What I Watched Today
(rambling, random thoughts & annoyingly detailed recaps from real time TV watching)
Fear the Walking Dead
We look out over a bunch of cities from the top of a cliff. A lone zombie wanders the highway. Wait, it’s not a zombie – it’s Daniel. He’s desperate for water, but there’s none to be found. He shuffles behind a truck, hiding from a mini-horde of zombies. The last one turns and sees him. They shuffle at the same pace, Daniel not too far ahead. He hides under a car, but she pulls at his leg. A dog distracts her. Daniel quietly freaks.
Daniel can hear the zombie skulking around as he hides. He sees a pair of boots, and the zombie is taken down. He’s pulled out from under the car. A guy tells him to relax. He sees a wound on Daniel’s leg. Daniel says it had him, but let him go. The guy introduces himself as Efrain, and tells Daniel that he’s dying. Daniel yells for water. Efrain says the good news is that he has water and is happy to share it; the bad news is that they have to walk. He helps Daniel up.
They go into a building and Efrain shuts the gate. It looks like a warehouse flea market. Efrain leads Daniel to a fountain, but it’s dry. He asks where the water is, and Efrain says it shouldn’t be long. The word agua is heard repeatedly over a loudspeaker, and water begins to pour from the spout. Daniel drinks, and Efrain fills a jug. He says every week at this same time, a little miracle. He puts the jug on his bike and peddles away through the zombies, with Daniel in a cart at the front. Daniel is like, hey stairs! but Efrain drives his bike right up them. He’s got a stick for errant zombies, but doesn’t need it.
Efrain drives into an alley where several people are gathered. Daniel keels over, and they hide behind a dumpster. A truck goes by, crowded with men looking around. Someone in the group says that they’re coming by more often now.
Efrain discusses Daniel’s wound with a woman named Lola, who thinks that Daniel could possibly lose his leg. Daniel mumbles about a horse, and Lola asks if he’s a Broncos fan. The wound has to be scraped. Daniel says it take a steady hand, and Lola tells him to try not to scream. Efrain gives him some booze, and Lola sings. Daniel sings with her. She scrapes the wound, and it’s painful just to watch.
Fast forward, and Daniel and Efrain are scavenging. Daniel looks through a photo album. Efrain knocks down a zombie, and tells him to hurry up. Efrain gives the zombie Last Rites before finishing it off. Daniel asks if Efrain was a priest, and Efrain says he’s been many things and he found his calling. He pulls out a flask, and takes a drink, offering it to Daniel. They toddle off with the cart.
Efrain takes Daniel to where he lives, saying all are welcome. He shares some food. Daniel says he’s been kind. He didn’t have to help him, but he did. Daniel asks when he last had a professional haircut, and styles Efrain’s hair. Efrain says it’s been a while since he saw himself, and thanks Daniel. He asks when Daniel is going to sneak out. He knows running when he sees it, and something worse than Daniel’s leg is rotting in him. Daniel says he’s a bad guy, and he pays his debts. He’s killed ninety-six people. Efrain says that’s not it though. They share a bottle of liquor, and Daniel tells Efrain about leaving El Salvador, and how he never told his daughter about his past. Efrain says the burden was his, and asks if Danial is looking for his daughter. Daniel nods.
He tells Efrain that they were in a house surrounded by death, and he was trying to protect her, but his mind wasn’t right. He woke up in a fire, and could hear her calling. He was trapped, and burning, and the ceiling was collapsing. Somehow, he got out, but then he collapsed. When he came to, no one was left alive. Efrain asks what he’s saying. Daniel says he doesn’t know if he burned his daughter alive, and to forgive him. Efrain isn’t so sure forgiveness is his to bestow. He half-hugs Daniel, and tells him to take it easy. He says the good news is, there’s nobody left in this world to judge him; the bad news… he nods off. Daniel covers him with a blanket and jets.
Daniel travels down the highway with a lantern. He pops a zombie in the head with a shovel, sending it into the canal. He tries for another, but loses his weapon. Great. He opens his arms and awaits his fate. The zombie falls, but so does he, with his feet dangling in the current.
