Where We Left Off:
Last week gave us the backstory of John and Naomi, who he named Laura when she never revealed her name. She washed up in the river next to his secluded cabin and he tended a bad cut on her abdomen. She healed up, they got close, fought off walkers together, and fell in love before she left in the middle of the night after recovering from her wound. In the present timeline, John finished telling Morgan the story before they set off to try and stop the attack on the Vultures, believing (as Morgan always has) that there can be peace in place of constant war.
What Went Down:
Opening the episode, we see a man scavenging an old gas station for supplies, and when he reaches his vehicle, John is waiting behind him with a gun. He lets the man turn around and says he recognizes his flag and wants to ask him one question. The man goes for his gun and John shoots off one of his fingers before simply stating “I want answers.” He’s looking for the person they have in common.
In the SWAT van, Alicia questions Althea about the mounted gun and she assures the group that her guns and bullets aren’t for sale. She will drive them and film the happenings, but wants no part of the violence. John questions the man with one less digit about what happened to Laura, but he doesn’t know. Morgan urges John to let the man go, then warns him about a group of people headed to their meeting spot with murderous intentions. John gives both revolvers to Morgan, recognizing his fragile emotional state.
In the past, back at the stadium, Naomi (Laura) patches Alicia up. Cole, Strand, Nick and Luciana discuss where to search for seeds and fertilizer next. Strand thanks Cole for covering for him and Cole inplies that he’s afraid of Strand. Madison and Strand look over the parking lot full of Vultures and they finally fill some of the post-dam backstory. Madison pulled Strand out of the water, dragged him to a cave and nursed him back to health. She even went out and found Luciana. Naomi is caught trying to sneak out and tells the group she knows about a place with resources, an old FEMA shelter she used to stay at. Strand and Madison go with her, leaving Alicia and Luciana to watch over the Diamond.
Under cover of night, they pull up to an old motel. They dispatch a few walkers and find a stash of food. They eat over candlelight and she tells them about the shack she stayed at, but won’t go into detail. She admits that when she was caught she was actually leaving, but planned on leaving the map behind so the group could find the stash. Strand takes the car keys so she can’t leave them behind. It didn’t matter, though, as she’s gone the next morning, having hotwired the car as we have seen her do before. Strand and Madison talk about the nature of people and whether or not they can change, and he admits that the car full of supplies he brought back wasn’t something he found, but the contingency plan he’d created. If he were in her position, he would have left her to drown instead of always wanting to save people who can’t be saved. “Well lucky for you, I’m not you.”
At the FEMA shelter, Naomi opens a lockbox and finds guns, a handwritten journal detailing medical procedures and various herbs/medicines, as well as a keyring marked “J.I.C.” She sees children’s artwork on the wall and collapses, drawing the attention of a group of walkers trapped inside the shelter. She’s surrounded, but appears too attached to who these walkers used to be to kill them. She manages to find high ground, but can’t escape. Strand and Madison arrive and offer help, but she throws them the keys and says a truck in the loading dock has everything they need. Strand makes his way near to her and sets up a rope line for her to slide down to safety while Madison distracts and kills walkers. She crawls across the rope, suspended over the walkers, to safety and the three escape the room and lock the walkers inside. Naomi admits that she was here with her daughter, Rose. At the shelter, Rose caught pneumonia. Naomi locked her in a pantry to go find antibiotics, but Rose died before she got back, turned, and infected the shelter. This is why she wanted to go to the shelter alone, because she was responsible for what happened. They find the truck and Strand tells Naomi that it is possible to start over, and that Madison helped him do just that.
Back at the Diamond, they arrive with their new truck of supplies, and Nick and Alicia tell the Vultures their plan to rebuild. Mel rounds them up and says it will take too long to wait them out, before giving Madison a warning that you never see the truly bad stuff coming. The group begins to unpack the truck as Madison tells Alicia to pack some emergency supplies in a truck and park it in the back. When she asks why, Madison says “…just in case.”
In the current timeline, Alicia, Strand and Luciana are parked at a racetrack, loading up and waiting for The Vultures, but John and Morgan arrive and are ordered at gunpoint to get on their knees. They tell the group the Vultures aren’t coming, with Morgan admitting that he warned them. But they arrive anyway. There is a standoff and Mel apologizes for Nick’s death, but Alicia isn’t sorry about Mel’s brother’s death. A voice comes over a Vulture walkie talkie and Naomi appears in the J.I.C. truck that Madison had Alicia pack. John walks over to her and Alicia turns to shoot her, but hits John in the chest instead! Whoa!!!
Where We Go From Here:
Everyone at the race track is armed, emotions are high, the tension is palpable, and now a shot has been fired. Next week is almost certain to erupt in a skirmish from jump, but we still don’t know enough about the parts of the story that haven’t been filled in yet to understand why our main group wants to kill them. We assume they attacked the stadium and possibly killed Madison, but that is still in the dark.
What did you think of this week’s episode?
Was Naomi working with The Vultures all along?
Will John survive his wound?
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