‘FWD’ “Captive” Blood Runs Thicker On Open Waters

Blood is the name of the game in tonight’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead,” Captive.” The episode questions what family means. Initially, it seems the bonds of family may be a liability, but could it be a means of survival and thriving? No matter how you slice it, Connor, Reed, and Jack picked the wrong boat. The Manawa and Clark families got lucky this episode, but how long will that last?

Chris and Alycia wallow in guilt and try to make things right. Reed, now an injured captive, continues to taunt Chris. Reed acknowledges Chris as an outsider, telling him that Madison and the others will abandon him because only “blood matters now.”

Ironically, Chris promptly spills Reed’s blood. Ofelia, who is dangerously close to being comfortable with the way of the new world acknowledges the now-routine nature of spilling blood and cleaning it up.  For a moment, it seems as though Chris’s questionable actions thwarted Travis’s rescue; luckily, Daniel formulated a dark plan.

Chris seems to be grappling with the New World Order. Was he wrong to hesitate when Reed arrived? Was he wrong for not pulling a gun on a “bleeding” pregnant woman? Had he acted aggressively, Reed would never have boarded Abigail and its crew would have remained intact. But what would that make Chris? Besides, the reunion between Alex and Travis indicate Chris was doomed no matter what decision he made.

Last week, it was clear that Reed and Connor’s group didn’t find Abigail through Alycia’s misguided lonely radio talk with Jack. As Reed is spouting knowledge about the ship and its crew, Alycia tells her family that not all of his intelligence came from her radio banter. Turns out, she alone does not shoulder the blame for her family’s tenuous circumstances. An angry Alex led Connor’s crew to Abigail.

Connor happened upon Alex, who was left in a lifeboat to fend for herself with a severely burned companion thanks to Travis and Strand. Connor, the opportunist, asks Alex what she has to offer, so she offers up intel on the Abigail. Right or wrong, Alex blames Travis for having to dump her companion overboard and taking up with the likes of Connor, who clearly has predatory tendencies.

Alex recognized Travis’s internal conflict and resented him for his conclusion. While Travis and Alex are caged in the bowels of Connor’s ship, Alex tells Travis that she saw in his face that he willingly ignored the humane choice. For that she sought vengeance. But what does that say about her? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

It isn’t until Travis takes ownership for his decision and mourns the loss of the piece of his humanity that would prevent such ruthless actions that Alex seems to forgive him. Travis was damned either way. If he allowed Alex and her near-death companion aboard Abigail, her companion could’ve turned and killed his family. In choosing to preserve his family’s safety, he made a powerful enemy. What’s a man to do?

Alex’s last line, though, is ominous and just straight up cool. Travis asks why Connor took her aboard. She replies that Connor said he could “use her.” As they part ways, she says “nobody uses me.” Is this the last we’ll see of Alex? I sure hope not! Will Alex team up with Jack, who is scorned by Alycia? Will the two of them work together to hunt down the Abigail, or will they move on?

Chris tells Madison that he shot Reed because Reed was going “to turn,” but it seems as though Chris acted out of a need to clear his conscience.Travis, too, indulged Alex out of a similar need. Will that need come back bite both of them?

Thanks to Daniel’s quick thinking, Connor is no longer a threat. When Chris assassinates Reed, he jeopardized a hostage exchange- a trade of Reed for Travis and Alycia. Daniel resolves to use Reed as a weapon- put a bag on his head, make the hostage exchange and watch things unravel for Connor. Ruthless. With this ruthlessness in mind, did Daniel leave Chris with Reed because he knew what Chris would do? After all, Reed did threaten Daniel’s daughter, Ofelia.

Something, though, is going on with Daniel.  Our resident warrior is hearing voices. As Daniel is gathering zombie-Reed for the exchange, he hears a voice say “take the gun.” Is he stable? Is the new way of the world too close to his past? Will his flashbacks put the rest of the Abigail crew in greater danger?

In another turn, Madison takes control.  Even Strand recognizes her as a force to be reckoned with. Out of all the Abigail crew, Madison seems to wield the greatest influence and the greatest strength. But will she be able to protect her family from the inevitable? She sees Nick gets the familiar addict’s rush out of their dangerous existence and tries to protect him from himself. Will her efforts to protect him do him more harm? Will there be any convincing her that she’s wrong if it is a detriment?

What did you think of tonight’s episode? You can leave your questions and insights 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.