On August 23, 2015, AMC premiered the pilot episode of Fear The Walking Dead. Fear The Walking Dead serves as a companion series to AMC's hit zombie drama, The Walking Dead and is authored by the man responsible for creating the first East Coast counterpart, Robert Kirkman.
Below is a detailed recap of the Pilot episode of Fear The Walking Dead. If you have not yet watched the first episode of the new series, stop here! Spoilers follow.
Nick (Frank Dillane) wakes up in the abandoned church. Flies buzz around him. He calls out for Gloria (Lexi Johnson). He's coming down from a high and rolls off of a make shift bed. In search of Gloria, he looks out over the church and hears something slam in the distance and stumbles towards it, down the stairs, and continues calling out for Gloria. Someone screams.
Nick finds a guy with his throat ripped open dead on the ground. He picks up a weapon and continues his search for Gloria. He finds her eating another person's face. She rises, with a knife in her chest and eyes white, and slowly pursues Nick. Nick flees the church into the street where he is hit by a car.
Fear The Walking Dead credits.
Madison (Kim Dickens) readies her kids for school. Travis (Cliff Curtis) works some pipes despite Madison wanting to call a plumber. Madison prepares Alicia's breakfast which Travis says she won't eat because she's gluten free before announcing he's fixed the pipe and kissing Madison. The phone rings. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) wanders out in a towel and the family is concerned.
Alicia, Madison, and Travis arrive at the hospital. Madison wants to know what her son was doing but the doctor won't tell her considering he is 18. An old man is brought into Nick's hospital room as the cops interrogate Nick. They offer Nick a deal to reveal where he scored but Nick won't cooperate. Madison arrives and kicks the cops out and asks Nick what happened and why he's restrained but he insists it was an accident. Madison wants to send Nick to rehab and Travis backs her up which annoys Nick even more. The family starts arguing, mostly aimed at Travis, but Travis diffuses the situation before Alicia leaves the room. His phone rings and he walks out. "Glad you moved in?" Alicia asks him.
Travis steps outside to tell his ex-wife, Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez) Nick is okay. She sounds like she experience in the drug addict department. Christopher (Lorenzo James Henrie) doesn't want to spend the weekend with his father and Travis tries to reason with him over the phone but ultimately tells Liza to keep him.
Back in the hospital, Madison tells Travis she has to go back to school to process the college applications and other work of her students. She also needs to find a facility for Nick in which he isn't yet blacklisted. "I can do that," Travis says. He offers to stay and look after Nick. He insists he signed up for all of this when he fell in love with her but she tells him not to get sentimental. "You just threw up in your mouth a little bit?" Travis jokes. Alicia gets up, with her backpack, to go to school.
Madison and Alicia drive to school. Madison tells Alicia that Nick will be okay but Alicia doesn't respond. Madison asks Alicia to take out her headphones which is a small battle but she wins. Alicia says Nick will be okay as long as he's restrained. Madison wants positivity but she's getting none from Alicia. They arrive at the school. The principal says he thought Madison was going to be out sick today but she tells him she got her flu shot. She tells him she found Nick and reveals the situation. A student, Tobias (Lincoln A. Castellanos), walks in and sets off the school's metal detector. Madison searches his pockets and claims to have found some change, which she took from her own purse.
Madison escorts Tobias to a private room and insists he hand over the knife he brought to school. He does and she tells him to sit down. She asks him what's going on but he doesn't want to share. She asks if anyone is bothering him and why the knife. He says, "Safer in numbers," but she doesn't understand. He says, "No one's going to college, no one's doing anything they think they are," before asking for his knife back, which of course, he can't have. Tobias goes on about a virus but Madison insists if there was a problem, the authorities would tell them. He gives up and agrees with her before asking to leave and putting her change on the table.
Near the bleachers, Alicia joins her boyfriend, Matt, who is painting the walls. She is skipping Spanish class. It's too easy for her, anyway.
In the hospital, Nick wakes up while Travis sits next to him. "You're having a nightmare," Travis tells Nick. He asks Nick if he thinks he hallucinated. Nick tells him he wants that to be the case but nothing like that has happened to him before. Nick asks to be untied but Travis won't do it. He asks Nick what he saw, over an apparent bonding moment, and Nick opens up for the first time. He struggles to tell Travis what happened. "You buy on the corner and you can shoot at the church," he begins. He tells Travis Gloria was with him when he scored as he recalls the whole thing. To the audience, it's clear Gloria overdosed and woke up a zombie, but to Nick it's mind-boggling. When he went down stairs, every one was dead. He tells Travis about the blood all over Gloria's mouth and how she came at him. Travis is a little skeptical but asks to hear more. Nick tells Travis, "She was eating them. She was eating them." Travis insists, once more, it was a hallucination, but seems a bit more persuaded. Nick is scared that if his mind really did make him see this, if it wasn't really there, he must be insane. He doesn't want to be insane!
