‘Fear the Walking Dead’ “Pillar of Salt” Recap & Review

Fear the Walking Dead does its best to build suspense by beginning “Pillar of Salt” with Francisco and his family fleeing the Colonia. The father tells his frightened daughter Colonia is no longer safe.

Is the Colonia dangerous because of its mysterious, benevolent dictator, Alejandro, or is it the looming drug battle between Colonia Marco’s settlement?

Marco quickly captures Francisco, placing the Colonia in greater danger. With Francisco gone, Alejandro begins to show his true colors when he puts his settlement on lockdown. He forbids anyone to leave, which will likely exasperate tensions with Marco, who is expecting Alejandro’s oxycodone delivery.

“Pillar of Salt,” an ominous title, implies one of the thriving settlements will fall along with people who can’t let go of the past. Is this the beginning of the end for Alejandro? Will he unravel with this perceived betrayal?

Ilene is a woman who can’t let go of the past. Believing Victor’s act of killing zombified Jessica an act of violence, she retaliates. Luckily, Strand (arguably Fear the Walking Dead’s most compelling character) survives her retaliation. But will the hotel survive Ilene’s act of violence?

Victor’s wound brings Madison and Elena to Marco’s encampment. Naturally, Madison overhears Marco interrogating Francisco just as Marco mentions Nick. Her rash reaction puts Elena, Strand, and everyone at the hotel in danger.

Her frantic abandon prompts another revelation, Marco’s people don’t plan on staying at the warehouse for long. Do they plan to take over the Colonia? Will Marco’s quest for oxy be his encampment’s undoing?

There’s no sign of a family reunion with Travis and Chris in the wind and Madison’s near miss with Nick.

Marco is closing in on Nick. Will Marco strike the Colonia or will he engage in a rational negotiation? Would Nick field those negotiations or will Alejandro take a stand?

And what does Nick’s secret plan to deliver the oxy mean for his new romance and his place in Colonia?

Meanwhile, Ofelia reemerges and seems to be holding her own. “Pillar of Salt” offers the audience a glimpse of Ofelia’s past and the happiness she sacrificed in the name of family. Now she’s off to the USA, likely in search of her lost love.

Alicia can relate to similar notions of Ofelia’s sacrifice, finally confronting Madison’s madness. Fresh from the warehouse and hearing rumors of Nick’s nearby proximity, she shines a beacon to Nick…and the rest of Mexico.

Perhaps the title of tonight’s episode foreshadows the hotel’s collapse under the weight of Madison’s need for Nick to need her.

Alicia takes control and finally gets Madison to see logic, but previews for next week show it’s too late– throngs of survivors crowd the hotel gates. One good thing about her lapse in judgment, Travis sees the light, literally. But will he respond to her signal alone?

Previews indicate Chris’s new crew is a threat to Travis. Will Travis choose Alicia and Madison, or will he stick with Chris despite Chris’s downward spiral?

Strangely, the series still, somehow, misses the mark. Yes, there are a few interesting twists on the horizons, but they are far from original.

The parallel subplots reinforce significant themes, but those themes seem stale. And there is a degree of overkill as each subplot clubs the same point to death.

One of the major issues with Fear the Walking Dead is the lack of likable characters. With the exception of Victor Strand, the characters are flat, predictable, and cliche. I don’t care if any of them survive… in fact, I find myself rooting against Nick. Can he be any more arrogant?

There are two episodes left in Fear the Walking Dead, season 2. Are you happy with the series so far? Will you continue to watch if there is a third season?

You can leave your insights, questions, and predictions in the comment section below.

Consumer Expert Melissa O'Donnell

Teacher by day, pop culture consumer by night- Melissa lives for good stories and loves to share them with fellow TV, movie, graphic novel, and book enthusiasts. She also blogs about pop culture's influence on everything from her worldview to her relationships at undertheinfluence76.blogspot.com-- she'd love for you to join in on her journey.