Spoiler warning for this week’s episode of “Fear the Walking Dead”

Travis (Photo courtesy of AMC)
Travis (Photo courtesy of AMC)

Every so often a television episode comes around that truly leaves me speechless. ‘The Good Man’ is one of those episodes. The highly anticipated season finale for “Fear the Walking Dead” managed to deliver on all levels. Fans were treated to an hour of suspense, action, violence, emotions and ultimately, tragedy.

A darkened series of aerial shots of Downtown Los Angeles opens the episode and shows the destruction caused by the apocalypse. We are also reminded of the arena filled with the infected Daniel found at the end of last week’s episode. With the impending consequences of “Cobalt” looming, the gang of characters decide to leave the military-abandoned safe-zone to retrieve their loved ones and head east. Before leaving, Travis and Daniel debate on what to do with the tortured Adams. Daniel wants to kill him, while Travis wants to bring him along. Adams sneakily convinces Travis to let him go. The group head out without Adams, however, Travis is the only person aware of this. The thousands of infected in the arena become a weapon and a tool for the group of characters to gain access to the hospital where Liza and Nick are at. Daniel leads the massive herd towards the military hospital where absolute chaos ensues.

The herd of infected begin attacking the compound as the soldiers use everything they have to hold them off. This chaos allows Madison, Travis, Ofelia and Daniel to make their way into the hospital. Meanwhile, Nick and Strand escape from their holding cell and begin to search for an exit. The confusing layout, flickering lights and hordes of infected make the hospital a deadly maze. Dr. Exner relieves Liza and the other medical staff of their duties after the evacuation becomes impossible. Liza flees and attempts to find her family, while Exner executes the surviving patients.

Strand and Nick become trapped in a locked hallway as the infected pile in and track them down. Madison and the group find the two, but are unable to open the doors. The scene was incredibly tense and emotional as Nick tells Madison to leave him. Fortunately, Liza arrives at the last moment and uses her ID card to open the doors and free Nick and Strand. Liza also notifies Ofelia and Daniel that Griselda succumbed to her injury. The group is finally put in a position where they must kill the infected in order to escape. Even Travis realizes he must kill to protect himself and the others.

Ofelia & Liza fight an infected. (Photo courtesy of AMC)
Ofelia & Liza fight one of the infected. (Photo courtesy of AMC)

The group passes a disturbing scene, a sizable mound of burned human remains from the patients and soldiers who died at the hospital. Ofelia and Daniel break down as they realize their wife and mother is among the dead. After reuniting with Alicia and Chris, a new threat emerges. Adams surprises the group and points a gun directly at Daniel. Ofelia attempts to talk him down to no avail. He turns the gun on her and shoots her in the shoulder. Travis lunges on Adams and furiously beats him, leaving his true fate unknown to viewers. The scene is critical for the character of Travis as he is indirectly responsible for Ofelia being shot. He is now less likely to trust others in the future.

Strand’s home becomes the new destination for everyone. An interesting montage of the characters driving through the deserted city is shown. The infected roam the streets and buildings rage with fire. Strand’s mansion on the beach is shown to be a temporary safe-haven though. A new plan erupts from something Strand shows Nick. His yacht, named Abigail, is show anchored in the ocean. This sets up an interesting storyline for Season 2, as a boat is essentially one of the most guarded refuges in a zombie apocalypse.

The mood is dramatically different at the mansion as everyone begins to settle in. Daniel tends to Ofelia’s non-fatal wound while Madison and Nick reconnect. Everything points to a rather upbeat and calm ending to the season, until Liza tearfully tells hugs Chris and makes her way to the seclusion of the beach. A worried Madison follows closely behind. Liza reveals to Madison that she was bitten back at the hospital; her fate has been sealed and she realizes this. Liza asks Madison to shoot her to prevent reanimation, paralleling what Madison asked of her in Episode 3 “Don’t make Travis do it. It’ll break him.” A devastated Travis discovers the two and a depressing sequence follows. Travis believes that she can be saved, but Liza knows that nothing can be done. Liza explains that everyone who dies will turn and that she doesn’t want Chris to see her as one of the infected. “I’ll protect him” Travis promises to Liza before shooting her in the head. It’s almost poetic in the fact that Travis is the one who mercifully shoots Liza. Despite the fact that they were divorced, it is very clear how much Travis cared about Liza. Chris rushes to the beach to find the lifeless body of his mother as a heartbroken Travis collapses into the sand.

Liza’s death is extremely depressing as she was a character who deeply cared about everyone, even Madison and her children. Liza’s medical knowledge made her a valuable and necessary member of the group, but her death shows that no one is safe in this world. Liza is a character I was completely invested in, so I am very much disappointed to see her go. Her final scene with Chris is tear-jerking as she realizes that his world is about to change; a mother having to leave her child to uncertainty. The episode ends with the camera panning out to the sea, representing the future for our characters; hopefully brighter days are ahead.

How will this loss affect the group? Will ‘Abigail’ be a place of safety? Will Chris be angry at his father? Where will we pick up in Season 2? These are just some of the questions I have at the end of this first season. The first season was spectacular and gave us characters to root for. The show has already been renewed for a second season of fifteen episodes and is set to return sometime in 2016. Next Sunday, the original series, “The Walking Dead” will begin its sixth season. Be sure to tune in on AMC!

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Jeffrey Kopp is the Community Editor of the Niner Times. He is a senior double majoring in Communication and Political Science. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead."

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