Looks like I was wrong in my assumption that the rest of this season of ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ would focus on just one set of characters at a time. This week’s episode is divided between two groups. Unfortunately, the characters in both behave like complete morons.
Spring Break in TJ
Episode ‘Los Muertos’ picks up with Nick at the survivor’s colony in Tijuana. As he wakes up from a nap, he finds the town strangely quiet until he wanders around and finds a little girl crying. He asks her what’s wrong, and she points to a huge group of people standing outside a fenced-in yard filled with zombies. One man, the girl’s father, is sent inside the cage unarmed and allows the zombies to eat him while everyone outside chants something in Spanish. It’s a creepy scene and suggests that the people in this colony have some weird cult-y rituals that can’t possibly be good.
When Nick later asks Luciana about this, she explains that those near death are sent to be with the dead. They believe that the dead are here to cleanse the Earth, and that when they eventually leave, the world will be a better place for the survivors. She also tells Nick that the former pharmacist “Doc” Alejandro, the man who patched him up, is their leader. They follow his preachings because he (allegedly) survived a zombie bite and didn’t turn. Nick doesn’t believe this story at first.
Luciana recruits Nick to leave the colony with him on a special mission. They cover themselves in blood and trek downtown into gang-controlled territory, where Luciana barters with a crime lord named Marco to trade a bag of prescription drugs for a shopping cart filled with bottled water and other supplies. While scouring the aisles of Marco’s store, Nick spots and grabs a snack cake off the shelf. Luciana tells him to put it back. They only take what they absolutely need. Also inside the store are a bunch of sickly people lying on the floor and moaning.
As they leave to head back to the colony, one of Marco’s henchmen jumps Nick and tackles him to the ground. The idiot took the snack cake and tried to sneak out with it. For the crime of shoplifting, the henchman holds down Nick’s arm and Marco pulls out a machete to cut off his hand. Nick desperately begs Luciana to translate for him. He asks if a sick girl in the store is Marco’s sister. (How would he guess this?) He says that he recognizes an addict in withdrawal, and if they don’t let him go unharmed, the colony will take their business elsewhere and Luciana won’t bring oxycontin to trade anymore. When Marco hesistates, Nick further demands a second shopping cart filled with water.
Why Marco believes that Nick has authority to make demands on behalf of the colony, and why Luciana allows him to do it, are not at all addressed. Luciana doesn’t even like Nick, much less care about him. She has no reason to risk the colony’s safety just to save him. Nor is it at all plausible that Marco would concede so easily. Basically, nothing about this scene makes sense.
Nonetheless, Marco gives up the second shopping cart and lets them go on their way. When they get back to the colony, the still-pissed Luciana softens when she sees Nick give the snack cake to the little girl from earlier. He was just trying to comfort her, as if a Ho Ho would somehow make up for watching her father get ripped apart by zombies.
As this section of the episode ends, Nick stands with a crowd listening to Alejandro preach about a great migration of the dead, and how the faithful like themselves have been “chosen” to survive. Although he doesn’t speak much Spanish, Nick gets the message and appears to be drinking the Kool-Aid.
While Nick is off partying in Tijuana, his mom Maddie, along with Strand, Alicia and Ofelia, drive around in the pickup searching for Curtis. Eventually, running low on gas, they give up and head back to the shore where their boat should be anchored. Except that… uh oh!… the boat is gone! Strand believes that the military must have followed them and stolen it. Maddie and Alicia use driftwood to write a note in the sand telling Curtis to head north. I’m totally sure that’ll still be there if he ever happens to wander back this way weeks from now.
With nowhere to crash for the night, the group drives toward a resort hotel they’d recently passed, hoping to find shelter. After scoping it out for a while and seeing no movement, they find the place locked down and have to break in. This is a good sign. All seems quiet inside. Alicia and Ofelia go off together to search the rooms for food and supplies, while Maddie and Strand wait at the bar, which is conveniently fully stocked, even though the rest of the hotel has been picked clean.
Ofelia and Alicia find that the hotel isn’t as empty as they’d hoped. However, the rooms have been helpfully marked with “Do Not Disturb” door-hangers on those with zombies clamoring around inside. They enter one marked as clear and come across a zombie in the bathroom, but it’s harmlessly lashed in the shower stall (the man tried to hang himself) and can’t get out. This makes Ofelia very depressed. Alicia can’t comprehend why anyone would give up and lose the will to survive, but Ofelia says she understands.
In another room, Alicia discovers that the hot water still works in the hotel. She uses this opportunity to take a shower. By the time she gets out, Ofelia is gone.
Downstairs at the bar, geniuses Maddie and Strand get piss drunk and make a huge racket, smashing glasses and banging on a piano. Unnoticed by them, this draws the attention of a horde of zombies locked in a building next door.
Alicia searches for Ofelia but can’t find her. Suddenly, she looks toward the balcony and sees a body plummeting to the ground from above. Panicked for a second that Ofelia may have just killed herself, Alicia runs to the balcony, only to be startled by another falling body. They’re both zombies. In fact, zombies from all over the hotel are stumbling to their room balconies and lurching over, attracted by all the noise from the bar below.
Alicia tries to run downstairs to warn her mother and Strand, but by this point the stairwell is already filled with zombies. She’s trapped.
Completely oblivious to the world around them, Strand and Maddie keep behaving like jackasses until, finally, zombies flood into the bar and shock them into sobriety. They try to run but are surrounded. The storyline ends with the two of them trapped behind the bar with zombies all around.
Clearly, the writers of this show are fans of ‘Shaun of the Dead’.
It’s really hard to sympathize with the characters in ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ when they’re this stupid. Even Strand, the show’s most compelling lead, turns into a total dumbass in this episode.
I like the idea of the colony of dead-worshipping religious cultists, but I have a hard time caring about Nick, and I don’t buy his brilliant negotiation with the gangster at all.
The group at the hotel appear to be in quite a pickle, but I’m sure that Ofelia will turn up – possibly with other refugees hiding in the hotel – to miraculously get them out of their jam.
I wish this show were better, because I really wish I could like it more than I do.