Redemption is the name of the game this season on Fear the Walking Dead. In “Skidmark,” Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) have some issues to work out. Daniel has never really trusted Strand, and for good reasons. But Strand has changed. Can he convince Daniel of that?
As for Morgan (Lennie James) and Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) group, they gained a new friend in Dwight (Austin Amelio). They are still searching for Al (Maggie Grace) and trying to figure out who is setting up the walker roadblocks around the woods. Last week, they found Dylan (Cooper Dodson) alone and afraid. He didn’t say what happened to Annie (Bailey Gavulic) and Max (Ethan Suess), but the viewers know they are okay. And they are the ones putting up the roadblocks. AND! They made Dylan trick the group at the gas station in hopes that the adults will leave for good.
Daniel has been living alone…well, with Skidmark for some time now. He only goes out to find more stuff. The stores in the area are booby-trapped with guns that go off when the front door is opened. Daniel has a system though. He sends Skidmark out first with a bell on his collar to distract the walkers so Daniel can kill them. He looks inside the store to find the guns and sets it off before going in. Daniel gets what he needs and heads back to the warehouse.
Strand found Daniel a couple of days ago. He knows Daniel has a plane they can use to rescue Alicia and her group. Strand asked Daniel for the plane and Daniel refused to help Strand. He believes Strand only wants the plane for selfish reasons. So Strand sends Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) inside the gates. When Daniel leaves, she will open the gate, they will load up the plane and leave. Great plan, but Daniel leaves earlier than expected. Charlie has to hide in his car and ends up leaving with him.
Strand, Wendell (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell), and Sarah (Mo Collins) break in by driving through the gates. They load up the plane, but it’s missing some instruments for flight. Strand finds a note from Daniel to contact him on the radio. Daniel knew what Strand was up to. He also knows Charlie is hiding in his back seat. Even Sarah can’t convince Daniel to tell them where the instruments are. Daniel says he will return to the warehouse and shoot Strand in the face.
Strand, Sarah, and Wendell sit inside the warehouse, trying to figure out what to do next. Strand is ready to give up, but Sarah won’t let him. Wendell thinks the instruments are hidden somewhere in the warehouse, so they start looking.
The Little Prince
Dylan sits with Luciana, not saying much. He looks through her book, The Little Prince. Morgan tries to get in touch with John (Garret Dillahunt) and June (Jenna Elfman). They left with Dwight to try to find signs of Sherri, Dwight’s wife. Alicia says they can’t wait. They have to go into the woods to find Al. Dylan says she’s not in the woods. The people who took her have set up camp somewhere else. He points out a place on the map and Morgan prepares to leave. Luciana wants to fix the long range antenna and Dylan says he will help her. The sooner they can get their plane, the sooner they can leave.
Dylan asks what the book is about. It’s about a pilot who crashes his plane in the desert. He finds a little prince from another world. The prince is learning things and making friends. He learns not to be afraid of the unexpected and to look beneath the surface. Luciana believes the books helped her and Charlie get through some rough times. She tells Dylan if he needs to talk, she will listen.
They forgot the electrical tape to fix the antenna so Dylan offers to get it. When he gets inside, he radios Max and Annie. They are resetting their roadblocks by the Old Utility Road. Dylan says he sent Morgan and Alicia in a different direction. Annie sees someone in a helmet walking down the road. She and Max hide as that person kills walkers along the way. Dylan calls to Max on the radio and the person hears it. Max has to turn off the radio to avoid being found. At the same time, Luciana comes into the station, asking what’s taking so long. Dylan says he couldn’t find the tape, but Luciana walks right to it.
Old Utility Road
Morgan finds one of Grace’s traps with a walker by it. He checks to make sure the walker isn’t radioactive before killing it. Alicia catches up saying she didn’t find any sign of the people who took Al. She wonders if Dylan told them everything. Morgan calls into Luciana to let her know they didn’t find anything or any sign that someone had been there. He says they are going into the woods. Dylan grabs the radio and tells them to go to the Old Utility Road. Annie and Max are alive and need help. He admits that they lied, but now they really do need help.
Max and Annie check to make sure the person is gone. When they emerge from their hiding place a walker breaks loose and falls on Annie. Annie drops her gun and twists her ankle as she falls. Max is able to get her out from under the walker, but she is hurt and can’t run. He has to carry her away.
Charlie tries to start talking to Daniel, asking if he set the traps around the area. He didn’t, but he is disarming them. She asks why, but Daniel doesn’t want to talk. He turns on his Blues music and Charlie knows it. Daniel smile and asks for her name.
Daniel gets to his destination and tells Charlie to stay in the car. While he’s scoping out the place, he sees another booby trap and lots of walkers inside the store. Charlie sneaks up on him and tells him to go in through the back. She tells him to throw a can of food at the walkers to distract them so he can sneak past and disarm the gun. She used to do that when she was scavenging, but she didn’t kill anyone.
Daniel says he didn’t kill anyone either. He inherited the warehouse who did. Just so a bunch of stuff can sit on a shelf. Charlie asks why it’s just sitting there. Daniel can’t find people to give it to. They head to the back of the store and Skidmark dances around in front of the windows, causing the walkers to crowd up front. One of the walkers pushes the gun and it goes off, shooting out the front windows. Charlie and Daniel run to the car, calling for Skidmark as they get in.
Daniel drives slowly through town, allowing the small group of walkers to follow. Charlie tells him to outrun them, but Daniel says no. The herd will grow and someone will get hurt. He is going to lead them to the warehouse. The gates are strong enough to hold them back. Then they will take them out, one by one. Charlie agrees.
