Fear The Walking Dead (S03E06) “Red Dirt”

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It’s fair to assume that Fear The Walking Dead is now side by side with its matrix show, “The Walking Dead.” FearTWD started with the premise of being the “beginning” of the apocalypse that we know in TWD, those previous months before Rick wakes up from his coma. Despite the fact that we still don’t have a clear answer as to how this zombie invasion started or what caused it, this spin-off is very interesting for those drama, zombie and character development lovers.
In spite of many complaining about how this show started very “light” because of its lack of zombies and gore, we need to take into consideration that this story has begun from the point of view of a regular family in Los Angeles, California, conformed by Madison Clark,  her two children, Nick Clark and Alicia Clark, and Madison’s husband Travis Manawa.
These people were living their normal lives, worried about mundane stuff like most of us, until everything changed overnight. (Let’s not get into details.) For those who are used to bad-ass characters like Rick and Daryl, the beginning of this show might be slow and boring, but let’s not forget that we are talking about characters who have evolved a lot since its first season. They went from a simple lifestyle, worried about school, work, etc., to the survival of the new apocalypse in a world with no law at all. This showed us their new roles and real identities as survivors. Let’s take an easy example. Carol from “The Walking Dead” is one of the most beloved and bad-ass characters that we know of in “The Walking Dead” world, but if we had gone back to her beginnings, we would’t believe what she became.
Where am I going with this? If you still haven’t given a shot to “Fear The Waling Dead,” I recommend that you do it, especially when you get to its third season, where the drama is at a superior level of entertainment.
Now, let’s go back to business and talk about the last episode!
In the previous episode we found out who were the ones that shot down the helicopter, taking Travis’ life in the process. Those responsible are a group of Native Americans commanded by a certain Walker, who claims Jeremiah’s lands where the ranch is as theirs.
This new episode opens in a scene with Nick learning how to shoot under Jeremiah’s tutelage. Their new dynamic and relationship is quite interesting. And I don’t think it was a random decision. Nick and Jeremiah share something in common; both are addicts and know the consequences of addiction.
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Also, Jeremiah knows what it is to have a troubled boy, so it’s normal to feel  an affinity with Nick, and the elder of the Clark finds himself a paternal figure with him.
Then we see Alicia waking up next to Jake. Even tho this relantionship might be cliché or predictable, it’s also understandable. Alicia is a teenager who had to grow up real quick and adapt to this new world. Now she is a woman who has come to understand how everything works from now on and how to handle most of the stuff that is happening around them.
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Her relationship with Jake might have started with the pure necessity of being close to someone, to have an intimate human connection with a person who may share the same experiences and thoughts. Both Jake and Alicia have a rocky relationship with their siblings and, therefore, with their parents, and both of them have lost a loved one in a tragic way (the helicopter crash). Despite of their start as friends with benefits, this might turn into a romantic thing. Go go Jalicia shippers!
The only problem with this relationship is that Jake might not last long. He is the typical character that prefers to talk before punching. He is the moral compass, and we all know what happens to the moral compass of a show, especially this kind of apocalyptic show.
Now let’s go back to Madison, Troy and his men. Barefoot, wounded, tired, and thirsty–that’s how they came back after going to find Walker and his people. This image doesn’t look good for the ranch people. The fear was already there, knowing of a threat outside, but now is confirmed. The Native Americans want Jeremiah and his people to leave the lands. Of course Madison and Troy won’t let this happen.
So here is another interesting relationship in this half season. Like Jeremiah and Nick, Madison and Troy’s dynamic is not random. Madison, a mother of a teenage girl and a young addict boy, with a job as a school counselor, has proved that we cannot underestimate her. Despite the ups and downs with her children and the loss of her husband Travis, she hasn’t lost focus, and she is determined to protect her family at all costs. It is here where we see how her relationship with Troy makes sense. Here comes Troy–a problematic, sadistic boy with mommy issues. He seems to find a certain respect? admiration? fondness? with Madison. Madison has come to realize how this boy is. In the beginning, she got close to him because she knew how to control him and how to use him in her favor. But in this last episode we start to see how their relationship is no an longer an “I need you to survive” thing. When Troy is giving the speech to his men on how they need to protect the ranch and their people, we see a face of pride, maternal pride, in Madison.  This is definitely one of the most weird and twisted relationships, but it will certainly add an interesting future for the season’s plot.
Of course, it cant be an episode without death. Vernon is one of the founders of the ranch’s community, and his family decides to leave the camp under Walker’s threats. This provokes a revolt in the group, which causes many people to try to leave as well, leaving the ranch behind, outnumbered and unprotected. The only two who seem to want to stop this are Madison and Troy. As we see later, Vernon and his family didn’t get very far, but this wasn’t because of the enemies. This was because of none other than Troy. But why? Once again he shows us his madness and fury, all because his longtime friend Mike left him, choosing his family over him and the ranch.
When Jeremiah, Madison and Nick go to find the remains there’s no doubt of who did it. It is here where everything is more twisted. Madison doesn’t seem shocked or afraid. She knows what Troy did and what he is capable of, and it’s because of that she decides to cover for his actions, in order to encourage the people of the camp to stay and fight for their lands. This may sound weird, but I’d like to have a Madison in my group for sure! She knows what she wants and she ain’t afraid of getting it.
Meanwhile, Jake decided that the best way to resolve this problem is to go and talk with Walker and get to a peaceful agreement. Alicia after finding out what happened to Vernon and his family, thinking it was the Native American, goes after Jake on his suicidal mission.
And we still don’t know where OFELIA IS!!
Don’t miss the next double episode in its mid-season finale!