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In This Episode...
We finally learn what happened to Al, though we don't get much in the way of answers.
Al wakes to find herself in the presence of a uniformed woman who is setting a body on fire. She grabs a pack and runs, losing her shoe in the mud. She removes a video from the camera and is trying to escape when she is surrounded by zombies. The uniformed woman, who Al later dubs Happy, kills them all. Happy is demanding the video, which Al promises she does not have.
The next day, Al escapes her binds and runs, finding the helicopter. It doesn't run, but she tries to reach Morgan on the radio. All she gets is the helicopter's home base, and they promise they are sending a reclamation team. This terrifies Happy, and whether she wants to or not, they are now partners. Happy packs up some supplies and the two head off. The intention is to pick up some gasoline from a fuel drop location, on the top of a mountain. They will carry enough down to get the helicopter up the mountain, and then gas up and Happy can get the hell out of there. Al pesters her the entire trip about getting her story. Happy refuses; she wants her video tape, but she won't say why.
The two form an uneasy friendship, due largely to necessity, but as we find out later in the episode, they are desperately attracted to one another. They end up having to climb the sheer rock wall of the mountain - and encounter a zombified climber hanging from his safety line. The ladies make it to the top, where they take the evening to rest, sharing a beer around a fire, with an amazing view.
By the time morning comes around, Al has decided to give Happy the video. She hid it on a zombie back by the river. Happy never reveals her "mission," just that what she is doing is to secure a future for the world. The video, apparently, would reveal too much about whatever their "mission" was. She sets it on fire then puts a gun to the back of Al's head. But Happy can't pull the trigger. "I want you to live!" she exclaims in a truly melodramatic fashion. She reveals her name is Isabelle, and she tells Al she "got to see the prettiest thing I've ever seen since the end of everything." She kisses Al fiercely and the two women go in opposite directions. Happy refills the helicopter, tells HQ she is ready to return with the payload, and that the site is buttoned up. The reclamation team is called off, and Happy flies away.
Al watches her fly off, then radios to Morgan. He comes in, and she quickly reunites with Morgan and Alicia. She tells them nothing of Happy or the helicopter, just that she went back to the plane, it was overrun by zombies, and she hid in the woods.
Happy and her mission are annoying
I don't understand why we spent the entire episode with Happy, and got lots of tantalizing hints as to what her mission was, but no freaking answers. I understand not getting any answers before we actually met her, but she is here, and all she keeps saying is that her mission is more important than anything, but no one can know about it. This plot device infuriates me. I feel like it is used a lot in Fear the Walking Dead (like last season, with the woman that was stalking Morgan) and it usually ends up being nothing nearly as interesting as what you are imagining. I think this is meant to pique the viewer's interest and make them want to come back for more, but it just angers me.
Rock climbing zombie
This is another thing I don't understand. Al and Happy encounter a zombie while they are climbing up the mountain. The zombie is hanging by his safety straps, in climbing gear. So clearly this was a person who died while climbing and zombified. But how? Was he murdered? There are no signs of trauma - no gunshot wounds, stabbing wounds, or broken neck. Did he die mid-climb? Maybe he had a sudden heart attack, died, and hanged there until he zombified? That seems unlikely - if he was fit enough to rock climb, I can't imagine he would have a heart attack. Maybe a stroke, or an aneurism. While it made for a fun setpiece, it doesn't make any sense.