The mid-season finale of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ is intense from start to finish, with Ofelia’s not-so-triumphant return, a major death, and Madison finally getting what she’s been waiting for.
As the first hour of the July 9 mid-season finale of Fear The Walking Dead opens, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) catches up with Jake (Sam Underwood) right before he arrives at the tribal headquarters where Walker lives. She tells him about Gretchen and Mike’s family and how they were all killed by Walker’s people, which she was led to believe by her own mother, Madison (Kim Dickens) who covered for Troy (Daniel Sharman). She insists he turn around and go home because it’s too dangerous to try and find Walker now, but Jake disagrees — he thinks the new deaths make it more of a priority now than ever before. Since he won’t leave Alicia decides to go with him, and not too longer later they arrive at Walker’s. It’s a span of about 20 miles of land that belongs to Walker and his people, including a motel and a gas station. When they arrive there are guards who take all of their weapons before letting them continue inside. They are taken to Walker (Michael Greyeyes) — whose first name is Qaletaqa (Taqa for short) — who approaches them with a sword covered in thick red blood. He tells Jake he’s 200 years too late for peace, but just in time for lunch… then drops a severed pigs head at his feet. Gross.
Jake and Alicia sit down with Walker inside what was once an active diner. Walker has no interest in hearing what Jake has to say, he wants the ranch land and nothing less. He threatens Jake’s dad, Jeremiah, and mentions the other two founders: Vernon and Russell. Jake tells him that Russell is dead because his house burned down, and Alicia chimes by accusing Walker of Vernon and his family’s deaths. Walker doesn’t say whether or not he did it, so you can see that Alicia is now suspicious of the circumstances, but Jake and Walker are too heated for her to keep pushing. Jake tells Walker he was hoping for a parlay to avoid more violence and death, and the native is surprisingly interested in taking him up on that — but only after they eat.
A woman approaches the table to serve them, and when Alicia looks up she sees it’s Ofelia. She’s alive!
Nick Joins Troy’s Militia
After eating the two women step outside to let Walker and Jake talk, which also gives Alicia a chance to ask Ofelia why she left. Ofelia says it’s a long story, but Alicia wants to hear it and reminds her that she almost died looking for her. Ofelia feels bad and explains that she thought it was safe, but that she almost died out there on the road, too. She then says that Qaletaqa found her and saved her and that they are good people. Alicia mentions how they killed Vernon and his family again, but Ofelia says that’s not possible because Taqa goes out on all missions and he was with her that night. They are then interrupted by Jake and Walker who’ve agreed on a parlay.
Jake wants Alicia and one of Walker’s scouts to go back to the ranch and tell Jeremiah what they are doing. Alicia doesn’t think Jeremiah will listen to her, so they swap so that Alicia stays as a “hostage” and Ofelia goes with Jake back to the ranch.
Back at the ranch, Madison notices that Alicia hasn’t been around, but Nick (Frank Dillane) attributes it to his sister shacking up with Jake. Moments later Otto approaches and reveals that Jake is “AWOL” with supplies, but that they can’t risk sending another search party out to be slaughtered. Nick asks Otto to point him in the right direction, but the old man doesn’t think he has what it takes to go out there alone. He tells him to work with Troy like a “new recruit” so that he can prepare to be out in the world, proving Jeremiah doesn’t know much about Nick at all.
When Nick asks Troy to join the militia he meets resistance. There is still a lot of tension between the two, but when Nick slyly mentions being freaked out about the murder of Vernon and his family (which, as you might remember, was Troy’s doing) Troy caves — but only after telling Nick not to mention it to the other recruits.
Later, Nick sits out front of his home and cuts his long hair to short, likely part of his militia recruit guidelines. Madison is there, too, but she doesn’t seem convinced by Nick’s new gig. She’s worried about him being around Troy, but Nick thinks keeping his enemies close is a good idea. We’ll see.
