Every villain has an origin story on Fear the Walking Dead. And they all believe they are saving the world. In “Odessa,” Madison (Kim Dickens) tries to expose the secrets of PADRE, as we find out Shrike’s motive for protecting the children on the island.
Here’s what we know about PADRE. Everyone has bird names. Morgan (Lennie James) is a collector for PADRE, but only takes kids whose parents are dead or who go with him willingly. Grace (Karen David), Dwight (Austin Amelio), and Sherry (Christina Evangelista) have also been working for PADRE. June (Jenna Elfman) did work for them, left, attacked anyone from PADRE and cut their fingers off and is now being forced to work for them again. Mo (Zoey Merchant) is eight years old and determined to prove that she can fight off the dead. Sherry and Dwight had a boy, his name is Finch (Gavin Warren). He is the new test subject in the latest research venture on PADRE.
PADRE seems to be run by a young woman named Shrike (Maya Eshet) and a man everyone refers to as PADRE, but no one ever sees his face. Shrike is aggressive, but maintains that everything she does is to keep the kids safe. She is the one who made Finch the first research test subject. While Finch slept, she allowed a walker to bite the kid. Sherry and Dwight were distraught after seeing Finch get bit. Dwight vowed to kill Shrike for doing that to him. Shrike gave Finch to June and told her to find a cure.
There are people who want to stop PADRE, including Madison. Madison tried twice and failed twice to run away from PADRE. The first time, she reunited Mo, known as Ren, with Morgan and Grace. Madison promised Mo that she would track down the parents of all the kids she took. The second time, she created a diversion so Morgan could escape PADRE’s guards.
When Madison first encountered PADRE, they knew she had kids. They also knew where the kids were. So it makes sense that Shrike knew who Alicia was when June told her about Alicia’s bite. June thought the radiation kept Alicia alive, giving Shrike the idea that they could find a cure. Shrike also started drawing Madison’s blood to see if maybe Alicia’s resistance to the bite was something genetic.
Now Madison is in June’s lab as the next test subject. June mentions that there is a boy reacting well to the radiation therapy. And she promises to stay by Madison’s side until the end. Madison asks June to find a file with the list of kids she took and where she took them from. She also asks June to track down their parents.
Shrike comes to administer the bite herself. They have a walker head attached to an electronic arm. They move the head close enough to bite the subject and then retract the arm. Shrike gloats over Madison, talking about how her research will make Madison a hero. She takes credit for the genius plan to cure the world.
Meanwhile, Mo and Dove (Jayla Walton) arrive at the train. Mo says that PADRE has been lying to them. She thinks Finch is inside and he’s in trouble. Just before the walker bites Madison, the power goes off. Mo yells for Shrike to get away from Madison. Before Shrike’s guards can act, June takes Shrike’s gun and radio and hits Shrike over the head. June releases Madison and saves Mo from the guards by shooting them.
Mo tells Madison that they need to convince the other kids about PADRE’s lies, but they both know that won’t be easy. Someone calls for Shrike on the radio, waking her up. Madison kicks the radio away and finds Dove pointing a gun at her. Madison and Shrike go back and forth, trying to convince Dove of PADRE’s intentions and lies. June says that Shrike is the reason that Finch got bit and that gives Dove a reason not to trust Shrike. Especially when she sees the walker head above the hospital bed.
Madison recognizes Dove and says she remembers taking her from her parents. They convince Dove that PADRE and Shrike have been lying to her about her parents. They need Dove’s help getting to the island to find the file that shows who and where her parents are. Dove threatens to kill Shrike if she doesn’t help them. Shrike warns them against killing her because PADRE is her father.
Flashback … Shrike, formerly known as Sam, came to the island with her father General Krennick (Michael B. Silver) and her brother Ben, aka Crane (Daniel Rashid). The general has an interest in birdwatching. He gave them names as code names. Krennick is leaving for a shipyard, full of supplies. The kids were worried about their father and stowed away on the boat to keep an eye on him.
Ben found his dad’s bird watching binoculars and freaked out. He thought his dad would find trouble if he didn’t have his binoculars. He ran away from the boat to find his dad in the shipyard and found walkers instead. Sam followed him and got scared when she found him surrounded by walkers.
Shrike continues to try and convince Dove that she’s picking the wrong side when a group of people jump out the woods with guns. The people are the parents of the kids taken to the island. One of the women stares down Dove, thinking she’s her daughter. Madison gets the biggest surprise when she finds out their leader is Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades).
Daniel is just as surprised to see Madison alive. The last time we saw Daniel, he had some issues with his memory. Now he’s drinking some kind of juice that helps. He says when PADRE found them, they were all split up and put in areas of usefulness. Except Daniel. They dumped him in the swamp because they thought he was too old to be useful.
