Fear The Walking Dead Recap: “Date Of Death”

by on 09/28/2016

So…Chris is obviously evil now. Let’s discuss.

Last time, Madison switched on the power in the hotel, revealing their location to the world. The repercussions of her actions were immediate — the very next morning, about fifty weary travelers came banging on the gate, demanding to be let in and given food, shelter and showers. The mess is Madison’s own making, but she knows she can’t open that door and let any of those people in, because that would make it worse.

Then Travis’s head appears in the back of the crowd. Whoops! Now that’s salt in the wound of her gaffe! But to go back now would make her a hypocrite. Madison can’t let one more person in, because then she’d have to let everyone in.

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Um….well, okay. Guess she really can just let Travis in. There’s a bit of BS involved here because the weight of all those people would have surely smashed that gate open the second she unlocked it. Why they politely quit banging the fence so Travis could squeeze in there is beyond me.

Travis has come without somebody, and he has to admit he left Chris behind. He looks very shaken about it, and the majority of this episode is going to be devoted to a flashback explaining what happened.

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It’s back to Chris and the Frat Bros: Brandon, Derek and Baby James (not a moniker I made up to mock him, but what he actually calls himself). Last time our intrepid antiheroes invaded a man’s chicken coop and were nearly shot for it — but they shot first! Unless you count Baby James getting hit before then.

Travis does his best to sew up the wound and sterilize it, and tells everyone else James is going to need to rest there for a few days. In the meantime there’s some dead guy in the barn, and everyone else says “NOT IT.”

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It’s driving Travis mad that he’s the only one around with any sense of empathy. He’d like to give Mr. Farmer a proper burial, but he doesn’t even know his name. So he searches through the man’s possessions, papers and photos, and gets even more agitated when he realizes what a full, rich life he had pre-zombies. He can’t get Chris to see it that way, nor anyone else.

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By now, they’ve been at the farm a week and everybody wants to move on. James still hasn’t recovered and may in fact be worse, but the farm is boring and sucks, so they gotta jet. They lift James into the pickup as best they can, and head off down the dirt driveway.

Unfortunately James is fading fast and the bumps in the road aren’t helping his condition. Travis shouts for them to stop the truck, while James begs him not to through the pain. “Dude, then I’ll look uncool! Anything but look uncool! I’d rather die hip!” Travis ignores his pleas and bangs on the side of the truck until the other frats get sick of it. “Man, seriously? This is so lame.”

This leaves them still stuck on the farm, and they’re not happy about it.

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James may be their friend, but he’s also dead weight. Travis knows what everyone is thinking, and he’s not letting it happen. He pulls his gun on the group to defend James, which makes Brandon mock out “Jeah right, he don’t got the ballz.” This provokes Travis into firing at Brandon’s feet, which makes Derek pull out his own gun…..Chris shouts for everyone to cool down, though he’s still on the Frat Bros’ side.

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There in the barn, Travis sits protecting Baby James all night. James claims it’s not what he wants — they simply have to shoot him, for to let him live would be to break the Bro Code. And besides, how are you supposed to pick up chicks with this sick guy hanging around? Then there’s the helping him with the bedpans and everything…so lame!

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In the morning, Chris knocks on the door. Travis very cautiously lets him inside, keeping his weapon fixed upon his son’s forehead. “Believe me, I wish I didn’t have to.”

But Chris might have finally seen the light. He confesses to his dad that at first he thought the Frat Bros were his friends, but now he just doesn’t trust them anymore. He no longer wants to execute Baby James. “They’re crazy, Dad…I know they’ll do the same to me eventually! We gotta find a way out of this…”
“We will! We will, I’ll get us out…I’ll find a way….” Travis reaches out to embrace Chris.

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The other dudes charge in while Chris grabs Travis’s gun away. Travis is held at gunpoint in the other corner while Brandon does the dirty deed. James has changed his mind and pleads for mercy, but gets none. You know what’s interesting here? You can see from the look on Brandon’s face that it actually does pain him to shoot his friend. I get the feeling Chris would have casually walked over and shot right away.

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It’s clear by now Chris is a bad seed. When he climbs into the pickup to take off with the bros and leave his father behind, he shows no regret or remorse. I really hope they don’t try to take this back in the next episode, that he doesn’t run back to Daddy’s arms weeping, because come on, we’re really supposed to swallow that after all this? Chris is evil now, case closed.

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And from there Madison can fill in the rest. Above everything else, Travis regrets not telling his son he loves him. This would have no doubt made things even worse between them, because he wouldn’t have liked the response: ‘AW GROSS, DAD! RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS???”

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Remember the beginning of the episode, where you could only get through the gate if you were married to the gatekeeper? Turns out Madison had a change of heart and really did let all those people in….BUT she only let them into the parking garage. Alicia is down here tending to the sick among them, and thanks to Travis’s sob story, Madison really feels like not taking her daughter for granted.

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So she takes Alicia out to the docks and tells her a secret she’s kept bottled up for some time: her father’s death wasn’t an accident. No, Madison didn’t kill him (this is how I interpreted it at first, though, and you can’t blame me)….they found a suicide note in the car crash that ended his life. A man of simple words, he exited with the short statement “I love you all, but enough’s enough.”

So why wait until now to reveal this? Because Crazy Nick isn’t here, and Madison can never tell Crazy Nick, who reminds her of his father (man, I hope not too much).

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The final shot of the episode takes place late at night, when some tough-looking guys step up to the gates…..and among them are the Frat Bros, minus Chris! Where did Chris go? Was he simply too evil even for them? Stay tuned….

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