In this episode we meet a young, 15 year old boy named Ali (Ashton Arbab). He is eager to prove himself to Victor (Colman Domingo) so he can be a ranger. But Howard (Omid Abtahi) thinks he’s not ready. Victor is away so Howard sends Ali on a mission to find a specific butterfly instead. The mourning cloak is an extremely rare butterfly that only lives for about a year.
Ali finds the butterfly and he finds Charlie going through his things on his horse. She says she was looking for food and water. Howard and John (Keith Carradine) show up because Ali didn’t come back quick enough. They take Charlie back to the tower to question her.
Charlie says she wants to get into the tower and hopes he has blueprints or something. She says she wants to live at the Tower. Charlie was very young when the apocalypse started; so, she’s never known what it’s like to feel safe. She found a digital calendar and realized her 13th birthday is that week. She just wants something of a normal life.
About the same time one of the rangers returns. The rangers were on a mission to find parts to fix the tower’s elevators. The closest place is overrun by radiation walkers and the rangers come back sick. This ranger dies shortly after returning, throwing himself off of the roof … or so Howard says.
Charlie volunteers to get the parts they need but she wants a guarantee that she can stay. June (Jenna Elfman) doesn’t want her to go because of the high levels of radiation, but Charlie insists. Howard says that’s up to Victor but he will help her if she helps them. He sends Ali with Charlie and quietly tells him to find out the real reason Charlie showed up.
Charlie and Ali head out to the location and get to know each other a little better. Ali says his dad’s name was Mohammad. They were Mohammad and Ali … cute. When his dad got sick, Ali left him. He didn’t want to see Mohammad in that state. He wants to become a ranger so he can prove to himself that he’s brave enough to face anything.
Charlie climbs into the building with an elevator while Ali gets attacked by another group. He slips away from them when they try to get into the building. Charlie loses her radiation mask while fighting off walkers, but says she’s okay. Charlie comes clean about why she wants in the tower. Morgan (Lennie James) sent her in to turn off the beacon so they could get in and get Grace (Karen David) and Mo. But now Charlie wants to live there for real. She wasn’t lying about that part.
Ali decides he doesn’t believe her. He pushes her into the elevator and closes the door just enough so that the walkers can’t get it. Ali leaves as walkers appear in the room while Charlie screams for him not to leave her behind. The walkers stack up in front of the elevator doors while Charlie cries. She hears gunshots and the doors open. Ali came back for her. He says he wants them to run away together and forget Morgan and Victor’s war. Charlie agrees and then collapses.
Ali takes her back to the tower where June and Grace examine her. Howard asks what Charlie was up to and Ali lies to him, sort of. He says Charlie wants the life she was supposed to have. June and Grace inform Ali that Charlie has radiation poisoning and it’s bad. She may not have much time to live.
Ali decides to do something special for Charlie. He takes her to a room where all of Victor’s butterflies are flying around. He kisses Charlie and says he wants to give her as much of a normal life that she can have. They spend some time in the room, talking, laughing and holding hands.
Charlie stares out the window and thinks about the mission that Morgan sent her on. Ali volunteers to complete her mission for her while she rests. The beacon power switch is on the roof. When Ali gets there to turn it off, Howard is waiting for him. He knew either Charlie or Ali would show up and try something. Howard throws Ali off the roof and Charlie sees him fall.
Charlie goes to June to let them know what happened. Howard returns and decides to get rid of Charlie. John sides with Howard, saying they need to protect the tower. June puts her foot down and protects Charlie, saying she will kill Howard if he lays a finger on the girl. June knows Victor needs her more than he needs Howard. If she leaves or dies, then the tower falls. She says Charlie is staying under her care. Howard reluctantly agrees and tells June to be careful.
June confronts John on why he took Howard’s side. He needs Howard to believe he’s on his side so John can get close to Victor. He thinks he can make Victor see reason because it’s clear Howard can’t do it. That’s the only way things are going to change. June says it won’t work but John believes it will. It has to.
June apologizes to Charlie for not stopping her from going to that building. She says she’s been hiding since she got to the tower because she’s scared. Her fear hasn’t hurt anyone but June until now. June promises that no matter how much time Charlie has left, she will see Victor go down. Charlie looks up and see the mourning cloak on the wall. She thanks June for everything.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can also stream new episodes early on AMC+.