In the opening scene of Fear The Walking Dead‘s mid-season premiere, we quickly learn that Nick (Frank Dillane) has found shelter with the housekeeper and a few other survivors from the compound. As you might remember we last saw the compound burning to the ground thanks to Daniel, so it’s interesting to see that anyone survived at all. However, the housekeeper is off to travel Mexico in search of her son’s father, and she suggests that Nick come with them. Nick isn’t interested in going with her though, instead he’s hoping to continue Celia’s legacy and follow the people who believe that the walkers are not actually dead. Awkward.
Nick is immediately warned that where those people are headed is not safe, and that he would end up in the presence of the “worst of men.” Despite the warning the housekeeper still helps Nick find his way there, directing him to cross a mountain to the highway north. Once she and her son leave, he’s all alone and left to his own devices — with seemingly zero interest in finding his own family again.
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During Nick’s trek towards Tijuana, we get a rare flashback into his life before the apocalypse. He appears to be in a rehab center playfully flirting with a young blonde, an alive Gloria, until the topic of “Family Day” comes up. Nick tells the girl that he refuses to “sh-t” on his parents for a “get out of jail free card,” despite her ongoing encouragement to do so. He eventually caves and this teaches us something about his relationship with his father, which apparently wasn’t great.
When night falls Nick is fortunate enough to stumble across an abandoned home, and while it’s definitely a better option than sleeping outside, there are no real windows or doors to secure his safety. Despite that, Nick starts a fire and settles in for the night with a fire and the supplies he was given by the housekeeper earlier in the day. As he’s sleeping he learns that it isn’t walkers he needs to worry about, but other survivors. A crazed woman with a baseball bat storms the house and wakes Nick up, immediately swinging at him. He jumps up, but the bat catches him a few times, especially when he leans down to grab his supplies so that he can leave. As this is happening, a little girl (presumably the woman’s daughter) is watching from a corner in horror. After he’s clocked in the head with the bat Nick has no choice but to leave without his supplies, leaving him with nothing as he continues walking north on the highway.
Nick Runs Into Some Troublemakers
The next day he finally encounters some walkers when he comes across abandoned cars in the road, though he gets lucky again because the one closest to him is still strapped into it’s seatbelt. As he’s digging for supplies in the walker’s car, he finds some clean water and a battery operated radio. A moment later you can hear a car speeding down the road, and when Nick notices it he quickly drops to the ground to hide. He watches from behind a car as three guys pull up in a Jeep, then get out and kill the walkers in their way. They do not seem like good guys at all, especially when they find an old man that is still alive and begging for water in the front seat of his car… and kill him. Yikes.
As the guys are laughing over their latest kill Nick’s new radio starts to make white noise, which causes them to come towards where he is. Nick makes a run for it but is nearly killed when they all start shooting at him. Somehow he makes a clean escape, but this puts him in the middle of a desert-like area with no direction in sight.
With no supplies and nowhere to go, Nick gets excited when he walks into (literally) a cactus. You can almost see the lightbulb go off over his head as he remembers that you can sometimes drink from cactus. However he doesn’t remember that most of them are toxic, and after he tries eating one he ends up puking into the sand. If he wasn’t already dehydrated, he sure is now. In an act of total desperation Nick drinks his own urine… which he seems less disgusted by than the cactus. Weird, but whatever works for you, bro!
Nick once again manages to find some sort of shelter when he discovers an abandoned but totally stripped car in the middle of the desert. He takes a seat against it in hopes of getting out of the cold desert wind, but his mind transports us back to the rehab center flashback. It’s finally time for “Family Day,” but when Madison arrives she takes Nick into a private room to meet before their therapy session. That’s when she delivers the devastating news that his dad was killed in a car accident, which leaves him shattered.
A Dehydrated Nick Is Desperate For Food
When Nick wakes up he’s faced by two vicious dogs who are growling at him. He tries to shimmy under the van he’s sitting next to, but one of the dogs sinks it’s teeth into Nick’s leg and grabs hold. Nick uses a rock to hit the dog and get him to let go which is brutal to watch, but it gives Nick a chance to climb on top of the car’s empty shell to safety. Once he’s on top we see how bad the injury is to his leg… but that’s not half as bad as what comes next. When the dogs notice a herd of walkers headed their way they lunge to attack, but are quickly overcome by the dead. You can hear the dogs crying as they are torn apart.
