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‘Fear the Walking Dead’ recap: Troops have a plan for civilians, and you’ll hate it

As the zombie apocalypse dramatically worsens, a captured National Guardsman reveals the government’s extermination plan for Angelenos on “Cobalt,” the penultimate Episode 105 of AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead.”

Barber Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) employs torture techniques he learned many years ago in El Salvador to force the truth out of Corporal Andrew Adams (Shawn Hatosy), a friendly guardsman attracted to Daniel’s beautiful daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason).

After being duct-taped to a chair and sliced with a razor, Andrew reveals that “Cobalt” is a military command code initiating an evacuation from the zombie-infected Los Angeles Basin.

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“When? When do we leave?” neighborhood “mayor” Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) naively asks the bloody young soldier.

“Not you,” Andrew wearily replies. “Just us.”

And what about the civilians left behind? Guardsmen will begin “humane termination” procedures the next morning.

Before Travis hears about this heinous plan, he tries to reason with Lt. Moyers (Jamie McShane), commander of the local “safe zone.” That’s where Travis, his girlfriend Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and their teenagers Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) are confined.

Travis politely asks Moyers to return residents who were forcibly removed from the neighborhood.

“If the ones you took don’t come back soon,” Travis says matter-of-factly, “you’re gonna have more than me to worry about.”

In a rare instance of generosity, Moyers agrees to transport Travis to a nearby field hospital where overwhelmed doctors and nurses do all they can to treat victims of the “undead.” Also at the facility are potential “walkers” locked in cages and monitored for telltale symptoms.

During the Humvee ride to the hospital, Moyers spots “a ripe one,” a zombie who once worked at a doughnut shop. Moyers bullies Travis by ordering him to blast the young lady with a 50-caliber sniper rifle. Travis can’t bring himself to pull the trigger, however.

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“You don’t think she’s human, do you?” Moyers scornfully asks Travis. For if zombies are people, the lieutenant adds, that means his guardsmen are “just a bunch of murderers.”

Travis never makes it to the hospital because his beleaguered escorts respond to a zombie outbreak then flee for San Diego.

This prevents Travis from reuniting with his ex-wife Liza Ortiz (Elizabeth Rodriguez), a nurse in training who’s privy to an array of medical horrors as she assists Dr. Bethany Exner (Sandrine Holt).

Liza is worried about Daniel’s wife, Griselda (Patricia Reyes Spindola), whose foot was amputated following an injury sustained during an East L.A. riot. Griselda succumbs to septic shock and feverishly recalls atrocities of El Salvador’s civil war.

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After Griselda flat-lines in the recovery area, Bethany pulls out a captive bolt pistol designed to slaughter livestock. In a scene reminiscent of “No Country for Old Men,” Liza tearfully presses the gun to Griselda’s forehead and fires a single shot. At least poor Griselda won’t “turn.”

Not far away from Liza is Madison’s 19-year-old son, Nick (Frank Dillane), a heroin addict going through withdrawals. When guardsmen realize Nick has an elevated temperature, he’s yanked out of his cage and bound for “the basement.”

Fortunately for Nick, a mysterious stranger named Strand (Colman Domingo) hands over expensive cuff links to bribe a guard.

“You saved me,” Nick says suspiciously. “Why?”

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“No, I obligated you,” Strand explains. “There’s a difference.”

Strand knows that Nick is a desperate young man who’ll do what must be done when the soldiers leave and “the old rules” return.

Those successful, latte-drinking types earning frequent flyer miles won the last round, Strand says with a crafty smile. But in this new, dystopian world, those previous winners “are about to become the buffet.”


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