Daniel found a group of parents and trained them to fight. He says they gave him a purpose after he lost Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) and Luciana (Danay Garcia).He may have lost his family, but he wants to make sure that the people can get theirs back. Madison tells him that there are files on the island that will tell him where Charlie and Luciana are located.
The group gets to the boat and starts asking Shrike a bunch of questions that she doesn’t answer. A group of boys from PADRE arrive and try to rescue Shrike. Madison pulls a knife on Shrike to make the boys back down. Mo stands between the boys and the parents. She tells Madison to take Shrike and get the file. If she can convince Dove, then the other kids will follow. Madison, June, and Dove take Shrike to the boat and leave.
Back at the island, PADRE tells Finch to assure the other kids that he’s okay. Finch asks about Red Kite, aka Dwight and Starling, aka Sherry. PADRE says they’ve been reassigned where they can’t cause him anymore harm. Finch says they saved his life, but PADRE takes the credit for that.
Madison and June arrive on the island with Shrike and demand to see PADRE. While they wait for PADRE to answer, Daniel radios’ Madison saying they are safe. He gives the radio to the woman from earlier. She wants to talk to Dove, telling her that she’s Dove’s mother and her real name is Alex. Shrike says the woman is not Dove’s mother. Madison wants to prove Shrike wrong. She radios PADRE again and demands to see the files or she will tell everyone who Shrike really is. PADRE lets them in.
Once they get to the office, Shrike stalls Dove. June and Madison know she’s doing it because PADRE is built on a lie. Shrike says it’s the only way to protect the kids from what happened before. PADRE always says they never lost a kid. Madison wonders who they lost. Shrike avoids answering the questions. She says they will never get her father to admit to anything.
Flashback – Ben was trapped, but his dad arrived in time to shoot the dead and save him. The dead are all over the containment yard and most of the soldiers are dead. The gunshots attracted the dead to their location and they were surrounded. Sam climbs to the top of a trailer and then helps Ben. Their dad isn’t so lucky. A walker bites him in the face. He looks to his children and tells them not to let PADRE die.
Back in the office, Madison takes a sledgehammer and breaks the glass that PADRE is hiding behind. They find Ben, posing as his father. Ben and Sam are PADRE. Shrike explains that after losing their father, they felt lost. Someone radiosPADRE 1 and they took it as a sign. It was one of the kids on the island. They wanted to know what happened to their parents. Sam and Ben knew it would break them if the kids knew their parents were dead. So they lied and said the parents abandoned them.
Madison asks about the shipyard. Shrike says their father died to protect what was inside. They made sure it stayed that way. She asks how and Ben says it doesn’t concern her. June asks how they were able to recruit adults. They made everyone believe that PADRE was still there. Dove asks why they lied. Shrike says to protect them. She tells Dove to open her file.
Dove discovers that her name is Odessa. Madison met her mother, Ava (Lyndon Smith) the same day she met Morgan (in the season seven finale). Shrike forces Madison to reveal that she made Ava believe it was possible to get Odessa back. With many other parents, Ava set out to do that and died in the process. Shrike says it’s all Madison’s fault.
Dove gets upset and pulls a gun on Madison. Shrike tells her to stand down, but Dove says Madison needs to pay. Shrike says Madison will pay and the guards come to take her into custody. Shrike truly believe in PADRE and says they will continue to protect the kids the same way they always have. And they will continue the experiment on the train to find a cure. Ben says as long as things remain the same, the children will continue to experience unimaginable loss. With a cure, they can go back to having families and connections.
Dove accompanies Shrike and two guards escorting June and Madison back to the train. Madison asks what Nick and Alicia were like when they thought she was dead. June says she wouldn’t recognize them. The boat stops in the same place where they left Daniel. Daniel and his people are waiting for them. They demand the release of Madison and June. Shrike has no choice but to back off.
A woman approaches Dove and calls her Alex. Dove lets her know that she is not her daughter. June says Dove can still have a family even if it’s not the one she thought. Madison made her believe there was more and that’s still there. She asks Dove to come with them, but Dove refuses. Shrike says every kid will choose to remain on the island despite learning the truth, but Mo disagrees. She says soon Shrike will see. Madison apologizes to Daniel for not coming through. It will be hard for the kids or the parents to believe her now. But Daniel believes in her. Madison says she’s not the leader they need, but she knows Morgan can be. Daniel and his people take the boat.
Dove returns to the island. And Shrike goes to the shipyard. Shrike and Crane put thousands of walkers in the shipyard to protect what’s inside. Shrike informs Crane that the parents know where the island is and will be there soon to destroy it. But she has a plan … their dad’s plan. She says it doesn’t matter who they are. All that matters is that what they built survives. And the way to do that is to expand. They trained the kids to fight. Now it’s time to show what they’ve learned.
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