The latest safe haven for Madison and her family on ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ slowly but surely starts to tear at the seams in the latest episode. Here’s our full recap.
Nick (Frank Dillane) is still bonding with Jeremiah (Dayton Callies) when the sixth episode of Fear The Walking Dead‘s third season starts. They are practicing shooting, but Nick is clearly distracted by the fact his mom, Madison (Kim Dickens), still hasn’t returned with the rescue group that she volunteered to be a part of. Jeremiah tells Nick not to worry, that they’ll be back eventually and to continue distracting himself by shooting at the targets. Meanwhile, we quickly learn that Nick isn’t the only one concerned — his sister, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is also worried. When we see her she’s laying wide awake in Jake’s (Sam Underwood) bed, revealing that their hook up in the previous episode was not just a one time thing. He tries to reassure her that her mom is fine, that his brother, Troy (Daniel Sharman), promised to take care of her, but Alicia isn’t convinced.
A moment later, as if on cue, Nick spots Madison and the group slowly walking back to the ranch. They seem to be in a daze, and one close up on their feet reveals they are all bloody, swollen and sore from walking through the mountains and desert without their boots. Nick quickly makes a run for the gate and goes straight for Madison, catching up to her just in time for her to collapse in his arms. It’s a rare sight to see Madison looking so weak, which is a sign of how bad this situation truly is. The rest of the people on the ranch come running to greet their neighbors and loved ones, including Alicia who brings fresh water for Madison to drink. Troy seems to be the only one not ready to collapse, which might just be his stubbornness at play.
When Jeremiah catches up to Troy he asks what happened, but Troy suggests they speak in private. One of the older men attending to Mike, a soldier, demands that Troy and Jeremiah tell everyone what happened. His stance is that everyone deserves to know, but Troy and Jeremiah don’t seem to agree. That’s when Mike decides to announce what happened — telling the group that everyone at the outpost is dead, that it was an attack by the Indians, and that if they don’t leave the ranch they’ll be next. Troy repeatedly tries to get Mike to shut up, but fails. Now everyone knows what’s wrong, and it’s likely going to affect the ranch’s population very quickly.
Once everyone is inside, Jeremiah meets with Troy, Jake and Madison about what to do next. Troy wants to retaliate, but both Jake and Jeremiah want to do nothing. Madison doesn’t make her opinion on the matter very clear, but she does seem concerned about Walker and makes sure to express that to Jeremiah. He tells Jake to address the ranch and explain everything and that they won’t be retaliating because they don’t need to, but ignores his eldest son when asked if Troy can join him in the speech. Jeremiah has definitely made up his mind about who the ranch is going too — and it’s not Troy.
Walker Sends A Message To The Ranch
After the meeting, Madison goes back to her bunk where Alicia and Nick tend to her badly injured feet. Later, Alicia sneaks off to meet up with Jake who has taken over practice shooting from Nick and Jeremiah. She asks for him to teach her how to shoot the semi-automatic weapon, and while he does so she inquires if he’s concerned about the new threat. She also inquires about him taking over the ranch after his dad, Jeremiah, dies. Jake doesn’t seem too concerned because he doesn’t think anyone will follow his lead anyway, but Alicia isn’t convinced of that.
While Madison is resting she gets a surprise visit from Alicia’s new friend, Gretchen. The young girl apologizes for interrupting Madison while looking for Alicia, but Madison can tell she’s pretty upset so she invites her inside. Gretchen opens up to Madison very quickly, telling her that her entire family is scared including her father who happens to be one of the founders of the ranch. Vernon, her dad, has started telling people that he knows of another colony in Colorado that he thinks is safer than Safe Jaw. Gretchen doesn’t realize that she’s feeding information to a woman who is eager to potentially take this place from the Otto family, or possibly protect everyone and prove she’s more of a hero than Troy and his goons combined.
That night we join Jeremiah as he sits alone at his desk. The former alcoholic pulls a bottle out of his desk and stares at, which insinuates that he, too, might be scared of what’s to come. Before he can even consider having a drink he notices a light shining through the bottle that gets bigger and bigger, and when he goes outside he sees that someone has started fires all around the ranch. Nick is the next to notice inside his tiny house, and when he steps outside he finds that one of the fires is just a few feet away from his new home. Pretty soon people on the ranch are screaming “fire”, and a wide shot reveals that there are dozens of small fires surrounding them.
The next morning Jeremiah, Jake and Madison go out to inspect one of the fires. They were intentionally built to burn out and not spread, which Madison says is a clear sign that Walker and his men want the land unscathed. Jeremiah stands firm that Walker doesn’t have the manpower or the weaponry to take the ranch, and that these fires were just a stunt to scare them away. His confidence is not enough. We quickly learn that people are preparing to leave when Nick goes into the underground bunker to get supplies for his new house. He runs into Troy, of course, who spots two people taking supplies and demands they put them back. They tell him they are leaving and that they spoke with his father about it, so if he has a problem he can take it up with him. This is the only thing that makes Troy back off, further proving he’s a loose cannon waiting to explode on the people of the ranch.
Troy Loses Control Again
Later, Madison stops to chat with Jeremiah and warn him about Vernon’s — Gretchen’s dad — plans to leave. Before she can get a word out Vernon comes up and asks to speak with Jeremiah privately, but he insists that he speak his mind in front of Madison, too. That’s when Vernon shares that he’s planning to leave to protect his family. Jeremiah isn’t thrilled by this but also reminds Vernon that he doesn’t need his permission to do what he wants. However, Troy is listening from another table and the conversation is clearly bothering him. When Vernon goes to leave, Madison attempts to convince Jeremiah he should give Vernon and his family a reason to stay. Her reasoning makes sense, too: if Jeremiah can’t keep one of the founding members of the community, how can he keep anyone else? She also reminds Jeremiah that a fight is coming and every person that leaves is leaving them weaker. Jeremiah isn’t phased, but Troy is — so he gets up and runs after Vernon’s truck. Madison quickly follows, as does Jake.
