‘Fear TWD’: Alicia Finds Old Friends Who Aren’t So Friendly (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 14, “Mother.”]
The title of this Fear the Walking Dead episode is certainly suggestive, but fans hoping for hints about a potential Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) return will want to leave their expectations at the door. “Mother” has a lot to do with Madison, but not in a “she might be alive!” way. (Bummer.)
Instead, the episode centers around Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) reverence for her mother’s sacrifice, and how several unexpected survivors from the Dell Diamond chose to live their lives after Madison saved them. We also learn about Teddy’s (John Glover) plan, and Dakota (Zoe Coletti) has an interesting conversation with the cult leader that raises numerous red flags.
A Shocking Betrayal
The episode is mostly about Teddy’s attempts to turn Alicia to his side; apparently she reminds him of his mother (ick). As such, he takes her — and Dakota, who has shown up on a bus of “new recruits,” but is really there because she wants to help Alicia — on a mission to get his mother’s corpse from a mausoleum.
Inevitably, after they get Teddy’s mother, their truck winds up with a flat. The dead surround them, but they’re saved by — gasp — Cole (Sebastian Sozzi). Cole was one of the community members at the Dell Diamond — he and Strand (Colman Domingo) were together way back when. He warns them about some nasty characters hanging around the area who’ve laid traps (like the nail they ran over) for people so they can rob and kill them. He offers to take them to an auto shop to get a new tire, and he tells Alicia that helping her is his way of repaying Madison for what she did to save everyone at the stadium.
Except Cole isn’t really helping. When they get to the store, he and his group point guns at Alicia, Teddy and Dakota and demand not only their supplies, but also the well-stocked location where Teddy is moving his followers to before they put their plan into motion. They’re the “bad people” on the road, and after their group was attacked just after the stadium fell, they’ve been taking from and killing others to survive.
Letting Go of the Past
Teddy refuses to tell them where his group’s bunker is, so they prepare to execute the trio. Things escalate and walkers attack, and eventually Alicia winds up holding a gun on Cole. Angry at him for wasting her mother’s sacrifice and “becoming the thing they were always fighting,” she pulls the trigger and immediately seems to regret it… unlike Dakota, who, earlier in the episode, had an eerie conversation with Teddy about how little remorse she feels about the lives she’s taken. She’s basically Lizzie 2.0, and it’s hard not to think someone’s going to end up telling her to “look at the flowers” before Season 6 ends.
In the aftermath, Teddy’s elated with Alicia’s progress and praises her for “letting go of the past.” He reveals that he lied to her — the body he took from the mausoleum wasn’t really his mother. The purpose of the trip was to have Alicia forget the old days, either by seeing an empty Dell Diamond or, as it turned out, killing an old friend who dishonored her mother. (Also, perhaps unsurprisingly, we learn that the corpse Teddy was calling “mother” wasn’t his real mom, because his real mom is buried on their family farm and, in a classic serial killer move, he killed her.)
A New Beginning?
Alicia takes advantage of Teddy’s good mood to ask him what the plan is, and he tells her; they’re planning to use the beached submarine from the beginning of the season to launch a nuclear missile (that’s why they need those keys). From there, she springs into action, holding a gun on Teddy. She can’t pull the trigger before Dakota pulls a gun on her. Dakota wants to start over, and she now thinks Teddy’s group is the best way to do that.
So, Alicia can’t kill Teddy, but she does end up radioing Strand to tell him the details of Teddy’s plan. Then she’s tied up and hauled away to the new bunker, which is below an old hotel. Teddy locks her inside, saying she’ll be the first of their new world. This terrifies Alicia, who bangs on the glass and screams as the episode ends.
- Of the Alicia-centric installments on the show (“This Land is Your Land” and “Close Your Eyes”), I think this is my least favorite. It’s not a bad episode, but I don’t know what it said about her character that we didn’t already know. We knew she wanted to find a “better way” for people to survive, and that Madison’s sacrifice weighs heavily on her.
- It’s hard to say what this episode means for the “Madison survived the Dell Diamond” theories. Speculation and anticipation were high, but we didn’t learn anything new. I’d like to think that the Dell Diamond not being shown and Cole not flat-out saying his group buried Madison or taking Alicia to her grave are positive signs, since the writers could’ve gone there if they wanted to quell speculation. At the same time, this would’ve been the perfect opportunity to hint at her being alive if the show wanted to go that route, but it didn’t.
- They really gave Cole the Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja) treatment, huh? Not that anyone was speculating what happened to him since Talking Dead said he was dead after the attack on the Dell Diamond, but they did make him a villain and then kill him. That’s too bad — I had hoped he’d stick around.
- FYI — there is no new episode next week. New episodes will return the week after next.
- Rating: 3/5. “Mother” is a somewhat slow episode that illuminates a plan most fans had already guessed, and it revives a few “dead” characters only to immediately kill them all, which is a bummer. But it’ll be interesting to see where Alicia goes from here.
Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC