Victor,” said Morgan. “She really didn’t want to see you.” With that, in he jumped, too.
Later, while Morgan and Alicia dried off, she insisted that there was still an echo of who Vasquez was in Zombie Vasquez. “They’re not totally gone.” Mm-hmm. “I thought that,” Morgan shot back, “and then my son died because of it!” (Nice Duane shoutout.) When Strand and his goons caught up with them again, he said that he’d thought he could rule alone, but he’d realized that he couldn’t. “You’re the only person left I can trust, Alicia.” Since Alicia preferred to chase Padre than return to the tower with Strand, he ordered Zombie Vasquez and Morgan killed. In the ensuing melee, Alicia was bitten by the walker, so horrifying Strand that when she told him to vamoose, he did. That night, Alicia revealed to Morgan that the walker hadn’t gotten any flesh — because there wasn’t any left on her arm, it was just bones. So, off she and Morgan went, following Zombie Vasquez some more. Finally, they saw a light in the distance. “We found it,” Alicia exclaimed.
Unfortunately, Morgan had to break it to her that all they had found was Strand’s tower. Crushed, she refused to go back to the sub with Morgan. “I didn’t amputate my arm in time,” she explained. “The infection’s still inside of me. My body’s trying to fight it, and it’s only a matter of time before I lose.” Just then, Strand emerged from his high-rise. “That walker,” he said, delighted, “led you to where you’re supposed to be.” She and all of her people were welcome at the tower. Which was good and all, but she wanted his word that he’d take care of them even if she wasn’t there. “Promise,” she said, just as — what are the odds — she glimpsed Zombie Will, the St. Christopher medal still around his neck. After ending him, she turned to Strand. “Why would you kill him?” she demanded. “Because I knew that it would hurt you,” he replied. And if she was hurt, she’d stay away and let him build the tower the way it needed to be built.
Mm-hmm, and how did Strand know that it would hurt her? Because Will had told him that he loved Alicia. Enraged, Alicia made a decision in the heat of the moment. “I am taking the one thing that matters to you the most,” she spat. “I am taking that tower!” Strand didn’t especially want to fight her but would if he had to. “Then,” she concluded, “we’re going to war!” A very short war, mind you, if she’s right and she really is infected. What say you, Dead-heads? Do you think Alicia is really a goner? On your way to the comments, grade the midseason finale in the poll below.
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