At the gate, Troy refuses to let Vernon leave. He demands Vernon open the truck door, but the man tells him he isn’t interested in doing this. Troy goes around to the passenger side to talk to Vernon’s son and his friend, Mike, demanding he get out of the car. He reminds him that people died for them, and that “men” don’t run when they’re afraid. Jake tries to interfere but Troy is completely out of control. Jake reminds him it’s not his decision to tell anyone on the ranch what to do, especially if it goes against what their dad has already decided, and this infuriates Troy. Troy gets so upset he punches Jake in the face, and Jeremiah runs in between them and punches Troy in the face. Jake steps in to stop his dad, and Madison also tries to pull them all apart before this gets worse.
After the incident, Madison finds Troy in the underground supply bunker near the guns. He’s locking up the weapons in hopes of keeping people from taking them if they decide to leave or if there’s an attack, as that could obviously result in a lot more bloodshed than necessary. Madison’s impressed by this and it encourages Troy to open up to her once again. He tells her that this place is all he’s ever had, his family is all he’s ever had, and he’s genuinely upset that his lifelong friend, Mike, is now gone. It’s a rare moment of vulnerability for Troy and it shows us that maybe his bad behavior is triggered more by emotional instability than anything else. It also shows that, despite his previous actions, he actually trusts Madison. Tory makes a decision then and there that they can’t let anyone else leave. He calls his “military” to attention inside the bunker and tells them they need to work together to protect the ranch and make sure everyone feels safe so they don’t want to follow Vernon’s lead. Madison seems impressed by this.
Jeremiah & Madison Make A Disturbing Discovery
That night, as Madison is laying alone in the bunker, Alicia creeps in in the middle of the night. She asks Alicia if she was at bible study, and Alicia finally tells her mom about Jake. She confesses to liking Jake, but also makes sure to point out that she’s not in love with him. She also mentions that they “need” him, which is true, but Madison doesn’t seem too convinced that that’s why Alicia’s spending time with him. To make things awkward, Madison mentions birth control and Alicia has to tell her mom that there’s birth control in the pantry.
Nick returns home to find Jeremiah inside, but this time the old man and former alcoholic is drunk. He’s halfway through the bottle we saw him pull out of his desk earlier in the episode, and now that Nick is back he’s ready to lament about his friends dying and leaving. Jeremiah reveals it was inside the house that he, Vernon, and the other founders decided to make the ranch what it is today. The memory infuriates him so he flips the table, shattering everything Nick had on it. When Nick goes to clean up the mess, Jeremiah grabs the gun he gave him and shoots three bullets into the table — one for each of the other founders. He apologizes after, gives Nick the gun and then passes out on his bed. The next morning Nick tells Jeremiah he was at the bunker with his mom, letting Jeremiah know his secret is safe with him. But, that’s when Jeremiah notices a horse outside the fence. Nick says it’s been there about 12 hours, and that’s when Jeremiah reveals it’s one of Vernon’s — which he took with him when he left.
Jeremiah takes Madison and Nick out on the road to see if they can find Vernon. Madison tries to comfort Jeremiah by suggesting the horse escaped or was let go, but he’s sure his friend is dead. He’s right. They eventually find Vernon’s RV and it’s covered in bullet holes. Inside are Vernon and his wife reanimated, so Jeremiah takes them out. Nick finds Mike’s bloody body behind the RV, and then they make an even more gruesome discovery in the horse trailer. Inside is the horse, still alive, being eaten by a handful of infected — including Vernon’s daughter, Gretchen. Seeing the teenager reanimated throws Madison off, so Nick is the one to put her down.
Madison Tries To Whip Troy Into Shape
Madison assumes this was done by Walker and his people, but Nick disagrees. He thinks it was Troy, and he thinks that Jeremiah does, too. When Madison approaches Jeremiah before they head back to camp he reveals that he does think it was Troy, and that he’s not sure what to do about it.
When they finally return to the ranch, Madison backs the truck up so that the people who’ve gathered at the gate can see Vernon and his family’s dead bodies. Troy is there, too, and he looks nervous. He clearly didn’t expect anyone to go and find them and bring them back. Madison addresses the people of the ranch and tells them that this was Walker’s people, which her son, Nick, is clearly not very happy about. Troy looks relieved and maybe even a little confused, but what Madison is doing isn’t for him. It’s to protect the people inside the ranch, to scare them from leaving and heading into a world they know nothing about. It seems to work.
But, Madison’s plan backfires when it comes to her own daughter. That morning Jake took off to go and talk to Walker, even after Alicia begged him not to go. The second Alicia thinks Walker killed Vernon and his family she is determined to save Jake, so she heads back to his apartment to find a map and supplies. How long until everyone realizes they are BOTH missing?
Later, Madison approaches Troy on the ranch and he immediately confesses to what he did. He swears he didn’t go out there to kill them, that he just wanted to talk to Mike, but that things went “bad”. Madison tells him she doesn’t care what he did or how or why, but that he needs to learn to control his rage. She reminds him that he could be running this place one day, and that he’s proven he has the leadership to do that — but only if he can stop losing control. It’s unclear if Madison truly believes that he can do that, or if she’s setting him up for failure. Either way she’s up to something, and hopefully it works.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do YOU think that everyone is safer on the ranch? Do YOU think Madison is trying to manipulate Troy and Jeremiah? Comment below, let us know!