Fear the Walking Dead‘s “Pablo & Jessica” continues to be a battle between the person you were before the apocalypse and the one you transform into after. The fortunate (Madison, Alicia, Victor) grow and learn to adapt to this new world. They take the first steps into survival by choosing to evolve while keeping hold of specific parts of their personality they hold dear. The unfortunate ones (Bride’s mother, Nick, Oscar) are stuck in a loop where they deny that everything has changed and that the world is but only a shadow of it’s former self. They don’t adapt. They die.
With a slew of new people being added to our cast of survivor’s, it won’t be long until the walkers start picking them off.
Madison vs Bride’s Mother
When the apocalypse comes knocking, you best believe that Madison will be the one still standing. Ilene aka the Bride’s mother has no chance. She’s walker food.
At first glance they look similar. Well off, surrounded by family, and suffering through their loss. They’re also mothers. That’s about where the similarities end. (Well except the blonde hair.) Madison is looking at her limitations in the face. Literally. She’s watching as her child strikes out on her while still staying by her side and supporting her. She’s forming new bonds with Strand, the man that she’s been at odds for ages. And she’s ensuring the future of her small family by leading the dead out of the hotel and creating a home. She is transforming.
Ilene on the other hand is doing nothing but watching. She blames someone else for the problems around her instead of realizing that everyone is simply doing the best they can with what they have at the end of the world. The rules have changed and you can’t just simply stand by and stay idle. That will cost you your life. Unless she bucks up, stops blaming Elena, and becoming a contributing member of her family, she will die. Even worse she might watch the rest of her family perish around her because she’s stuck in the past and not willing to let go of her anger for something bigger than her, survival.
Alicia vs Nick
In the battle of the siblings, it’s hard to pick who’d come out on top. And despite how much I love (hate) Nick’s slicked backed hair and penchant for survival of the crazies situations, it’s Alicia all the way.
Play time’s over for Alicia. That girl from season one mourning the death of her boyfriend and lamenting her family problems is gone! She opens up to her mother in “Pablo & Jessica”, exposing how much her loss would mean to Alicia. It’s a big step in revealing how distant these two were pre-apocalypse and the direction they’re going in now. It almost broke her when she came upon that blonde walker in the bar and telling her mother that strengthened the new bond between them. They aren’t just mother and daughter anymore. They’re partners who know that they can trust each other implicitly. And unlike Nick, Alicia isn’t going to leave her mother. She knows that this is a part of herself she wants to keep even as she changes, grows stronger, to survive the horror that life has now become.
Nick on the other hand has no problem tossing his family to the side for his own peace of mind. This is about his survival. More than that, it’s about fitting into a place he feels he’s ideally qualified for. This pain, loneliness, desperation, is familiar to him. So he’s revelling it, feeling like he never has to change because the world has changed around him. He’s still doing what he pleases without looking at the repercussions, he’s delved into drugs again (Heisenberg style), and he’s about to shack up with Luciana. It’s all the same for Nick.
Eventually it’ll fall apart for Nick because he’s stuck in the same cycle of self-destruction. Once he realizes that his outlook is twisted and not feasible, he’ll change or die. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.
Victor vs Oscar
Picking who would survive when it comes to these two is a little trickier than the rest. And while I want to pick Victor (did you hear that Spanish? *swoon alert*) Oscar has potential to survive alongside him.
Victor is finally letting go of Tom, aka Thomas Abigail, the love of his life. He’s never going to forget. You never forget the ones you love. Instead you tuck them away, safe in your heart, and move forward. In a way they keep you strong and keep you alive. And that’s what I’d like to think Tom has done for Victor. He choose to stay in this world instead of leaving with his love. Because of that decision he’s decided to become a different person; someone who helps, who opens up, who cares. This is another chance at life and Victor Strand knows it.
Oscar is a mirror image of Victor. He’s a strong willed man who is adapting and pushing back against the mounting odds. He’s also lost his partner because of the apocalypse. Difference is that he has family to distract him with his loss while shacking up in a nice hotel. He keeps his zombie wife in said hotel because he can’t let go. And it isn’t until Strand comes around that someone tells him it’s ok to let go and accept that his love is gone but not forgotten.
In a strange way it brings Victor comfort to connect with someone who understands his pain and to release him of the shadow of his wife. He’s not alone in this struggle. None of them are. And if he can survive loss, so can Oscar.
They can all survive if they’re willing to change.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.