‘FTWD,’ “Blood On The Street” Asserts Death Is A Way to New Life

‘Fear The Walking Dead,’ “Blood on the Street,” begins in medias res and quickly asserts the false security of refuge.

A naked bewildered Nick washes ashore and makes his way to an abandoned refugee camp- “Save Us” sprawled in driftwood across the beach foreshadows the fate of those afloat on Abigail.

This ominous sign precedes Nick once again as he covers himself in blood, a sign of battle. Covering himself in death brings Nick life.

Turns out, Nick jumped ship before three young people, Jack, Reed, and pregnant Vida, hijack Abigail– thanks to Alicia, who inadvertently led them to her family during naive radio banter with Jack. Strand fled the ship as it was taken.

A new name, Connor, enters the mix when the band of parasites holds hostage the rest of Abigail’s crew. What kind of man sends teenagers to do his bidding?

“When there’s blood in the street,” opportunities for parasites arise, a point made during a distressed Strand’s flashback. As his escape raft takes on water, he remembers his post-Katrina financial ruin. It seems water flows through much of Strand’s character arc. But is it a symbol of destruction or renewal? The destructive waters of Katrina gave him the opportunity to begin again, albeit through corrupt means, so will his current immersion renew his humanity or does it imply moral deterioration?

Luckily, Nick connects with Strand’s contact, Luis Flores– just in time to save Madison, Chris, Daniel, and Ofelia from Reed, who surely would have executed the crew at Connor’s behest. Reed emerges as Connor’s muscle and implies Connor isn’t in the habit of getting his own hands dirty- he uses other people for that.

Is Connor ‘Fear the Walking Dead’s’ answer to ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Governor?

Unfortunately, Nick and Luis arrive too late to save Alicia and Travis, who were kidnapped by Connor.

Once again, Madison is confronted with a moral dilemma. Go after her husband and daughter, or go after Strand- her family’s only ticket across the border; Luis made it clear Strand was the priority.

The episode closes with Madison pulling Strand out of the water, an interesting choice in light of the number of people onboard who could have fished him from the ocean. What does Madison saving Strand imply? Does it show Strand’s power and Madison’s acceptance, or does it show that Madison has “obligated” Strand to her?

How will Strand’s near death experience affect the dynamics between him and the group? As he gets nearer his romantic partner, Thomas Abigail (the yacht’s namesake), will Strand soften or will his desire to get to Thomas intensify his survival instinct?

Madison continues to evolve. She taunts Vida about her unborn child, implying that her unborn baby girl is dead and that she may birth a zombie. Ofelia piles on, showing Madison’s leadership prowess. Her experience as a counselor puts her at an interesting advantage when it comes to psychological warfare. She also didn’t hesitate to stab Reed once the opportunity presented itself. Will she realize this power and wield it on Strand and his connections? Will it be enough to get her family back from Connor? Did Alicia learn enough from her mother to play Jack and save Travis?

The group is bound for the Baja House, but if history is a reliable teacher, no place is safe. Did Strand already jeopardize the Baja House? After all, Alex knows that the group is Mexico bound.

There is a subtle clue that Alex may have supplied Connor’s crew with information about Abigail. As Reed and the others are naming Abigail’s crew along with other sensitive information, Alicia acknowledges that she wasn’t the source for some of it. Did Alex share information with Connor’s group in the interest of her own survival?

What did you think of tonight’s episode? You can share your insights, predictions, and questions in the comment section.

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.