Travis pulls up to the church where Nick got high. He walks in with a flashlight.
Madison steps into Nick's hospital room. Nick and the old man in his room are both sleeping.
Travis explores the church. He pulls a door off of a wall and finds a terrified junkie who scurries away screaming, "Don't kill me!"
Madison breaks down at Nick's bed side.
Travis finds blood on a stair case in the church and continues to investigate. He calls out, "Hey! Anyone here?" No response. He uncovers old pieces of the church and explores the chapel, tripping, and catching himself in a puddle of blood and guts.
The next day, Travis and Alicia find Madison sleeping at Nick's side. Travis tells her she has an hour before the first school bell. He brought her a change of clothes and tells Nick he'll be right back. Alicia mocks the moment between Nick and Travis and says their mom is used to disappointment. She hops up on Nick's bed to feed him. Nick claims to know what Alicia thinks, saying she believes herself to be perfect and he's not. "I don't compare myself," she says, before calling Nick crazy. Nick tells her he's going to change. "I'm ending it now. I'm choosing to," he says.
Madison walks out of the hospital and jokes to Travis, "Hey, babe. These shoes don't go." At least he tried. He tells Madison he went to the church and he found something really bad. Madison says she doesn't care what he found but Travis wants to support him. Madison doesn't want to enable him and claims it was probably a shooting or stabbing. After all, it's a drug den. Madison insinuates the only reason Travis is trying to help Nick is to try to repair the damage of his relationship with his own son.
Travis goes back into Nick's room and asks if he needs anything before telling him he'll be seeing the shrink today. He's trying to help and build a relationship. Nick speaks optimistically about repairing his life.
Alicia and Matt sit high above the school's football field, behind the lights. Alicia is looking forward to leaving for college. She can't wait. But Matt isn't looking forward to the distance. She says she just wants to leave this place and Matt asks about her brother. She is humbled and worried about him. Matt tells Alicia if he meets her after school he can make things better. His parents are out of town, they can meet at the beach, watch the sunset, and go back to his house. They agree on the plan before he asks Alicia if she likes the staggered spiraling heart design he just completed on her forearm.
Madison enters the school and heads to Travis's class. A student is sleeping while Travis talks about Jack London. He calls out, "Russell," to wake the sleeping student. The student jokes about not caring to build a fire because he has a stove and heat. Travis leads Russell to the conclusion that London's choices, no matter how gruesome, were to survive. Madison leaves and heads to the principal's office.
The principal is facing away and between the music and camera angles, might turn around as a zombie. But he's a live and well, just listening in to the teachers for evaluations. He switches to Travis's room and is pleased. "Nature always wins," Travis says.
In Nick's hospital room, he hears the old man beside him struggle to breathe. He asks if the man is okay as a nurse (Lynn Chenn) enters to help Nick go to the bathroom. She tells Nick, "I take my dog out when I want to, not the other way around." Nick asks for one hand to be untied and the nurse abides. The old man in the bed besides Nick's continues to struggles breathing as Nick frees himself and drops the metal pan. Nurses rush in for a "Code Blue" with the old man. He's flatlined and they try to revive him to no avail so they rush him downstairs. The nurse tells Nick to stay put but he immediately unties his other hand and falls from the bed before grabbing the old man's belongings, getting dressed, and leaving the room.
Nick looks around in the hallways and glances through the window of a room next his. It appears to be an older woman stroking the hair of a freshly zombified man. Nick shrugs it off and looks for a way out of the hospital. Outside on the street, Nick searches the old man's pockets and drops them as their of no value to him.
Madison and Travis search for Nick in the hospital. They ask the nurse, who tells them, "His roommate coded. There was a second death on the floor." She advises them to call the police and rushes off. Madison wants to go to the church. Travis and Madison see missing posters on their way and a man in a park who is walking like a zombie. They pull up and Travis tells Madison to wait in the truck but she insists on coming inside.
Travis leads the way as they come in. "There's no bodies. They couldn't just get up and walk away," Travis analyzes. Madison sees the blood on the floor. They try to convince themselves its a violent place and nothing abnormal happened here. The problems are "in the genes" according to Madison. They realize Nick isn't there but Madison wants to continue looking for him. Madison finds the bed where Nick woke up and a book which belonged to him. She picks it up and finds a needle inside. "Come away now, Angel. Come away," Travis whispers to a shaken Madison. There's one more stop before home.
