This was a tight episode that mixed good character building and real emotion with a well staged zombie action set piece. No Crazy Chris and Sad Travis this week. Is Chris the most hated character on either Walking Dead show since Andrea? Discuss.
SHOWDOWN AT THE ROSARITO HOTEL
We back track a little to see how Madison and Strand got out of the happy hour from hell. Madison finds the cubby under the bar which serves as the stock room. He drags a zombie in there and then stabs the hell out of him. I can’t imagine how this all looks through tequila haze! Then Madison and Strand start covering themselves in walker guts (that old chestnut!). They very gingerly work their way out from behind the bar and barricade the door. They run outside to find the car gone. Maybe Ofelia took it? Strand suspects Alicia but Madison shuts him down. They climb some scaffolding and get back inside the hotel. It really is a beautiful place by the way. They find the spa and plenty of water and extra clothes. Strand still thinking Alicia took the car says, “If she had to do it to survive…she might.”
“I made her that.” Madison says regretfully.
Then we hear knocking!
“That isn’t infected.” Madison determines and off they go to find the source.
We’re back to the scene at the end of last week’s episode. Madison opens the door to find Alicia, Elena and Hector.
FTWD has been structuring these last few episodes really well. They are allowing for more creativity with the narrative and it’s been paying off nicely.
Once their all caught up on the situation, Madison decides that they need to make a bargain with the Wedding Party people, one that also keeps Elena at the hotel. Strand thinks it’s a long shot but goes along. He lets Madison do all the talking. Oscar, the groom, is their leader and he is still a tad bitter. The bride’s mother is still a mess and wants Elena dead. Madison proposes they clear out all the infected from the hotel and reinforce the barricades. Elena has told her there is plenty of food and supplies at the hotel so why not make it home base for awhile? Hector gives her the keys begrudgingly. Strand is acting funny and Madison asks him what’s wrong. “This could be our home”, she tells him.
“I had a home. I shot Thomas. I buried him there. I’ll help you secure this place but it’s not my home.” Strand tells her. Poor Strand.
They start clearing out the hotel room by room, floor by floor and using the luggage carts to haul the bodies to the beach where I assume they’re planning one helluva clambake. But then Alicia gets an idea. She looks at the long pier and the signs that forbid swimming. She walks out a ways and realizes that the undertow is so strong it would carry the zombies out to sea. Now they just need to get the zombies to take a long walk on a short pier.
They devise a plan to pied piper all the walkers from the hotel and lead them through an exit from the hotel directly on to the pier. Madison volunteers to be the pied piper.
Before they execute the plan Alicia and Madison have a nice mother-daughter moment. All is forgiven from before whatever that was. There are bigger fish to fry.
Plan works well. Even some of the Wedding Party helps out. Madison draws them all along the pier. All the survivors from the hotel are watching from the beach. Alicia and hector head out in a little speed boat and wait for Madison to jump! She does and all the zombies follow! Done and Done!
Nick is wearing clean clothes! He’s wearing a black t shirt and jeans! Not a smidgen of walker guts! He still needs a haircut though. He feels terrible about almost blowing the deal with the gang at the grocery store. He makes a proposal to Alejandro to show him how to cut the oxycontin with powdered milk and make more pills to trade. Alejandro is skeptical.
“You’re a pharmacist. I’m a junkie. Trust me.” Nick tells him and they spend the day making oxy pills.
Alejandro appreciates Nick’s ingenuity and his concern for la colonia. So when Nick asks him about surviving the walker bit Alejandro explains it to him. Nick still doesn’t seem to buy it. I don’t either. It would go against everything that we know about zombies from every movie and show that has been. Unless. Just like in I Am Legend, aka The Omega Man, aka The Last Man On Earth, there are some who are immune to the plague?
Nick, with a backpack full of oxy starts off to make another deal with the gang at the store. But first, he spies Luciana playing soccer with the little kids and joins in on the fun. Oh these two! Unfortunately the fun is put to an end with a scout returns with bad news of ‘Pablo’. Nick thinks he’s Luciana’s boyfriend but it turns out to be her brother. As they make their way to deal with the gang Luciana opens up to Nick about her brother and Nick holds her and comforts her. Yes. He’s checking all the boxes: Likes kids. Check. Helps protect the community. Check. Listens and hugs really well. Check.
Once they return from the parlay Nick tells Alejandro that he bent over backwards to appease the gang leader to make sure the deal went well.
“Surviving feels like eating shit.” Nick tells Alejandro. But don’t worry Nick, there is a reward awaiting you. Alejandro presents him with a trailer of his own to call home. Nick is overwhelmed but settles in nicely. That night, there is a knock at his door. Who could it be? Well what do you know? Luciana has come a callin’!
“You’re reading the dictionary?” She asks him. Nick is trying to learn Spanish you see. She asks about his family. Nick tells her he has a sister. “Is she alive?” she asks. “Yeah. I hope so.” He tells her. Nick really could care less! And why should he? Because he is abut to spend the night with a beautiful Mexican warrior in his brand new Casa de Nick! As expected, they finally kiss! Nick is doing alright on his own, thank you
ONE LAST THING
Now that the hotel is ‘clean’ all the living sit down to a feast! All, that is, except for Oscar and the bride’s mother. Strand asks Hector where the honeymoon suite is located and excuses himself from the table.
Strand knocks on the door and Oscar answers. Strand asks what his wife’s name was. “Jessica”, Oscar tells him. He tells him how they met and how much she meant to him. Strand can relate. He felt the same way about Thomas.
“I’m not going to let you kill her”, he tells Strand.
So apparently, there is one last zombie in the hotel. And she’s wearing a lovely wedding dress.
Strand convinces Oscar to allow him to help. “Let me help Jessica.” Strand says, tears running down his face. Oscar moves away from the door and Strand enters the honeymoon suite.
This was a very moving scene. Domingo Coleman showing has created a very full and interesting character with Strand. I hope he doesn’t decide to splinter from the group.
Andres Londono plays Oscar, the lovelorn groom. Based on the reaction of my female friends, he’s muy caliente.
I love hotels! If that’s where I had to be stuck during the zombie apocalypse I would be a happy man! Let’s see if the survivors hit the hotel gym next week. Cardio is very important!
I’m hearing rumors that Ofelia took the car and there may be a *‘bottle episode’ with just her. Would that interest anyone? Maybe she goes back to look for her dad?
* The etymology of the phrase originates with a similar term used on the set of the 1960s Star Trek. Cast and crew members of the show use the phrase “ship-in-a-bottle episodes”, for those that took place only on board the Starship Enterprise.
Bottle episodes are sometimes produced when a show has a mid-season cliffhanger or an expensive season opener/closer, to allow as much of the budget as possible to go to the more expensive episodes.