'Fear The Walking Dead' Episode 10: Alicia Clark Fights and Forgives (RECAP)
It's raining, it's pouring, the walkers are falling... and if you thought basement flooding was bad under normal circumstances, try adding zombies into the mix.
In a season soaked with symbolism on Fear The Walking Dead, "Close Your Eyes" represents Alicia Clark's journey from isolation to camaraderie in both plot and craft, and brings the final member of the Clark family to places darker than she's ever been before bringing her back to the light.
'Fear The Walking Dead' Showrunners on Alicia's Journey, Morgan's Mentorship & Season 4B's 'Very Different' Antagonist
Taking Care of Business
After abandoning Morgan, Alicia finds a refuge from the storm: an abandoned house. She walks in, drawing the walkers (a family) out and taking them down. She drags them all out in the rain; their family photos, which Alicia dumps outside, accompany them.
She goes back inside and tries to shut the door, but it won’t close. Descending to the basement, she realizes it's flooding. She finds some nails, takes care of that door and goes to make herself a meal of canned food. Before she can dig in, she hears commotion upstairs.
An Uninvited Guest
Eventually, she finds the source of the noise: a walker stuck in a tree. Her attention is soon drawn by a closer threat: someone running through the house. “Whoever’s in here, get the hell out, or I’ll kill you. You got one chance,” she says.
Alicia finds her unwanted visitor in the coat closet. Much to her horror, it’s none other than Charlie. Filled with rage, Alicia slits her throat immediately and then goes back to preparing her supper.
(Just kidding. But I’m shocked it didn’t happen that way.)
Charlie runs away and slams the door to one of the bedrooms. Alicia asks if Charlie followed her and ends her tirade with, “You can’t be here.” She seems to be talking to Charlie, but perhaps those words were meant for her — the next scene features her packing up and heading out into the storm.
Alicia makes it to a car but can’t get the door open. In her attempts to pull it ajar, she flings herself into the mud and goes unconscious. She then wakes up back inside the house again — saved, it seems, by her good buddy. Alicia’s not too thrilled at the kid’s goodwill. She delivers a chilling warning: “If you’re in this house with me, then I’ll probably kill you. I don’t know if I want to kill you, I just know that I probably will.”
Throughout this scene, Charlie picks up a gun and moves to the opposite side of the door. She’s either contemplating suicide or killing Alicia, but the former is more likely.
Kudos to Debnam-Carey for her acting in this scene. Her expressions and delivery highlight Alicia’s inner turmoil — this is a kid, and she’s conflicted about killing a child — but the way she snarls her lines makes it apparent that every ounce of Alicia’s restraint and mercy are being employed to keep her thirst for revenge at bay.
Why Can't We Be Friends?
The shutters on the house's windows come undone. Alicia goes outside to try and nail them down herself, but it becomes clear that’s a two-person job. Frustrated, she looks out at the yard, and sees someone (Charlie) has covered the walkers with sheets and taken the photos inside.
Charlie dries the pictures and stares at them, begging the question: did she know these people? That’s what Alicia asks when she throws open the door to the room, but of course, the kid doesn’t answer. Alicia tells her to come downstairs, and they nail the shutters back to the windows.
The noise draws walkers, and they’re forced back inside. Alicia asks Charlie to give her her coat, so she can dry it by the fire, but there’s a good reason Charlie refuses. Once Alicia gets the coat from the kid, she finds a gun in the pocket. Thinking of her brother, there’s rage in her eyes as she says, “Is this the same gun you…”
She points the gun at Charlie and goes on another heartbroken rant, telling her, “I told you you couldn’t be here. I told you I didn’t want to be around you. Did you come here to kill me? Is that it? Get me before I could get you?” Charlie indicates otherwise, but Alicia doesn’t buy it. She, again, lets the girl go — but it’s clear the only thing stopping Alicia from pulling the trigger is her desire to be like her mom.
Echoes of the Past
Speaking of the late, great Madison Clark, the house’s blocked chimney clears and a dead bird falls through. This, of course, reminds Alicia of the “Amina” story from the midseason finale. “I’m sorry,” she says, crying. “I’m trying.”
Charlie goes out into the storm, approaching the Tree Walker. She lets it grab her and pull her close to its jaws, and is seconds away from getting bitten when Alicia pulls her back inside the house.
