There was some fascinating meat to this episode, and not just what Nick was smearing all over his face.
We got a backstory for Strand, and now we know who "Abigail" is -- Thomas Abigail (Dougray Scott), Strand's long time lover, who is now waiting for him at that "magic house" in Baja. Strand met Tom back in 2005; news about Hurricane Katrina was playing on the television and they were commiserating about losing property in New Orleans. Tom was apparently so initially taken with Strand that he let him rip him off to the tune of over thirty grand in credit card advances. I am assuming that the Abigail is Tom's yacht (am I wrong?) and that Tom loves Strand. Does Strand love Tom back, or is he just using him?
Strand must have had a rough childhood, with a strip mall preacher for a father (those guys are nuts) and an absentee mother. That makes sense for a character as fastidious, controlled and focused on acquiring wealth as Strand is. I'm not sure it explains why Strand initially chose Nick as an acolyte, though. Maybe Strand saw the possibilities in Nick. Or finds him as fascinating as I do.
Because that opening sequence was amazing. Of course we had no idea that Nick was on an errand for Strand, but I just loved watching Nick swim ashore, walk calmly through the detritus of the abandoned tent city, choose a walker, kill and gut it, matter-of-factly disguise himself with stinky, gooey blood, and walk through town as if he were some sort of Mayan death god. Nick has acclimated to this new world as if it were made for him, which is... um... a bit odd.
At least Nick still loves his mother. In fact, I thought this was the first episode where our three disparate families felt like they were becoming one. They automatically worked together to defeat Jack and Reid and Unnamed Obnoxious Pregnant Teenage Girl, in any way that they could. Travis secreted a weapon in the lounge while he was jumpstarting the Abigail, Daniel kept working on his restraints until he got loose, and Chris never lost it for a moment, even with a gun jammed to his forehead. I think Chris referred to one of the girls as his sister, too. Did he mean Alicia or Ofelia? He's not related to either of them.
Madison was the most impressive. I particularly liked how she talked to Obnoxious Pregnant Teenage Girl in her guidance counselor voice, chatted about her own pregnancies to engage her in conversation, and then started talking about how the baby had probably just died and was about to turn into a walker and eat her from the inside. Wow, Madison. And then Madison actually skewered Reid, the nasty jerk that was about to kill them. Was that the first living person Madison killed? The gunfight when Nick arrived with Luis in the Zodiac was pretty cool, too.
Alicia also did her best, flirting without being too obvious about it to get her radio amour Jack to untie her, and trying to talk him into allowing her to bring her family along to their base. Unfortunately, their leader Connor only wanted Travis and Alicia and isn't interested in any extraneous family members.
Do you think maybe they should have had armed guards 24/7 patrolling the Abigail? Actually, how much longer will Strand allow our extended family to stay on the Abigail, anyway? Luis, and by extension Thomas Abigail, have no interest in allowing a whole bunch of strangers live with them in Magic Baja House, so I am still assuming that there is going to be a serious fight for control that yacht. And now Madison has to find a way to retrieve Alicia and Travis from the Connor clique, too.
-- The Magic Baja House is actually amazingly gorgeous.
-- Luis grew up with Tom, and Luis's mother sounds like she might be an interesting person.
-- The Council? What could that be?
-- The RVs in the tent city made me think of Dale Horvath, of course.
-- Congratulations to Fear the Walking Dead, which didn't wait for five seasons to introduce a cool gay character.
-- On Talking Dead, Colman Domingo (Strand) said that Strand embodies "dickliness." What a great word.
Ofelia: (to Chris) "There are still girls on this planet."
Tom: "When there's blood in the streets, buy land. It's an old adage."
Tom: "I'm an opportunist."
Strand: "Maybe you're an optimist."
Tom: "I'm a parasite. But thank you."
Tom: "You look like a man who can create beauty from something coarse."
Strand: "I'm a student of the fine."
Three out of four abandoned tents,
Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.
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