'Fear the Walking Dead,' Season 2, Episode 5: Making the trade
Things not to do during a zombie apocalypse: Literally everything everyone on this boat is doing, except for Nick.
The only people in this family group who have any grasp of the new world order are Nick, the former junkie, and Strand, the mysterious businessman who's escorting the rest of them to a safe house in Mexico. Basically, the two outcasts.
At least Madison and Travis are trying. Daniel is trying too, but he seems to have reverted back to his savage El Salvador days, which will probably come in handy soon.
Last week on Fear the Walking Dead, the Abigail was baited and attacked by a group of apocalyptic pirates bent on taking their supplies, their boat and some of their people.
One of the pirates happened to be Jack, the guy Alicia connected with over the radio a few episodes back.
They took Travis and Alicia back with the group's leader, Connor, with a promise to let Madison and the rest get to shore before taking the Abigail.
A struggle over the boat and its people ensued, and Nick and newcomer Luis took out the guards while Madison and Daniel took out sadistic ringleader Reid.
Reid is now tied up in a chair with a crowbar through his stomach, Strand is shivering but alive in the bridge and Madison and Luis are struggling to agree to rescue Alicia and Travis before heading to Baja California.
On the bright side, Strand's almost escape from Connor's men seems to have softened him a bit. He actually agrees with Madison's plan to rescue Alicia and Travis, subsequently convincing Luis they need an extra day to cross the border.
Instead of doing things in their captivity to, like, actually help themselves get rescued, Alicia and Travis find themselves in all the wrong places at the wrong times.
Alicia is in the cabin with Connor, who is cooking her a steak dinner. He wants to get to know her, and has plans to use her for his benefit. His plans for her include working with Jack and the ship's radar to bait and nab other boats.
Connor's headquarters are on a large shipping vessel tucked into a port along the coast. The group uses a radar system similar to the Abigail's to track vessels,, and it's Jack's job to determine which boats need to be taken and which need to be destroyed.
Below deck, Travis wakes up in a caged cell. And in walks Alex, the girl he made stay in the yellow life boat with her severely injured friend before Strand cut their line to the Abigail.
She tells him what happened to her and her friend after they drifted away from the Abigail. They were starving and desperate for water, and her friend was only getting worse. His last request from her was to not let him drown, so she strangled him before dumping him in the water.
Alex also admits to Travis she told Connor about their group and the Abigail. She offered Connor the Abigail if he would bring her Travis.
Does she want to torture him? Inflict pain and suffering on his family? We don't know, because she only manages to make him feel terrible about what he did to her and then he and Alicia escape/get rescued.
Back on the Abigail, Daniel and Madison are dealing with Reid's injury and his attitude. Daniel not-so-gently tends to the crowbar in his stomach and listens to Reid mouth off and make idle threats. Daniel doesn't care, he knows Reid is just scared.
Since he wants to be helpful again, Chris stands outside Reid's door to watch him and listen to more rude comments and threats. When they find out Reid is actually Connor's brother, they make plans to trade him for Alicia and Travis.
In a completely unhelpful move, Chris kills Reid because "he was going to turn." Minutes before, Madison convinced Connor to trade his brother for her fiance and daughter.
Madison rushes downstairs when she hears the gunshot and comforts Chris, who's clearly shaken by killing someone. "Did I just screw everything up?" he asks.
Yes, Chris, you did.
Luckily, Daniel's around to make sure Reid isn't killed again when he comes back as a zombie so they can give undead Reid back in the exchange.
The plan goes just as smoothly as it sounds.
Madison takes undead Reid to the dock near Connor's boat and shoves him toward Connor, who then shoves Travis toward her. When Connor takes the sack off Reid's head, Reid sinks his teeth into his brother's arm.
Meanwhile, Alicia is on the upper deck of the boat with Jack, who promised her they would escape together for a better place. He gives her one last chance to join him, but she chooses her family instead.
Will we see Jack again? I'm sure he will become the next Davy Jones, scorned by a former lover and cursed to roam the seas for all eternity.
The gang's all together again. Another foe conquered. Next stop: Baja California.
And then there's Nick. The most underestimated, yet the one with the most potential and highest percentage of actually surviving this thing.
Even being a junkie and suffering through withdrawal, he's proven himself time and again he was made for this new chaotic world.
Understandably, Madison doesn't want him doing anymore missions for Strand, or even leaving the boat. After pestering her relentlessly to let him take care of things, she refuses because she knows he's enjoying this.
He enjoys the danger and the rescue missions. He enjoys the secrets between the families and Strand. He even seems to enjoy a world overrun with zombies around every corner.
To him, it's better than any high he could've ever got with drugs.
Nick was a liability in the first season, but now he's become the character everyone roots for.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.