We gave it an A-
No one wants to be on the wrong side of history, but the Clarks are on the wrong side of history.
In an effort to strike an accord between Broke Jaw Ranch and Black Hat Reservation, Alicia meets up with Jake, and they attempt a parlay with Walker. His story hasn’t changed: Jeremiah Otto and his family stole land from Walker’s tribe and used it to build a survivalist colony — and he fears Jeremiah killed members of his family to do so. Jake only incites more rage by reminding him that the police investigation found no evidence.
“Those days are dead,” Walker proclaims.
For Jake and his family, the outbreak meant an apocalypse in the Biblical sense — the end of the world, the end of civilization — and they’re doing what they can to maintain the old structures. But for Walker, it’s an “unveiling,” one that will cleanse the earth and return the land to “the first humans,” the Native Americans. It marks the end of a society in which minorities were forced to serve Jake and his friends food “with a smile” on their faces, a society in which they had to clean up the vomit of those who flung racial slurs their way, a society in which they had to thank customers for the scraps of change left for tips.
“The days of the white man’s courts are over,” and from their destruction comes the true unveiling.
Through a parlay struck between Jake and Alicia on one side and Walker on the other, Alicia stays as a hostage at the reservation in an attempt to maintain what semblance of peace they can muster, while one of Walker’s own will go as a hostage to the ranch. That turns out to be… Ofelia! Yes, Daniel’s daughter survived the dried, cracking wasteland of the desert to find herself in the company of Walker, but he wasn’t the figure who first fired shots at her last season. That was Jeremiah.
More on Ofelia and Jeremiah’s first encounter is explained in the second half of this two-hour midseason finale, but the tension between them in the cellar of the ranch indicates it wasn’t amicable. Their meeting now is a PR move. Jeremiah throws around phrases like “ghosts… carry your sins” and says they shouldn’t muck up what’s happening now by focusing on their past grievances. He’s pushing for alternate facts, if you will.
While in Walker’s “custody” — though it’s more like accepting his hospitality — Alicia begins to realize Walker isn’t the monster the Ottos make him out to be. It’s another gift from the old racial structure: paint the “other” as the terrorist, the savage, the drug dealer, the rapist for some typically deplorable means. These people are former army brats (they’re rebuilding a fleet of choppers in their spare time), and they’re not killers (Walker’s forces did not slaughter the Trimbols, and he regrets killing Travis in the crossfire).
Off in the shadows, Madison manipulates Troy into forming an extraction team to get her daughter back safely. Though successful, the mission causes far more problems than it solves: The Ottos left more dead bodies on both sides, and Jake is furious that Madison is calling the shots. When he brings Ofelia back to Walker with their water reserves in the hopes of mending their relationship, it’s too little too late, and he’s nearly scalped to death.
Retribution comes later with Ofelia. She warns Alicia something bad is coming their way and returns later under the pretense that she’s been beaten and cast out by Walker. When no one is looking, she slips a powder into their coffee supply. Considering the suspicion that was already brewing among the Clarks since her surprising return and the Ottos’ straight racism, one would think more caution would have been taken with Ofelia. However, it leads to a moment that reminded me of the glory days of The Walking Dead, a time when spit-take twists incited gasps instead of groans.
The biological warfare begins.
All’s quiet on the western front until Troy’s men start vomiting. They are soon overcome by a surprise affliction and rise again as walkers. The ranch is thrown into chaos, with more bodies piling up. Nick, having joined Troy’s squadron, becomes another victim, and Madison chases down Ofelia when she sees their snake in the grass fleeing the scene.
(Recap continues on page 2)