The two stop at Nick's friend Cal's house in search of Nick. Cal appears to be genuinely concerned and willing to help but hasn't seen Nick in a while. Cal says Nick distanced himself from the group of friends and where the group used to hang out. Travis calls Chris before going into Cal's house but gets his voicemail.
Elsewhere, Nick uses a prepaid phone to call somebody. He hides out under a bridge. Alicia waits by the beach for Matt (Maestro Harrell) who doesn't show up or respond to her several text messages, including one which said, "You better be dead!" When she leaves, a van she walks has the word, "Awaken," spray painted on it.
It's night and Travis and Madison are still concerned for Nick. Travis says they'll find him but Madison is pessimistic and isn't sure she even wants Nick to come home. Police race by. They couple gets stuck in traffic as the conversation about Nick continues. Travis tells Madison to call Alicia to try to get her to to eat something and another cop races by on bike, this time. Travis and Madison look on from outside the car as a helicopter spotlight tells them to remain in their vehicles. Gunshots ring out and Travis chooses to get back on the highway.
The principal counts five students getting off a school bus and asks the bus driver, "Did you miss a few stops?" He heads into the school and tells the two officers outside, "I hope you got your flu shots." In the school, the teachers look on at leaked footage of a man latching onto a police officer and eating him. The footage shows the man getting beaten and not stopping. The teachers rule that he must be traumatized or on drugs. They have different theories. The man in the video gets shot multiple times but keeps coming at the cops. Madison and Travis walk out of the room and Travis says, "This is what Nick was describing." Madison tells Travis to call the police, it's the only way to find Nick.
Nick continues to stumble around the streets and trying to get in touch with whoever he is calling. Alicia and two friends look at the leaked footage and Alicia acknowledges her parents were there. The teacher asks if she'll have to confiscate the phones as the girls watch the man get shot and continue attacking until being shot in the head, to which a friend narrates, "Kill shot, b----." Matt is still not texting Alicia. The principal comes over the loud speaker and announces school will be a half day today. Madison tells Alicia to get on the bus and go home, people are concerned about the shooting, and she needs to be home if he comes back. Travis escorts Madison out of the school in a hurry and students get on their buses. Tobias looks at Madison from his seat with a real, "I told you so," face.
Nick enters a restaurant and goes to sit with Cal. Nick starts with apologies and Cal tells him to sit. It's not acceptable for Nick's parents to show up looking for him, according to Cal. Nick pleads with Cal, explaining he would never tell anyone what Cal does. Cal offers Nick food but Nick doesn't want any - he only wants to know what Cal gave him. He wants to know if he was hallucinating at the church. He explains that Gloria killed two people but Cal says Nick isn't making sense. Nick tries to leave but Cal won't let him. Cal tries to be brotherly and offer Nick another fix which has Nick hooked. They leave the restaurant together.
Nick and Cal pull up to an aqueduct. Cal opens the trunk while Nick is under the impression he'll be getting high but when Cal comes around to Nick's passenger door, he sees Cal has a gun. As Cal tells Nick to get out of the car, Nick fights him and ultimately shoots him in the stomach. Nick watches Cal's body go limp and quietly calls out, "Hey, Cal," before rolling over the lifeless body and seeing the bullet wound. He runs away.
Travis and Madison find Nick on the side of the road. Nick tells Travis, "I said not to bring her!" Nick whispers, " I did a bad thing," and "It's not okay," to Travis. He explains what happened with Calvin. "I shot Calvin. I killed Calvin," he admits. Madison wants to know where. Nick points and the three start, in Travis's truck, to Cal's body. Travis and Madison try to figure out how they're going to protect Nick and Travis tells Madison, "Whatever happened, it was self-defense."
The three park at the end of the aqueduct and find Cal's car. The passenger side door is still open but there is no one there. The gun is still under the car. Nick can't fathom what's going on and breaks down in his mom's arms.
Nick, Travis, and Madison get in the pickup truck and back up out of the aqueduct. Travis sees Calvin walking towards them. Madison and Travis get out and approach him, despite Nick's intense warning not to, and see the massive amount of blood on his short. He tries to bite Travis but Travis fights him off long enough for Nick to back the pick up truck over him. Despite the massive impact of the truck, Calvin rises up again. He's a zombie. Nick floors it in drive and slams into zombified Calvin and launches him down into the aqueduct. Travis, Madison, and Nick look on and see that Cal's body is still moving. "What the hell is happening?" Madison asks. "I have no idea," Travis says as he turns to Nick.