What's worse? A rabid cult of religious lunatics, or the resort hotel of death?
Right off the bat, I have to say that I haven't been shocked by a zombie gag in a long time, but the walkers plunging off the balconies in response to Strand banging on the piano was the creepiest thing I've seen on this show -- so far, anyway. I honestly thought for a moment that Ofelia had decided to cash it in.
And we'd been having such a good time. I have been enjoying the developing friendship between Madison and Victor Strand, and I loved his fun and possibly serious confession that if they'd met before the apocalypse, he would have hit on her (he's a "seducer of people"). Could he be rebounding a bit because he just lost the love of his life? If he's actually interested in her, he'd probably be a better life partner during an apocalypse than Travis will ever be.
(Did anyone miss Travis and Chris, by the way? I certainly didn't.)
I've grown to like Strand, even though he's an immensely self-centered con man. I don't like Madison, but you know, I respect her. She's tough. I guess it wasn't surprising that she hit bottom and started throwing glassware. She probably believes that she's never going to see Nick again. (Fortunately, she's on a television show where that will happen anyway, no matter how improbable.)
Madison is accustomed to the frustration of being the strong one in her family. (I can relate.) She told Strand that Nick was born "lost" like his father and if she's not there to take care of him, he'll die. Because that appears to be what happened to her husband Steven, who deliberately drove into oncoming traffic on his way home "from the job site." Great way to die, Steven, by the way, probably taking some innocent soul with him.
Honestly, I think Madison is wrong about Nick. Yes, he nearly died a couple of times in last week's "Grotesque," but maybe he's stronger alone, when he has to be? He was smart enough to pick up on the situation of the gang boss Marcos' sister in the tent (Nick always zeroes in on anything related to addiction), clever enough to talk Marcos out of cutting off his hand while managing to acquire a second grocery cart full of water at the same time, and kind enough to steal cake for that little girl who just lost her father, a gesture that may have softened Luciana's attitude toward him. I somehow doubt that Nick was instantly converted to Los Muertos cultdom, but he was noticing that Luciana believed. I bet that's why he was chanting along with them.
Anyone else think that Marcos and his East Tijuana gang will be stopping by and destroying Mexican Woodbury soon? Although, honestly, if the colonia doesn't have a source of water of their own, how long can they survive, anyway?
Pharmacist Alejandro Nunez is our new post-apocalyptic leader slash problem. He seems a bit like Celia in his obsession with the dead, but nicer, since he was injecting saline into that old man just to make him want to live longer. So maybe Alejandro's not all bad. But what's with his healed bite mark? It looked like a walker took a chunk out of him and it healed and didn't kill him. Has Alejandro stumbled onto a cure? I doubt it somehow. I bet he did it to himself somehow so that he could make his followers believe he is miraculous.
Have we seen Ofelia and Alicia interacting before? They were fun here, almost like girlfriends, looting rooms, talking like friends. Except that Ofelia doesn't want to live, doesn't think they'll make it. Of course, Ofelia did just lose both of her parents, and the world actually ended. Maybe she'll get over it.
It wasn't just Ofelia, of course; this episode's suicide-versus-hope theme wasn't subtle at all. The little girl's father -- was he really close to death, or is it a Shirley Jackson situation? The old man who was getting the saline was talking suicide. Madison revealed that Nick and Alicia's father probably killed himself. There was the hanged walker that Ofelia found in the bathroom, and the falling bodies. Ofelia suggested walking into the sea when they realized the Abigail was gone.
Alicia pretty much carried the "hope" element on her own. This episode emphasized the lack of closeness between Madison and Alicia and we all know the reasons by now: Madison is so uber focused on the troubled Nick, while Alicia has clearly inherited Madison's toughness. When Ofelia was talking suicide, Alicia talked about survival and continuing on as if she never once considered the alternative, and didn't understand anyone who didn't feel the same way.
Intense cliffhanger of an ending. Will Alicia be the one to rescue Madison and Strand? Will it be Ofelia? Maybe it will be whoever locked down the hotel and put up those "do not disturb" tags.
-- Nick's tee is a disgusting shade of pink from constantly getting drenched with blood. And this episode began with a large bloodstain.
-- Nick's leg wound is much better already.
-- The bus that connected the colonia to the walkers outside in their little moat of death was a cool idea. Like an entrance to the underworld.
-- Luciana crucified the walker whose blood she used to disguise herself and Nick. What can I say. Religious symbolism usually jumps out at me.
-- The wedding decorations at the hotel inspired Ofelia to reveal that she had nearly married a man named William but had chosen instead to stay home and take care of her parents. Luciana also revealed that she had someone in her life who was "missing."
-- Madison is originally from Alabama. Awhile back on Talking Dead, it was inferred that Madison might have a connection to one of the characters in The Walking Dead. Dan thinks that it might be Andrea, because Madison is a lot like her. At this point in the timeline, Andrea is still alive.
-- On Talking Dead, Colman Domingo (Strand) said that the hotel where they filmed was the Rosarita Beach Hotel.
-- "Abigail lost. Head North." But Nick is already farther north than they are.
-- I liked the Abigail. I wonder if we'll ever see it again? Doesn't seem likely. Much like the possibility of all three of our family factions reuniting. Or possibly four factions, since we don't know what happened to Ofelia.
Alicia: (seeing that the Abigail is gone) "What now?"
Ofelia: "We walk into the sea."
Nick: "Why me?"
Luciana: "Because, gringuito, nobody's gonna miss you."
Luciana: "Those near death deliver themselves to the dead and join the wall."
Yeah, that makes sense. Deliberately dying in agony. Works for me.
Ofelia: "God, I hate hotels. They creep me out."
Alicia: "The dead walk the earth and it's hotels that creep you out?"
Ofelia: "I think it's the carpets."
Laugh out loud.
Ofelia: "My father... he was always one step behind hope. I see that now."
Alicia: (to Ofelia) "We're your family now."
That was nice.
Madison: (re: Nick) "It's his father's darkness. You leave them alone, they head straight towards death."
This was the first episode I was eager to watch a second time. Three out of four hotel carpets,
Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.
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