Fear The Walking Dead Recap: “Pillar of Salt”

by on 09/20/2016

Before any of the events in this episode can begin, a one-child family slips out of the colony early in the morning. They get past the Walker barrier by using the blood-paint trick, which has been seen so many times now that it’s going to affect how we see zombie danger in this world. The characters almost never do this in the original series, and when it comes back on next fall and we’re watching Carol or Enid flee for their lives, it’s going to feel strange that they don’t just paint themselves red.

In fact, when you think about it, how is this zombie moat even protection? If everybody knows about the secret in Mexico, surely the drug lords do too, right? This wouldn’t really keep them at bay.

But there are more dangers out there than zombies. The escaping family is grabbed by one of the drug runners, who captures them and takes them back to the warehouse for questioning. They don’t actually know where the colony is located. It won’t take them long to find out.

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Oh….WHOA! It’s suddenly Ofelia! We don’t see Madison first, or Nick first….we get Mercedes Mason for the first time in ages. And it may be ages before we see her again, because the end of her sequence shows her driving back to the US. But before that, she has a few flashbacks that flesh out her story…most importantly, WHY on Earth she’s doing this. It’s for love; she’s hoping her ex-fiance is still out there, and still available.

If it came down to it, would I have the guts to siphon gas? I wouldn’t resort to it unless civilization crumbled the way it has here…what I mean is, would I have the guts to suck on a hose until fossil fuel came out and possibly into my mouth? That stuff’s poison. I don’t know how Shannon, The Girl Who Drinks Gasoline does it.

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Cut to Rosarito Beach Hotel. Everything’s happy! The tenants are getting along and growing crops! Alicia is surfing with a potential new boyfriend! Madison and the others in charge are discussing the best way to ration the remaining containers of gasoline (keep them away from Shannon!) Suddenly, there’s a knock on the door, and Strand goes to answer it. It’s the mother of the bride from that ill-fated wedding ceremony, who blames him for some reason even though he wasn’t there. And she came with a knife! Stabbed in the gut, good mood ruined.

One of the hotel’s residents is a doctor, and after treating Strand’s wound says he’ll be fine, but only if he can get access to drugs and a blood transfusion. But the equipment necessary to do such things isn’t in the hotel. Elena mentions there’s a warehouse that exists an hour’s drive from the place that may have everything they need, if they can barter successfully. OH HO! I see where this is going!

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So does the series, which cuts back to Crazy Nick and his new friends. Supplies are dwindling again and that guy who escaped was supposed to be the one to make a new trade. But things didn’t go too well for him, so Alejandro is insisting everybody stay put for now. “NO WAY,” says Crazy Nick, who insists fresh water and drugs can’t wait (especially the drugs!) Nick’s new squeeze Luciana is inclined to agree with Alejandro. It took about a day for this couple to have their first fight, and I expected it far sooner.

I also didn’t expect Nick to bend so easily, but Luciana puts her lips one micrometer from Nick’s and says, “I am the boss,” before nibbling on him. She knows how to end a conversation. After all, sex is a kind of drug, and Nick will take whatever’s legal.

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Alejandro can’t put Nick under that same way, so Nick tries to persuade him next. Nick has a point that the runners are eventually just going to come for them if they can’t get what they want. It’s a point that’s ignored. “Well, they won’t attack us, because I believe they won’t, and if you believe in something hard enough, it comes true. Those bootleg animated movies that get circulated in this country told me so. There’s a lot to learn from Cindroola and The Tiger King.

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It’s time! The threads are being sewn together! Madison is at the warehouse where Nick just was a few days before! Ordinarily, though, she would have no way of knowing that, and this would be a missed connection….if not for that captured family being grilled in the upper office. Said office is full of holes and offers no privacy at all. Madison asks Elena to translate what’s being shouted.

“They’re saying they know of someone…..a tall man with scraggly hair….”

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Madison’s ears prick up. There’s only one thing that could confirm this, and she gets it when the next part of the sentence is “….who delivers us drugs.” She STAMPEDES into the room and DEMANDS to know more! What she doesn’t know is that saying more will expose the colony’s location, and because of this, the family isn’t speaking to anyone.

As Elena explains to her later, these guys are rough and Madison is lucky to get away with her life after a buttinsky like that. It doesn’t dull her maternal instincts. When she returns to the hotel, Strand is no longer on her mind….or the safety of everyone else, for that matter. Madison heads in a straight line for the electrical box and throws on the main switch!

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The hotel logo shines like a beacon. Everyone goes insane with rage. The closest among them is Alicia, who walks over to Madison and demands to know what’s gotten into her.

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“Nick is out there! He could see this!”
“Why do you care about Nick so much? He chose to run away! He chose to abandon us!”
“I’m a Tiger Mother, and I will never stop searching for my children.”
“But you’ve got a child right HERE! Isn’t one enough for you? And I’m the GOOD ONE! Your other two kids suck! Think about that!”

Alicia’s impeccable argument does little to sway her mother. Someone else turns off the electricity, but not before Maddie’s stunt is seen by plenty of people, including…..

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No, not Nick…Travis! And Travis is alone! Did Chris turn evil? We hope so….

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