Nice-guy-to-the-core Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) struggles to retain his humanity as the zombie apocalypse engulfs Los Angeles in “A Good Man” (Episode 106), the season finale of AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead.”
Travis and his girlfriend Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) hurriedly pack food and bottled water so their blended families can escape to the Mojave Desert. In this dystopian world, being around fewer people means fewer potentially lethal encounters with undead “walkers.”
Time is running short, for the National Guard is about to initiate “Cobalt,” a military evacuation from the L.A. Basin and “humane extermination” of hapless civilians left behind.
Travis and Madison know about these horrific plans because former El Salvadoran torture master Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) used his dark skills to force the truth out of Cpl. Andrew Adams (Shawn Hatosy).
“I think he has given us all he can,” Daniel announces. Then he prepares to end the soldier’s life, despite protestations from Travis.
But Andrew still has bargaining power. He knows the layout of a nearby military headquarters and field hospital where Madison’s son Nick (Frank Dillane) is caged and Travis’ ex-wife Liza Ortiz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) does her best to treat a surge of patients.
“I can see that you’re not like the others,” Andrew says to Travis when they’re alone. Since Travis is no murderer -- at least not yet -- he decides to free Andrew once they’re inside the military compound.
“What did you do?” Daniel yells when he discovers what happened. “You’ll see what doing the right thing gets you!”
Liza, meanwhile, plans to board a helicopter with Dr. Bethany Exner (Sandrine Holt) and fly to safety at Edwards Air Force Base. But when the pilot sees that hundreds of zombies have overrun the compound, he opts to save himself by fleeing the chaos.
Despite incredible odds, Liza and Nick are reunited with Travis, Madison, Daniel and his daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason). Waiting for them in a nearby parking garage are Travis’ son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) and Madison’s daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey).
Also surviving the relentless zombie attacks is Strand (Colman Domingo), a wealthy Angeleno who befriended Nick in the cages. Strand urges the group to travel west to the ocean rather than east to the desert.
“I have a home on the water,” Strand says. “I have supplies. I’m prepared.”
Before they can make a dash for the coast, Andrew suddenly appears, pistol in hand. But instead of shooting the man who tortured him, Daniel, Andrew wounds innocent Ofelia.
This sends Travis into a rage as he abandons his nice-guy persona and nearly pummels Andrew to death.
As dawn breaks, Travis, Madison and their families follow the concrete-lined Los Angeles River to Strand’s multimillion-dollar home overlooking the Pacific. Anchored just offshore is Strand’s luxury yacht, “Abigail.”
“We’re spinning off the planet,” Madison says to Nick during a quiet moment. “We don’t know where we’re going.”
“I never knew where I was going,” replies Nick, who knows the horrors of heroin addiction. “It’s like I’ve been living this for a long time and now everyone is catching up with me.”
Just when it looks like the show’s main characters are going to be all right, Liza lifts her shirt to reveal a zombie bite mark. Travis refuses to accept the inevitable, however, frantically insisting that “we can treat you!”
“It doesn’t matter how you die,” Liza sadly explains. “You come back. We all come back. Don’t let it happen to me!”
With that, Travis reluctantly does what a good man must do. He points a gun at Liza’s head and tearfully ends her suffering.