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Recap / Fear The Walking Dead S 02 E 01 Monster

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Season 2, Episode 01:

Monster

In the wake of Liza's death, the group has spent the last several hours resting up and recuperating at Victor Strand's beachfront property. However, it is revealed that the fires consuming Los Angeles have finally reached the shoreline.

Madison stands at the edge of the sea, looking out as the house burns behind her. At the same time, Nick, Alicia, Daniel and Ofelia are in the back of a speedboat racing towards the Abigail. As they get onboard the ship, Strand tells Nick that the yacht will be able to operate for quite some time and to go back and get the others.

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On the beach, Travis and Madison are arguing about whether to take Liza's corpse with them and give it a proper burial when they realize walkers have also reached the shoreline and are heading towards them. As he and Chris fight them off, Nick arrives back on the beach with the speedboat and tells them to hurry up and get onboard. While the others swim over to the boat, Travis carries Liza's body to the boat, but nearly gets bitten by a walker before Nick uses the speedboat's engine rotor to decapitate it.

As they get onboard, everyone pauses to look back at the Los Angeles skyline, which is now burning and dotted with jets attempting to bomb the landscape...

The next morning, Strand tells the rest of the group that the ship can run for 3000 miles, and Daniel comments that they'll have lots of options on where to go. Below deck, Travis visits Chris and tries to console him, but the moment is interrupted when they hear screaming up top. As they go out to look, they see a group of people stranded on a piece of debris in the middle of the ocean. Madison goes to Strand and attempts to tell him to stop the boat, but he tells her that he's reached his quota of people to save.

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While Travis sends Alicia to find a radio, he goes up top and also asks Strand to stop the boat, but relents after the latter tells him that their best course of action is to head south and see if the border patrol are still operating in Mexico. Strand drives the boat off as the stranded passengers continue to scream for help. At the same time, Alicia listens to SOS calls on the radio and loses his composure before covering her ears.

On the roof of the boat, Strand and Nick discuss what happened and reference their prior conversation in the cells at the military base, and Strand admits that he's not sure what their plan will be if the intended destinations are destroyed.

Travis and Madison are also down below, arguing about what to do because of their limited supplies and uncertain situation. He tells them that the best thing to do is stick together and continue to be a family before she walks back out.

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Alicia is listening to the radio when she hears a voice ask if there's anyone who feels the same as he does about the world ending, and for them to answer if they can. Alicia answers the radio and listens to the man talk to her for a few moments before answering in kind.

Chris is still mourning his mother's body and finally kisses her forehead and tells her he's sorry before leaving. He goes outside and sees Daniel fishing. They both bond over their fallen relatives as Travis looks on. After Chris walks off, Travis walks up to Daniel and asks what they spoke about, but the latter brushes the matter aside, pointing out that Chris will understand why Travis chose to Mercy Kill Liza in time.

Meanwhile. Alicia is still talking with the man on the radio, who refuses to divulge his location despite indicating that he's in a safe place. As they continue speaking, the man reveals that he has a boat as well.

Madison goes to speak with Daniel as he scans the shoreline, and asks if he knows what's going to happen next. He bluntly tells her that the world is already over, and they talk about Strand. Daniel indicates that he doesn't trust him, but Madison points out that he has done a lot of good for them. Daniel tells her that he's keeping an eye on Strand's actions.

Soon after, the group holds a burial service for Liza. Travis gives a heartfelt eulogy and tells them how much Chris meant to her and him. Chris walks up from his spot a distance away and suddenly tips the body into the lake in anger before storming off. As Travis goes below deck to talk to him again, Chris rails at him for failing to act, and punches his father in the face for shooting Liza. Travis closes the door to Chris' cabin and reels in shock.

Alicia once again calls the man on the radio, who calls himself Jack, who tells her that his ship is taking on water and that he'll have to make land, while she offhandedly reveals some information about the group's whereabouts. Alicia goes to the rest of the group and tells them that the other ship needs help, but Strand cuts the conversation short by telling them that it's his ship and his rules, and that the situation is no better at sea than on land. He tells her to stop talking to Jack and let the matter go.

The group sits down to have dinner for the first time in a long while, and begin to feel at ease with their situation, laughing and smiling for the first time in a while. Everyone except Chris goes to sit and eat, and he goes outside to look at the water. He notices a fog rolling in and looks out. Inside, the group hears a splash and realize Chris jumped into the water, likely intending to kill himself. Nick jumps into the water and asks what he's doing, to which Chris replies that he "wanted to swim".

Nick tells everyone to jump in and dives under the water. At the same time, Alicia calls Jack again and tells him that they can't come to help him. He cryptically replies that he'll "see her soon" and hangs up, while Strand hears a proximity alert go off on the command console. As Nick continues to swim, he is surprised by a walker floating in the water, which moves to attack him.

As he fights the walker off, everyone realizes that they've come upon the remnants of a destroyed ship. As Chris swims back to the boat, Nick tells them that he hears something and swims towards the noise. He swims into the destroyed ship and sees that it has been riddled with bullet holes. As he moves around, another walker tries to attack him, but he fights it off and grabs the ship's log from the plane before leaving. He appears back above surface as Travis drives up with the speedboat and retrieves him.

As they speed back, Strand sees the signal on his monitor and runs downstairs to tell the others that they have to leave. Madison realizes that the person who spoke to Alicia is likely coming after them next...