Jake’s Parlay Sets Off Madison
Madison and Nick are the ones who greet Jake upon his return to the ranch, and they are both extremely confused to see him with Ofelia. Jake tells them that Alicia is safe, she’s with Walker, and that he needs to talk to his father to get the rest of the parlay going. Madison is pissed he left her daughter there, but Jake tells her flat out that he cares about Alicia and wouldn’t have left her there if she wasn’t safe. Jake then heads inside to find his dad, which leaves Madison to question Ofelia about where Alicia is. Ofelia tells Madison she’s been there long enough to know that Walker’s word is good, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for Madison or Nick.
It turns out the parlay is all about water. Walker and his people are running out, but the Otto’s have plenty. They have wells and even more reserved in the underground bunker. The problem? Jeremiah doesn’t want to share. He also doesn’t think some water will satisfy Walker. Madison barges in to find out what they are going to do to get Alicia back, but Jeremiah doesn’t budge. He flat out tells Madison there is nothing he is willing to give Walker and his people, and that nothing is going to change his mind about that. Madison goes to Troy, but he’s trying to play it cool like she told him too. Now she’s encouraging him to go on a killing spree with her for the sake of her daughter, and it proves to be a confusing situation for Troy. When it comes down to it Madison reminds Troy that he owes her for not telling the ranch that he’s the one who killed Vernon.
Meanwhile, Walker gets Alicia acclimated on his land. He gives her a little tour and explains who they are and that she’ll need to contribute while she’s there. But then they come upon the helicopter, and Alicia is forced to face Travis’ death again. She tells Walker that he didn’t kill one of the Otto’s, he killed one of her family members, and that she hates him. She also calls him a hypocrite which clearly gets under his skin. Later he takes her into his trailer which is filled with relics he’s collected, including an animal hide that he believes his ancestors predicted the apocalypse on. He shows Alicia the drawings which he says tell him that all of what’s happening is so that the land can be returned to the “first” people on it.
That night as Alicia is working on her “contributions”, we see her carrying two buckets in the dark as pigs cry in the background. Out of nowhere a figure appears to follow her from behind, and it doesn’t take long for us to learn it’s Troy. He grabs her from behind and tells her he’s there to rescue her, but she’s not so convinced. Alicia tells Troy he’s there to kill people and he proves her right when a guy they grabbed at random gets loose and he tackles him to the ground to stab him to death. Nick and Madison are watching from above and can see that someone is coming and the group won’t make it back before being caught, so they rush to intervene. Nick tackles the guard but loses control pretty quick. As the guard is about to stab him in the head, Troy rushes over and shoots him to save Nick’s life. A shoot out with Walker’s men results, but Madison arrives with the pick up truck and saves the day.
When they return to the ranch Jake loses it on them. He tells them they just declared war on Walker and his men, and ruined the deal he was working on. Madison tells him it was her idea because she thought Jake was being played by Walker, but he doesn’t care. He’s pissed. Jeremiah? He’s drunk.
Jake Desperately Tries To Make Peace
The next day Jake stocks up a pickup truck full of bottled water and tells Troy he’s bringing it to “placate” Walker. He’s also returning Ofelia in hopes of somehow saving the parlay he set up. Troy tells Jake if he leaves he probably won’t be coming back, and Jake asks Troy if that would secretly make him happier. Troy doesn’t answer. When Jake arrives at Walker’s land he’s ripped from the truck and immediately beaten up. Walker tells his men to give him a break, but only long enough so that he can grab Jake by the back of the hair and slice open his forehead to begin scalping him like he did Phil. It’s Ofelia who stops Walker from doing this, so instead Walker promises to finish the job next time they see each other. He also promises to make Jeremiah watch as he cuts apart Troy and feeds him to the pigs, then burns the old man alive. Yikes.
Later that same day, a man on a motorcycle approaches the ranch with a white flag. He gets just close enough to stop, push someone off the bike, then turn around and drive away as fast as possible. It’s Ofelia, and she’s been beaten to a pulp. She tells Jeremiah, Madison, Jake and Troy that Walker believes she gave them the information to get onto the land and steal Alicia back. Jeremiah decides to let her stay, but puts Madison in charge of her.
