Where We Left Off:
Last week we got closer to the answer of what happened with Madison/The Vultures/The Diamond. Naomi went to the FEMA shelter she had previously come from (before meeting John), followed by Madison and Strand. With their help, she escaped from certain walker-related doom and the three of them brought back a truck loaded with supplies, but not before she told them her heartbreaking backstory involving her daughter, Rose, dying and turning inside the camp while she was on an antibiotic run. Her daughter (and by extension, Naomi herself) was responsible for the FEMA shelter falling, and Naomi was ready to pay the price for it. When they got back with the supplies, The Vultures appeared to leave, before Madison told Alicia to pack the Land Rover full of “just in case” supplies. In the present, Strand, Luciana and Alicia tried to get the drop on The Vultures, but Morgan and John warned them, hoping to avoid further violence. But when the two groups came together in a standoff, Naomi appeared as a Vulture and Alicia tried to shoot her but hit John instead.
What Went Down:
John is on the ground after being shot, and a full-blown firefght has broken out. As Mel tries to get away, Naomi rushes to try and get the field kit to help John survive, but Alicia takes out the ambulance with a grenade launcher. She tells Alicia it’s not how it looks. Luciana hesitates to kill Charlie and she gets away, as do other Vultures. Al pulls up the SWAT truck and points the big guns at Alicia, who lets them take John in the van. Naomi tells Al to head to the stadium.
In the past, Charlie visits the stadium, telling the group she needs their help. Cut back to the SWAT truck and Charlie asks Morgan why he saved her. Drawing on his past, he says “This has to stop someplace…you know?” Morgan tells Naomi that John never stopped looking for her, and Al asks Naomi what happened. Charlie says it wasn’t Naomi’s fault. It was hers.
Charlie leads Madison, Nick and Alicia to the bus belonging to the Vultures. Naomi checks on a man inside, who is barely breathing after an accident. Nick questions why she came to them, and she says Mel and Ennis had a fight. Madison wants to bring the wounded man back with her, and Nick is understandably skeptical, given what Charlie did before. In the present, Alicia, Strand and Luciana survey the scene of the skirmish and find a car to take. Strand knows where Naomi will be headed, but first Alicia gets out and approaches Mel, who survived the explosion. She asks how long Naomi was with the Vultures, before saying “It doesn’t matter” and killing him.
Back in the past at the stadium, Mel wakes up and says it’s not safe. Ennis wants to force the stadium to fall, but tells Madison they aren’t the ones the group should be worried about. They have collected the flags they found with numbers painted on them, and it appears to be a count of the amount of dead they have unleashed on previous groups/settlements in the past. Mel pulls a knife on Naomi and tells her to take him to Charlie, but she subdues him. He tries to convince her to let him out and come with him, and she looks like she’s considering it. Naomi goes to Madison and says they aren’t safe, that she should consider leaving, like Mel says. Madison isn’t leaving, but Naomi says the stadium isn’t worth risking the lives of her children.
Madison tells Mel to leave, but he wants to take Charlie with him. She says no, but gives him the Land Rover that Alicia had packed with supplies and sends him out. Nick tells her this isn’t like her. She always found him when he was lost, and he felt found here. Sending someone out there to die isn’t her way. They tell Charlie that Mel is gone and that there is a walkie talkie in the car with him. She radios Mel, who can only cough. She asks Nick and Alicia to take her to him, and Strand lets them leave. Nick assures Alicia that they are doing the right thing. The Vultures are in a line of trucks, presumably filled with walkers, and Ennis tells one of his minions “You know what to do.”
Madison and Naomi sit and talk, and Naomi says the infirmary is prepped, because whatever is going to happen, it will be soon. Out on the road, the group finds the Land Rover and Strand tells them to hurry back. As they get Mel ready for transport back to the stadium, the line of Vulture trucks passes them. Nick warns Strand over the radio, who alerts Madison. As Nick and Alicia pull into the parking lot, they see some of the trucks taking up position, and one of them appears to be trailing fluid in a pattern on the ground. With Nick, Alicia and Mel still outside the gates, the Vultures open the trucks and hordes of walkers pour out of them.
Madison wants to open the gate for her kids, but the fluid on the ground was oil and the Vultures ignite it. The group gets the irrigation truck, but before they can fight the fire Madison says to open the gate. In the present, the SWAT truck pulls up to the stadium, since Naomi needs to get to the infirmary to save John. They drive through a gate and a horde of walkers awaits them.
Where We Go From Here:
This season has done very well to balance two timelines with a shared story, and we finally got a good chunk of backstory to explain the fall of the stadium that we kept hearing about. We still don’t know how Nick and Alicia survived the Rover being surrounded, or if Madison (or any of the others) made it out alive. With the half season finale next week, we can expect some answers, more death, and a cliffhanger to set up where the group will go from here. My guess is that the two groups will, in some form, come to an agreement to work together, but we’ll have to wait and see.
What did you think of this week’s episode?
Will Luciana kill Charlie if she gets a second chance?
Did Madison survive the horde of walkers and the fire at the stadium?
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