This episode pulled back from the tension of last week as the military gained control of the area our family is staying in. This is what I expected after the ending last week, but I didn’t necessarily like all of the execution in tonight’s episode. Some of the decisions our characters made tonight didn’t make sense for the scenario they found themselves in. It was still an entertaining hour of television, but this was the weakest episode of the series to date.
Starting out with Chris talking to his camera and giving us information about how much time has elapsed, was a good way to introduce us to what has been happening since the military arrived. This was bookended by Alicia reading Susan's suicide note at the end of the episode. It was a nice way for the episode to begin and end. Alicia is not believing everything is going to be ok. She was a bright spot tonight. Her initial appearance yelling at Nick and Madison to stop bickering like everything was normal was perfect. Everything isn’t normal, no matter how much they pretend, and it was good for her to voice this. Her scenes at her neighbor’s house where well done. She was the only person who we didn’t see process what was happening because she was kept in the dark. The one who was kept in the dark the longest, is the first to accept nothing was going to be the same again.
Travis on the other hand is trying to act like everything eventually is going to be ok. He has become a liaison between the military leader and the rest of the community. He goes and talks down a neighbor who is hiding in his bathroom. The neighbor is struggling to tell his children things are going to be ok, and having a nervous breakdown. The neighbor relents and gets tested, but soon goes off the rails and drives to the perimeter of the fence in his muscle car. Travis discovers the military found him and detained him. He tells Lt Moyers he should have told the man’s wife, to which the Lt says he’s not a social worker, as he takes hacks with a golf club. It was one of the better scenes in the episode, with Travis behind the fence and the military outside “keeping him safe.” The military shipped the neighbor to a hospital facility to be detained and supposedly get help. This is also where some other sick people of the makeshift town are being taken.
Liza, Travis’s ex-wife, has been caring for these individuals. While she is making her rounds for the day a doctor has moved some of her critical patients to the military hospital. The doctor realized that Liza is not truly a nurse, but wants her to keep pretending and help. Liza also tells the Dr. Exner about Griselda’s foot and about Nick needing methadone for his addiction withdrawls. Nick has been steeling morphine from a patient Liza has been taking care of to get his fix. Madison finds out he has been using, and starts slapping him. She is fed up with him and let down. Kim Dickens does a great job in this scene of portraying how utterly disgusted and disappointed Madison is with Nick. It was her best scene of the night.
Madison was a weak point for me tonight. Her decisions to cut the fence and go and look for the people Chris found on the hill made no sense. I know she has a distrust for authority figures. She didn’t like them in the first episode of the season, and made references before she went outside the fence that she didn’t trust the military. I still don’t see her going outside on her own and investigating. She knows what is out there, and she is endangering the rest of the town by cutting the fence. She also decides to head out without a weapon? I get why they did this for the show. Madison sees the military is killing people who are not infected. I think there should have been some other pretense for her to break out. Maybe having Nick go and look for drugs and following him. This would have made more sense for the overall story. She wants to protect Nick at all cost, and having him sneak out to get medication because of his withdrawals follows the story of the show. She would find him, know he had been using, slap him, and then still see the military shooting innocents. Instead they have her go out and risk her life, and everyone else’s life to investigate a flashing light? It still worked for us finding out about the military, but just didn’t jive with the overall narrative.
This leads into the military coming to take Griselda to the hospital, but they also end up taking Nick. Madison freaks out, and winds up blaming Liza who also leaves to go help at the medical facility. As good as I though Kim Dickens was in the first scene with Nick, I didn’t buy her desperation in this scene. I get her reaction to Liza. She is lashing out and they set up her going stir crazy in the house at the start of the episode. I just thought something was missing when they were taking Nick away. I liked Travis in this scene, and I think he is starting to realize things aren’t going to be ok. This scene coupled with the ending were he sees gunfire on the hill where the light was coming from should wizen him up.
This weak was the deep breath before the fall. I thought the military would wind up gaining control for a period. It was nice to see the logical progression in the show, but next week I fully expect things to start unraveling. The military doesn’t have as firm as a grip on the situation as it seems. If they did the town would have more power, food, and medicine. While I thought this week had the most problems of any episode so far, it still provided good character moments. I still am excited for where the story goes and can’t wait for the final two episodes.
My Rating: Solid episode
In case anyone cares the Revelation verse on the fence in tonight’s episode was Rev 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (biblehub.com)
What did you think tonight? Comment, share and all that other fun stuff if you are liking the show and my recapJ.