Troy’s militia is watching the perimeter waiting for an attack when two of the men get violently ill. Their screams can be heard throughout the camp, waking up everyone including Madison and Alicia. It turns out that people have been poisoned all throughout the camp, likely by Ofelia who offered to work in the kitchen when she found out she would be given a job, and now they are turning and attacking the ranch. It’s brilliant, but devastating. As the first hour comes to a close, Nick realizes it was Ofelia and tries to chase her down but suddenly falls ill himself. The last thing we see is Alicia comforting Nick on the ground as Madison chases after their so-called friend.
How Did Ofelia End Up At Black Hat?
As the second hour begins, we’re taken back in time to when Ofelia was traveling through the desert alone. It turns out it was Jeremiah who shot at her and eventually cornered her behind the tree. Once he realizes she’s American he gives her some water and sets her free, but instructs her to return in the direction she came from. When Ofelia asks for a ride, Jeremiah tells her he has no use for her “her kind” on the ranch. She spits at his feet as he gets in his truck and leaves her behind. It’s not clear how long she is in the desert before she eventually collapses, seeing her father, Daniel, trying to help her. When Walker finds her she’s half-dead, and he brings her back to Black Hat, his land, to save her.
We’re brought back to present time and Madison does, indeed, catch up with Ofelia. Madison is ruthless with her, punching her repeatedly while demanding to know what she did. It’s not until the next morning we see the devastation, as Troy and his men load bodies into trucks and Jake takes charge in treating the injured and ill. Alicia’s helping him, and we learn that Nick is still alive somehow. Ofelia told Madison it was a powder, something that was supposed to make the soldiers sick and no one else, but it failed. They don’t know what it is so they can’t properly treat anyone, which is a problem because people are still dying. Madison forces Ofelia to drive back to Black Hat with a gun to her head, literally, so she can confront Walker and find out what the powder was.
Walker’s men have Madison surrounded as she demands to know what is killing Nick. Walker tells her it’s anthrax and that there is no cure. This devastates not only Madison but Ofelia, too, who didn’t know what she was using. Walker tells his men to stand down and that Madison is free to leave because she is more of a man than any of the Otto’s. As Madison leaves Walker asks her how old Nick is, and she tells him he’s 18. Walker says that if he’s strong he will survive, and that she needs to take her family and leave the ranch before it’s too late. His fight is not with her. Madison refuses to leave and tells Walker that, so he promises her she will die.
Alicia Devises A Bargaining Plan
Nick wakes up just in time for Madison’s return, in which she promptly tells Jake and Troy about the anthrax. Jake tells Troy to gather up what’s left of the militia and do something, but when Madison chimes in with a suggestion about recruiting able-bodied ranchers, Jake snaps at her. He reminds her it’s not her ranch to lead, then storms off with both Alicia and Troy following him. Once he cools down Jake tells Troy that Madison is right and he should be arming everyone. Alicia wonders if they can talk to Walker one more time, but even Jake knows that’s not possible. However, Alicia reveals she has an idea.
Believe it or not, we now return to Mexico where Victor is still, somehow, alive. He now has a ton of supplies and weapons so he’s clearly gotten very good at scavenging. He’s searching through a building when he spots something through the window, and that’s when we see it: his yacht, the Abigail. It doesn’t take long for Victor to go running down the beach and into the water to his beloved yacht, which looks like it’s leaning on it’s side as it’s been stranded in shallow water. It’s got a few infected crawling through it, but Victor is able to take them all down. He finally has his boat back.
Back at Black Tap, Ofelia confronts Walker about the fact that he turned her into a killer. She’s truly upset about hurting he Clark family, especially the idea that she may have killed Nick. Walker tells her that what she did saved his entire nation of people. Then suddenly people outside are screaming, and both Walker and Ofelia go running to find multiple tents on fire. What they don’t see is Madison and Alicia sitting in a pickup truck waiting for everyone to be distracted. Some men notice Troy and the militia making a run for it and another shootout occurs. Madison and Alicia hooked the trailer of relics up to their truck and make a getaway, with Troy hopping in the back to safety.
