A rain-drenched Alicia shambles into a forgotten house.
She dispatches a walker. Then another. Then a third. Effortless. She dumps the corpses of the family of four out back.
Dries herself off inside the idyllic family home now stained by blood and the scent of decayed flesh. Alicia, now the last-surviving member of the Clark family, rips family photos off the walls. She dumps those happy, smiley reminders of better times onto the soggy front yard.
“Whoever’s in here... get the hell out or I’ll kill you. You got one chance.”
It’s silent except for pounding rain.
“I just wanted to be left alone.”
Charlie bursts out of a closet. Alicia pins her. She comes face-to-face with her brother’s murderer. The girl wiggles free and barricades herself.
“Why are you here?!” Alicia growls. “Did you follow me? You can’t be here... you can’t be here.”
She grabs a mishmash of supplies and heads out into the storm. She wrestles to open a car door and is subsequently knocked on her ass.
“Why did you bring me back here? Why did you do that? I know you’re in there. Why won’t you just say something?”
“If you’re not gonna talk, then listen. My mom died saving me. Saving Nick. Saving everyone. Because you led Mel and Ennis into the place we built. Because you lied to us. And then you shot my brother. And I watched him bleed to death. And I... I couldn’t do anything but watch him die. Watch him realize he was going to die. And it didn’t happen fast. He was aware, he was in pain, he knew you did it. He knew the person he tried to save killed him. And made him feel like his life didn’t mean anything. I can’t send you out there! If you’re in this house with me then I’ll probably kill you. I don’t know if I want to kill you, I just know I probably will.”
Charlie reaches into her backpack. Pulls out a gun.
“I’m trying to be like my mom, I’m trying to believe what she believed and do what she did. Because that’s all I have left of her. That’s the only thing that keeps her alive,” Alicia says, barely keeping it together.
“If I kill... if I kill you... I won’t let you take that away from me again.”
Pulls herself together. Her vengeful coldness takes over. Like flipping a switch.
“You may be a kid, Charlie... but you know what you did. And that makes you garbage. It makes you a waste of a person. Worse than something stumbling around out there, tearing into people. See, I hope you live to a ripe old age. So you have to remember what you did. What you did, who you are, and how you can never, ever make up for it.”
Charlie sobs silently into the door.
Alicia pokes around the basement. Heads outside to secure a banging shutter. No go.
Back inside, Charlie has reclaimed the family photos. Does her best to salvage them.
Alicia confronts the now-mute Charlie. Orders her downstairs. Her little helper presses the shutters while Alicia hammers. The pounding draws a pack of walkers. “We’re making too much noise!”
Inside, Charlie retreats to a corner as walkers claw at the window. Alicia tells her to hand over her coat. Finds her gun.
“Is this the same gun you...” stops. Alicia puts the gun to Charlie’s head. “I told you you couldn’t be here. I told you I didn’t want to be around you.”
“You come here to kill me? Is that it? Getting me before I could get you?”
All Charlie can do is shake her head no.
“You expect me to believe that?”
Alicia stops herself. Tells the kid to beat it. Charlie races off.
In the teenage daughter’s room, Charlie pulls back the curtain and comes face to face with a walker impaled on the branch of a tree. Shoves the window open.
Charlie walks across the balcony, getting dangerously close. The walker grabs her. She lets it happen. Alicia yanks her away at the last second.
Alicia plops Charlie’s gun on a table. Gnawing walkers still claw outside.
“This wasn’t for me, was it? It was for you.”
She talks, Charlie listens.
“I think you had the right idea. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna let you do it.”
“Why did you save me?” Charlie asks. “Was it because you wanted me to live with it? What I did?”
“I don’t know. But yeah, you’re gonna have to live with it. You don’t get off the hook that easy. What did you think I was gonna say? I saved you because I see something in you? Because I forgive you for what you did to my family? I’m not gonna say that! It’s not true! I can’t help you. So whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re not gonna get it. Not from me. You have to live with what you’ve done. Just like I have. Even if all that’s waiting for you on the other end is being out on that porch just like them.”
Time to eat.
Charlie makes awkward small talk. Asks Alicia if she lived near a beach.
Alicia tolerates this bullshit, but just barely.
