Fear the Walking Dead is, for the most part, keeping track of the outbreak from moment to moment, letting little more than a few hours skip by (I honestly was surprised the episode didn’t end with them staying up all night defending the house). “The Dog” picks up directly where “So Close, Yet So Far Away” left off: Travis, Liza, Chris, and the Salazars holed up in the barbershop while Madison, Nick, and Alicia wait patiently at home for Travis to return.
But this night in particular is dark and full of terrors, forcing both separated groups to fend for their lives before they can reunite in relative harmony. The most immediate danger presents itself to Travis’ troupe.
They’re locked in as riots rage in the streets inches away from them, but Travis keeps trying to reassure the group with platitudes that would be surprising if he even believed them. He pays lip service to the idea that the cops will settle everything down, that they’ll be able to ride it out without fear of looters—what would they want to steal from a barbershop anyway?
Of course, the shop is also the Salazar home, and Daniel Salazar believes there’s more at stake. The value of the store becomes a moot point, however, when Chris notices the walls are heating up. Looters surround them and fire could threaten the safety of their chosen hideout, so they collectively decide to make a run for it. Travis’ truck is nearby, and the two families group together, preparing to make a break for it as soon as the door opens.
As soon as the door opens, however, looters spill in and begin tearing the place apart. They’re not so much there to steal as they are to cause general anarchy, and the flaming cacophony of overturned cars, dead bodies, and broken glass engulfs them as they flee the scene. Walkers are already attacking, biting cops and pedestrians as civil unrest gives law enforcement two unique challenges to overcome — the civilians who are still alive and those who are dead but still walking.
The two families make their way through the rowdy crowds, escaping underneath a rampart that looks like a Les Miserables setpiece. Nearly everyone makes it out unscathed, despite the police unleashing powerful hoses on the public. But the matriarch of the Salazar family, Griselda, is pinned down by a falling barricade, which crushes her leg. Trapped, the family doubles back to save her, and Travis carries her as the rest of the family piles into his suspiciously unscathed and fully intact truck.
The group escapes, riding away from the scene and returning to Madison’s home, but that looks to be the only upside to the situation. Griselda’s leg is badly bruised, and Daniel tells Travis they’re all returning to his home so he can call for family to pick them up. Why not a hospital, you ask? Well, the only hospital they pass on the way home is overrun with police as doctors, nurses, and patients flee the scene. The hospital is in utter disarray, turned patients having to be shot down in the parking lot. It’s a scene that, as shot from the perspective of Travis’ car, feels eerily similar to the beginning of The Last of Us, though comparing this show to one of the best stories ever told in a game would do the early episodes of any series no favors.
A much more affecting shot comes shortly after as they’re driving along the highway, and the lights of Los Angeles shut off, each individual power grid failing like a patchwork quilt until the entire land before them in shrouded in darkness.
The blackout affects everyone, including Madison and the kids. Though she’s tried to keep them preoccupied with a game of Monopoly, Alicia is shaken by the noises she hears outside.
By the time the power shuts off, however, the reality of the situation is making itself apparent. Danger, although less omnipresent than it was for Travis and his family, could be feet away. Nick doesn’t like the idea of waiting around for someone who has already found a family to stick with, but Madison is not giving up hope on his return.
NEXT: Who’s that knock, knock, knocking on the back door?