The world is a different place on Fear the Walking Dead. In “The Beacon,” we catch up with Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) months after the nuclear bomb exploded over Texas. 

At the end of season six, cult leader Teddy (John Glover) planned to destroy the world with nuclear bombs from a submarine. He took Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and hid her in a bunker underneath a hotel. To him, Alicia represented the future of humanity. Morgan (Lennie James) and Victor were able to stop Teddy’s master plan, but one bomb was released, causing the Gulf of Mexico to implode. Our Fear family all found shelter from the blast, but they are all separated. Of everyone Victor was the one who escaped the furthest. 

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Months after a nuclear bomb went off in Galveston, the dead continue to walk. Almost everything is dead now. The air isn’t safe. The sky is always orange and there are no animals to hunt. One man walks around, looking for food and only finding dead, naked walkers. He sees people, but hides from them. He lives in a van, covered in plastic. The man has to resort to cooking dead animals for food.

One night a walker almost attacks the man but someone saves him with a gunshot. There are several people who come to his rescue and they ask the man to go with them. He tries to run, but falls and hits his head on a rock. When he wakes up, people in hazard suits clean him up before taking inside.

THE TOWER

Victor and Howard question newcomer Will on Fear the Walking Dead

Gus Halper as Will, Colman Domingo as Victor Strand, Omid Abtahi as Howard – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

The place they take him has a lot of art. There’s classical music playing and lots of artifacts. The man finds a sword, but before he can unsheathe it, someone pulls a gun on him. The man turns to face Victor Strand stops the man from hurting himself and others.

This man’s name is Will (Gus Halper). He’s from Oklahoma and used to work for a Texas senator. He was with a community when the bomb went off, but says that the community fell. He tells them about the walkers that walk around naked and says people he calls the Stalkers did that to them, but he doesn’t know why. 

Victor and Howard (Omid Abtahi) ask a lot of questions about what Will has seen out in the world. It’s apparent that they don’t leave the building and why should they? Victor built a sustainable community. He has art, music, exercise, food, and alcohol. The rooftop is where they grow their food and catch rainwater. It’s a concrete paradise.

Howard says the weather is what kept the blast from affecting the area. The sky above Victor’s tower is actually blue. Their building is the most inhabitable place for miles. They also have a wall of pictures of every walker they encounter. It’s a way for Victor’s people to see if their loved ones have perished. Everyone who lives there has something of value that Victor can use. And anyone who doesn’t is asked to leave. Like Will. 

Victor sees no value in Will and asks him to leave. He asked the questions he needed to see if Will shared his vision and he did not. Victor’s men give Will his things back. Will gives Victor a St. Christopher’s medallion. The medallion is exactly like the one he gave to Alicia. Will says he found it on the dead and thought it would bring him luck. Victor asks him to take him where he found it and Will can stay. 

SEEKING SIGNS OF LIFE

They travel by horse into the safest areas. Will admits that he didn’t leave his community by choice. He was asked to leave and now he wants to make up for what he did. It starts raining so Will leads the group to an overpass to wait out the rain. 

Will asks why they are out there. He knows it has something to do with the medallion. He wonders why Victor is looking for the owner if he has everything he needs in his tower. Will asks Victor why he’s looking for “her.” Victor never said he was looking for a woman. He thinks Will lured him in under false pretenses. He asks where Alicia is. 

Will leads Victor on a wild goose chase on Fear the Walking Dead

Gus Halper as Will – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

The Stalkers show up and unleash bullets and walkers on Victor and his people. Will is shot in the leg, so Victor puts him in the van to wait out the shootout. While inside, Victor coerces Will to tell him where Alicia is. She is still at the bunker at the Franklin Hotel. Now that Victor knows where she is, he plans to find her … alone. 

THE LIGHTHOUSE

Victor stops at an abandoned lighthouse to plan his next move. He finds a map with the Franklin Hotel marked. When he tries to leave, it’s deadly foggy outside. Victor hears footsteps approaching and gets ready to fight. Will walks up with a gun in his hand. He knows the area well and assumed Victor would be there. 