The next scene opens with Alicia and Charlie sitting at the table, the gun between them. Alicia’s figured out the weapon wasn’t for her. “I think you might have had the right idea,” she tells the girl, “but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let you do it.”
As she takes the gun away, Charlie finally talks. “Why did you save me?” she asks. Hollowly, Alicia stares at her and tells her she “doesn’t get off the hook that easy.”
Despite her dislike for the girl, Alicia gives Charlie dinner and they talk about their past lives. Charlie asks her if she lived near a beach in California. Alicia snaps at her and then seems to regret it, realizing she’s never been to a beach. Charlie tells her a pre-turn story of how her family was going to go to the beach, but that never happened because of the apocalypse. “We all missed out on things, Charlie,” Alicia responds flatly.
Alicia tells Charlie the beach isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and eventually takes their dishes and tells Charlie to go get some sleep.
When You're Gone, You're Gone
When Alicia wakes up, Charlie is gone. She finds her back in the room where she was drying off the photographs and yells at her. Charlie protests, saying someone might come back for the photos. Alicia eventually relents.
Charlie comes running into the living room and announces that the wind is getting stronger, carrying the photos with her. Alicia isn’t happy to see them and says she knows what Charlie’s trying to do, but she doesn’t agree. “No one’s gone until they’re gone,” she says. “I’ve been trying to believe it, too. But sometimes when you’re gone, you’re just gone. And these people are definitely gone.”Alicia seems to be embracing that she can’t be her mom.
“No one’s gone until they’re gone” was a great philosophy, in theory, but in the zombie apocalypse it just isn’t true. How often has anyone mentioned Travis Manawa in the past season? Ofelia Salazar? Sometimes — especially in a world where there’s no one to carry your story forward — death is the end.
Charlie asks Alicia why she cares what she does with the photos, but before she can answer a window breaks, giving the walkers outside an entrance into the home. The pair make for the basement, which is now almost entirely flooded. A sticky, soaky situation, made worse by the ceiling collapsing.
Alicia tries several methods of getting out, none of which work. She guides Charlie over to some boxes, where they stand above the water level. Terrified, Charlie says she doesn’t want to end up as a walker, because she saw her parents turn and now can’t remember what they looked like.
Charlie begs Alicia to kill her. Alicia holds the gun to her forehead, shaking… and can’t do it. She breaks down, sobbing. All hope seems lost, but then — something falls on the outside door to the basement. Alicia and Charlie manage to push it open. There they find Tree Walker, who, by falling on the door, freed them. Thanks, Tree Walker.
No Calm After the Storm
In the next scene, the storm has passed. Alicia buries the walkers, and Charlie asks her why she did it. “For the people who could come back,” Alicia answers. When Charlie offers Alicia her signature weapon back, she tells Charlie she can keep it.
Staring into the distance, Alicia tells her she left everyone in the storm. Charlie insists she’s good at finding things, and implies she can find their people. They manage to get the car working, and while they drive, Alicia tells Charlie to close her eyes. She tells her she’s going to take her to the beach, and does so by describing it to her.
They make it back to Strand’s mansion, but no one’s there. Alicia doesn’t seem too bothered by all of this, nor does she seem bothered by the sight of Morgan’s abandoned wagon or John’s toppled school bus. At Charlie’s insistence that they have to find them, Alicia tells her things don’t get better. She takes her weapon back and takes care of a walker that made its way around the school bus, and they walk away.
- As an Alicia-centric, this episode could be considered a successor to Season 3's "This Land Is Your Land." Thematically, last season's episode was stronger. While there's certainly something poignant about Alicia's ability to forgive, in the end it didn't do much to develop her character, and did even less to develop Charlie's.
- I have a hard time feeling bad for Charlie. Did she really expect sympathy from Alicia for a missed family trip? Her lack of fear of the walkers is a little creepy, and I'm not convinced she won't become Lizzie 2.0.
- This episode was absolutely drenched in "family" symbolism. From the signs on the home's walls that read "be our guest" to the rusty childhood bikes in the basement, this place was practically designed to be Alicia's worst nightmare. It was interesting then, that this episode also saw Alicia deviate from her mother's philosophy and memory.
- I hope we see how the storm affected the other groups of characters paired off in last week's episode. It would be a bummer for the storm to be so heavily teased, only to get just one character's story of survival through it!
See you next week for "The Code," which revolves around Morgan's encounter with a new group.
Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC