We pick up this episode with Alicia still tracking down Jake. She seems to be able to catch up to him with relative ease, this could be from 1 of 3 likely reasons. Alicia is an undercover master tracker, Jake is very sloppy in how he navigates, or it’s a pretty straight forward path to Black Hat Ranch. Alicia informs Jake on how the Grumbles are now dead and how it was done by Walker and his group, that changes things and he is not safe for going there. Jake believes that actually makes it more pressing to go over and he won’t turn back. Black Hat Ranch is a gas station with a motel and a diner, Jake says that tribal land runs 10 miles in any direction. Back at the ranch everyone easily notices that Jake and Alicia are both missing. Jake and Walker talk at the diner, they eventually agree to try a parlay of peace. Ofelia makes a surprise appearance serving food at the diner to the shock of Alicia. Alicia and Ofelia get some time to talk alone outside, Alicia asks where Ofelia has been and why did she take the truck and leave them at the hotel? Alicia talks about how Ofelia needs to join them as Walker’s people killed the Grumble’s two nights ago. Ofelia says that is not true no mission was scheduled and she is always with Walker.
At this point the terms of the parlay has been agreed and Jake was telling Alicia what to tell Jeremiah. He is the prisoner and Ofelia is going to the ranch. Alicia instead volunteers to stay as she doesn’t think she has a chance to convince Jeremiah and he needs to do it. Jake and Ofelia makes it back to the ranch, the Clarke’s are out and see Jake arrive. Madison is heated that Alicia is not there and is surprised to see Ofelia. Back at Black Hat, Walker is going to make Alicia work while she is there, while walking around and going over the duties Alicia notices that they are working on the helicopter that was shot down. She is triggered at the site obviously, she tells him she was in that helicopter that they shot down and lost a loved one. He asks if she hates him, she says she hates him for killing Travis, and knowing how she feels after he said take the pain and multiply it to get an idea of how much he hates the Otto’s.
Back at the ranch, Jake and Jeremiah are talking about the parlay terms, Black Hat Ranch wants water as part of the agreement, Jeremiah wants no part of it, he says he would rather fight. Jake thinks that they have enough water as they haven’t been without it so far but Jeremiah says it can easily dry up. Jeremiah tells Madison that he will back Jake but this whole deal is snake bitten. Meanwhile Walker shows Alicia what trinkets are in the trailer, in a drawer he pulls out a skull, which is of his grandpa, which he offers to Alicia to hold for some reason.
Madison has another stupid idea, shocker right? Playing puppet master she convinces Troy to take some men, herself and Nick to go save Alicia. A soldier waits for a perfect moment, when Alicia was out feeding the pigs, to try to take her back, it didn’t go well at first, Alicia wasn’t sure about the idea, but a Black Hat guard was near, and he ended up having to be killed, during that it caused some dogs to start making noise, and another guard was closing in fast, which caused Nick to have to run interference. Essentially the entire mission went to shit, someone had to shoot the guard who was fighting with Nick on the ground, which in turn made an obvious gunfight. Madison backed the truck and they were able to load up and escape. Back at the ranch, Alicia says she didn’t like the call, she wasn’t at all in danger. Madison said she was the one who made the call, Walker wasn’t going to negotiate he had nothing to negotiate. Jake and Jeremiah don’t at all back Madison and are upset at her.
After Jake’s parlay went by the wayside he takes Ofelia and some water back to Black Hat Ranch to try to find some sort of truce. Before leaving, Ofelia tells Alicia that she is on the wrong side, she should come with her back to Black Hat or leave the ranch all together. Once Jake arrives he is taken out of the vehicle and held at gunpoint on his knees, he tries to say that he did not break the parlay that it was his brother. Walker starts to scalp Jake, and is about to shove a knife in the back of his head when Ofelia asks him to stop. He says that this will continue with Jeremiah’s oldest kid, he will keep Jeremiah alive to see all the devastation that happens to his family. Jake returns to delivery the message.
Shortly afterwards, a bruised and beaten Ofelia is left at the gate of the ranch, it appears as punishment for interfering with the scalping of Jake. She was brought in and talked with the Otto’s and she said she has lost her home when she was left alone in the desert while shooting Jeremiah a distinct look. Madison was put in charge of Ofelia, she told Ofelia that she can stay with her and Madison, while figuring out what job she can do Ofelia mentioned she worked in the kitchen at Black Hat which is deemed helpful.
The soldiers know that a fight is coming, war is inevitable, Nick offered to stay and be the last line of defense if everyone else had to retreat. As the night gets older, guards are getting extremely sick, throwing up, including dying. We see it’s not only guards, but civilians inside the ranch, who naturally turn into walkers and end up attacking from the inside. It is a huge battle for survival for everyone inside the ranch. Ofelia looks for an opening and bolts, Nick tries to get her attention to come and when he sees that she leaves he knows that she did something, Nick starts to get sick as well, bending over and throwing up. Madison goes after Ofelia as the first episode comes to a close.