Will confronts Victor about his true intentions. Victor is more interested in what Will is really up to. He knew exactly who Victor was when they met. From Will we find out that his is not one of Teddy’s people, but he was in the bunker when the bombs went off. He talks about Alicia like he admires her, making Victor wonder why Will didn’t stay with her. Will says Alicia asked him to do something he didn’t want to. Something that would have saved the community but put Alicia in danger. He’s been looking for a way back ever since. Will thought if he took Victor to Alicia, she might forgive him. But after meeting him, Will doubts Alicia would even recognize Victor. 

Victor says he gave the medallion to Alicia so she wouldn’t forget who she was. He asks Will for the medallion. When Will hands it over, Victor attacks him, trying to take the gun. Will is able to retain the gun and decides to leave. He says Alicia is better off without Victor. When Will opens the door a group of walkers walks toward him. Will freezes. Victor pulls him back in and asks why he froze. Will says the walkers are from the Franklin Hotel. Something bad happened and now Victor is worried about Alicia. Will doesn’t understand what happened.

Victor wonders if any of the walkers are Alicia and at the same time they need to find a way out. Will lights up the lighthouse to see if they can spot a walker that looks like Alicia. Victor walks outside and starts killing walkers. The light goes out, leaving Victor vulnerable. Will goes downstairs to find Victor. He starts killing walkers and the fog starts to clear. Will is surrounded by walkers, but Victor is right behind him and takes care of the remaining walkers. He didn’t see anyone that looked like Alicia. 

THE FRANKLIN

Will reveals his secrets to Victor on Fear the Walking Dead

Gus Halper as Will – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Will can see that Victor still cares about Alicia. They decide to go together to the hotel to see if Alicia is still there. When they get there, the place is empty. They check every room. Will says whatever happened occurred a while ago. There were 128 people living there. They walk into a room with a dead tree in the middle and chairs surrounding it. Nothing was taken, so Will doesn’t think it was an attack. They find a painting on the wall that wasn’t there before. Will finds a note that just says ‘Padre.”

Will thinks Alicia panicked. Victor asks what Padre is. Will doesn’t know but he thinks it’s going to get Alicia killed. He says it’s the possibility of something better. Will hoped to find it so Alicia wouldn’t have to. He feels bad for leaving Alicia, indicating he has feelings for Alicia.

Victor admits he wasn’t trying to prove something to Alicia. He wanted to prove to himself that he didn’t need her. He realizes now that he does need her and so does Will. Will thinks they are supposed to find her together. Victor and Will retrieve the light from the lighthouse and take it back to Victor’s tower. Victor’s people set up the light on top of the tower and turn it on. Walkers start surrounding the tower. The light can be seen for about 15 miles. Will is sure that Alicia will see it. 

Victor says Alicia is the closest thing he has to family. Will’s not the only one who loves her. Victor never told her that, but he will when he finds her. He hopes she can remind him of the man he tried to be. Will is certain that she can help him become that man. 

THE BEACON

Victor says he shouldn’t have left his tower. He almost got killed. He won’t let it happen again. It could destroy what he has built. Will is sure that with Alicia, they can make the place better. Victor says the only way to lead is alone. He watched as others tried to build a place like his. They came close but all of them failed because of love. He says attachments don’t make you stronger, they destroy you. 

Will realizes the light isn’t there to draw Alicia in. Victor says it’s to keep her and others as far away as possible. Will says Alicia will find him and change his mind. Victor pushes Will off of the roof and says Alicia won’t find him. Howard looks down at Will’s dead body and asks if Victor wants a photo. Victor doesn’t think anyone will come looking for Will, but Howard says someone might. 

Howard says the light will draw more than the dead. Maybe even Morgan Jones. Victor isn’t worried about Morgan or anyone else. He says anyone who tries to get to him will have to go through the dead. 

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Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. You can also stream new episodes early on AMC+.

 

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Noetta Harjo
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