Tonight was a learning exercise for our hapless and naive crew members aboard the S.S. Abigail. There was a greater sense of urgency thanks to this crew learning the valuable lesson that depraved humanity is a much greater threat than a bunch of lumbering walkers.
Thanks to Alicia’s innocent, but boneheaded flirting on the comms a while back, a trio on a raft — including her comm crush Jack — made their way to the ship. In their usual too silly to last nature, the group quickly rushed to aid them given the state of the pregnant female. And just when our team’s guard was sufficiently down, the trip attacked them and pulled guns out effectively hijacking the yacht.
The two smartest passengers — Strand and Nick — managed to escape. Strand, on a life raft that the trio’s leader immediately shot while Nick swam to shore. The episode opened with Nick’s arrival on land and pulling his gutted walker trick to walk around undetected.
This was a neat narrative trick to immediately grab your attention and wonder how Nick found himself in this predicament.
Travis and the boat crew were in a bad way as they were utterly unprepared to deal with being threatened at gunpoint. This was absolutely necessary for this crew though so they can finally smarten up and realize that just maybe Strand was right about not trusting people. Eventually they regain control of Abigail, but not before Travis and Alicia are taken by the trio’s leader. Nick again helped save the day by bringing Strand’s sharpshooting associate, Luis (Arturo del Puerto), who was waiting on Strand’s arrival. Strand gave Nick those coordinates to Good on the show runners for not gradually working out all the minorities.
By far the more interesting development was the Strand flashbacks. Strand met a buyer, Thomas Abigail (Dougray Scott), at a bar and the two seemed to have an immediate connection. Throughout the episode, more pieces fell in place. First, Strand got Thomas drunk and stole all his credit cards. Then, Thomas (with his childhood friend, Luis) confronted Strand only to not seek payback. This was the one hazy part of the episode as there didn’t seem to be much of a reason for Thomas’ act of mercy even with the eventual reveal.
I’m kind of annoyed with doubling up the minority quota checklist with the reveal that Strand is gay. TV should reflect society no doubt, but I still don’t feel like there’s a surplus of straight black men represented that this was a move I particularly liked.
While I didn’t agree with the character choice, I was OK with Curtis being gay on Arrow because Diggle is already there. Of course, Strand could just be running a long con, but I doubt it.
Madison and Salazar again clashed on the need for Strand as Luis insisted they weren’t going to Mexico without him. Madison took another raft and found Strand fighting off hypothermia. This was the weakest we’ve seen the show’s strongest character and I’m curious to see how he’ll be treated going forward now that he’s been obligated to Madison. All along Strand’s been able to hold over their heads that he was doing them a favor. Saving his life definitely tips the scales.
With Travis and Alicia mysteriously sprinted away, there’s a greater sense of desperation for our heroes. I like that they’re finally in a position that basically forces them to be proactive if they hope to get the rest of their family back. And how this lines up with Strand’s agenda to reunite with Thomas will prove very interesting.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10