Episode Title: Blood in the Streets
Original Airdate: 5-1-16
The consequences of Alicia’s radio hookup from the season premiere come full circle, as the survivors are taken captive on the Abigail by Jack and his group. As the pirate (for lack of a better word) trio await the arrival of their own leader, Travis is instructed to “hot-wire” the Abigail into starting, because Strand jumped ship, with the keys, at the first sign of trouble. Speaking of Strand, several flashbacks peel away a little of his mystery as we learn he lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, then stole $36,000 from a businessman, Thomas Abigail, who eventually became Strand’s partner in various real estate ventures as well as life. Meanwhile, Nick swims to shore on Strand’s orders, to meet up with an associate by the name of Luis, who takes Nick back to the Abigail in time to kill some of the commandeering pirates, but not before their own leader takes off with Travis and Alicia. The episode ends with Madison pulling a near dead Strand out of the water.
This week’s episode was pretty good, and had a little bit of everything. In the opening moments, we see Nick swimming to shore to a tent camp on the Mexican border. He immediately finds an Infected and camouflages himself in its blood so he can roam freely. For the longest time we didn’t know that Strand had sent him to shore with a mission, so at first I wondered if Nick found a new addiction to chase (adrenaline, power). Maybe he has and was more than willing to go to shore for that reason. Since we never see Strand giving Nick this task, it’s unclear, but at least it gives Nick something beyond wandering around in old man clothes.
The stuff on the boat was intense, but the newcomers were very bland. Other than Jack, which is probably an alias, I can’t remember the other two’s names. I am surprised that the woman actually is pregnant; it’s something Jack mentioned to Alicia during their radio chat. I thought it was a lie to get sympathy, but that part is true. I’m interested to see where that goes, because she’s not someone in our group we sympathize with, so killing her off or having something go horribly wrong with her pregnancy might answer some questions many TWD fans have had regarding the subject of zombie babies. Only if the writers decide to go there, but it might be pushing the envelope too far for television. I also like how the pirates knew more about the survivors than Alicia told them. I’m wondering (perhaps hoping) we see Alex again a lot sooner than originally thought, and maybe she’s out for revenge…
As for Strand, I think they gave us enough to satisfy some need for backstory, but left plenty more to be discovered later. Obviously the man’s an opportunist; that much has been clear from the beginning. But now I feel like he has enough depth to drive him forward, for something, actually someone, other than simple survival. He has someone to get back to, which changes things, as it gives him a vulnerability he was missing before.
They have managed to leave me intrigued for next week, something that hasn’t happened much with this show yet.