We’ve always known Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) looks out for number one on Fear the Walking Dead. After Madison died, he made some changes and promised to keep Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) safe. Strand made a side deal with Virginia (Colby Minifie) at the end of season five that allowed him and Alicia to stay together. No one else knows about that deal. Now it’s time to find out what that deal really costs. In “Welcome to the Club,” Strand is going to do what Strand needs to do. Lennie James directs this episode in his directorial debut.
Virginia, aka Ginny has always said that everyone has to contribute to building the new world. And if they don’t there is a price to pay. For a small group of people, that cost is clearing out a warehouse full of walkers. Despite the rangers surrounding the prisoners, the whole thing doesn’t go well. Almost everyone dies because the walkers pull them inside of the warehouse, including the lead ranger. There is one man left standing who was too scared to get too close.
After six weeks we know where Morgan is. Now it’s time to check in with Strand and Alicia. Ginny has them gathering and burning human waste from the Lawton community. Ranger Marcus (Justin Smith), asks them to move the fires so he can enjoy his lunch. That sets up a stand off between Strand and Marcus. A young woman named Dakota (Zoe Colletti) tells Marcus to leave them alone. Other rangers get involved and they go to Ginny to clear up the matter.
Ginny is getting a haircut while she talks to her assistant ranger, Hill (Craig Nigh). She wants to send a contingency of rangers out West to find Morgan. Daniel (Rubén Blades) is cutting her hair and he has a strange looking scar on his forehead. When Stand and Alicia arrive, they try to talk to Daniel, but he’s forgotten who they are. Alicia wants to know what happened to him. Ginny says he was determined to get his cat back and wouldn’t stand down when asked to. Now things are kind of scrambled, but at least he remembers how to give a good haircut.
Ginny is disappointed in Strand and Alicia. They are going to be punished because Strand “assaulted” a ranger. She is sending them somewhere that suits their natural talents. Ginny leaves, telling Strand he squandered one opportunity and not to waste this one.
Strand tries to talk to Daniel, but he insists that he doesn’t know them. He is disappointed that Daniel would tell Strand to remember who he is and not do the same. Daniel leans in at them, making them think he’s about to reveal his plan. But instead he says his loss is weighing down on them. He gives Strand a St. Christopher’s medallion to help bare his heavy burden.
THE KEY TO THE FUTURE
On the way to their destination, Alicia asks if Daniel really doesn’t remember them. Strand says he’s never seen Daniel flinch and he actually shot Daniel in the face. He looks around the van and can’t believe he actually gave them the van. Alicia says they would have gotten it one way or another. When they stop, they can hear walkers in the distance. Hill shows them the warehouse and says the key to Ginny’s future is in that warehouse. He gives Alicia her weapon, but she says that will barely make a dent. Hill says he will bring more supplies. They watch a ranger gun down a man in a jumpsuit. Hill says they don’t particularly like people who run away.
They go into the warehouse to assess the situation and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) and Janice (Holly Curran) walk in. Charlie tried to run away twice. Janice didn’t really say what they caught her doing. Strand comes up with a plan to take out the nine remaining rangers and leave.
The scared prisoner from the night before, his name is Sanjay (Satya Nikhil Polisetti). He tells Strand that there are trucks in the warehouse, leaking molasses. The walkers are covered in it and if they touch you, they will stick to you. Sanjay knows who they are and that they stood up to the rangers. He wishes he were that brave.
Hill returns with a truck full of tools, not weapons. Alicia doesn’t think Strand’s plan will work. They need more people and better people. The rangers have guns and things can go bad quickly. Strand says it’s the only move, but Alicia thinks it’s about something else. Strand says it’s time they make the calls for themselves.
REPUTATION PRECEDES YOU
Charlie finds Dakota in the truck. Dakota ran away from Lawton and heard their conversation. She says she knows what Ginny will do if they try to run. Ginny is her sister after all. They move Dakota to a tent to talk. Ginny says someone already tried to overthrow the rangers and leave. Ginny hunted them down and she will do the same to Strand. If she can’t find him, she will hurt the people they love, including Daniel.
Dakota wants their help because she saw their tapes and knows what they are capable of. She says there is a weapon in the warehouse that Ginny wants to use on someone she’s looking for. If they can get the weapon first, they can overthrow the rangers and use it on Ginny instead.Strand isn’t so sure he can trust her. Dakota says she hears everything Ginny talks about, including the deal she made with Strand.
Alicia wants to know more about this deal, but Strand doesn’t say anything. He finally tells her that he gave Ginny the SWAT van in exchange that he remains with Alicia. He can’t do what they need to survive without Alicia. Daniel told him to remember who he is and being with Alicia helps him do that. It’s not about doing what’s right or wrong, it’s about being able to look yourself in the eye when it’s all over.
Alicia says they can’t risk losing people. They should go with Dakota’s plan instead and get the weapon to use on Ginny. Strand isn’t so sure, but Alicia is, so he agrees.
They used the equipment that ranchers use to herd cattle. The plan is lead the walkers down a ramp and straight to death. Strand reminds Alicia that they have another option, but she says this will work. Sanjay opens the door and the walkers trickle out. The runaways make noise to lead them to the exit where everyone waits with spears to kill the walkers. As they kill the walkers, they pull the bodies out of the way to keep the horde moving, but there are too many. The rails on the sides start giving out. They need to close the main door, but no one is there to pull it down.
