Madison has always had a problem with keeping her family together ever since their boat landed in Mexico on Fear the Walking Dead. And three seasons in, she still has this problem. In “El Matadero,” Madison, Walker and Strand arrive at the market trading post to meet Daniel, but they are hiding a terrible secret. Alicia starts to survive on her own and meets a new friend, and Nick gets into some old habits at the trading post.

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Snag in the Plan

Shortly before Madison and her friends arrive at the market trading post, Ofelia falls off the truck. They stop and realize that she’s been bit. Ofelia makes Madison promise to bring her to her father. Once they get past security at the trading post, Madison and Walker try to make Ofelia as comfortable as possible as they try to prevent her from dying before Daniel arrives. Strand thinks it’s a huge mistake, as Madison had to trade most of their weapons to get into the post. Madison wants to honor her word.

While Madison and Walker stay with Ofelia, Strand goes off on his own, looking for a man named Proctor John. He claims he has something he wants, but we don’t know what this is.

As night falls, Madison takes Ofelia out to the yard to wait for Daniel. And literally just as Daniel pulls up, Ofelia passes away on Madison’s shoulder. And just as Madison fears, Daniel wants nothing to do with her, as he shoots Ofelia before she turns. This leaves Madison worried about her next move, especially since Alicia is off on her own. She worries how she’ll keep her family together and where they will go.

As Madison collects her things, Daniel comes to see her. Eventually, he tells her to pack up her things so they can head back to the dam. And he agrees to let her friends and family go too.

On Her Own

Alicia seems to be doing okay on her own. On one of her first nights, as she eats alone by a camp fire, Nick and Troy stop by to try and convince her to go with them back to the trading post and dam. She still says she wants to be on her own. She tells Nick that he doesn’t have to atone for his past life anymore, as she forgives him. She’s referring to all the heartache he caused when he was addicted to painkillers.

After staying the night, Nick and Troy leave Alicia to fend for herself once again. Eventually, she stumbles upon a fast food restaurant. She finds a drum of instant potatoes, but soon the restaurant gets filled with walkers. She hides in a children’s ball pit and gets attacked by a little girl walker but survives. Then she hides again and watches a woman come in with an ice pick, kill all of the walkers and then remove some walkers’ teeth and fingers — for the gold. The woman also leaves with the potatoes.

The next day, Alicia pulls up to a parking lot and finds the woman’s car. Just as she’s trying to take the potatoes, the woman comes back out. They have words, and then Alicia suggests sharing the potatoes because she’s tired and hungry and doesn’t want to kill the woman. The two ladies bond over the potatoes, with the woman warning Alicia that there’s nothing left out there along the way of where she’s going. She tells Alicia to get used to the killing. She also adds that she doesn’t make friends and that she’ll be leaving in the morning.

The next morning, Alicia finds the woman outside trying to start her car as a herd of walkers comes up upon them. Alicia offers to help. The woman reiterates that she doesn’t make friends. So Alicia suggests that they just kill together, at least this one time.

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After Nick leaves his sister, he and Troy head back to the trading post. After seeing Ofelia dying, he starts to think about his life. He takes a few of the painkillers left beside Ofelia and then goes to find Troy. He forces Troy to take more painkillers with him and drink. Then he asks a waitress where he can find the ‘El Matadero,’ and she tells him to ask for “the butcher.” Troy doesn’t want to do any of this, but Nick drags him along. The very high pair finds this butcher in a drug den. He offers Nick a variety of drugs, including heroin, but Nick says he doesn’t want downers; he wants uppers. So the man takes out brain stem, which Nick happily eats. The man then forces Troy to eat it too.

The guys are out of their minds as they run through the trading post and eventually climb the walls to get out of the marketplace. Nick finds a walker and covers himself and Troy in walker blood. He then walks into a herd of walkers. Troy goes in after him. When Troy reaches Nick, he just starts mumbling, “I can’t go back there.”

The next morning, Madison, Walker, Crazy Dog and Strand pack up to leave with Daniel for the dam. Nick tells Madison that he and Troy are going to stay at the marketplace. He tells her she can see him when they come to the trading post. And it’s clear at this point that Madison is done trying to force her family to stay together, as she leaves with everyone else.

Separated Again

Once again, Madison’s family is separated. In season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead, she was constantly separated from Nick. However, once she found him, it was he who led them to Strand’s boat to flee the city. But once in Mexico, Nick left again in season 2. In fact, he spent most of season 2 on his own with another community. Also in season 2, Madison and Travis were separated. Eventually, he made his way to the hotel where he learned of his son’s death.

In season 3, though, Madison manages to get all of her family together, Travis is killed, and Alicia and Nick really don’t want to be on the ranch. Once the ranch is overrun by walkers, Madison’s kids see it as an opportunity to go off on their own. And this time Madison can’t really do anything to stop them.

Is this a good thing for the Clarks? Alicia keeps pointing out that every time she’s with a group, something bad happens. So perhaps being on her own will be a good thing for her. Even though Alicia is not my favorite character on Fear the Walking Dead, she’s definitely grown up, and I can see her surviving nicely on her own. I’m not worried about Nick at all. I do worry that falling off the wagon could cause him some trouble down the road, though. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

Were you surprised that Ofelia was bit by a walker? Do you think going to the dam is still a good idea for Madison and Walker? What do you think Strand is planning? Do you think the Clark siblings are better off on their own? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV