You can’t save everyone—
The Hotel Gang is dealing with the shit caused by Madison (Kim Dickens) lighting up the main marquee, namely a whole lot of people trying to get through the chained gate. People are being told to go away and no one is being allowed through the gate—at least until Madison spots Travis (Cliff Curtis) approaching. And that makes her go to the gate to call to him while Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) gets an “Oh, shit” look on her face.
RT: I was rolling my eyes at Madison here! She was all “Nope, can’t come in,” until she saw Travis. Then everyone on the outside just kinda let him through. Although, it was interesting to see that everyone in Madison’s group is happy to just let her lead the show. What she says goes.
CF: Still, Alicia looked like she wanted the smack the shit out of Mom. She’s getting tired of her shit, you can tell.
Let’s go back in time a little and see to the aftermath of the shooting at Casa Caca. It’s not good: the farmer is dead and James (Israel Broussard) is down with a bullet to the leg. Travis has had a bit of CPR/First Responder training, so he finds a needle and thread and stitches up the wound, which went straight through but messed up the leg bad. Once he’s done with that Travis digs a grave for the farmer…
Later in the evening the Bros, Brandon (Kelly Blatz) and Derick (Kenny Wormald) are eating chicken with Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), acting like they’re at a low-rent kegger. Travis had a chance to spend a couple of minutes with his son, a few seconds of which are spent slapping a beverage out of Chris’ hands when he acts like a massive douche towards his father.
RT: This scene so reminded me of Joffrey getting slapped by Tyrion in Game of Thrones.
CF: I really wanted Travis to smack the shit out of the kid. He was working overtime at being a douche.
Travis is upset that Chris killed the farmer but the kid’s blowing it off with some “I had to do it” bullshit. He acts as if he’s part of the Bro Culture now and tells Travis to be cool with how he plays things with the other guys, because they might not need him in the future.
And in the present Travis is let into the hotel, where he’s led off by Madison.
Alone with Madison Travis is acting a bit snappy. He wants to know where Nick is and Madison thinks he’s north in TJ. She asks about Chris and this is the start of “I Have Survivor’s Guilt” Travis taking center stage. (Though it might be something more: see below.)
So it’s back to Casa Caca and we find out it’s Moving Day and the Bros wanna go ‘cause they ate all the chickens and they need to ramble on. They want to load James into the back of the pickup and head for San Diego, but Travis says SD ain’t there. Chris plays the douchebag and says they never saw San Diego, which leaves Travis feeling pissed off. Then he heads into the house, finds the wallet of the dead farmer which also has his license. This allows him to put his name on a cross before they leave, while getting shit from Chris about needing to help move James. So everyone’s going and James isn’t handling the pain from travel. Travis wants to stop: James doesn’t, but in a bit it don’t matter because James passes out. He’s not ready to move. And this isn’t good, because it looks like the Bros are about to go down by one. Travis pulls a gun on Brandon and takes a shot at him and the situation turns into a real stand-off.
Travis is watching James and gets the story from him: they had to put down a guy early on during their trip and they’ve decided that they can’t be held up by dead weight. James knows it’s only a matter of time before they come for him and Travis is feeling the weight.Chris shows up the next morning with food and Travis is so paranoid that he frisks the kid for a weapon. Chris tells him that he’s right, that James’ life have meaning, that they need to do something—and then he grabs his father and wrestles him to the ground while the other two assholes come busting into the barn. Derick puts a gun to Travis’ head while Brandon pulls a rifle on James. Then this happens:
Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but close enough that James begged not to be killed and ended up with a ventilated skull. Travis has a last word with Chris before he leaves with Brandon and Derick. He reminds him that the guy he killed was born on the same day, but Chris doesn’t give a fuck. He feels like he’s ready for the new world and semi-praises his dad for killing his mother when it was necessary. He watches as Chris leaves with the others, then buries James before heading out on the road alone.
RT: If this is the version of events that actually unfolded, I think Chris was protecting his father by leaving him behind. Travis would be dead before long otherwise and Chris seems to know this.
CF: But I wonder why Brandon and Derick didn’t shoot Travis there and then if that’s the case? Chris would have to know that leaving his dad to wander alone might not be the best of things either.We’re finally back in the present as Travis finishes his story. He makes one of the most interesting lines of the night— He’s going on about how he failed his son and his ex-wife and it’s obvious he’s really suffering from survivor’s guilt, feeling that he destroyed Chris’ family through his actions with Lisa. Madison believes Chris is out there but Travis certainly acts as if he’ll never see his son again…
It’s after all this that Madison needs to find Alicia.
