'Fear the Walking Dead,' Season 2, Episode 4: Death is a new way to life
Where in the world is Nick Clark?
And why is he naked?
He washes up on shore sans skivvies with a bag tied to his foot. Aside from being without clothing, he seems to know what he's doing and where he's going.
A view of the land from above shows a high fence with one side crammed with tents billowing in the wind and "save us" spelled out with branches in the sand.
Obviously no saviors came, because the only thing Nick encounters in the camp is a lone walker whom he kills between a tent screen.
Testing the zombie repellent he discovered in the last episode, he carved into the walkers stomach to coat his face with black blood. Yup, it works.
It turns out, Strand sent Nick to find a "Luis" on shore in a semi-developed neighborhood created by a Thomas Abigail.
We see a few scenes of Strand before the outbreak, how he met Thomas Abigail, their business and intimate relationship and a little about how he came to be so mysterious and wealthy.
Thomas Abigail seems to be some sort of real estate developer, but not exactly the cookie cutter kind. They meet after getting drunk at a bar and Strand stealing his wallet after hauling Thomas Abigail's drunk self back to his hotel room.
He finds Strand after Strand racked up some hefty credit card bills, but Abigail doesn't want to have him arrested or punished. He wants Strand to be obligated to him as a sort of partner.
Unfortunately, getting some of Strand's backstory only added more questions and skepticism to the list of "seriously, what the heck is going on?"
Then Jack arrives.
Still anchored, Travis and Madison discuss the recent events surrounding the young woman and young man who Strand let drift off in a lifeboat, and Chris and Ofelia bond over insomnia and reminiscing their past relationships.
When they see a small boat racing toward them, Chris panics, pulls his gun and starts yelling for someone to tell him if he should let them on the boat or shoot.
The group of two men and one pregnant woman hop on board anyway, crying that the woman is bleeding and in pain.
Five minutes later, the pregnant woman smashes Madison's head into a mirror and the other two men quickly take command of the boat and tie up everyone.
Strand hears the commotion and flees in a lifeboat, only to be shot at twice by one of the men taking his yacht. We can't tell if he's wounded until the end of the episode, but his inflatable boat is definitely a goner.
Turns out the gun-crazy man is Reid and the other is Jack, the one Alicia was talking to over the radio. The thing Strand warned everyone about just happened.
Even just weeks into this outbreak, strangers can't be trusted.
Reid, Jack and the pregnant woman are part of a larger group of people who scavenge and take advantage of other groups at sea, led by a man named Connor. Like what they did to Alicia's family group, they bait others into trusting them so they can find them, take their stuff and possibly take on more members who could be useful.
Through this entire encounter, Alicia is the calmest and still trusts Jack. He does seem like the most sane of the three. He wants her to come back with him, but she refuses until she knows her family can come too or their safety can be guaranteed.
To save Chris from a bullet to the brain, Travis convinces Reid he's able to hot wire the boat to start again. The Abigail's captain, he points out, was the one Reid shot escaping in the lifeboat.
In futile attempts to escape, Daniel tries to free himself of his binds and Travis hides pilfered tools in the seat cushions near Madison and Daniel.
The infamous Connor arrives and takes Travis and Alicia because he believes they will be useful to the group. This whole post-apocalyptic piracy thing is coming off a bit bland and confusing. But like Alicia, I am interested in how long this group has been baiting people for supplies and members.
Shortly after Connor leaves with his hostages, Nick and his new friend Luis (yes, he actually found him) arrive to take out the two guards positioned at the back of the Abigail.
When Reid goes outside to see what the commotion is, Madison and Daniel break free and kill Reid with their tools.
Madison is probably super relieved to see her son, but also thinking "where the hell have you been?"
Nick tells the group Strand sent him ashore to find Luis. They can trust him, he's going to help them get to Mexico, and to the safe house Strand promised them.
The episode ends with Madison finding a wounded Strand and his deflated lifeboat and bringing him back to the yacht. It's sort of a peace offering but also a "we really need your help" move.
Fear's second season started out slow, but is quickly gaining momentum as it adds more pieces to its already thousand-plus puzzle. Sunday's episode, ‘Blood in the Streets,' confirmed suspicions about Jack and Strand, but left us with even more questions than when we first met them.
Even with a taste of his backstory, Strand's motives are too complicated to even make predictions on. And it's still not clear whether he's completely trustworthy. Though with as many troubles the crew has already faced just in the waters off California, Mexico doesn't sound like the best place to end up.
Like they really have a choice anyway.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow@chelseatatham.