Warning: this story contains spoilers for Sunday's Fear the Walking Dead, "Padre." Will Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) live long enough to wage all-out war against Victor Strand (Colman Domingo)? Once united under Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) before the fallout of the nuclear-zombie apocalypse, the cold war between Alicia and Strand hits a boiling point when he throws Will (Gus Halper) from the roof of his Tower to keep Alicia away. "She won't have anything to do with me after this," hisses Strand of the absent Alicia, who returns and reunites with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) in the final moments of the penultimate episode of Season 7.
In Sunday's midseason finale, Alicia asks for Morgan's help finding PADRE: a fabled destination safe from the fallout of the warheads Teddy (John Glover) detonated last season to bring about the end and the beginning. In a flashback to the aftermath of "Mother" — ending with Alicia locked away in a bunker beneath The Franklin Hotel — acolyte Arno (Spenser Granese) tells Alicia she's the chosen one who will lead Teddy's followers to their "new beginning."
Alicia's attempt to escape the bunker leads her to Will, a senator's aide who hunkered down in the shelter taken over by Teddy's cult. The bunker was a post-outbreak protocol to ensure continuity of government until officials could start over at PADRE — a plan to rebuild the country's future — but Senator Vazquez was the only one who knew the classified location.
In the present, an ailing Alicia believes there's some part of a zombified Vazquez that knows the way to PADRE. "It's someplace safe from all this," Alicia tells Morgan, "with plans to rebuild, resources to do it." She's desperate to find a haven for her group of about 30 people, including Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Sherry (Christine Evangelista).
As Strand's Rangers hunt the similarly-garbed Stalkers who attacked his Tower in "The Portrait," Alicia and Morgan camouflage themselves with walker's guts as they follow the reanimated senator's lead. Morgan must stay one step ahead of Strand, who sent him to find Alicia as he holds Grace (Karen David) and Baby Mo hostage in his Tower.
Strand's Rangers open fire on Morgan, forcing a feverish Alicia to risk her life saving the zombified Vazquez. Morgan wants Alicia to help him lead and find a place where everyone can be safe instead of chasing a myth.
In flashback, Alicia and Will search for a way out of the bunker through a drain. Warning Will against getting walker gore in his mouth or eyes to avoid getting sick, she slathers herself in Vazquez's guts and follows the zombie senator into the tunnels. Teddy's warheads detonate, trapping Alicia behind rubble with the walker.
In the present, Strand tells Alicia she's the only person left he can trust. He wants her help at The Tower, warning of the mythical PADRE, "Many people have ended up at my doorstep because they almost died looking for a place that someone on the other end of a radio made up. Don't make the same mistake."
Alicia rejects the offer and puts herself in the way when Strand orders his men to kill Morgan and Vazquez. The walker sinks its teeth into her left hand, but a flashback reveals it's where Vazquez bit Alicia three months earlier in the sewer tunnels beneath the bunker.
To stop the spread of the infection, Alicia is forced to amputate her arm. Drenched in sweat and her eyes swollen red, Alicia awakes a week later to see a yellow puss seeping out of her wound. Her fever broke, according to Will, but Alicia is convinced it's not sepsis or tetanus: she didn't stop the infection in time.
It's only a matter of time until Alicia turns. In the present, Alicia wears a prosthetic made of metal and fashioned from her arm bones.
Alicia and Morgan follow Vazquez through a foggy field and see it: a beacon illuminated in the distance. Alicia thinks she's located PADRE, but it's Strand's Tower. Vazquez shambles into the walker moat guarding The Tower and disappears.
Her compass to PADRE gone, Alicia resigns herself to her fate. "The infection's still inside of me. My body's trying to fight it. It's only a matter of time before I lose."
Antibiotics and other treatments failed to stop the spreading sickness. 90 days out from the bite, Alicia counts down a death sentence.
"That's why I can't help you, Morgan. I can't be the person you need me to be," Alicia says. "I don't know how much longer I have left. I thought it was long enough to find PADRE. The longer we look, the more chance I have of hurting a lot of people. That's why I need you."
Strand confronts Morgan and Alicia outside The Tower, telling her Vazquez led her to where she's supposed to be. Morgan advises her against trusting Strand and his offer to bring her people into The Tower, but Alicia wants her old friend to promise to take care of them — even if she's not here. Strand promises.
Alicia sees a zombified Will, identified by the Saint Christopher medallion around his neck. Strand confesses to murdering Will in "The Beacon," telling Alicia, "I knew that it would hurt you. I wanted to keep you away so that I could build this Tower the way that it needed to be built."
Killing him would hurt Alicia because Will loved her, Strand says.
"You have taken so much from me. And now I'm gonna take something from you. I am taking the one thing that matters to you the most," Alicia snarls. "I am taking that Tower."0comments
When Strand says he'll protect the Tower, Alicia declares: "Then we are going to war."