Where is Chris? Last week’s episode of “Fear the Walking Dead” ended with a shocking twist as Travis spotted the lights at the hotel Madison is staying at. However, his psycho son didn’t appear to be with him.
Episode 13 of the AMC series, titled “Date of Death,” picks up with a large group of survivors banging on the gates at the hotel. They all saw the lights on at the hotel and want to seek refuge there. However, Madison’s (Kim Dickens) group doesn’t have enough supplies to help them, and they don’t even know if it’s safe to let them in. Madison apologizes for not letting them in, but someone in the crowd changes everything. Travis (Cliff Curtis) spots his girlfriend and begins to make his way through to the front of the gate. She cracks the gates open for him, but no one else.
When “Fear the Walking Dead” viewers last left Travis, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) had just fatally shot the owner of the land they were staying at. Travis is in shock after witnessing what happened, but quickly jumps in to help James (Israel Broussard), the American who was shot in the leg by the man. Although he’s no doctor, Travis can tell that the bullet went straight through James’ leg, which means that they don’t have to worry about digging out a slug. He has enough first aid training as a teacher to help stitch him up, but James still needs time to heal.
With James on the road to recovery, Travis finally pulls Chris aside. He tries to talk about what happened, but having killed a man doesn’t even faze his son, who is enjoying a beer and some chicken. He tells his dad that he was helping his friends. However, that’s not a good enough excuse for Travis. He argues that Chris has only known the Americans for two days. But Chris thinks that he’s the king in this new world — it’s kill or be killed, he tells his dad.
A week passes and Travis wants them to stay a while longer to let James recover. James’ friends don’t agree though. They’re desperate to get back to San Diego, even though Travis keeps telling them that he watched the city burn. Travis tries to convince Chris to stay behind with him, but his son already has his mind made up. He thinks that they need the others to survive.
With no other choice but to follow his son, Travis packs up. However, before they go he builds a cross for the man Chris killed. He searches the man’s house until he can find a name to carve into the wood.
The group lifts James into the back of a pickup truck, where Chris and Travis join him. They don’t get very far though. Every bump in the road hurts James. Brandon (Kelly Blatz) refuses to stop until James finally passes out from the pain.
They bring James back into the barn, but the others aren’t happy. As Travis tends to James inside, he overhears Brandon, Derek (Kenny Wormald) and Chris discussing whether they should kill their friend. Travis tries to reason with them again, asking them to wait it out or leave him and James behind. It’s clear that the guys already have made a decision, and Travis is forced to steal a gun to protect himself and James.
Travis locks himself in the barn with James and lets him in on what happened. James isn’t surprised. Before they met Chris and Travis they had another friend in their group. The friend was bit and made them promise to not let him turn. However, the guy had a change of heart when it came time for them to pull the trigger. Brandon couldn’t do it, so James stepped in to kill his friend. James knows that he’s the dead weight of the group and that it’s only a matter of time before they do the same to him.
The two are interrupted by a knock on the barn door. It’s Chris, who claims that the others left to kill a wasted down the road. Travis is hesitant to let him in, and pats him down for weapons when he finally does. Chris apologizes to his dad and tells him that he understands now what he was trying to teach him — that every life matters and no one is disposable. He even expresses fear of Brandon and Derek. However, it’s all a trap.
Chris tackles his dad, yelling for his friends to enter the barn. Brandon has a gun pointed at James, and Derek has one pointed at Travis. James begs for mercy, but Brandon shoots him in the head anyway.
The Americans pack up the truck once again. Travis is not invited to go with them, nor does he want to. He begs Chris to stay with him and start over, but the teen already has his mind made up. Travis pleads that he’s barely 16 years old and will never be able to find him again. But there is no swaying Chris. He’s “adapting” to this new world and doesn’t need to be fixed.
“Goddamn you, Chris,” Travis yells, his final words to his son as the truck pulls away.
Travis tells Madison the whole story, explaining that he spotted the hotel lit up two days after walking towards the ocean. Madison is thrilled to have her boyfriend back, but Travis can’t stop thinking about Chris.
Travis’ story gets Madison thinking about her own family. She leaves to find Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) in the parking garage with the other hotel residents. They ended up letting all 43 survivors at the gate in, but are checking them for bites and other illnesses. The plan is to figure out who is safe and who is not, and then move from that point.
Madison pulls Alicia away from the action to finally tell her the truth about how her father’s death was a suicide, and not an accident. She continues that she was afraid of Nick (Frank Dillane) turning out like him, and thought Alicia could handle herself. Madison says that she never loved her any less, but felt like she was “alright.” Alicia tells her it’s because she had to be. The mom and daughter apologize and appear to start with a clean slate. However, someone at the gates could ruin everything. Brandon and Derek arrive in the middle of the night — but Chris doesn’t appear to be with them.