First Aired July 2nd, 2017
Madison (played by Kim Dickens), Troy (played by Daniel Sharman) and their group return to the ranch and tell the others about the attack. Jeremiah (played by Dayton Callie) tells Madison that Walker (played by Michael Greyeyes) sued them multiple times believing the ranch the land is on belongs to him and will stop at nothing.
One of the ranch residents, Gretchen (played by Rae Gray) thanks Madison for keeping her brother safe on the mission and says her family is scared and wants to flee to Colorado and is trying to convinces others to leave. That night multiple bonfires are set around the ranch, Jeremiah dismisses the fires as a scare tactic and that Walker doesn’t have the firepower to take them on, but people begin preparing to leave. Madison tries to get Jeremiah to help convince people to stay in order to maintain numbers for the impending fight but he refuses to beg people.
Gretchen’s family try to drive off in their RV but Troy refuses to let them leave and gets into a fight with Jake (played by Sam Underwood). Jeremiah forces Troy to back down and allows Gretchen’s family to leave. Madison decides to work with Troy to help convince people that the ranch is safe and to keep them from running.
The story has shifted to a Wild West theme, but instead of cowboys we have zombies. We’re given brief insight into the origins of the Otto-Walker feud and it appears to be a case of neither side is right or wrong. For now, Walker’s group is portrayed as outright villains. The Otto’s are lucky the ranch didn’t have any major threats before now, because things really unraveled at the first sign of trouble. It’s amazing they managed to function at all given Jeremiah putting pride over leadership and Troy’s thug attitude. This gives an idea of how Madison, new as she is to the community, could start to gain authority at the ranch and even overthrow the Otto’s. She knows how to read people and adapt to what they need and people are noticing. It’s also notable that Gretchen came to her with the news of people wanting to leave.
Nick (played by Frank Dillane) finds Jeremiah drunk and has to talk him down when he starts shooting his pistol to vent his frustration. Madison asks Alicia (played by Alycia Debnam-Carey) about her relationship with Jake. Alicia admits to both liking him and using him to their advantage to make things at the ranch easier.
The next day Jeremiah spots a horse outside the ranch and recognizes it as belonging to Gretchen’s father; Jeremiah, Nick and Madison head out to find them. They find the RV riddled with bullets, Gretchen and her family dead and turned into walkers, and quickly put them down. Meanwhile Jake decides to go to the Black Hat Reservation and try to work out a deal with Walker. They drive back to the ranch with the bodies and Madison makes a speech to everyone that there is nothing outside of the ranch for them but death. She asserts that Walker’s people aren’t strong enough to force them out so he’s trying to make them scatter so they’re easier to kill and that staying together is the best way to stay safe.
Jeremiah spends more time drinking and ranting than he does leading. It’s becoming clearer how and why people will lose faith in him if they haven’t already.
Alicia and Jake hooking up was obvious from the start of the season and clearly they’re the couple we’re supposed to root for. As the season goes on that might be the case, but for now the best thing you could say is that Jake’s a nice enough choice for Alicia as he’s not crazy like his family. Perhaps not too smart since his plan is to reason with the people responsible for massacring dozens of people in his community.
Hard to say if Madison is an opportunist or a realist after she used the family’s deaths as a way of keeping everyone else from leaving. It takes most people a while to adjust to living in the apocalypse but Madison has reacted very fluidly. She’s more prepared for it than the people at the ranch who spent years preparing themselves.
Nick privately tells Madison that he believes Troy murdered the family out of revenge for leaving. Madison talks with Troy and he admits to going after them and that things ‘went bad’ but that he didn’t intend it. Madison decides to keep the information to herself to keep order at the ranch. She tells Troy to use that anger in the fight that’s coming with Walker. Everyone is prepared to fight the war with Walker but the real threat is inside their walls. Madison might see Troy as useful, but that kind of explosive personality isn’t one that you can control; just try to direct that rage in a constructive direction. For now Madison and Troy’s interests line up, but it’s only a matter of time before she gets burned.
“I feel your liberal judgement, it’s palpable. But that’s not racism. “Isn’t it?” “No it’s truth”.
Between Jeremiah’s hard left views and Walker’s barbarism it’s hard to decide which side you want to root for.
“Good people die as easy as bad.”
All kinds of people are going to die in the mid-season finale.
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