Daniel watches some clean-up guys do a coin toss to see who gets to clean the sewer pipe he’s in. They pull out some bodies smushed together with a carpet of leaves and laugh. Daniel rises from the leaves, and I’m surprised neither one of them has a heart attack. They take him to an office and discuss what to do, afraid that they’ll get nailed for sneaking him in. Lola walks in, and says she knows who he is, and they did the right thing in hiding him.
Lola explains that Daniel is at the Gonzalez Dam. Daniel asks why they’re hogging the water when people are dying of thirst? Lola tells him that there’s a new boss making decisions, the President of Tijuana. Daniel asks how much control she has, and she tells him that he never met her before today. He came there looking for a job. A guy breezes in, asking what Daniel is doing there, and Lola tells Daniel that he’s J.C., head of security. She says she hired Daniel because they need more help; they don’t want dead bodies building up in the water system. J.C. suggests that he discuss this with the boss, but Lola tells him his job is security, hers is water treatment. Let her do her job, and go do his. He nods, and leaves. Daniel is impressed.
Daniel is now on the clean-up crew. He looks at the trucks, and asks another worker if he doesn’t have a problem with the distribution of water. The worker says it’s either get eaten, shot, or work. What’s it gonna be?
It’s dinnertime, and Daniel has an entire can of SPAM on his plate. Unappetizing to say the least. The big boss, Mr. Dante, comes in, and everyone stands up except Daniel. Dante tells everyone to sit, and they go back to eating. J.C. asks Daniel why he didn’t stand, and Daniel says he didn’t know he was supposed to. J.C. says, well, he is, and he’s also supposed to look at J.C. when he’s talking to him. J.C. leans over and puts his middle finger in the middle of Daniel’s SPAM. Daniel stabs him with his fork, and J.C. draws his gun. Dante comes back and asks what’s going on. J.C. whines that he was stabbed, but Daniel says he was just eating. Dante asks what his name is and where he’s from. Daniel tells him, and Dante wonders if he’s Sergeant and NCO Salazar. He looks at the tattoo in Daniel’s mouth. He says, Sombra Nega, which I googled, and it’s a name for El Salvadorian death squad groups. Dante tells J.C. that he needs to read more. He’s picking a fight with a CIA trained killer. He asks how many communists Daniel killed, and Daniel says he lost count. Dante tells everyone that they have a guest, and leads Daniel away.
Daniel questions the way Dante is using the dam, and Dante tells him that it might be the apocalypse, but it’s not communism. He asks what Daniel wants and needs, and says to speak freely. Danial asks if Dante can lend him a jeep; he’s looking for someone. Dante says sure, but his talents deserve more. If Daniel works for him, he’ll give him something befitting of his stature. He holds out his hand.
Daniel is on a truck, looking for a thief. It’s the same kind of truck Efrain and his friends were hiding from. Daniels sees where Efrain lives but says nothing. The truck busts into the warehouse where Daniel got the water. The fountain is dry, and Daniel still says nothing. J.C. says, nothing there, and Daniel looks at the clock. Sh*t. They’re going past the fountain right when it turns on. Sh*t. The water starts to drip, and Daniel panics. The agua announcement is made, but Daniel creates a distraction, saying he found something. He points and says, there’s your thief.
Daniel tells Lola that he had to; they were going to find the fountain. She says he saved Daniel’s life. He says first they’ll find Efrain, and then her; then they’ll both be killed. He did it to protect her. Lola tells him that if she stops running the water, the people will die. Not from bites or gunshots, but of thirst. Daniel says if they find her, there won’t be anything he can do. She says Dante is right; he’s perfect for this place. He tells her to do what she wants, but he warned her, adding not to save people who are already dead.
Daniel sees the guy he pointed out being beaten. He’s taken to a cell, and Daniel brings him a canteen of water. It’s Victor, and we’re back to the ending of last week’s episode. He tells Victor that he said he’d be his guardian angel, and Victor says, or angel of death. Victor wonders how Daniel got out, and Daniel asks if Ofelia is alive. Victor says they fled the compound, and they all thought he was dead, but she’s alive. He tells Daniel that Ofelia is holed up in a hotel. It will take a day, maybe less, to get there. He says to get him out, and he’ll take Daniel to her; she’s waiting for him. Daniel just looks at him.
