Fear the Walking Dead: Wrath/North
The two-hour season finale of the second season of Fear the Walking Dead consisted of two episodes titled “Wrath” and “North”. Together, they essentially wrapped up the dangling plot threads of the second half of the season while setting up cliffhangers to be resolved in season three. Ultimately, it felt a lot like the midseason finale in which things went “sideways” (a term the characters on the show seem to be fond of) and the characters had to abandon their latest sanctuary. The details are different, but only moderately so.
“Wrath” opened with an update on Ofelia. As most viewers speculated, she did make a run for the border presumably in search of the fiance she abandoned in a flashback a couple of episodes ago. You will be forgiven for not being very invested in Ofelia’s storyline as the writers haven’t quite figured it out yet themselves. Ofelia on the road seems like a completely new character from the one who has been hanging out on the fringes of the show to date. A “tough chick” reboot might be just what the character needs, but when it’s tacked on as a subplot at the end of season two, it just feels random. Maybe something will come of it in season three.
Nick spends the episode trying to convince Luciana to leave with him. He knows that it is just a matter of time before la colonia will be besieged by Marco’s men. But Luciana remains loyal to Alejandro. Even after he is bitten by a zombie and his claims of immunity are revealed to be false, Luciana chooses to believe. Nick abandons his new community as easily as he walked away from his family previously. But he returns with the promise of hope in the form of a helicopter spotted in the north.
With Alejandro dying, Nick comes up with a plan to relocate the community while sticking it to their would-be attackers. Everyone but Alejandro just starts walking north which is pretty silly considering there are vehicles all around and they are carrying not just supplies but also small children. But then the ambush at the end of “North” wouldn’t be as effective if everyone was in the relative safety of a car, van or truck.
Meanwhile, Alejandro lies in wait for the gangsters to arrive. When they do, he moves the van that was blocking the zombies from entering la colonia. That is a seriously dangerous security system. If anyone had put the van in neutral and pushed it a few yards or knew how to hotwire the thing, the entire settlement would have been overrun with zombies. Even with their impressive firepower, the gangsters are overwhelmed by numbers.
Back at the hotel, Brandon and Derek are douching up the place. They complain about pretty much everything about their new encampment while blaming their injuries on the 16-year-old kid they allowed to drive. Madison, who has done more with less intel, jumps to the conclusion that the 16-year-old in question was Chris.
Madison decides to take the bros into a private room for questioning/medical care. But the rest of the refugees view this as special treatment and they revolt. As a result, Travis can’t miss the angry mob that follows them into the hotel. He joins the group for an interrogation of his own. The boys initially lie about Chris’ fate, but when their stories don’t add up, Travis is suspicious. So he locks himself in a room with the two of them and decides to beat the truth out of them.
We are not supposed to approve of Travis’ actions. But who are we kidding? These guys are asking to be boot-stomped to death. Travis has been a frustrating character who has continually refused to own up to the realities of life in the apocalypse up to this point. So it’s somewhat satisfying to see him finally turn a corner even if it seems inconsistent with his character so far.
To muddy the waters, Travis’ rampage also leads to the death of an innocent man. Unfortunately, Madison had just instituted a rule which requires her boyfriend to be exiled. No one fights the decision, but Alicia suggests the family should stick together and accompany Travis in exile. Strand helps them escape, but declines to leave the hotel bar himself.
By the end of the episode (and the season) everyone is headed north. Presumably, their paths will cross again somewhere around the border next season. We may also see the return of a couple of familiar characters who haven’t been dealt with definitively. But thankfully, Chris won’t be among them. Chris is the most significant character to die so far on Fear the Walking Dead. But I can’t imagine his passing was very impactful. He was such an unsympathetic character that most viewers are likely to feel his death was long overdue.