Fear the Walking Dead has worked hard to earn my distrust. But the Travis/Chris episodes in the back half of this season have been surprisingly strong. It helps that Madison and Nick’s subplots have generally been awful. Date of Death was another Travis showcase and it led to another really good outing this week.
Travis, and the show, are never better than when he’s facing a crisis of conscious. In The Good Man, Travis was placed in the unenviable position of having to kill his infected ex-wife. In the end, he did the right thing because that’s what a good guy does. From a certain perspective, Chris proved equally lost. He bought in to Brandon and the bros’ line of thinking and was willing to do anything, including outright siding against the family, to prove his loyalty.
Date of Death kicked off dealing with the repercussions of yet another Madison brain lapse. Dozens of refugees were outside the locked hotel entrance begging to come in. Madison and company came off pretty cruel here and then doubly so as Travis pushed his way to the front and was let in. One question though: what stopped these refugees from approaching the hotel from the beach and entering through the back? It’s not like the hotel was surrounded by an impenetrable fence.
Despite having the option of a hot shower and warm meal, Travis was overcome with remorse. Gradually, he opened up to Madison about why he arrived without Chris. It wasn’t anything as juicy as Travis having to kill Chris in a you or me scenario. Brandon and Derek were ready to kill their pal James since he was struggling in healing from his gunshot wound.
Chris was on board with the plan, but Travis rightfully questioned why they wouldn’t just leave James. Fair question since it wasn’t like James was going to catch them en route to San Diego with a bum leg. Ultimately, this led to Chris tying Travis up long enough for Brandon to kill James. Even with this cold betrayal, Travis still begged Chris to stay with him at the farm and not leave with Brandon and Derek. This is the point where I wanted Travis to just give up on Chris. He’s a loose cannon and clearly has no sense of loyalty or respect for his father. The latter being the most dangerous in a world overrun with walkers and psychos.
Travis regretted his final words to Chris as they rode off, which prompted Madison to talk to Alicia. Thankfully, the others let the refugees in as they’re apparently not as heartless as Madison. She shared with Alicia that her father killed himself and Madison sees so much of him in Nick.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Travis and Madison deserve each other for the complete ineptness as parents. Madison missed Travis’ moral in telling your child you love them — not blame your constant over protectiveness on their suicidal father.
As the gang settles in for the night, another round of refugees approach the hotel gates — among them are Brandon and Derek. But no Chris? That was the same cliffhanger we got last week so it kind of loses the impact. And do we care if Chris is dead now? There’s no redeeming him, nor should there be, but you’ve gotta figure Chris’ return will have fatal consequences especially since next week is the season finale.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/AMC