The narcos are preparing to invade the colony, Travis is back with Madison, the “savage” boys he met appeared at the hotel overnight… And with the final two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead airing back-to-back Sunday night, anything can happen.
The season 2 finale begins with Ofelia continuing her lone-wolf journey towards the U.S.-Mexico border, but her car breaks down with fumes erupting from the front hood. The camera angle notes someone is watching her, and as she tries to fix the scolding hot wires with her shirt-wrapped hand, we learn it’s actually a few walkers come to surprise her. The first walker bites her hand but doesn’t get through the fabric to flesh, so she’s able to trap it by slamming the hood on its arm. She scrambles for the hammer in her car in time to kill the second, and the third offers a brief scare by popping through the window.
Ofelia sees more walkers on the way, so she grabs her rosary beads, her backpack, and a jug of water and sets out to finish her journey on foot, walking along a long wall that disappears behind a baron hill.
The still dialogue-less episode continues with Nick in bed next to a slumbering Luciana. He creeps out in the middle of the night to meet up with Pablo, and the two sneak into the medic bay to steal the Oxy they’ll need to trade with the narcos at the warehouse. As they make their way down to the bus, Pablo recognizes a change in Nick and comments, “New love will make a man brave.”
At the hotel, Madison watches over Travis from a chair as he wakes from a disturbed sleep. She’s been sitting there all night thinking about how to tell him what she wants to in a way he’ll hear it. She tries to convince him he didn’t betray his promise to Liza — like he suggested last week — and he did all he could for Chris, but “the rules are different and always changing” in this new world. He’s not really buying it, but Madison promises to hold onto this hope and remind him of it until he believes it, too.
In the morning, Nick and Pablo arrive at the warehouse, where the narcos are loading up trucks with supplies. When Antonio approaches, Nick says they have the Oxy and are led inside to speak with Marco.
Back at the hotel, Alicia visits Travis to check on him and bring him food. She pulls back the drapes to let in some sunlight and apologizes for what she believes were her contributions to pushing Chris further away. Travis explains Chris is sick and even he, his father, couldn’t see it. He then apologizes to Alicia for not believing her when she first came forward about Chris’ leanings.
Things are moving equally slow at the warehouse, though it’s clear Marco is mapping out where the colony keeps the walkers (the “sombras”) on a map, telling his subordinate they’ll claim the territory with “a lot of firepower.” Nick tries to make a deal by forking over a bag full of Oxy and reminding him of their punctuality with prior deliveries. Marco admires Nick for his smarts, but says they don’t need the colony’s “shit” anymore.
NEXT: Madison connects the dots
As it turns out, he made a deal with a rival gang of narcos who controls what’s left of the drug trade in Tijuana. In exchange, he reveals he’s going to claim Alejandro’s colony (a “fortress”) for them. Marco says he knows how they’ve been using the walkers and then shows Nick the murdered corpses of Francisco and his family as a warning to leave the colony before they arrive.
Meanwhile, Andreas is overwhelmed by the refugees seeking medical attention at the hotel. Alicia notes he hasn’t slept, and the obnoxious and racist jeers from Brandon and Derek in the corner aren’t helping matters. Madison goes over to them to check their wounds and shut them up. They claim to have been in a car accident in which their truck rolled over about a dozen times. Derek didn’t sustain any injuries, but Brandon’s arm is dislocated and their driver is dead.
Madison puts it all together before she runs up to tell Victor that Chris is probably dead and what it’ll mean for Travis if he finds out. Her initial plan was to get rid of the boys, but she worries she won’t get the truth if she does. She questions whether it’s Travis’ right to know what happened, but she ultimately agrees that if Travis’ only hope for Chris is squashed, he won’t survive.
Nick makes it back to the colony, where Luciana confronts him about making the trade behind Alejandro’s back. He tells her the narcos found them out and they’re coming. They bring the news to Alejandro, who’s furious, but as they try to formulate a plan, a deceased patient nearby turns and attacks them. In the scuffle, it bites Alejandro’s arm before tumbling over the side of the railing with Nick. The walker lands on another patient, biting off his nose before chomping off the finger of one of the nurses. Nick makes a quick decision to gouge out the walker’s eyes, but their shock is now on Alejandro, who is visibly shaken by the bite but claims he’s alright.
