Fear The Walking Dead: “The Dog” — Sept. 13, 2015

On this episode of Fear the Walking Dead, Special Contributor Tracey M. tells us that some of the characters can go home again,but that home will never be the same.  – David F.

Nick and Madison Clark  - Fear the Walking Dead

Things are out of control just outside Daniel Salazar’s (Ruben Blades) barber shop. Chris Manawa (Lorenzo James Henrie) peers out of the openings in the gate. The riot has reached a fever-pitch, and Chris sees people throwing anything they can get their hands on. Vehicles are being overturned and fires burn everywhere. Just your run-of-the-mill riot.

Suddenly, a pair of eyes meet Chris’ on the other side of the gate. They are pale, blue cataracts, the unseeing eyes of the dead. Yikes! Chris backs away, unsure of what he’s just seen. Travis is anxious to get out and home to Maddie. He wants to believe everything will be alright, even though it sooo isn’t. A fire directly next door, forces Travis and Daniel to make a run for Travis’ pick-up. The group runs through an alley, and under some scaffolding, heading to Travis’ pick-up. The swaying crowd knocks over the scaffolding, and it falls on Griselda (Patricia Reyes Spindola) shattering her foot. Travis carries her the rest of the way to his truck. Chris and Lisa ride in the cab with Travis, while the Salazars and their daughter Ophelia (Mercedes Mason) ride in the truck bed.

Maddie waits at home for Travis to return. The electricity blinks on and off. She brings two oxycodone and a glass of water to Nick. Much to Maddie’s chagrin, he uses the glass to crush the pills so he can snort them. He argues that he’s the expert and knows the best way to help himself. He asks for more, but Maddie declines. That stash of oxys needs to last.

Alicia hears noises coming from their neighbors. She peers out the window. Maddie wants to keep things calm, so she brings out Monopoly to help pass the time while she’s waiting for Travis. (Clearly the writers are sending a message with this game. Have you ever looked up the objective of Monopoly? You might be better off taking your chances with the walkers.)  More noises from outside get the better of them and they slide open the back door to find their neighbor Peter Dawson’s German Shepard, agitated and with blood in his fur. Nick peers through the blinds and sees Peter shuffling towards their house. Maddie and Nick know that shuffle and the three hightail it out of there, climbing the fence into their neighbor’s yard. It’s Susan and Patrick Tran’s house, long-time friends of Maddie’s. She grabs the spare key under the mat and enters, calling out to Susan or Patrick.  The house seems deserted. Nick rummages around, finds the Trans’ shotgun and hands it to his mother to load. As Maddie and Alicia watch from the terrace, they see a shuffling Peter enter their yard and then their house, following the barking dog. The shepherd barks a few more times, then begins to yelp. The dog falls silent. Uh-oh. Seriously, if you’re the type of person who gets upset at those ASPCA commercials, you should stop here.

Maddie sees headlights turning into her driveway. It’s Travis, finally. Maddie and Nick run to the house to warn Travis. He, Chris and Lisa (Elizabeth Rodriguez) enter the darkened house, and come upon neighbor Peter, chowing down on his dog. Travis tries reasoning with Peter, but he’s no longer himself. Travis reaches out to him; he must be sick like the others. Peter turns to him and tries to take a bite. The two wrestle back and forth. Maddie runs in with the shotgun. Travis yells for her to put the gun down, but Daniel grabs it from her and fires directly into Pete’s face. Terminator-style, the now face-free neighbor keeps coming. Daniel takes another shot, and Peter falls to the ground. Travis is bewildered. He doesn’t understand why Daniel “killed” the neighbor.  

Meanwhile, Alicia sees a familiar pair of legs under the batwing doors of the Trans’ house. She doesn’t wait to see more. She grabs an armload of prescriptions and runs back home. As she makes her way through the maze of connected backyards, Susan is on the other side of the fence, grabbing at her. Chris grabs Alicia just before Susan can reach her. Maddie hears the commotion and runs outside. She sees Susan and states, “She must be sick”. Nick clarifies, “She’s dead.” Alicia starts to meltdown, thinking of Matt; she refuses to believe that he is now like Peter or Susan. Travis heads inside to check on Chris’ nose. He wipes off the blood and tells his son that they will be okay. Word to Travis: Don’t go making promises you can’t keep.

He decides that the family will head out the next morning. Maddie and Alicia want to leave right away, they’re packed and ready to go. I think Maddie’s onto something. Maddie agrees to go along with Travis’ plan, as long as he takes care of neighbor Peter’s remains. As Travis readies himself to bury Peter, Daniel suggests burning the body, so the sickness won’t spread. Travis can’t bring himself to set fire to someone who was once a friend. He buries him in the yard.

Daniel informs the group that his cousin will be there to pick up his family the next day. Ophelia implores her father to leave with the group in the morning. She knows her mother needs more help than where they are, but Daniel stubbornly insists they wait for “family.”

Lisa busies herself in the kitchen, washing dishes. Travis comes back inside and thanks her for helping Griselda. She, like Nick, believes these “sick people” don’t die, they just keep coming back. Travis finds Maddie to reassure her that he will take care of them. They embrace, then Maddie enters the kitchen for some water. Lisa’s still there. She says she doesn’t want to cause problems. She knows they’ve had their differences, but should pull together for the children. Maddie is still sadly looking out the back door at Susan. Susan was there for Maddie when she was widowed, and was a good friend. She makes Lisa promise to take her out if she ever becomes like Susan. She knows Travis couldn’t handle it, it would kill him.

In the morning, Travis sees Susan, still reaching through the fence. He wishes her a good morning, and takes his garbage pails to the curb. He comes inside to find Daniel showing Chris how to load and shoot a shotgun. Travis asks Daniel to stop. He says to Chris, “You know how I feel about guns.” Wow, Travis…wow. 

Rounding up the family to leave, he finds Maddie by the fence, staring at Susan. She has a hammer in her hand, and is ready to put Susan out of her misery. Travis comes to her and takes the hammer. They load up their vehicles and start out on the road. Maddie spots Patrick Tran heading home. He’s calling for Susan. Maddie jumps out of her car, trying to warn him.  As Patrick heads into the garden toward his wife, the military swoops in and shoots Susan in the head. She falls to the ground as her husband screams her name. The troops demand that everyone get inside. They should’ve left yesterday.

Maddie’s instincts seem right on target. Now, can she get Travis to see the reality of their situation and fight for their lives?

Fear The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9/8c

Tracey M. - Special Contributor
Tracey Mendes is a Stephen King enthusiast who proudly owns all of his works. Currently a cat-loving housewife, Tracey loves a sense of the macabre. Saturday she may be baking her famous apple pie, but come Sunday, she's greedily lapping up every second of The Walking Dead. As long as there are books and apples, she's sure to be an apocalypse survivor.

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