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Recap / Fear The Walking Dead S 01 E 03 The Dog

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Season 1, Episode 03:

The Dog

Outside the Salazars' barbershop, the rioting continues.

Chris watches as the rioters tip over a minivan and continue marching, but is surprised by a walker staring at him through the grate. Travis tells him to stay back from the window.

At the Clark residence, Alicia hears rattling noises and asks her mother what's happening. Madison tells her to ignore it as she gives another dose of the drugs to Nick to keep him stable. They discuss why Mr. Dawson attacked Mrs. Cruz across the street, but Madison tells them both that they're safe inside the house. She promises them that Travis will be back soon.

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Back at the barbershop, the group begins to make plans to head back to Madison's. When tensions threaten to boil over between Travis and Daniel Salazar over what to do, Chris alerts them to a nearby wall, which is rapidly heating up. They realize that there's a fire next door and quickly collect their belongings before opening the front door and fleeing.

They rush out as rioters come in, hooting and hollering. Outside, Chris notices a walker tackling a riot officer to the ground and biting him in the neck. Travis tells him to run, and they all move towards his truck as more cars are firebombed.

The group continues to flee past rioters, but a LAPD firehose knocks over a scaffolding and causes Griselda to become trapped underneath. Daniel sees this and rushes over to help, and Travis picks her up and carries her to the truck. They hurriedly get in and drive off before more rioters arrive. They also discover that Griselda has a broken leg as they drive off and look for a hospital.

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As they go past a medical center, Travis and the others see walkers chasing staff members and a SWAT team holding a perimeter. The officers shoot and kill an elderly patient as they pass and look on in shock. Afterwards, Daniel asks Travis if his family can stay at their house and get a cousin to pick them up later, and the latter reluctantly agrees. They look towards the downtown core and see the entire electrical grid fail, plunging the city into darkness.

Madison and the kids attempt to ignore the threats outside by playing a game of Monopoly, but they are distracted by the fact that Travis isn't back home yet. The power goes out soon after and she bickers with Nick about what they should do, but they are distracted by Alicia, who is looking out the window. Madison tells her to stay back, and they hear noises from outside.

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When Nick opens the blinds to look, he sees a whimpering dog, and hurriedly bring him inside. After closing the door, they realize the dog has someone else's blood on it. The dog runs to the back of the house and starts barking, and Nick chases after to calm it down. When he does so, he sees the undead Peter Dawson walking across the street towards them.

Madison tells the kids to hurry, and they flee to their next door neighbour's house. She calls for the owner, Susan, but doesn't get any response back.

The lights flicker on and off as Alicia looks around Susan's living room and Nick searches for Susan's husband's hunting shotgun. He finds it and tells his mother to look for ammunition, while Alicia looks outside and sees the undead Peter walking into their house. She calls the others over and they look on as the dog barks at Peter, who attacks and kills it. Madison loads the shotgun and tells them to stay quiet. At that moment, Travis's car pulls into the driveway and they rush to stop him.

Travis enters the Clark house and calls for Madison, but can't find her. He sees Peter eating the dog and attempts to talk to him, but the latter goes to attack. As Travis fends him, Madison rushes over with Nick and tells Alicia to go back and grab the rest of the ammo from Susan's house. When Alicia does so, she sees signs that Susan is still in the house.

Travis is still fighting off Peter when Madison and Nick enter and tell him to get back. At that moment, Daniel appears and takes the gun from her, then fires a shot into Peter's head. He falls back but turns around again, face mangled from the bullet. Daniel walks up and puts a round into his head at point-blank range, killing him for good. Everyone stares in shock at what's happened.

Alicia runs from Susan's house and is chased by the undead woman. Hearing what's happening, Chris pulls Alicia over the fence before Susan can attack. The rest of the group runs outside and looks at Susan, who futilely attempts to claw at them through a fence gap.

Nick reveals to the rest of the group that people who turn aren't sick - they're dead. Alicia promptly freaks out, realizing that Matt is dead as well.

Madison and Travis begin arguing about whether to flee Los Angeles, but he suggests hunkering down for the night and leaving in the morning. Daniel also reveals to him that he should burn Peter's corpse to prevent the sickness from spreading.

Soon after, the Salazars begin arguing over what they should do. Their daughter, Ofelia, calls them out for wanting to leave with Griselda injured. They agree to wait until the morning to decide what to do.

The next morning, Travis digs a grave for Peter while Susan attempts to claw at him through the fence. Daniel also teaches Chris how to operate a shotgun. When Travis expresses concerns over his son being taught how to use guns, Daniel tells him that it's necessary. They get ready to pack up and leave the house.

Madison goes outside and goes to kill the undead Susan, but Travis sees this and convinces her to leave the woman as-is. Afterwards, she tells Nick that she gave most of the drugs to Griselda to ease her pain. The Salazars stay behind at the house while the Clark and Manawa families pack up and drive away.

Just before they leave the street, they see Susan's husband, Patrick, arrive back home. Madison gets out of the car and rushes to stop him.

As Patrick arrives in the backyard, he is horrified to see Susan, who stalks towards him. Madison arrives and tells him to get back, and just before Susan grabs him, she's shot... by a member of the National Guard, who arrives with a platoon and hustles them away from the corpse.