We pick up with Ofelia for a moment. She’s clearly been walking along this barbed fence for some time, but is overjoyed to find a hole to the other side. Her hopes are soon squashed as she takes in her new setting: more endless desert.
Cutting back to the colony, the people have gathered by the bus to deliver the infected man and nurse to the walkers. Nick fixes his eyes on Alejandro, but tells Luciana he’s just worried they won’t have enough time before the narcos arrive. She tries to assure him with a “it is faith that matters most” ploy, but his attention remains focused.
Madison attempts to deal with Brandon and Derek with Andreas and Hector by her side. They promise to take the boys to a quieter room to fix Brandon’s arm, but the rest of the patients become infuriated they’re are treating two ungrateful Americans before the rest of them. Travis hears the mob’s shouts from the hotel room. He looks out the window and immediately recognizes Brandon and Derek as Madison leads them towards the gate with the shouting patients at their back.
NEXT: We find out what happened with Chris
Victor catches Travis screaming for Chris before racing down the stairs to catch them. Madison starts pushing the boys to the gate, saying the mob will kill them if they don’t leave now. But Brandon is more shocked to see Travis running towards them.
At the colony, Luciana finds Nick clearing out his bureau and preparing to leave. He wants her to come, too, saying “faith is not going to protect us when guns are involved.” When Alejandro arrives, Nick confronts him about his reaction to the bite, saying he won’t be able to convince Luciana to leave until he comes clean.
That’s when Alejandro reveals he’s not immune to the disease like everyone believes. The bite he suffered was from the drug addict he tried to save, but Luciana got the wrong impression and spread the tale of his miraculous survival. He tries to convince Luciana the love she felt is still real, but Nick is already free from his manipulation. The same goes for Luciana, whose stern words cause Alejandro to walk away. Still, she doesn’t want to leave the colony because it’s her home, even more so than the one she had before the outbreak occurred.
While they squabble, Ofelia’s exhaustion continues to set in, but she’s force to react quickly when a bullet zings by her feet. She rushes down a gravelly hill as more bullets shoot close by, and she takes what cover she can by a tree. She pulls out a knife, but a man with a gun is slowly approaching and is easily able to disarm her. However, his response is less violent: “Buenos dias, señorita. Welcome to America.”
We return to the hotel to see Travis hauling Brandon and Derek into a room with Madison and the group in tow. The boys promise to explain what happened to Chris if they fix his injury. Andreas does so, but Brandon attempts to make another deal before giving up the information, for which Travis twists his damaged arm. Even still, Madison promises to give the boys a car so they can leave the hotel safely.
The boys recall they didn’t get very far after they left Travis. They kept encountering walkers on the road which hindered their speed, and Brandon and Derek became exhausted from driving the entire time. Chris volunteered to take over the wheel while they napped in the trunk. A memory reenacts the events that followed as Chris fell asleep at the wheel, causing the truck to crash and flip sideways. They say Chris died when he went through the window.
Travis, now grieving, asks where they left his body. They say they took care of him and buried him by a tree, but Travis calls them out when their explanation seems to be at odds with their initial story. Madison, Oscar, Andreas, and Hector were already on their way out of the room, making it easy for Travis to lock himself inside with Brandon and Derek. He starts furiously pummeling the boys for information; in their fear, they reveal they killed Chris. Another flashback shows Chris crawling out of the truck with bone jutting out from his leg, but he finds Brandon and Derek with a gun. They shoot him in the head, and the end of the memory marks the beginning of Travis’ wrath.
Oscar is able to break in, but Travis severely injures him before turning to brutally bludgeon the boys to death. Despite getting in a few punches and a chair smash, Derek is the first to go when he’s thrown through a glass door. Travis then turns to Brandon and stomps in his skull. The memory of the boys walking away from Chris’ dead body cuts with Travis walking away from the pool of blood by Brandon’s corpse. His rage spent, Travis sits down in a corner as he falls into a labored trance.
This moment has been a long time coming for Travis, whose moral compass has been searching for north since the outbreak began, but I was banking on the righteous father forced to confront and kill his corrupted son as the final nudge over the edge. The evidence seemed to point in that direction: Chris betraying his father with “baby” James, choosing Brandon and Derek over his flesh and blood, and the lingering memory of Travis killing his ex-wife. In the end, the turn was less fulfilling than hoped, but the job is done regardless.
