As a package deal, the two explored the shaky peacefulness between the ranchers and the country and the scramble in the desert country across the U.S.-Mexican boundary for what is among the most most valuable source in the post-plague world: normal water.
The opening montage, of life on the ranch after the “sacrifice” of Jeremiah Otto, is overlaid with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Death Is Not the finish,” which takes on a completely new complexity in the aftermath of the zombie plague.
The Clarks are on the ranch. Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) became part of the Nation. Strand (Colman Domingo) is wandering from location to place, making it through on his substantial wits. Daniel’s el soldado former has reemerged, now as protector to a female, Lola Guerrero (Lisandra Tena), who’s nominally in control of the Gonzalez dam, a significant source of drinking water.
It’s interesting, too, given what’s going on in real life, that the show has landed on the border with various factions vying for survival. Whether it was intentional or not, the fights and frictions upon this show reflect some of the fights and frictions in the real world. Minus the zombies of course.
Much like in real life, there are bad and the good people on both factors — sometimes people are both bad and the good. Walker (Michael Greyeyes) is established in the role of antagonist, but he gets along quite nicely with Madison (Kim Dickens), and while he do uncap a guy’s skull, in conditions of ‘Walking Dead’ antagonists he’s very tame (we’re taking a look at you, Negan).
Make no problem though, as the new alliance on the ranch is being portrayed politically as a truce, it is a takeover. The ranchers have been disarmed, and their militia disbanded. Walker is in charge, and everybody seems it. It is an uneasy serenity.
The Otto brothers, too, understand what’s really happened, even only if one will say it. Troy (Daniel Sharman) chafes up against the arrival of the Nation, that may lead to his own suicidal confrontation. It’s incredible actually that he doesn’t pass away in the firefight. Walker — acceptable man that he is — settles on exile for the hot-headed Otto, the main one who was always somewhat crazy.
Jake (Sam Underwood) was always likely to be the first choice, the more secure of the two brothers. But he has been so severely declawed that he can’t even effectively solve claims from his own people. It’s left to Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) to smack down the griping ranchers.
Within the pre-plague world, the combat between Walker and the Ottos may have been about historic possession of the land composed of the ranch. Inside the post-plague world, land cases don’t matter any longer, and we think Walker is aware of that. What counts are resources, and the ranch has them. Or acquired them. The ranch’s aquifer is dangerously depleted.
The ranch’s liquid property are dwarfed by the watery riches behind the Gonzalez Dam. Right now, this might be the most valuable piece of property in the region. Making Lola Guerrero the most powerful person in your community. Notably, “Gonzalez” is a common Spanish name with traditional Germanic origins, and translates to “war hall”; Guerrero is Spanish for warrior. It fits. The dam seems destined to become war hall, and Lola is a warrior, however much she’s resisting that right now.
Colman Domingo as Victor Strand in ‘Dread the Walking Dead.’
Madison in the mean time doesn’t value ancient grudges or who’s in control. She sees the safe haven represented by the ranch and can do anything to keep it operating, even if this means eliminating and beheading Jeremiah, even if this means negotiating a sham truce that places the Nation responsible for the ranch.
When she discloses to Walker that the ranch’s normal water resource is dangerously depleted by way of a drought, she’ll go on a dangerous objective with him in to the desert to try and find a new water source.
One interesting thing is how this show and its more mature sibling portray various says of society. They can be showing around the same state of civilization — a loosely connected series of settlements that are just scarcely hanging on, subject to desperation and assault.
Yet they may be moving in several directions. The folks of the Southwest remain coping with the immediate aftermath of the plague and the slow collapse of culture. The folks of the D.C. area are slowly and gradually putting society again together.
Civil modern culture in the desert is dangling with a thread. Alicia is well-intentioned when she discloses to everyone that the ranch has only six weeks’ value of water. But rather than getting the reaction she expected — everybody pulling collectively for the greater good — she gets the realistic reaction: a mad, violent scramble for this inflatable water.
The dwindling normal water supply strips bare any pretense that this is a community of equals. The making it through militia members are prepared to struggle to the loss of life to get back the ranch. A fatal fight is avoided, however, when everyone notices one group from the country divining for drinking water, and digging a new well. It’s the first positive, hopeful signal a community could form between the two groups.
Everybody puts down their weapons. Civil society endures, at least for somewhat longer.
Paul Vigna is a reporter for The Wall membrane Road Journal and writer of “Guts: The Anatomy with the Walking Dead.”