“What does it matter, Charlie?”
“You’ve never been, have you?”
She was supposed to go with her mom and dad. They had it all planned.
“But then everything changed,” Charlie says.
“We all missed out on things, Charlie.”
“Sometimes when I’m reading... I just like to close my eyes. Try to see what I just read about. But I haven’t been able to find any books about Galveston.”
“Last time I was at a beach,” Alicia says, “it was just like everywhere else. Filled with the dead.”
Alicia finds Charlie upstairs. Pulls her away from her treasured family photos.
“Someone might come back for them, someone might try to find them.”
“Anyone who gave a shit about these people is dead,” Alicia tells her through gritted teeth.
“You don’t know that! Look, I’m not trying to make up for what I did. I know I can’t, I know I’m garbage, but I’m doing this.”
“Do whatever you want. It’s not gonna make you feel better about any of it.”
Alicia has cooled.
“I know what you’re trying to do. ‘No one’s gone until they’re gone.’ I’ve been trying to believe it too, to feel better about what I’ve done, but I can’t. Because sometimes, when they’re gone, they’re just gone. Okay?” She digs her pointing finger into the photos. “And these people are definitely gone. These pictures aren’t gonna change that.”
“Why do you care?”
The storm picks up. A window is smashed. Alicia and Charlie retreat to the basement, but it’s flooded.
A burst of water pierces the ceiling, bringing down debris. They’re trapped.
“We’re not getting out, are we? Not through there,” Alicia says.
“What do we do?” Charlie asks, a little panicked.
They head for the basement cover. Locked. Alicia tries in vain to smash the narrow basement window.
They prop themselves up on submerged furniture as the basement fills with water.
“We’re just gonna have to wait it out. We’ll get out.”
“I don’t wanna die,” Charlie says.
“I don’t wanna become one of them. I saw my parents, after they turned... I didn’t think it was real. And they came back. Like that.”
“I try to remember what they looked like, before, but... I can’t. I just can’t. I wish I had a picture of them. Do you still have the gun?”
Alicia shakes her head no. “No. No, I can’t.”
“Alicia, I can’t end up like them! I can’t end up like them!”
Charlie yells her sins in Alicia’s face, trying to goad her into pulling the trigger.
Alicia tells her they’re going to make it out.
“Just do it! Do it! I know that you want to. I can’t end up like them, I just can’t,” Charlie scream-cries.
Alicia puts the gun to her forehead. Readies herself. She closes her eyes.
Flashes of Nick dying in the dirt. Madison facing down a horde of walkers, about to go out in a fiery blaze.
She can’t do it. She sobs.
A smash. “Something fell on the door.” They push upwards. They’re out.
The tree branch walker fell on the door. “He saved us.”
In the light of day, the storm has passed. Alicia places stones on a freshly-dug family grave.
“Did you do that for me or you?” Charlie asks.
“I did it for the people who could come back.”
Charlie hands over Alicia’s favorite weapon. Alicia hands it back. “You keep it.”
Alicia puts the family photos in a jar. Places it on the grave.
“I can see her in you. Even if you can’t. She’s there.”
“I left Morgan alone in the storm. Walked away from him. I walked away from all of them.”
“I’m good at finding things,” Charlie says. Smiles.
Later. Alicia drives with Charlie riding shotgun.
“Close your eyes,” Alicia says.
“I’m gonna take you to the beach. I didn’t see it before, but it’s one of my favorite places to go.”
Charlie closes her eyes. Alicia paints her a picture with her words.
Flashes of an idyllic, sunny beach.
“I’m in the water. It’s really blue,” Charlie says, eyes closed. “I’m walking back to shore, and... I can see them. My mom and dad. I can see them again.”
They’re back at Strand’s turned over mansion. They find only broken bottles and emptiness, with no signs of life.
Charlie finds the bus — temporary home to John and June — turned over. Charlie wants to find them and help them.
“Charlie... we don’t know if they’re alive. They’re gone.” Alicia tells her things don’t get better. They’re only going to get worse.
Alicia reclaims her weapon and ends an approaching walker. She stares at the bloodied piece of protruding metal.0comments
They walk off together, away from the overturned bus. End.