Tropes:

  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Chris punches his father in the face after the latter tries to console him after Liza's burial at sea.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: The military's last, futile attempt to retake Los Angeles (via using military jets to bomb the city) is only seen and heard in the background as the group flees to the Abigail.
  • Blatant Lies: Chris tries to deflect Nick's questioning of him jumping into the sea (a suicide attempt) by claiming that he "just wanted to swim".
  • The Cameo: Elizabeth Rodriguez appears as (the now-deceased) Liza, who appears for a couple scenes as a corpse before being buried at sea.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The fires that were seen consuming Los Angeles as the group drove towards Strand's property in the previous episode finally reach the shoreline, forcing everyone to evacuate towards the Abigail.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Strand and Nick reference their prior conversation in the prison cells at the military base while discussing whether or not they should have saved the group of survivors they encountered just after fleeing Los Angeles.
    • The wildfires that were seen consuming parts of Los Angeles as the group drove away from the military base finally reach the shoreline several hours later, forcing them to evacuate to the Abigail.
    • The jets bombing what's left of Los Angeles appears to be all that remains of the Operation Cobalt plan, although it's futile, considering the city is already being consumed by wildfires.
  • Disposing of a Body: The group brings Liza's corpse with them to the Abigail, where they hold a funeral service the next morning.
  • Driven to Suicide: Chris jumps into the water behind the yacht after the seeing the family laughing and smiling while eating dinner, presumably to kill himself. When Nick sees this and jumps in after him, Chris makes up an excuse that he wanted to go swimming.
  • Due to the Dead: Chris kisses Liza's forehead and tells her he's sorry before her body is buried.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The group sees Los Angeles burn behind them as they flee to the Abigail, and Strand later tells them to leave any and all stranded ships and people to their fates. It's implied that anyone who was left behind (including the residents in the safezone) is dead.
  • Heroic BSoD: Chris has come down with this as a result of Liza's death, refusing to talk to anyone and staring at Liza's body for hours once everyone boards the boat. It causes him to attempt suicide before he's stopped and brought back to the boat.
  • Hope Spot: The group eventually comes to good spirits, and (save for Chris) gathers to eat dinner, laughing and smiling. Their hopes are dashed when Chris attempts to commit suicide and they discover the destroyed boat in the distance.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Travis insists on carrying Liza's corpse to the escape boat so he can give her a proper burial, which slows him down and causes him to nearly get attacked by a walker in the process. Likewise, Chris argues with his father about bringing Liza's body with them, even as the house burns down behind them and walkers appear on the horizon.
    • Alicia unintentionally tells "Jack", a man she heard on the CB radio, the group's location by pointing out various landmarks that they're close to. As a result, the group realizes that the occupant of the other boat (which may have shot up other people) is now headed towards them.
  • Improvised Weapon: Nick uses the propeller on the speedboat to dispatch a walker trying to attack Travis.
  • Infinite Supplies: Averted. Travis points that the group's supplies are limited, and that he isn't sure what the solution is.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Despite Strand's attempt to tell her otherwise, Alicia's use of the CB radio results in her unintentionally revealing the group's location to a man named "Jack" who is heading towards them at the end of the episode, presumably intending to loot from or kill them.
  • Not So Different: Chris and Daniel bond over their lost relatives and love of fishing.
  • Not So Stoic: Chris suffers from a Heroic BSoD throughout most of the episode, but finally loses his composure when Travis gives his eulogy for Liza and tips the corpse into the sea before storming off.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When he gets onboard the Abigail, Strand points out that the yacht will be able to run for a long time, and points to a number of other fleeing boats in the distance as what they will be able to pillage from in order to survive longer.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Alicia comes across a radio broadcast on the CB radio from the Coast Guard, who inform anyone listening that they will not be rescuing anyone and are looking out for themselves from there on.
  • Ship Tease: Nick and Ofelia have an awkward conversation where he offers to change the bandages on her shoulder, and she politely refuses.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • In what is likely the remnants of Operation Cobalt, military jets are seen bombing the remnants of Los Angeles as Travis and the others flee aboard the Abigail. This is despite the fact that L.A. is already in the midst of a raging inferno that has consumed the entire city. Although considering that it's Walkers they're dealing with, they were probably being thorough.
    • The destroyed ship the group finds later on is pumped so full of bullet holes that it looks like Swiss cheese. It's suggested that whoever killed everyone onboard the ship and destroyed has access to significant firepower.
  • Time Skip: Several hours have passed between the events of the previous season's finale and this episode.
  • Trash the Set: Strand's beachfront home (and the rest of Los Angeles) is seen going up in flames as the group flees on the Abigail.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The group as a whole begins to run into this. After Strand brings them onboard, they begin to gossip and whisper behind his back about his "true motives", despite the fact that he's upfront with them about what his plans are (pillage other fleeing boats and ships for supplies, check the Mexican border to see if the border patrol is still functioning, and if not, head towards San Diego). The group even shouts him down when he attempts to tell them that it's his boat and his rules, and that he wants Alicia to stop using the CB radio to contact the unknown man on the other end. While Strand is understandably running on adrenaline and not sleeping, there's no reason given why the group doesn't thank him for saving them from a hopeless situation (Los Angeles burning down) and taking them onboard his yacht as a motley crew.

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