Charlie tries to close the main gate in front of them and a walker grabs her. The molasses makes it hard for her to get up. A walker is holding onto her hair and Dakota shows up out of nowhere to kill that walker. Alicia pulls her up and they close the gate. Charlie thanks Dakota for helping her.
A couple of rangers run in when they see Dakota. They try to grab her and she reminds them that they aren’t allowed to touch her. The rangers send someone to call Ginny to let her know they found her sister, but Dakota tries hard to get away from them.
The side rails breaks and the rangers start evacuating. Strand opens the gate and they continue to kill the walkers. Dakota runs away from the rangers and hides under the ramp. The rangers pull her out, but both are taken by the walkers. Dakota runs to Strand.
Janice grabs a pallet and tells everyone to get behind her. Alicia and others stab the walkers from behind the pallets, but the walkers are piling up on them. Alicia calls out to Strand for help, saying they need guns. Strand grabs Dakota and runs to a trailer, where Sanjay is hiding. He’s too scared to be outside. Strand tries to distract the walkers by honking the horn in the trailer, but it’s not working. Sanjay says they will choose fresh meat every time. Strand grabs Sanjay and makes him leave the trailer.
Strand tells Sanjay that they planned to over power the rangers and run away. Sanjay asks why they didn’t do that and Strand can’t answer him. Instead Strand stabs Sanjay and says this is his chance to stand up to them. He pushes Sanjay toward the horde, screaming with him. He stabs Sanjay in the leg so he can’t run. The walkers hear the screams and turn to feed on Sanjay.
This gives Alicia and Janice a chance to grab the rangers’ guns. They step out of the warehouse and finish the walkers. They see Sanjay laying on the ground. Strand says he chose to sacrifice himself for the group. They hear Ginny on the radio and know they don’t have much time. They all go into the warehouse and find nothing. There’s no truck, no molasses, and no weapon. Dakota was sure there would be a weapon, but it’s too late. Ginny is here.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Ginny waits for them by the ramp and asks for Dakota. Dakota walks to her side. Strand takes responsibility, saying everyone acted at his behest. He says if anyone should be punished, it should only be him. Ginny is actually happy, but not because she gets to punish anyone. Because they did what no one else could do. They cleared the warehouse.
Giny wasn’t looking for a weapon, but an army. That’s the key to their survival. The rangers lead everyone away, but Strand away. Strand doesn’t understand the need for an army when these people don’t like Ginny. She doesn’t need them to like her. She just needs them to follow him. Ginny gives Strand a ranger key. It allows him to use the army as he sees fit. And when the time comes for her to call on him, his army better be ready.
IT’S ALL RIGHT
Daniel cuts the molasses out of Charlie’s hair. She’s a little sad that he doesn’t remember her and tries to jog his memory by playing “It’s All Right” by the Traveling Wilburys. He remembers the song, but not that he taught Charlie how to play it.
Charlie prepare to leave. Strand reassigns Janice to stay in Lawton, so she says goodbye to Alicia. Strand is staying too. He had Alicia reassigned though, somewhere far away from him. Strand says Sanjay died because he didn’t trust his instincts. Things should have turned out different, but he couldn’t do what needed to be done.
In order to do what he needs to do, he has to forget who he is. He can’t do that with Alicia around. She makes him remember the person he is. She hasn’t seen everything about him and he doesn’t want her to. He also doesn’t want to drag her down with him. Strand gives Alicia the St. Christopher’s medallion and tells her not to forget who she is. Alicia gets in the truck with Charlie and leaves.
A FRIENDLY RETURN
Daniel is also leaving. Before he goes, Strand says he felt sorry for Daniel because he doesn’t remember anything. Now he envies him. Daniel and his ranger start their journey. When they get outside of the gates, Daniel starts whistling “It’s All Right.” Someone answers his whistle in the distance. Daniel stops the ranger and says he left his good scissors behind. The ranger gets out of the buggy and goes back for the scissors.
Daniel whistles again and someone answers again. He walks toward the whistle and encounters a walker. Someone else kills the walker and Daniel thanks him, if he is a friend. Morgan (James) steps out and says he is a friend and he needs Daniel’s help. Daniel looks around and walks towards Morgan. He says it’s good to see him, calling him by his name and shaking his hand.
I have to admit, I like Strand when he’s looking out for number one. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this side of him. After last season, we need someone who will do the unthinkable to be safe. It’s unfortunate that he has to give up Alicia to do it, but it’s also about time that Alicia proved that she can do this on her own.
Not that Alicia hasn’t already proven that. After Madison and Nick died in season four, Alicia needed time to mourn. Now that she has mourned, it’s time for Alicia to find out who she is on her own. I’m very excited to see what she’s capable of without someone to watch over her. I’m ready to see her emerge as a leader and take risks.
And Daniel! I was so sad to see that he was hurt so bad that he forgot his Fear Family. I hoped he was pretending, but he was so convincing that it was real. Until Charlie played that song for him. That’s when I saw the look in his eyes. He remembered her. I thought he wanted to reach out to her. I don’t know what he’s up to, but I’m glad he has a plan. And now that involves Morgan. There’s no better pair of rogue warriors on Fear the Walking Dead than Daniel and Morgan!