He calls Victor an s.o.b, saying he doesn’t believe Ofelia is waiting for him. Victor says she survived the fire, and Daniel tells him that he’ll says anything to save his life. He tells Victor that this place is perfect for him. He’ll rot there, like the dead. He says Ofelia is dead, her father is dead, and so is Victor. Victor says that Daniel owes him, but Daniel just keeps walking. Interesting.
Dante announces that the expert is here. A circle of men parts, and Efrain looks at Daniel. Dante asks what Daniel needs, and Daniel says just space. He goes up to Efrain, and talks quietly to him. He says that if Efrain talks, they’ll kill him, and then Lola. If he doesn’t talk, Daniel will kill him. All he can offer is to do it as fast as he can. Efrain says those aren’t options, and Daniel asks Efrain to forgive him. Efrain says, again?
Daniel punches Efrain a bunch of times, saying, confess! Daniel tells Dante that he isn’t going to speak, but Dante says he will, and to keep going. Daniel picks up a hammer. Lola says, enough, leave him alone, and runs to Efrain, crying and hugging him. Daniel drops the hammer.
The lot of them are on a very high ledge on the dam, along with a few other people. Dante says to let it be a lesson that when you steal from him, this is what happens. Daniel takes the first guy out of the line. Dante tells the guy that he just needs a messenger pigeon to tell the others. The guy thinks he’s cheated death somehow, but Dante hoists him over the railing, and down he goes. Next, Daniel chooses Lola. Dante asks if Daniel is ready. When Daniel hesitates, Dante tells J.C. to do it. Daniel shoots J.C., and throws the other henchman over the railing. Dante is all offended, saying he let Daniel in, but he’ll always be a goddam dog. Daniel says nothing, and just shoots him, and I laugh.
Daniel hands Lola the gun, gets on his knees, and asks her to forgive him. He bows his head. She holds out her hand, and he takes it.
Next time, a fire at the ranch, Troy has a calling, and Victor is surrounded.
I knew it. Jesse Borrego is playing Efrain. He was in one of my favorite 80s TV shows, Fame. At the time, I’d decided VCRs were invented just so I could record that show. The tapes are still in the black hole around here somewhere.
☎ Better Call Saul is having its season finale on Monday, Jun 19th. You can actually watch too much TV, and I kind of lost track of this show along the way, but it’s very good. It’s clever, and like TV’s hooker with a heart of gold.
🏛 I have no idea why I’d thought The Real Housewives of Potomac was going to give some actual sophistication to the franchise, but I couldn’t have been further off. I definitely think that this bunch is the most focused on money, and comparing who has more of whatever. That makes me wonder if they’re the group with the least amount money. Ashley told us she still needs to work on both her marriage and the restaurant, since passive/aggressive Michael made some changes to the latter while she was in Bermuda. Although when both of them agreed that the marriage was more important in less than five minutes time, I wondered if all this hands-on management was just for storyline. Charisse held an opening for her champagne room, and cut a ribbon, making this the most excessive thing I’ve ever seen on any Wives show. And that includes Heather Dubrow’s skabillion dollar mansion and the birthday party Taylor Armstrong had for her toddler. This week, the girls also had an overabundance of time to spend analyzing why Karen was downsizing her living quarters. Refusing to descend from the cloud that she lives on, when someone pointed out that Karen would no longer be living in Potomac, she told them that was “a matter of opinion.” Funny, I thought it was a matter of zip code. Next time, a Bollywood party where Monique attends appropriating the wrong Indian culture, and wearing a feather headdress.
🍺 It looks like What Happens at the Abbey has been relegated to midnight status. And rightly so. It doesn’t need to be taking up the space of a show that has some genuine direction.
Quote of the Night & One More for the Dads
You don’t mess with a man’s SPAM. – Rueben Blades (Daniel, FTWD) on Talking Dead
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person — he believed in me. – Jim Valvano
💖 One of my favorite dads, Casey 💖