RT: Did you notice that look Maddie gave as she was leaving the room. I get the feeling she is already regretting their reunion.
CF: Yeah, she’s not feeling the love.
She finds her running triage in the parking garage where a bunch of outsides are now staying: apparent forty-three people “had” to be “let in”, though no one says why. (Rick would have told you that forty-three bullets would have been cheaper.) She takes her out to the pier to talk and it looks like a few zombies are washing up on shore, though not in great numbers.
RT: Funny how those 43 just let Travis in earlier and yet, here they are, inside already.
CF: Sketchy writing for sure. Like, “Oh, we better let them in ’cause… reasons.” This scene never felt right.
She comes clean on the one thing that only Madison knows: what really happened to Alicia’s father. He didn’t just crazy his car: he killed himself, leaving behind a note in the glove box that said, “I love you all, but enough’s enough.” The reason she’s kept it quiet for so long is that Nick is way too much like his father, and Madison felt Nick would go the same way even faster. She apologizes for ignoring Alicia for so long and both reconcile, with Alicia telling her mother she loves her.Travis takes a long showers while people continue to come up to the hotel at night. And guess who shows up? Brandon and Derick, Douchebros Extraordinaries. And they’re without Chris.
Man, won’t they be happy to see Travis again…
Personal Note: Rachel and I love to talk shit about Travis and how worthless the character seems most of the time, but we both agree Cliff Curtis is a great actor. And this episode was a extraordinary turn for him as he played Travis as the person who really was the outsider, and who slowly understood that not only were the old ways going to work any longer, but that perhaps he didn’t want anything to do with this world any longer. I really understood by the end that what he really wanted was to find a place away from everyone where he could fish and do a little farming and stay far enough off the radar that no one would ever bother him—and his son. Travis was clinging on to the hope that he could find some semblance of personal peace in this new world, and it went straight to hell when Chris rode away—
Or did he?
This morning Rachel wrote an article where she puts forward the notion that maybe Chris didn’t ride off with the bros, that maybe Travis was forced to kill him, and most of what we saw last night was a point of view coming from an unrealizable narrator. The way Cliff played Travis he seemed to suffer from a hell of a lot more guilt that someone who’s “friends” pulled weapons on him and then drove off without him. It’s strange enough that Travis comments that if he hadn’t found Madison he’d never have to tell her what happened with his son, but when he starts retelling the story the first words spoken are, “I had no choice.” What? To let him go? Or to kill him? It appears we’re going to find out Chris’ fate in the final episode, as well as the fate of Ofelia.
RT: It seems, so far, on the internet, I am the only one with this opinion of Travis killing Chris. But, let me offer up a couple more tidbits to get you all thinking about this theory.
Firstly, I came into this episode after having missed the first ten minutes of this episode. And, from that perspective, it looked more like a confession of Travis having killed Chris than of having been left behind by his son.
As Cassidy pointed out, Travis says some pretty interesting lines such as the one in the image above about not having to tell a soul about what he did. Travis seems to be grossly overcome by grief rather than guilt at points. Madison is absolutely right when she says Travis didn’t have a choice in the matter. Chris took that choice out of his father’s hands. Regardless of why Chris did this, it should absolve Travis of some of the guilt of not being able to uphold his promise to Liza about protecting their son.
Episode 13 focused on Madison finally telling Alicia the truth about her father. The fact that Alicia now knows her mother lied about how her father died comes on the same night Travis is telling Madison about what happened between himself and Chris. What viewers learned here is that people will lie to protect those they love from the truth. Coincidence, or not?
CF: You are a trendsetter. Won’t the Internet be surprised if this is right? 🙂
Speaking of the final episode, both Episode 14 and 15 are going to be played back to back, allowing Fear to end a week early so AMC can run their Walking Dead marathon which no one has ever seen before, so jump on that people! It’s likely I’ll have both recaps out next Monday and Tuesday because AMC gives no shits and they gotta start strokin’ that Negan hype ASAP. So get ready for the end of the end of the world as we bid Season 2 farewell next week—
Travis Manawa — Cliff Curtis
Christopher Manawa — Lorenzo James Henrie
Madison Clark — Kim Dickens
Alicia Clark — Alycia Debnam-Carey
Brandon — Kelly Blatz
Derick — Kenny Wormald
James — Israel Broussard