NEXT: Time for the backlash
We instantly pick up with Travis again in a scene that makes me remember why I return to this world of the dead: Echoing breaths incite a black screen to fade to Travis, who’s still sitting on the ground. The camera lingers in slow motion on his face before cutting between a black screen and Hector breaking open a window, showering Travis’ dazed face with glistening glass shards. He and Andreas rush to unlock the door and check on Oscar, who’s unconscious on the floor.
Before Madison can even get to her husband, Elena brings in men to carry him away. Hector mentions they’ll first take care of Oscar before figuring out what to do with Travis. As she watches them lead Travis away, Madison asks for Alicia’s knife. She walks back to the scene of the crime to drive it through the boys’ skulls.
At the colony, Luciana is bandaging Alejandro, who acknowledges he’s going to die as he continues to shake. He recoils as she tries to put makeup on him, but subdues him by explaining he needs to look presentable and in good health to keep the people’s faith alive. He says he tried to do what he could to keep the people together and away from the world of death that lies beyond the colony. Luciana believes it’s not the end for their people, only for him, and urges him to lie to them one more time before he dies.
Meanwhile, Madison argues with Victor that she can convince Elena to let Travis go since she previously fought on her behalf. He notes it was her decree that anyone who commits violence at the hotel be exiled, but Alicia chimes in to say they can’t ignore the clandestine fact that he found them after all they’ve been through. Along with her mother, Alicia agrees to leave with Travis when he’s exiled. “We found this place, and we’ll find another,” she says. Victor, however, won’t go.
When Madison approaches Elena, she’s guarding Travis’ door with Hector and another man. Madison tells her of their plan, and she agrees, but Hector protests when they try to let Travis out. Elena reminds her nephew how Madison and Alicia fought for them before, so they can afford this favor now. Before Madison goes to Travis, she tells Alicia to check on Oscar and to report back if his condition sours, as it may have repercussions. She tells Travis they’re all leaving in the morning. Though he tries to dissuade her, she refuses to send him out to die, and tells him to consider the reason why he was able to reunite with his family.
Nick, too, is ready to leave as he plops his bags in front of his house. He runs over to Luciana to again try to get her to leave with him. He echoes what Alicia told her mom about finding someplace safe and moving on when it’s compromised, but Luciana thinks they’ll only find death out in the world. But at the colony, they’ll meet their fate. She turns to go, but not before offering one more jab to Nick: “Do what you do, Nick. Run.”
NEXT: A speedy exit
At the hotel, Alicia comes in to offer assistance with Oscar, who’s being treated by Andreas and Hector. A somber Andreas notes he has to remove a piece of his skull because his brain is swelling. He tells Alicia to leave as they begin to operate, but she hangs back to keep watch in case anything goes wrong.
While they’re cutting into Oscar’s head, Alejandro performs his final sermon in the main square of the colony. The camera pans across the faces of his flock. While Nick walks down to the bus, Alejandro confesses that the rumors of the narcos’ impending arrival are true. His sermon continues and he notes how “the evil of man” is coming for them, but Nick makes it far beyond the walker’s pen before spotting something in the distance. Looking through binoculars, he spots a helicopter landing on some sort of helipad.
After night falls, the operation on Oscar continues with Andreas drilling into his skull, at which point Madison speaks with Travis in their hotel room. He admits he’s not sorry the boys are dead, and Madison says he shouldn’t be because they deserved it. She then confesses she’s done worse than him when she locked Celia in with her walkers to protect Nick. Noting how the world changed around them, she said she’s been different for a long time and she understands why he did what he did. “I’ll understand when you do it again because you will — you’ll have to, we’ll have to,” she says.
They will soon face one more test as Oscar dies during the surgery. Hector wants vengeance, and amid the emotional theatrics, Andreas picks up a knife to stab Oscar through the head. They soon bust into Travis’ room and punch him to the ground. Madison and Alicia are held back as Travis is brought to his feet, with Andreas pointing a gun to his head. He wants to know why he gets to walk away after having killed his brother.
