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Fear the Walking Dead: El Matadero

"This is the price."

Honestly, I never saw it coming.

The episode barely began, and Ofelia fell off the water truck. And omigod, turned out she'd been bitten back in the pantry. I'm actually a bit pissed about this. Ofelia wasn't one of my favorite characters or anything, but she had become a lot more interesting lately, especially since she poisoned the ranch militia with anthrax. I was starting to like her. Damn.

I should have known that Ofelia and Daniel were never going to reunite, just from the persistent way the story has kept them apart. I thought what Ofelia told Madison, that she had been looking forward to getting to know her father for the first time, was a moving acknowledgement that Daniel had protected Ofelia her whole life by never showing her his secret self, but that she had reached the point in her life where she was ready to accept her father as he truly was. No small thing, and that actually brought me to tears. Especially when Ofelia died only freaking moments before she could have said goodbye to Daniel. So sad that Daniel had to shoot her, but I'm glad we didn't see Ofelia turn. Daniel said that this was the price. He believes he's paying for his many, many sins. Maybe he is.

Madison kept her word to bring Ofelia to Daniel, hoping for his mercy, which she indeed received. But I'm certain Ofelia's death had a strong effect on Madison. I liked that Walker was there to help her through it, even though he just lost absolutely everything, poor guy. (How things change. Walker was the one who killed Travis, and yet I can't help feeling bad for him.)

In the midst of all this tragedy, Nick and Troy, the addict and the psychopath, were comic relief. Nick stole the pills that Madison had bought to help Ofelia with the pain and fever of her final illness, and I laughed out loud when Troy was the sensible one, reluctant to take one of those pills, balking at shot glass full of adrenaline in the form of a pig gland. Was Nick upset and actively diving off the wagon because of Ofelia's death? Or was it that Nick is simply unable to resist any sort of drug because he's Nick?

I almost couldn't believe that Nick did that bloody walking among the dead thing again. It seems to be the ultimate high for him, risking death in such a stupid way. And I'm not saying that wearing camouflage and walking among the dead is stupid when you need to do it to survive, but come on: doing it for fun is freaking ridiculous. Again, it was pretty funny that Troy the psychopath was reluctant to do it, that the tables had turned and Nick had become the crazy one.

Madison has been focused in such a single minded way on keeping Nick and Alicia alive, and now she's lost both of them again. It's interesting that Madison didn't seem that upset about leaving Nick this time. Maybe it was a combination of losing Ofelia so unexpectedly and the realization that Nick had taken those pills. Maybe Madison is finally getting to the point where she's tired of trying to take care of someone who is determined to throw his life away. I guess I was wrong about the Clarks finally connecting in a more permanent way. I wonder if we're going to keep getting three or more concurrent stories on this show instead of the cast all surviving together.

And speaking of Alicia, I'm not quite sure of what to say about her and her tough new ally, whom the AMC photo captions says is named Diana. Yes, Alicia has a point that she nearly died surrounded by people, but allies are definitely the way to go during the apocalypse. I loved Diana's great big pick axe, and the barrel full of instant mashed potatoes, and I absolutely laughed through the entire ball pit scene.

Love the mannequin sitting there with them, like a person

But come on, guys. Why can't Alicia scavenge mashed potatoes with her mother and brother, her friends? What's the point in going off to be alone if the first thing Alicia does is score an ally?

Finally, we saw Victor Strand going to talk to Proctor John in order to offer him something. Like what? Please tell me Victor isn't betraying Madison or Daniel or the people at the dam. Would Victor do that? He wouldn't do that, would he?

Bits and pieces:

-- I was really confused about what was going on with El Matadero and the drug den, although I assume that's why Nick wants to stay and hang around the Bazar. How long until Nick is in debt and chained to the fence?

-- They did a lot with the photography and sound to mimic what Nick and Troy were seeing and hearing while they were high.

-- Trading the gold in teeth? I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

-- Next week is the two hour season finale. Short season, wasn't it?


Victor: "You just gave away half our rifles, and for what? To buy Ofelia a kiss goodbye?"
Basically, yes. I wonder if that's why Victor made some sort of deal with Proctor John?

Victor: "Our better angels are all dead. And so is Ofelia."

Madison: "Where's Troy?"
Nick: "He's at the bar, freaked out by all the Mexicans."
Laugh out loud.

Ofelia: "Tell him I was really looking forward to getting to know him."
Madison: "You spend your whole life lying to your kids because you think you can protect them. Somehow, someway, they know. They know who you are, they know what you did. They know you. It's in the blood. You knew your father. Don't think for one second you didn't."

Troy: "Whose glands are these?"
El Matadero: "Should we say pigs?"

Alicia: "Who gets used to this?"
Diana: "If a woman sets her mind to it, she can get used to anything."

Nick: "The sad thing, Troy, is that you'll never feel freer or more yourself than when it's five in the morning and the sun's about to rise and you're out of your mind. Everything else is just lunch, and people's disappointment."

Diana: "Thought we said no friends."
Alicia: "Just the killing, then?"
Diana: "Ever think about selling your hair?"
Alicia: "Don't even think about it."

What do you think, guys? How many pig glands out of four?

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


  1. Great review. I loved the episode, and the season as well. After the finale(s) it's all about waiting to see what the new showrunners go with and hoping for not too many Captain Hook references.

  2. If Troy is the voice of reason You really have a lot of trouble. It will probably end badly for Nick. I also think the glands are from zombies not pigs. A lot easier to get human brains during the apocalypse, isn't it?


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