The dogs act as a temporary distraction who quickly learns that noise attracts them. Once they are finished with the dogs they feast their eyes on Nick as he moves around on top of the creaky van shell, but then he’s saved by the bell — or in this case, the horn. A car horn sounds in the distance along with some gunfire, causing the walker herd to move on and leave Nick be. He is still desperate for nourishment, so in a scene I personally will never forget he crawls over to one of the dog’s lifeless bodies and starts picking on what’s left. Absolutely awful.
Nick goes back to his old tricks by covering himself in walker blood and moving along with herd, but it quickly backfires. Whether it’s due to his dehydration or the delirium he must be feeling from being out in the desert for so long, he starts to hear voices coming from the walker grumbles and groans. It’s pretty creepy, and it’s clear that it’s starting to weird him out as it continues… though he doesn’t ditch the herd. Instead we see them make their way onto the highway north, and we learn that Nick has traveled 60 miles towards Tijuana in just the past two days. Impressive, especially considering everything he’s been though.
But things quickly turn south again when the Jeep returns with the three thugs, and Nick tries to keep a low profile in the middle of the herd so that they don’t recognize him. The guys start playing target practice with the herd and one-by-one they all start to drop like flies. When the herd gets too close the guys start to leave, but one drops his bullets and stops to pick them up. Another comes over to help, but the herd gets too close and quickly starts devouring both of them as their friend drives away in the Jeep. Nick just watches as his new group stops for a snack, then continues on with them once they keep moving again.
Suddenly we see Nick from someone else’s POV through binoculars, and we quickly learn that it’s another three survivors. The two men and a woman seem to be looking for someone who they mistook for Nick, and when they realize it’s not the person they wanted it to be the woman, Luciana, decides to leave him for dead. They watch as he collapses in the road from a combination of exhaustion and dehydration, but when the woman tries to leave one of her men tells her that the kid is dying and needs their help. It doesn’t seem enough to sway her though.
Nick Finally Finds Some Help
While Nick is laying on the asphalt waiting to die we get another flashback, and this time it’s him and Gloria in the church — right before where the show opened in it’s first episode of season one. Nick is reading the book that his mother Madison found when she went to the church looking for him, which was where he had his drugs hidden. Gloria tells him she wants to read the book but only in the morning, and then sets up to get high with Nick… not knowing that it would be her last time doing so.
He wakes up in the middle of the night as rain pours over him, washing off the blood and also providing him with some hydration. It’s unclear if he’s crying or laughing when he starts opening his mouth to drink the rain water, but either way it’s enough to get him back up on his feet. The next time we see him he’s limping into a Mexican neighborhood with his injured leg from the dog attack, and eventually he finds an abandoned drug store that could hold some supplies to help him clean his leg up. Unfortunately he finds absolutely nothing of use.
Nick then storms into another building that looks like an apartment, and without hesitation walks right inside looking for anything to help. He finds some napkins and duct tape, then uses it to wrap the deep, bloody wound on his calf. As he’s doing so a figure appears in the doorway and when he looks up we see that it’s Luciana with a very large gun in her hands — and no, she doesn’t look happy to see him. She comes closer and sees how he wrapped his leg, then tells him in Spanish that the way he wrapped it will only make it worse. Nick looks confused, obviously, but that’s when one of Luciana’s guys asks if it’s an “infectado” — which Nick understands. He immediately tells them no, that it was a dog, and they seem relieved. Next Nick asks for water in Spanish, which one of the guys hands over for him to sip from. Luciana takes it away from Nick rather quickly, but then tells him — again, in Spanish — that she knows someone who can help him.
There’s Still Life After The Apocalypse Hits
Next we see Nick in what appears to be a hospital all alone until a man dressed in white comes down the stairs and tells him he shouldn’t be putting any weight on his leg. The man speaks english, has Nick lay down on a bed, then cuts his pants open to find the wound on his calf. The man tells Nick that he’s “on the edge of infection” and that he would have died out in the wild if he hadn’t found his way there. He ignores when Nick asks him if he’s a doctor, but the man continues to clean the wound and then properly wrap it. Nick tells the man that he wants to live in a world where the dead are not monsters, to which the man has no response. Instead he finishes up Nick’s leg, then heads to the door and opens it only to reveal a small community of people who are living safely without any walkers.
Once Nick is back up on his feet he walks out into the community to take it all in, noticing that there is a large group of people living inside this community and making it work. The place seems closed off and there isn’t much free space, but there is food, water, supplies and shelter — all things that Nick desperately needs. The moment seems to captivate Nick, as this is the first time he’s been given any real hope that there is life after the apocalypse.
But, where is the rest of his family?
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do YOU think about Nick’s journey to the safe community? Were you surprised by his flashbacks? Comment below with your thoughts!