FTWD Recap: “Minotaur”/”The Diviner”

After such an explosive start to the first half of season 3, Episodes 9 and 10 allow us to learn more about the stories behind our survivors.

Nick and Alicia learned the unpleasant end to Maddie’s drunken, abusive stepfather.  Easy-peasy, a bullet to the brain while he’s passed out. He had raised his hand to her mother for the last time. Maddie’s past is emerging, and I think she has a lot more to reveal. Nick and Alicia are somewhat surprised by their mother’s admission, and wonder what else she has to tell them. Alicia is forced to step up by necessity. Jake is still pale and weak from the anthrax poisoning. Alicia’s relied on to take charge while Maddie and Walker are away. Nick is adorable with his shorter hair, but he’s still a bit of a wildcard. He’s finding his way through the new world, but unsure of his place, yet still fearless, even in the face of madness. Well, perhaps not so much with Troy.

There’s tension in the air as the members of the ranch let Walker (Michael Greyeyes)and his tribe into Brokejaw. Jake and Walker work to unify the group, in hopes of standing together in the face of the outside world. Not everyone is on board. Jeremiah–a bigoted, self-righteous man, sat back all these years waiting for war to ensue. He had no respect for the “brown people” and even passed by a sunburned, dehydrated Ofelia in the desert because of her color. He spread his poison throughout the community, now the trust is broken on both sides. Jeremiah had no respect for his own sons, either, and they knew it.

A young man enters the tent where everyone is gathered for a meet and greet. He is angry, misguided and armed. He shoots wildly but is taken down quickly by Crazy Dog. His throat is crushed during the struggle and he is expected to die.

This prompts Walker to demand the second key to the artillery from Jake. He intends to keep the peace. Madison insists that Jake do as he is asked for the good of the group.

Troy is in his father’s cabin when Walker, Maddie and Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) stop by looking for weapons. Troy wants everybody out, and pulls out a pistol and fires it as a warning. Walker and his men are outside, ready to take action.

Troy hands Nick a rifle and insists he stand with him and fight. Troy wants to play sniper. He starts shooting wildly and Nick takes cover while all hell breaks loose. The pair hole up on the second floor. Nick is just trying not to die up there.

After much gunfire is traded, to stop Troy in his tracks, Nick tries to wrestle him down. He tells Troy that Jeremiah’s death was no suicide, he killed him. A stunned Troy lowers his weapon, and is taken into custody along with Nick. Guilt by association. Troy is exiled the hard way, fighting Maddie the whole time. Maddie must strong-arm him to get him moving. Meanwhile, Nick is confined to “the box” for his part in the ambush.

Madison and Walker discover the water supply is dangerously low. Alicia is asked to ration everyone to two gallons a day while Maddie and Walker head out to the trading post. On their way out, Maddie stops by the box and gives Nick a bottle of water, promising her return. She and Walker head out in the tanker.

Daniel has taken over the dam and he is running the show with Lola Guerrero (Lisandra Tena) by his side. He asks Lola to take over, he’s still searching for his Ofelia. They take a tanker of water out daily to give water to those in need.

One hot afternoon, angry crowds storm the truck, they want to take over the dam. Daniel took it by force and now they want to force him out. Stones are thrown and Lola is hit. Daniel is forced to return to the dam.

At the Ranch, the locals gripe about the rations. Alicia steps in and tells them to leave if they don’t like it, and see how much worse it is out there. She and Maddie plan to stay in touch by CB radio.  Walker and Maddie stop for the night. They build a fire and talk. While Nick is sleeping off the strain of his time in the box, a posse of Troy supporters have decided to elect Nick as head of the resistance. Huh?  He’s barely awake, and he’s handed the last free gun on the ranch. They promise to meet with him again the next day. What the hell, he got caught up in Troy’s crazy and now he’s the chosen one?

Walker and Madison arrive at the trade station. Inside is a bazaar of people trading and bargaining. Maddie and Waker must turn in their weapons and Cb radio in exchange for admittance.

Back at Brokejaw, Alicia mentions that there’s been double-dipping going on during the rations. She’s met with resistance and hostility. The Posse of Troy are griping about the double-dipping and sharing what they claim is their land. Alicia confronts Nick about the Posse. He has no idea why he’s been chosen. Alicia knows it was Nick who killed Jeremiah, and wishes she could have been there. Alicia feels like they must keep working to gain their mother’s love, but Nick will always be  the favorite. Alicia is trying hard to keep the peace, but would rather leave the tough stuff to her mother. Or Jake. She seems tired and overwhelmed.

At the trade bazaar, Maddie says she needs 10,000 gallons. The woman at the table scoffs at the amount of water. She says she might be able to get 5,000, but for what in exchange?

Walker has a roll of coins, promising more. Maria sees the huge coins and is instantly more agreeable. A kerfuffle attracts Maddie’s attention. It’s Victor Strand being roughhoused by a couple of goons. While was Madison was finding her family,  Strand found the abandoned Abigail, listing to the left, slowly sinking. Once on board, he found a few of his favorite things. He sipped a bottle of Dom and played with the cb radio. He was surprised to receive a transmission from a cosmonaut out in space. The poor man knew the earth had gone to hell and there was no way for him to get home. Once that signal was lost, Victor seemed to feel all the loss he’s suffered. After a good cry, he grabbed what supplies he could and then set Abigail ablaze, He went on his way with a smile, and now here he is, a the bazaar.

Alicia has run into trouble at the well. She has to admit that there’s not much water left which causes a melee.  Then Ofelia and Crazy Dog arrive at the well with guns. Nick has a gun as well, which he fires to get the crowd’s attention. Each side wants to get their ration first. There’s an uneasy peace.

Maddie wakes to find that Walker has gone somewhere. Victor doesn’t know where Walker went, but he wants to know what Maddie makes of him, and how she’s been. He’s glad that she’s found her children. Victor gives Madison a much needed shoulder to lean on. He’s missed his friend. Walker comes to the door, prompted by a gun, saying they will killed along with their friend. Victor has to stay and work off his debt, and he wants Maddie to go back to her children.  She doesn’t want to leave him there. Victor assures her he’ll be okay as he’s lead out with the rest of the chain gang. Maddie watches as Victor is shackled outside the gate, left to fend for himself against approaching walkers.

Walker is anxious for the exchange, but Maddie has used the money to pay Victor’s debt instead, she believes there must be a better, long-term solution to their water problem.

Victor has some connections at the dam, perhaps not his biggest fans, but a plan for an unlimited water supply. Walker is dubious, but his money’s gone, so why not?

At Brokejaw, Alicia notices a group in the field below. They have divining rods. The posse is watching the women dig where they sense water. Ofelia and other tribe members watch as Nick approaches the group and grabs a shovel. Let the posse watch that!  More and more come to help.  Perhaps there can be peace after all.  At the very least, water.

Tracey D. - Special Contributor
Tracey Davenport 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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