Nick Uncovers Otto’s Secret Shame
Meanwhile, Jake releases Nick from the infirmary. Nick asks Jake where his father is, and Jake tells him that Jeremiah is only going to disappoint him because this mess they are in is all his fault. Nick goes to find Jeremiah and finds him standing over the massive grave staring down at the bodies being thrown in it, which we assume are all the people killed by the anthrax attack. Instead of bothering Jeremiah, Nick returns home and stares at the gunshot in the floor board from the night the old man got drunk and shot at it. Something about it irks Nick, so he rips up the floorboards and starts digging until he finds human remains.
Nick brings only the skull to Jeremiah and asks who it is. The skull, mind you, has a huge bullet hole right in the forehead. Jeremiah tells Nick it’s a “long story”, but Nick doesn’t plan on leaving until he hears it. Jeremiah tells him that when Troy and Jake were young, the tribe decided to claim the land as their own despite having sold it to the Otto family years before. He claims that a group of “thugs” from the tribe would come on the land to kill the animals and steal, so one night they caught them and ended up killing Walker’s uncle. Nick asks if that’s who the skull is, and Jeremiah reveals it’s actually Walker’s dad. The man came looking for his brother, so Jeremiah shot him once in the forehead and was done with it. Jeremiah then threatens Nick and tells him he needs to keep the bodies buried, physically and metaphorically, or else. He also tells him if he can’t “get right” with the past that he should leave the ranch. Nick reminds Jeremiah that the land really does belong to the natives, and that they are coming to take it back whether he likes it or not.
When Madison, Troy and Alicia return with the relics trailer they aren’t alone. Walker’s men followed them and now have the ranch surrounded. Nick wastes zero time in showing the skull to Alicia and Madison. Now the Otto family conflict is the Clark family conflict, because Nick and Alicia think they are on the wrong side. That’s when Alicia finds out that Madison lied to save Troy’s butt, and she loses it. She tells Madison she’s just like the Otto’s — if not worse. Madison defends herself by saying she’s doing it to keep everyone together and to be the “strong” one, but is it enough?
Madison & Nick Take Matters Into Their Own Hands
Whatever it is that Madison thinks she has going for her, it’s definitely not enough. Walker passes on her bargaining tool to get the relics back, plus half their supplies in turn for keeping the ranch. He also passes on her offering of his father’s skull, saying that it’s just some old white man’s shame. He’s not wrong. Now, the ranch has 24 hours to clear out or Walker and his men come in to kill them all.
Somewhere in Mexico on the stranded Abigail, Victor has an epiphany after talking to an astronaut over the radio. He takes all of the guns from the men he killed on the boat, then sets it on fire to leave it behind and focus on survival. As Victor walks back up the beach he came from, the Abigail explodes behind him. At least we know she’s really dead this time.
For some reason, Madison chooses this night to tell her children, Alicia and Nick, about her childhood. She reveals that her father was an alcoholic who beat her mother, and that one day she got tired of it and killed him with his own gun. This is something that clearly weighs heavy on Madison, and now it’s going to weigh on her children, too, who are stunned by the revelation. Madison told them this in hopes they would understand why she is the way she is, but it’s unclear if it helped or made the situation worse. Madison then goes to visit Otto and we quickly learn that she’s there to kill him. Without Jake’s knowledge, Madison struck a deal with Walker, but she doesn’t want to be the one to kill him so she tells him to do it. Even drunk Jeremiah puts up a fight, but that’s when Nick strolls in unexpectedly. Jeremiah goes on a rant about how he’s a mama’s boy and how his mom is just like him, and that’s when he’s shot dead — by Nick.
Madison quickly takes the gun and puts it underneath Jeremiah’s hand so it looks like he shot himself. She tells Nick to hide, then sits across from Jeremiah looking devastated as his two sons, Troy and Jake, come running in. The last thing we see is Madison delivering a backpack to Walker as the sun rises, and when he opens it we see Jeremiah’s head inside.
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