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Fear the Walking Dead: Pillar of Salt

Alicia: "I'm here. Why isn't it enough?"

This one was what I call a "getting from here to there" episode. The story advanced at the hotel and the colonia, but there were no real high points. Except maybe for the description of Nick as the American drug dealer with ratty hair.

The hotel

Unsurprisingly, Madison had the hotel and its residents whipped into shape in no time. Crops were planted, the generator was running and they were making ice cubes, and they were fishing off the zombie waterfall pier. (Although I couldn't help wondering what those particular fish were eating these days.) Everything was going fine until Ilene, the unhinged mother-of-the-bride, decided to stab Victor Strand because he was selfless enough to help Oscar put his dead bride to rest.

Which gave Madison a problem to solve much like Rick's on the parent show: what do you do with someone who commits a violent crime when there are no cops and jails? Exile, execution, or as Strand said, watch them forever? Madison decided that exile was the answer. Except that dealing with Ilene had to be put aside while Madison and Elena (and was that Oscar, the groom?) went on a road trip to trade for the medical supplies needed to save Strand's life.

It actually made sense that Elena took them to the evil gangbanging supermarket for those meds, and son of a gun, we now have a connection between the Rosarita Beach Hotel and the colonia. Unfortunately, Madison again chose Nick, and not just over Alicia, but over all of the other residents of the hotel too, literally flashing a beacon overhead for her son and endangering them all. It made me want to shake her. It certainly disappointed Alicia, who is now wondering if she will ever come first with her mother. There's such a prodigal son vibe going on with Madison. Although I suppose it's unreasonable for Alicia to expect Madison to simply stop caring about Nick altogether. Even though he did treat them shabbily.

Interestingly, it was Travis who saw the hotel sign shining in the distance, not Nick. What happened to Chris? Guess we'll find out next week. Hard to know what to hope for there. Chris has become a killer, so I can't quite hope for him to still be alive and on the loose.

There were some nice character moments in this episode. While Hector was teaching Alicia to surf, she told him that while Nick was the reckless one, she was the one who always fell. While in high school, Alicia had volunteered at a hospital, which probably helped when she had to nursemaid her big brother; Alicia and Strand had a nice conversation about bedside manners and self-reliance where she told him that she had also been taught what not to say to the sick and injured, as in "Everything is going to be all right." I hope that's not foreshadowing that we're going to lose Strand, who was actually joking about getting stabbed. I really like Strand. Actually, the further into season two we get, the more I like Alicia, too.

The colonia

Meanwhile at the colonia, scouts aren't returning and families are actually sneaking through the wall of walkers in order to get away from Alejandro. Is it the water shortage? Is it the mandatory chanting? Nick was freaking out because he wanted to get to the supermarket before Marco, head of the supermarket gang, got mad and decided to come looking for them. Too late -- he did. Somehow I doubt that Alejandro's cultist inclinations and the wall of the dead will stop that gang, who are undoubtedly after the colonia's large supply of Oxy.

On the road again

So Ofelia did take the truck and leave without saying a word, which wasn't very nice of her. Now that her parents are gone and she is no longer obligated to care for them, I think she's looking for her former fiance, Will. Nice little flashback to his marriage proposal at the Poco Cielo, which translates into "A little bit of heaven." Is she headed for Santa Fe?

They gave Ofelia a nice little character moment, too, with a flashback to a conversation she'd had with her mother about how Griselda and Daniel had suffered and survived together and had come to America so Ofelia wouldn't have to endure the horror and violence that they had. (Who knew that there'd be an apocalypse chock full of horror and violence?) Ofelia asked Griselda how she had chosen Daniel, and Griselda told her that God whispered to her, and she listened. Maybe God whispered to Ofelia about Will.


-- During the opener when the couple and their little girl were sneaking through the walker wall, I had flashbacks to "No Way Out" and kept thinking they should gag the girl, tie her wrists, and carry her out. Sure, it would be traumatic, but maybe she'd have a better chance of living through it.

-- Loved the wall of walkers shot from above. They looked like ants.

-- There's a medical student at the hotel. Possibly better qualified than Alejandro the pharmacist and Alicia the candy-striper.

-- I loved that Madison decided to trade fish on ice. And that the ice was more valuable. I'd miss ice.

-- Nick is picking up Spanish already. He's a quick study, but we already knew that.

-- So about Ilene. I've gotten very tired of Walking Dead characters who insist on seeing their zombified loved ones as people. They're not people! They chow down on you, they growl, their skin comes off. Wake up and smell the putrefaction, people.


Ofelia: "If you ask for my hand, he's going to take yours."
Will: "Come on. He's a sweet old man."
Will is apparently a nice guy, but maybe not the best judge of character.

Alicia: (re: Nick) "I miss who he was. I don't know that I miss who he is."

Strand: (re: Ilene) "I understand grief, but this is a bit extreme."

Madison: "An American?"
Elena: "Yes. Someone with ratty hair. He brings them drugs."
Maybe the FtWD writers actually listen to the fans on the internet.

Madison: "Your child is always your child."
Alicia: "I'm your child."

As I said, not terribly exciting, but I'm into the characters and story now. Two and a half out of four coolers full of fish and ice,

Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.

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