After the break we are greeted with a flashback. Ofelia’s journey into America as she was looking for an opening along the fence. After getting into America she is shot at, she has to hide behind a tree, she is cornered by Jeremiah, we saw this at the end of last season, but at the time we didn’t know WHO Jeremiah was. As that continues he asks her where she was headed, he realizes that she is an American, he gives her a bit of water, and some advice on how to get back into town. She asks for a ride and he won’t give her one, he won’t bring her back to his ranch, because she wouldn’t feel comfortable there. The ranch doesn’t have any of her kind there, by that he means brown people and she would have no use there. He drives off and leaves her to fend for herself, she walks the desert but starts to hallucinate, she tries to dig the sand to use as protection and she sees her dad telling her not to fall asleep. Qaletaqa Walker happens to come along on a horse and sees her, he loads her up on his horse and takes her back to Black Hat, he helps get her a bath, some clothes, food, and a place to rest.
We get back to present day, Ofelia gets into the army vehicle and is trying to drive it away when Madison catches up and breaks the window with her elbow. She pulls her out of the truck and just start laying hands on Ofelia’s face like you would see in a UFC pay per view event with the ground and pound.
The next morning in sick bay Jake and others are trying to keep everyone alive. Another one dies, and Jeremiah shoots him in the head. Ofelia spiked the coffee last night, since Nick is sick, and nobody knows what it was, Madison gets the idea to take Ofelia back to Black Hat to find out what the substance is. Ofelia said it was just supposed to make the soldiers sick, so Walker’s people can come in and take the ranch easy, it wasn’t supposed to kill people. At Black Hat, Madison walks Ofelia in the diner at gunpoint, while at gunpoint from Walker’s people. When being asked because it was a member of Madison’s family that is sick, he admits that the substance is Anthrax, which no cure is possible. Walker says, if he is strong he will live. Walker tells his people that Madison is more man than the Otto’s and she is free to go, he advises her to leave the ranch as he has no issues with Madison.
Guess who finally makes an appearance this episode? I can’t hear you so I’ll tell you it is Strand! Strand is hugging the coastline, which is a great plan as you can defend one side so you can keep an eye in front of you, which of course is a bad idea if you get cornered. Strand finds his long lost love, Abigail! Truly shocking, he makes his way onto the boat to find it’s loaded with walkers of fun time girls and coast guards. He knows where some weapons are so he goes back and grabs them, dispatches the walkers, his boat is full of drugs and alcohol as well. Strand finds some champagne and gets on his radio. He ends up talking with someone in another country, they compare what is going on, where Strand now knows it’s happening all over the world not just in the United States. Strand sounds like he is losing faith, when the man says, ‘the world is not dead until you’re dead.’ You shortly hear it was the man’s last breath, but it seems to focus Strand again. He gets things in order, has some more drinks, and lights his boat on fire as he continues on his journey.
Back at the ranch, Nick starts to feel better, all the sick people have been smartly tied to the beds in case they do pass they can’t kill anyone else if they turn. Nick tells Jake that he knows he is sick and he needs the bed. Jake says he wants to appear strong for everyone, if he is down it will lower spirits. He does agree to let Nick go from the bed. Nick looks for Jeremiah who is out burying the dead. At Black Hat, Ofelia is upset she was used as a pawn for death. The ranch goes back on the offense, they light houses on fire, creating a diversion, where Alicia and Madison get the truck and hitch the trailer of artifacts with them. Nick feels that something is up, he digs up the floor of the house he he as been staying at, and he finds a skull. Nick confronts Jeremiah to find out whose skull that is. It turns out that Jeremiah and founding fathers were hiding in a herd and they came up on Walkers uncle and killed him, the skull is Walker’s father, who came looking for his brother. Nick doesn’t think the land is Jeremiah’s after learning the truth, Jeremiah counters that the land is owned by whoever can hold it, Nick says we will see if he can hold it with Walker coming for him.
Nick shows Madison and Alicia the skull that night, Nick says they are on the wrong side, they are guessing that Jake has some sort of idea of the truth. Alicia finds out the truth about Troy and the Grumbles, how it was actually Troy all along who killed them. Alicia is irate, says no wonder dad was unhappy living with someone like you, someone without any feelings what so ever. She says that someone has to be strong and hold everything together and nobody knows what she bares.
Madison’s big idea is to use the relics and supplies for a peace trade. She meets with Qaletaqa and offers up the skull of his father as well. He says the offering is not enough and it’s all a white mans shame, they have until noon tomorrow to leave or die, as they are already surrounded. Madison talks again with her kids, Madison opens up a bit more, she goes on a long story that ends with her being a kid who murdered her father for hurting her mother. The same look the kids give to her is what she got from her mom, she didn’t regret it and wouldn’t regret it now to keep people safe. Madison goes to talk to Jeremiah, she tells him that one option was still on the table to save the ranch, it’s his head. Jeremiah asks if Madison came to kill him and she said she is tired of disappointing her children and he will kill himself. Nick comes in, and Jeremiah wonders if anyone knocks anymore. Nick comes in and like a gangster shoots Jeremiah in the head, shocking Madison, who exchanges guns, tells him to leave and she stages it like a suicide. Jake and Troy rush in, and sees what happens, we later see a coffin, and another jump cut we see Madison have a meeting with Walker. She brings him a backpack, which has Jeremiah’s head inside, Walker looks at it and gives a nod, seemingly showing an agreement has been reached.
This concludes the first 8 episodes of this season, many questions linger, what happens at the ranch, and black hat. Where is Strand, what about Luciana, where does Ofelia land in all this, lastly what about Daniel?