In a swift motion, Alicia stops Andreas from shooting Travis by stabbing him in the chest. Hector launches at her, throwing Madison and Travis into a frenzy, but everything stops when Victor rushes in and grabs the gun. Fleeing the room, he tells the three of them to leave the hotel. They make it to a car, but Madison can’t convince Victor to come with them. He instead hands over his gun. With Travis at the helm, he drives the car straight through the front gates and onto the road. As Alicia gazes at the moon through the trees, Madison promises he’ll be okay.
Back at the colony, Nick finds a shivering Alejandro trying to crush up some Oxy to numb the pain. He says he came back because he saw something, and begins mashing up the drugs for Alejandro. They revisit the conversation about what the people should do with the narcos arriving, with Nick saying it’ll all be over if they come and the colony is still there. “You want to stay and fight, but it’s their lives you’re playing with,” he says. “Yours is already over.”
NEXT: What does the colony find up north?
Filling a syringe with Oxy, he says Alejandro can still be the great man he tried to be by giving his people permission to run. He reveals the helicopter he saw on the road somewhere north, and promises he and Luciana will lead the people together. He believes he doesn’t need a story about miracles to earn their faith — he needs to be fearless. Nick injects Alejandro with Oxy and he falls into a haze.
Meanwhile, Madison, Travis, and Alicia pull up to the narcos’ warehouse, which is now barren and abandoned. Madison mentions the office where she heard Marco talking about the man she presumed to be Nick, but she’s stopped on her way there by a harsh smell. She pulls back a curtain and finds the dead bodies of Francisco and his family, though she notes they’re the people she saw during her previous visit. She searches their clothes for some clues that may lead them to Nick, and she finds a business card with an address.
As they (presumably) make their way to the colony, the narcos have reached their destination. Marco and his men, brandishing guns, pour out of a train of cars. The find the same loose board in the wall Francisco used to escape, and they start shooting up walkers in the pen as they make their way through the bus to the other side. The colony is seemingly deserted as the men remark how easy this is. When they make it to the central square, they gleefully fire their guns in the air, but soon find out their victory isn’t really won.
Alejandro, seen lurking in the background, hobbles into the driver’s seat of the bus, the fever taking hold of him. Marco and his men hear the sound of the engine starting, but when they investigate, Alejandro’s already moved the bus forward and allowed the walkers to escape. What these men hoped would be a fight to take over the colony has now become a fight to save the colony from the dead.
We soon see Nick and Luciana leading the people on a journey north, all of them covered in walker blood to mask their scent. As the camera pans up to view their surroundings, a trail of black smoke is seen rising in the distance.
Madison eventually makes it to the colony with Alicia and Travis, but all that’s left in the walker pen are dead bodies. She tells Alicia to wait in the car while they investigate the matter, but she soon sees the flashing light from the bus’ turn signal and follows them in. Madison and Travis pick up guns dropped along the ground as they make their way to the main square, where they find a horde of fresh walkers made up of Marco and his men. The camera cuts from face to face, but we don’t see Nick.
They rush back to the bus to find Alicia inside and propping up Alejandro’s head. The once faithful leader of the colony is taking his last breaths, but is able to tell Madison that Nick went north before he dies.
On the road, Nick and Luciana lead the people past a patch of abandoned cars. He drops his bag past a ticket booth containing a trapped walker to take out his binoculars. Luciana follows his gaze and he estimates they’re about a couple hours’ walk from what looks like some sort of refugee camp. Their hope is snuffed, however, when men wearing Army gear pop out from behind the cars and fire into the crowd. Luciana takes a bullet to the shoulder, but Nick grabs her so they can take cover. The people disperse as these men move in.
They find Nick and Luciana, and shove them to the ground. We cut back and forth between this chaotic scene and the bus, where Alicia gives her knife to Madison to make sure Alejandro doesn’t turn. While the armed men take their prisoners and knock Nick unconscious, the episode ends with a last look at Madison before she likely continues searching for her son.
While the back half of season 2 focused on Travis and his mission to redeem his son, it looks like Madison may be on a similar journey. Her speech to Travis emphasized the lengths she’ll go to for her kids, and it was her attempt to contact Nick that led to her reunion with Travis. Now that she’s on the road to finding her son, how will he test her resolve? How will he test Alicia, if brother and sister ever reunite?