In This Episode of Fear the Walking Dead...
Looking for safety from the storm, Alicia picks a suburban home. She clears out four zombies -- the family who lived there -- and puts them out on the lawn. She then collects the multitudes of family photos and puts them outside, too. Alicia hears something and discovers Charlie has sought shelter in this house as well. Unable to be in the same house as Charlie, Alicia packs a bag of supplies and heads for the car. She slips, falls, and is knocked out. When she wakes, she has been brought back in the house.
Alicia is furious with Charlie, and since Charlie won't talk, she will make her listen. She yells at Charlie about her hand -- directly and indirectly -- in murdering her family, and opines that she wants to kill her, but can't, but might. In the end, Alicia leaves Charlie to sulk in her room while she fortifies the house for the storm. Alicia goes back to Charlie, needing help, and in doing so discovers that Charlie has a gun on her. Alicia takes it and, essentially, sends Charlie to her room. Outside the window is a walker impaled on a tree branch, dancing in the wind and growling for human flesh. Charlie wanders out onto the roof and presents herself to the zombie. It grabs her, but Alicia comes by and drags her inside.
After a tense dinner, the girls go to sleep. Alicia wakes and discovers Charlie isn't there; she has gone back to her room and is cleaning off the photos she saved from the rain -- in case anyone comes looking for them. The storm intensifies and the windows break. The girls go down into the basement, which is flooded. They are locked in, and forced to wait it out. The water rises steadily, tensions come to a boil, and a zombie breaks open the door. The girls escape and seem to have come to an uneasy peace as they head out in search of their friends.
This is the kind of episode we like to call "Emmy bait." It focuses on the emotional journey of one character with the intention of being turned in for Emmy nominations. This one felt like Emmy bait for Alycia Debnam-Carey -- and she nailed it. Alicia goes through a variety of emotions: hatred, compassion, self-loathing, fear. Each mood shift feels totally natural. It is nice to see her come around and accept Charlie in a realistic, no-cheesy-happy-ending way.
When the winds pick up in the episode, the windows on the house break. Bad news in any other time, as there are zombies at the window. But luckily the wind is strong enough that it sweeps the zombies away. Zombie-nado!
Outside the second story, Alicia and Charlie find a growling, hungry zombie impaled on a tree branch. He twitches in the wind, and gets very excited when Charlie tries to feed herself to him. In the end, the winds free Tree Zombie, and he offers the girls freedom. The winds whip him out of the tree, onto the basement door, breaking it open and letting them escape.
Alicia finally realizes that Charlie's gun wasn't meant as defense; it was meant for her own suicide. The climax of tonight's episode came as the girls are in the basement, barely keeping their heads above water. Charlie, in a panic, admits she doesn't want to die, and reveals that she saw her parents turn, and she didn't want to turn into a walker. This seems to trigger her death scenario again, but Charlie can't do it. She asks Alicia if she still has the gun. Alicia does, but she can't do it, either. They yell at each other: Charlie unwilling to turn into a zombie; Alicia unwilling to execute a young girl. Alicia pulls out the gun, puts it to Charlie's head, and considers the option for a long time. At this point, I don't think that Alicia sees this so much as revenge as an act of kindness. In the end, she can't do it. But it leads to...
An Uneasy Truce
They aren't quite friends, but Alicia no longer regards Charlie as someone she needs revenge on. She realizes that Charlie is hurting, too. This is not a pass or forgiveness of the hell Charlie wrought on Alicia's family; this is mere acceptance. They are family now.