Charlie calls Wendell on the radio to let them know she’s okay. Strand demands to know where the instruments are and Daniel gives a bag to Charlie. He’s had them in the car this whole time. He tells Strand that they are on their way back with a herd of walkers. They need to close the gate and make sure the curb stops are in place. Sarah informs him that she had to break the fence down to get the plane out. Daniel laughs. He wants to help her, but if he goes back with the herd, he puts more lives at risk. Just like Victor.
Daniel stops the car and asks Charlie if she knows how to drive. He tells her to take the instruments back to the warehouse, take the plane and save their friends. Charlie doesn’t want to leave him, but Daniel says he can take care of the herd. He jumps out of the car and grabs his walkie and the portable radio, playing the Blues for the herd. Charlie jumps in the driver’s seat and leaves.
Charlie returns to the warehouse and Strand questions why he just gave the instruments over. Charlie explains why Daniel got out of the care. He didn’t want to be like Victor. Strand gets on the radio to talk to Daniel. He apologizes for everything that happened, but Daniel doesn’t need to endanger himself teach him a lesson. Daniel says it’s not about what happened at the dame, it’s about Ophelia. He tells Strand to tell his friends what he did.
Strand found Daniel at the dam after he left the hotel. Ophelia had left the hotel with the Clarks, but Strand didn’t know that. He lied to Daniel saying he knew where she was because he needed something from him. When Daniel found Ophelia, she had been bitten and died. Daniel never got a chance to say goodbye. He couldn’t tell her what he wanted his daughter to know. Charlie tells her group that they have to help Daniel.
Strand radios Daniel and apologizes again. He says he doesn’t need Daniel to forgive him, he just needs him to know that Strand isn’t that man anymore. Daniel tells him to leave. Sarah interrupts saying that Wendell has been wanted to drop the hammer for some time now. Daniel doesn’t understand. Sarah says they are coming in hot and he sees them drive up in Al’s van. They stop in front of Daniel and he runs toward the van. Wendell opens the window with the guns and pulls the lever to shoot. Nothing happens. He tries again and the guns won’t go off. Daniel is under the van and the walkers have reached him.
Strand and Charlie drive up in the semi with the plane on the back. Strand yells for the walkers to come toward him. He turns on the plane’s propellers. One by one the walkers walk into the propellers killing them. The engines burn out as the last of the walkers go through. Daniel climbs out from under the van and tells Strand that he’s not going to shoot him in the face.
The Kids Are Alright
Annie and Max run into the woods, but the walkers are closing in on them. They fall and Max gets ready to fight as best he can when Alicia and Morgan come out of nowhere and save them. Annie asks how they found them and Morgan admits that Dylan told them because he was worried about them. Annie says they have no idea what’s going on. Morgan asks her to tell them. It’s just them now. A bunch of kids with guns step out from behind the trees and surround the group. Annie says it’s not just them. Morgan and Alicia throw down their weapons.
Luciana and Dylan finish fixing the antenna and raise it up. Annie calls Dylan on the radio wanting to know what he told Morgan and Alicia. He says they were telling the truth and he thinks they can help them. Annie calls him stupid, but Morgan says he’s right. They can help each other. Alicia asks them to put down their weapons. Max has to make Annie comply.
Morgan and Alicia tell the kids that they just want to find Al. They need to know what the kids know about the people who scared them. Their offer still stands though, they can join Alicia’s group if they want to. Max says they can help find Al, but they can’t leave. Morgan figures out that the people they found at the campground were the parents of all of these kids.
A Chance to Start Over
Charlie asks Daniel what he was going to tell Ophelia. He says that every day brings a chance to start over. A chance to get it right. He thinks Charlie needs to hear it too. Daniel packs a bag. He says there’s a reason he’s been at the warehouse alone for so long. He has to leave to take care of it. Charlie asks to go with him. He says she needs to stay and help her friends.
Daniel gives her some food and tells her to take care of Skidmark. He tells everyone else they can stay as long as they need to help Alicia. Everything is theirs to use, except a cigar that Sarah found. He says he’s saving that for when things get better. They all sit down to eat together.
Luciana turns on the radio and reaches Strand. She tells him that everyone is okay and asks about the plane. He says he got one but had to help someone else. In doing so, the plane is no longer operational. He promises to find a way to get them home. Dylan asks how the pilot in the book was able to leave the desert. Luciana says he fixed his plane. Dylan thinks they can fix their plane. If he can do it, so can they.
Max and his group take Alicia and Morgan to where the people landed. He says there were two of them and they were in uniforms. Alicia wonders if the kids know about the radiation levels of the area. Morgan says they know. He knew his home was dangerous, but he and his son stayed anyway. He couldn’t leave his wife, just like these kids won’t leave their parents.
Max hears something and tells everyone to stop. He yells for them to get down. The wind picks up and they see a helicopter, with the interlocking circles, fly over. Annie says those people came in that helicopter. Max wonders why they are leaving and Annie suggests they got what they came for.
It took some time, but we finally have some answers about the kids. Now that we know who they are and why they want to be left alone, we need to know who took Al. I think Al is the person who was walking on the road near Annie and Max.
This season is moving really slow. The most compelling part has been Daniel’s story. I hope we get an episode that shows us what he did to survive the dam explosion and get to the warehouse. If I know the Fear the Walking Dead showrunners, they’ve got some tricks up their sleeve. They just need to pick up the pace a bit.
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