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Fear the Walking Dead: Midseason Premiere

(After some thought, I decided to review both episodes of the midseason premiere, 3.9 "Minotaur" and 3.10 "The Diviner," together.)

"We want and need the same thing."

All that effort to take the ranch back, only to discover that the only source of water is drying up. The despicable Jeremiah Otto knew about it, too. What was he going to do? Let all those people depending on him die of thirst?

"The Minotaur," which was the title of part one, was mostly about Troy. And yes, it fit, tagging Troy as the mythological bullheaded monster at the center of their symbolic ranchy maze. Jake Otto is weak, and not just from the anthrax, but Troy is freaking crazy. He even said he wanted to dig up his father and kill him again, and I honestly don't think he was kidding.

Of course, Troy wanted a shooting war, a gunfight in the dark, because that's always fun. More accurately, Troy wanted everyone at the ranch to die with him, or for him. He even compared himself to Jesus after getting a knife through his hand. And Troy would have probably gotten his way if it hadn't been for Nick, who went above and beyond by first trying to get through to Troy, and then finding a way to stop him.

It's believable but amazing that Troy still thinks Madison cares about him when she practically scooped out his eye the moment they met. The way he grabbed her felt sexual to me. I really thought Madison would go ahead and kill him at that moment. Actually, I spent the entire episode hoping somebody would kill Troy, because you just know he's going to come back and kill someone. Probably in the season finale. Leaving Troy alive was a mistake. I wonder if Madison let him live because she sees herself in Troy? She became a killer at a very young age, too.

I like the calm partnership that is evolving between Madison and Qaletaqa Walker, mostly in the second episode, "The Diviner." They're both strong leaders who think before they act, much superior to any of the Ottos. I particularly enjoyed their sarcastic exchange about children and dogs over the camp fire.

I also enjoyed El Bazar. Suddenly, everything felt like Mad Max with a touch of Gladiator, right down to the birds in cages, weird apocalyptic clothing, and people in chains fighting for their lives. (Great shot from above of all of the different colored tarps, too.) It did seem that Madison and Walker should have brought something better to trade for all that water, though. Maybe some of the cows or horses that they can't water anymore?

But then, there was Victor. Big yay from me, because I enjoy Victor and Madison together. He even hugged her and expressed sympathy for her losing Travis.

And then, of course, Madison picked up a shovel to defend him and stole all of Walker's trade goods (what were they?) to ransom Victor from his death sentence chained to the fence. I'm pretty sure she did that because she cares about Victor, and not just because she picked up on what he said about the dam. Plus we all know that in the apocalypse, having a good ally is more important than practically anything. Except maybe water.

While Madison was showing wisdom and leadership, Nick and Alicia were doing the same. Truly impressive, considering they're still in their teens.

Alicia was the one who told the angry white people at the ranch that the water was running out, because she realized that keeping it a secret was doing more harm than good. She sensed what really happened to Jeremiah Otto, too. I thought it was sort of sad that she told Nick that the two of them kept trying to make Madison love them. It seems more than clear to me that Madison would kill or die for either of them. Isn't that enough?

(Madison had to trade the walkie talkie to get into the bazaar, and Alicia couldn't contact her. That was pretty obvious symbolism for their lack of communication right there.)

While Alicia was forcing the white ranch people to keep to their ration of water, Nick was going even further: risking his life "undercover" with the new, secret white militia. It was sort of an extension of how he got punished in the hot box for trying to save the ranch when Troy went postal in "Minotaur." When Nick inadvertently became their symbol of rebellion, he kept using his position to try to talk sense into them. He counseled them to cooperate, to keep a low profile and not lose their heads. And when it came right down to it, the sanity that Nick kept preaching to them prevailed. It might have been something of a cliche, but I thought it was lovely when the angry white ranchers chose to help the Indians dig for water instead of fighting.

If Nick and Alicia hadn't been there, leading by example and trying their absolute best to keep the peace, the ranch would have already turned into a bloodbath. Good for them. The Clarks have turned into the best thing that could have happened to this place.

Bits, "The Minotaur":

-- After already getting stabbed through the hand, Troy grabbed the knife of that poor guy in the truck and deliberately got stabbed through his hand a second time. Who does that, especially in a world with no emergency rooms? It just makes Troy seem even more unbalanced.

-- Troy called Madison "The White Witch of the Apocalypse."

-- Walker buried his family's bones alone in the desert because he didn't want to upset his people by revealing he'd exhumed the dead.

-- There were several short scenes at the dam with Daniel and Lola, with the two of them having trouble even giving water away. It's not surprising that Daniel is seeing every young woman as Ofelia.

Bits, "The Diviner":

-- The opening hallucination Nick had about Troy was interesting, particularly him acting like a walker. "You know, the hard part is not the walk. It's the eyes. They just kind of... they don't look at anything. They just stare at the space between atoms."

-- Someone called "The Proctor" runs El Bazar. I bet this isn't the last we hear about him. The title made me think of "The Governor."

-- There was a guy at El Bazar getting his eyelids tattooed. Creepy. And it made me think of what the hallucination of Troy said about the eyes of the infected.

-- I think I like Crazy Dog. He's not crazy.

-- Nick is smoking? I guess if you're an addictive personality, it's better than nothing. Certainly better than checking out with something stronger. And to be fair, Nick had a terrible week.

-- In this week's hair report, after two and a half seasons of complaining about Nick's hair, he cut nearly all of it off and it still looks terrible.


Alicia: "Lying's not useful, Mom."

Jake: "We were at war. Now we're not."
Like it's that simple.

Walker: "You stand between your children and the sun. I bet you even apologized to your son for his punishment."
Madison: "You have kids?"
Walker: "I have three beautiful dogs."
Madison: "Talk to me when you have children."

Crazy Dog: "Easy mistake to make. We all look the same to you."

Madison: "Holy shit, Victor."
Laugh out loud.

Victor: "Taqa's not a talker."

Victor: "You found Nick, lost Travis. God's a feckless thug."
Alicia: "God had no hand in it."

Alicia: "I was upset I wasn't a part of it [the murder]. How shitty is that? But then I felt relieved. Because what a burden it is being mom's favorite."
Nick: "I didn't do it for her."
No, I think maybe he did.

Victor: "This is everywhere. It's not a state, not a country, not a continent. It does not see borders. The whole world is lost."

Victor: "My mother named me Victor because she knew I'd always win. (kisses Madison's hand) I'll be fine. Don't worry your pretty blonde head."
Again, laugh out loud. And Madison had to rescue him, anyway.

Good premiere. I especially liked the ending, even though it was trite. And Victor and Madison are back together! Three out of four buckets,

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


  1. Nobody's going to say it? Really? I have to be the one, do I?

    Seriously. Come on people!




    Okay, then. Here goes:

    Janeway and Chakotay!

    Right? Am I right? Huh? Huh!? :D

  2. Henrik, you absolutely have a point. It didn't occur to me. :)

  3. I'm glad the dam will finally collide with the main plot. And Victor is gold so it's great he's back in the fold. I was wondering where Jake disspeared to in the 2nd part that Alicia nad Nick had to keep the peace all by themselves.


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