Where We Left Off:
Flashing back to “Before,” The Clarks and a community of over 40 people are almost totally self-sufficient inside a baseball stadium. Nick isa shell of his former self, while Madison has turned over a new leaf. She is the group’s leader, but a fair and open one. Their peace is threatened by the arrival of The Vultures, who plan to wait for the group to die naturally before taking their supplies. Flashing forward to “Now,” we see the end of last week’s episode, where Alicia, Nick, Strand and Luciana have captured Morgan, John and Althea. They question them about a numbered banner that we know belongs to The Vultures, before packing them up into Aletha’s SWAT truck and driving off.
What Went Down:
We open with the past, in The Diamond, as Nick slashes and burns the infected crops, before jumping the time forward to the SWAT van where Nick, Alicia and the crew captured Morgan, Althea and John. Al quickly gets the drop on Nick, which leads to the truck crashing into a ravine as walkers approach. John and Al help the others, then ziptie them. Al wants their help towing the truck, then they can exchange information (she wants their story, they want to know where she found The Vultures’ flag). Luciana saw a service truck a ways back, and the group splits up, with Morgan staying behind with Nick. They talk, and Morgan cuts his tie. When he goes to practice with his staff, Nick watches the footage of Morgan telling his story. A car approaches and Morgan ducks into the truck with Nick. But when Nick recognizes the vehicle as it drives past them, he struggles to get out. They fight and Nick escapes, running up to the road and attracting walkers toward Morgan.
Al discusses her quest for the truth with Strand, who is hiding his hand for some reason (oh shit, tell me he wasn’t bitten…), and why she wants stories so badly. Alicia questioned how she’s stayed alive through this. Back in the past, Nick finally leaves The Diamond and goes on a run with Madison. The Vultures are still camped in the parking lot, waiting them out. In the present, Nick is overrun by walkers and Morgan found him. The horn on the SWAT truck is stuck and the noise is attracting attention, so they need to lay low. In the flashback, Nick and Madison come up empty on their run, but come across a Vulture with Charlie making a big score. He is driving the same car Nick was chasing after in the present time.
With walkers surrounding the van, the other group return to devise a plan. Strand and Alicia stay behind to help Al tow it and take care of the walkers, while John and Luciana follow Morgan and Nick’s tracks. Alicia fights through some walkers and crawls under the truck, connecting it to the tow line. Morgan and Nick happen upon the Vulture in the blue El Camino, and Morgan tries to stop Nick from attacking him but eventually moves out of the way. Nick attacks, Morgan leaves, and we have a lot of cross-cutting going on. Eventually, Nick kills the man, and we are reminded of the earlier conversation he had with Madison in the past, where he told her that the reason he stayed in The Diamond so long was because he doesn’t like what being out in the world does to people, himself included.
John and Luciana are walking down the road when the SWAT truck pulls up. Morgan goes back, finds Nick, and tells him about the people he lost and who it turned him into. He gives Nick his copy of The Art of Peace, trying to save Nick from becoming like he used to be. Everyone is reunited at the truck, and Al is relieved to find her collection of tapes. Nick slips the book into his pocket and looks at a bluebonnet he has picked earlier. In the past, he and his mother find a field of them. This cannot be good foreshadowing. In the present, Nick looks at the flower and a gunshot rings out. Charlie has come back and shot Nick! NOOO!!!! Strand, Alicia and Luciana are powerless to help and he dies as Morgan, John and Al watch. If Morgan had stopped him from killing the Vulture that saved Charlie, all of this would have been avoided. Now the character we have followed since the dawn of the apocalypse is gone.
The lesson here is, when it comes to Walking Dead shows, NEVER look at the flowers!!!
Where We Go From Here:
With Nick dead and Madison nowhere to be found in the current timeline, Alicia is bound to be caught in a downward spiral. Strand and Luciana will have to truly step up, in order to try and keep Alicia sane. We still don’t know where Madison is in the present, and assuming she is still alive, someone will have to break the news to her about Nick’s death. We still have yet to learn exactly what The Vultures do that enrages Nick and sets him off on the road with the others, but not Madison. And what is up with Charlie?! Of course, a kid in this world would be very impressionable and yes, Nick did kill Ennis, who saved her (in his words), but did someone tell her to shoot Nick or did she do that of her own accord?
What did you think of this week’s episode?
Will The Vultures use Charlie to get in Madison’s head?
Can Alicia come back from losing Nick? How will Luciana cope?
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