Can Nick survive out on his own? “Fear the Walking Dead” fans find that out in episode 8 of the AMC series.
When the companion series to “The Walking Dead” last left off, Nick (Frank Dillane) decided to go his separate way after returning to find the compound burning. Madison (Kim Dickens) was devastated to watch her son walk away, especially after learning that he failed to find and bring back Travis (Cliff Curtis) and Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie).
Episode 8, titled “Grotesque,” begins with Nick staying with one of the women who worked at the compound. She’s been providing him with shelter, but he has no plans on staying with her. The two are parting, the woman to find her son’s father and Nick to Tijuana to find others like Celia (Marlene Forte). Nick reapplies a fresh coat of walker blood before beginning his lengthy journey, a time that he also uses to reflect on his past. A flashback shows him at rehab talking to a girl about his father. He wasn’t an abusive man and he provided for his family, yet he wasn’t exactly there for Nick, and that bothered the teen.
“Fear the Walking Dead” viewers are snapped out of the flashback when Nick, who tried to set up shelter for the night at what he thought was an abandoned building, is awoken by a frantic woman. She doesn’t speak English and beats him with a bat. He’s forced to abandon the bag of supplies he had with him.
Nick’s looking through vehicles when he spots a car drive up. A group of men begin searching the area for supplies, and find a survivor who is barely alive. He’s gasping for breath when the men brutally use a spear to kill him. Nick hides as he watches the men, but a radio he uncovered goes off and gives his location away. The men shoot at Nick, but the former drug addict manages to get away. The only problem is that he’s now off the main road and in the middle of nowhere.
Nick struggles to survive in the desert without food, water or supplies. He sets up camp for the night alongside a rusted out car, where viewers get to watch another flashback. Nick’s still at rehab in this clip, and is waiting for his parents to arrive. He’s ready to face his dad and confront him about his feelings on being abandoned, however, Madison’s the only one that shows. She’s forced to reveal to Nick that his father died in a head on collision. Nick doesn’t take the news well, and the girl from earlier leaves her own parents to check on Nick.
The flashback is cut short when a wild dog bites his leg. He’s surrounded by a couple of them, and weak from no water and food. The situation looks grim until a group of walkers approach. The dogs attack the walkers, but they’re no match for them. They quickly become dinner for the dead.
Nick covers himself in fresh blood before joining the walkers to travel safely. And luck remains on his side. The men from earlier show up again and begin gunning down the walkers. Nick keeps calm, and remains in position among the group. That works in his favor, because the walkers manage to bite one of the shooters, and the others drive away.
Does that mean that the new threat surrounding Nick is gone? Not exactly. Other survivors watch him from afar.
Now weak from injuries and lack of food, Nick collapses in the middle of the street. The final flashback of the episode shows him at the run down church where he was when the series first began. Although he appeared clean and put together at rehab, he’s back to doing drugs, and his girlfriend is with him.
Rain wakes him and gives him the energy he needs to keep going. He eventually finds a small town, where he searches for something to help his wounds. It’s there that he runs into the people who were watching him. The new survivors are lead by a woman named Luciana (Danay Garcia), who spots the bite on Nick’s leg. Fearing that a walker bit him, the situation immediately turns tense. However, Nick’s able to convey that it was dog, and they agree to get him some help.
They take Nick to a doctor, who questions why he was walking among the dead. Nick explains that he’s searching for a place where the dead are not considered monsters — And he might have found that place. The doctor brings him out of the building to show that they already have a functioning small city.