Soon afterwards, a fleet of Guard personnel and trucks arrive in the neighbourhood. Travis answers questions while Madison attempts to get some information from patrolling soldiers, who tell her that Patrick was taken away because he was covered in infected blood.

Travis and Madison watch as the soldiers patrol the streets, and wonder if things will ever go back to the way they were. Inside the Clark house, Daniel sees the soldiers moving walker corpses, and tells his family that it's already too late to leave...

Tropes:

  • Big Damn Heroes/The Cavalry: The National Guard saves Patrick's life by shooting the undead Susan before she can bite him.
  • Black Comedy: When the undead Susan attempts to claw at Travis through a fence:
    Travis: Good morning, Susan.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Averted. Daniel's first shot hits Peter's head, but not his brain, leaving him standing there with half a face. The second shot does a much better job.
  • Call-Forward: Travis' philosophy (that Susan can be "cured") is very similar to Hershel Greene's (to the point that the latter put his relatives in a barn in the hopes that they were still living), but he is eventually swayed after Patrick is nearly killed by Susan.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Nick attempts to break into a nearby house (presumably to steal more drugs), but is stopped when he sees a little girl, who smiles and waves at him. He hurriedly puts his tools away and continues walking.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The same airplane that was seen in the last episode appears once again, pitching and rolling as it goes into a steep descent...
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The undead Peter Dawson returns to attack Madison and the others at their home before he's dispatched.
    • Also happens with Susan, who Travis spares because he doesn't know what's happened to her. This comes back to bite them when Susan's husband is nearly killed because they failed to act.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The supplemental materials for the series mention that Daniel has experience dealing with life-threatening situations. As a result, he's the first to act when Travis is attacked by Peter, proving that he knows how to use a gun.
  • Disappeared Dad: Discussed. Alicia mentions that she's having a "massive case of deja vu" while waiting for Travis to come home, clearly remembering the night her father didn't come home. Since Madison mentions being a widow, Alicia apparently believes Travis won't make it back.
  • Disposing of a Body: Travis does this with Peter's corpse after the latter is shot by Daniel.
  • Drama Bomb: Nick exacerbates the situation when he blurts out that Susan is already dead, causing Alicia to freak out.
  • Due to the Dead: Travis and Madison both reminisce over Peter and Susan, who were good friends and turned into walkers.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The Cruz's dog is outright hostile to the undead Peter, and even fights him at one point. Although sadly it doesn't go well. Possibly a Justified Trope considering that the dog probably saw him attacking her owners and responded accordingly.
  • False Reassurance: Madison tries to reassure Alicia that there's nothing wrong (to the point of pulling out a board game and pretending that they're having a family fun night), but this doesn't last long before walkers attempt to attack them.
  • False Utopia: Travis still clings to the notion that things will get back to normal, even going so far as to put the garbage out to the curb after seeing Peter get killed the night before.
  • Foreshadowing: At the end of the episode, Nick watches as a plane pitches and rolls before disappearing into the landscape...
  • From Bad to Worse: Said verbatim by Madison when she talks with Travis about fleeing Los Angeles. Also happens to the characters when they see the entire L.A. electrical grid fail as they're driving.
  • Gorn: The shot of the walker Peter momentarily standing with half of his head blown off, revealing brain matter and skull, before collapsing to the ground.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Peter eating the dog happens off-screen, with the sounds being heard by Madison and the kids.
  • Hidden Depths: Daniel is very capable with a gun, to the point that he teaches Chris the difference between birdshot and buckshot shotgun shells, suggesting he has prior weapons training.
  • Hope Spot: Madison attempts to ignore the outbreak by hosting a game night with her kids, and they have some fun for a while, but this doesn't last long before the threat of the walkers becomes very clear.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Both Mrs. Cruz and her young daughter are confirmed to have been killed by Peter before he attacked the Clark family.
  • Jump Scare: Christopher while observing the rioting is startled when a walker appears and shoots him a Death Glare through the window. Although the walker doesn't seem to find this enough motivation to try and eat him, it still shocks Christopher to the point that he doesn't pay as much attention to the riot as he was before.
  • Morality Pet: The little girl who waves from the window with her dolly makes Nick immediately stop trying to break in. He doesn't want a child who smiled kindly at him to see him being criminal.
  • Oh, Crap!: Travis and the others watching the city fall into darkness. Travis can't even respond when his son tries to talk to him.
  • P.O.V. Cam: When Chris sees the walker staring at him through the metal grate at the barbershop.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Travis once again attempts to talk a walker down, having seen what happened the last time they dealt with one (Calvin). He's only saved by Daniel's intervention. He and Madison are clinging desperately to denial, as she tried the same thing in the previous episode with Artie the principal.
    • There's also the rioters not noticing that one of the riot officers has become infected and seem to carry on even as the officer brutally murders and eats a former colleague. At least the hooded walker going unnoticed can be explained by having his hood up, making it harder to see if he's infected or not.
  • Your Head Asplode: Daniel shooting the undead Peter at point-blank range with a shotgun.

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