HOLLYWOOD—Season two, episode four of “Fear the Walking Dead,” ‘Blood In The Streets,’ aired Sunday night and was themed around the most critical rule of thumb in post-apocalyptic survival – DO NOT TRUST THE LIVING.
It’s important to remember that “Fear The Walking Dead” is a prequel to “The Walking Dead”, so those of us who so closely trailed the endeavors of Rick Grimes and the gang are much more weathered than the cast of “Fear”; so when Alicia Clark made the amateur mistake, in the season two premiere, of engaging in some facsimile of a friendship with Jack, a stranger over the radio, played by Daniel Zovatto, it was obvious that her ignorance would render some disturbing consequences for those aboard Victor Strand’s yacht, the Abigail.
The season two premiere, ‘Monster,’ closed upon Jack’s looming promise to Alicia: “I’ll see you soon.” Jack made good on his word when he and his group bombarded the Abigail in the guise of an injured pregnant woman and her distressed family.
Chris and Ofelia were above deck keeping watch when a lifeboat of three paddled toward the Abigail shouting, “We need help! Please! Help us!” They forced themselves aboard but their genuine panic made it impossible to infer mal-intent.
Chris had the right idea, however, asking, “Should I shoot?” – as Jesse McCartney’s character later said, (Yes, Jesse McCartney – he shocked “Fear” fans with a guest appearance in Sunday night’s episode when he boarded the Abigail as Reed, a post-apocalyptic pirate), “Piece of advice: if you have to ask the question, someone should already be dead.”
Alicia was the last to wake upon the commotion and heard the shouts from below deck; she walked upstairs only to shatter the illusion of innocence upon Jack’s recognition – “Jack?” She called out; Salazar turns to Alicia and replies, “what did you do?” Their façade was exploited; McCartney’s character takes down Travis, which sparks an overthrow. The tables have turned, and the seemingly harmless family of three has ousted the main characters and laid claim to the Abigail. Strand flees by lifeboat but Reed shoots at the raft. Strand’s fate is unknown and the question remains: where is Nick?
The commercial breaks and viewers are presented with “Fear the Walking Dead’s” first ever pre-apocalyptic flashback – these recollections serve as an overture in offering fans a more enlightened perception of each character, through the illustration of their day-to-day lives pre-apocalypse.
We learn of Victor Strand’s past, which nicely accompanies his mysterious aura and inexplicable charm; it also provided fans with ample explanation of the lavish lifestyle he leads: (his yacht, the Abigail, and the cliff-side mansion we saw him lead the group back to in the season one finale, ‘The Good Man’); this also offers some validity to his promise of refuge in Mexico.
As the flashback opens, we see Strand at a hotel bar in Baton Rouge –the scene takes places shortly after Hurricane Katrina; Strand is sparking up playful banter with a similarly well-dressed man over drinks; they talk family, but mostly business, and occasionally engage in what seemed like lingering eye contact, presenting some sexual undertones.
The man tells Strand that he’s in town to buy land; Strand tells him of his outstanding debt and bankruptcy – that everything he owns is either submerged or unsalvageable as a result of the hurricane.
The scene shifts and Strand is seen leading his drunken, stumbling acquaintance through the hotel hallways and back to his room –he guides him toward the bed and the man drunkenly collapses onto it. Strand places a bottle of water bedside and takes off the man’s shoes; he lifts him up to take off his jacket and resultantly digs through the pockets, stealing his credit cards to settle his debt – the man wakes up in a drunken daze and without moving, turns to Strand and says ‘’maybe, I won’t remember” – which we later come to learn, certainly was not the case.
In a subsequent flashback later in the episode, the man from the bar, Thomas Abigail, played by Dougray Scott, and a companion, Luis Flores, played by Arturo del Puerto, confront Strand at his hotel room door. Thomas proposes that he will not call the police, but rather asks Strand to meet him at the bar that night so they can further discuss how he can rectify the situation. Strand agrees and says he has full intent of paying him back – “with interest.”
Thomas’ suspicious leniency largely verified the intimacy between the two from earlier in the episode; however, any potential doubts were entirely dispelled in the proceeding flashbacks, when the two men are seen at Thomas’ mothers home in Baja, Mexico, poolside – soaking in the sun and holding hands. Thomas’ residency in Baja, and multi-million dollar lifestyle provided some much overdue justification regarding Victor Strand’s means of wealth and refuge.
The couple also shared a kiss in a flashback during the last few moments of the episode, as Thomas pleaded Strand not leave for Los Angeles. Not to mention: Thomas Abigail… and Strand’s boat… The Abigail – not very subtle.
Back in “reality,” however, Jack and his group are holding the gang hostage. Without the key, the yacht is docked, so Reed takes Travis below deck to hotwire the boat; he instructs Jack to locate the portable radio so they can contact the leader of their community, Connor.
Jack takes Alicia with him but he’s surprisingly soft-spoken and gentle – she accuses him of baiting her, and he pleads that he had no choice, but that their leader, Connor, listens to him; Jack gives his word that she will be safe, and invites her to join their community; he explains, however, that he can not further extend the invitation to her family, but that he can guarantee they will safely be dropped ashore.
The setting swaps and Nick is seen exploring on land – he knocks on the front door of a house, and turns to see a man behind him, holding a gun to his head; Nick quickly clarifies that Strand sent him, and the man, Luis, (who was seen in a flashback earlier in the episode accompanying Thomas Abigail at Strand’s hotel room) replies, “well it’s about time.” Nick asks Luis if he is the one who will be getting all of them across the border, and Luis asks Nick, “what do you mean by all of us?”
Aboard the Abigail, Travis has successfully hotwired the boat upon Reeds request that he “prove his worth;” tensions are heightening and their much-anticipated leader, Connor, finally arrives to assess the situation.
Connor, played by Mark Kelly, boards the Abigail and admires its beauty, calling it a “gorgeous vessel;” he subsequently demands that Alicia and Travis leave with them. “And my family?” Travis asks; Connor replies with, “we only need the two of you.” – deeming them as assets to their community. Travis struggles to get lose and Alicia leaves willingly, verifying with Jack that there will be a boat to take her family to shore, and he confirms. Connor and his men take Alicia and Travis and leave.
Nick and Luis are seen cruising toward the Abigail on Luis’ speedboat, the Zodiac; upon looking through a pair of binoculars, Nick sees the armed guards and alerts Luis – he shoots both guards with a rifle.
On board, Reed looks to investigate the gunshots, but in the midst of the commotion, Madison stabs him with a crow bar.
Nick and Luis board the Abigail safely, and Madison explains what happened to Strand – Luis refuses to cross the border without him.
The episode closed with Madison hoisting Strand out of the water and into Luis’ speedboat –leaving season two, episode five, ‘Captive’, wide open for either the groups endeavor toward Baja, or an impromptu rescue operation.