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Fear the Walking Dead: La Serpiente

Lola: "It's rare a leader does right by everyone."
Madison: "It's not rare. It's impossible."

A fun episode. Which isn't something I often say about this show.

Many Walking Dead plot arcs are about evil people taking power and abusing their followers. Lola is the exact opposite. Very aware that she has the power of life and death over the people in the area, Lola was so desperate not to hurt anyone that she wasn't seeing the situation at the dam clearly. Daniel couldn't make Lola accept the fact that force was required in order to keep the water safe for the people, but he stayed to try to protect her and the water for as long as he could, anyway. I thought at first that the solution was to remove Lola from her position of power simply to keep her alive. I'm glad they didn't do that.

Colman Domingo as Victor Strand is one of the best things about this series. Victor is a complicated man who has done bad things, but I think this episode proved that deep down, he's not a bad person. He said at one point that he didn't want to fail his friends anymore, and he didn't. Madison believed in him, even to the point of following him into a dark sewer with rats and poop-encrusted walkers. Victor showed that he was worthy of Madison's faith by telling her the truth, and then he mended fences with Daniel Salazar at the same time... by blowing up a water truck, of all things. By leaving the dam open to attack from the outside, Victor forced Lola to see the situation for what it was, plus he saved the ranch for Madison at the same time. Not a bad day's work, Victor.

The title of this episode, "La Serpiente," is what Daniel called clever and ruthless Victor. But you know, I think it was more about how clever and ruthless Daniel is. Daniel gave Victor a second chance, but he didn't do it out of charity or friendship. Daniel knew that Victor was smart enough to figure a way out of the Lola dilemma, and Victor did exactly that.

My favorite scene in this episode was Madison and Victor sitting on those beds in the basement, when he asked what she really wanted: not her children, not Walker, not the people on the ranch. This scene strongly suggested that for Victor, what he just did, saving the dam as well as the ranch, was something he did only for Madison. Maybe he really doesn't care that much that he also saved the lives of all those people.

It almost feels like there's a romantic vibe between Madison and Victor these days, isn't there? Victor did say back at the Rosarito Hotel that if they had met before the apocalypse, he would have tried to seduce her. Or maybe it's that, now that Thomas Abigail is dead, Madison is Victor's person now, the one he cares about and lives for. Yes, I'll go with that.

It was actually nice to see Madison and Daniel reunited, too. They're not what I'd call friends, but they were effective, reliable partners in the worst of apocalyptic situations, and Daniel believed her when she told him his daughter Ofelia was alive and well because she had never lied to him. I particularly liked how Madison specifically told Daniel that it was Walker who saved Ofelia's life, placing Daniel under obligation to Walker.

Unfortunately, Walker also told Daniel the sorry truth about what Ofelia did to the ranch's militia, and Daniel didn't like it one little bit. He never wanted his daughter to have to make choices like that. Too bad, Daniel. It's the apocalypse, you know.

A strong ending, too, where Madison and Strand, in a truck full of water, picked up Walker by the side of the road, and Walker actually smiled a little. Maybe now, Walker will believe Madison when she says she can do something.


-- It was nice to see Efrain again. Although the fact that he was on Lola's side made everything more difficult.

-- When they were trapped in the tunnel of shit, Madison told Victor that Ofelia was alive, and he replied, "Hope springs from darkness." That was the moment when he saw the open eye painted on the tunnel wall.

-- Removing the walker from the tunnel opening in pieces. Gagworthy. How could anyone do that without puking their guts out?

-- I loved the bit about Victor being a doctor, after he was forced to pretend to be one at the Rosarito Hotel.

-- No scenes back at the ranch. Not a surprise. There was enough going on.


Walker: "There's gotta be a better way."
Madison: "If there was, Strand would take it. He's not the sewer tunnel type."
Victor: "How right you are."

Victor: "Daniel's there. His near-death experience hasn't opened his heart."

Madison: "Thank God you're alive. We thought you burned in the fire. You remember what happened?"
Daniel: "I'm better now."

Victor: "It was, what? the late eighties? I bet you had a perm. What did permed Madison want?"
Madison: "A Mustang. Tickets to Cheap Trick in Birmingham."

Except for the scene where they were bucket-brigading walker body parts, I totally enjoyed this episode. Three out of four perms,

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

1 comment:

  1. Wonder why Strand didn't know the normal way to the dam and had to travel via the sewers. I just assumed he would take the same way he used when driving from the hotel in his fancy new car. But I guess the show needs to fill the weekly zombie quota.


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