Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Aye Chihuahua (Wait, Is That Racist?)

Episode 9, Season 2: “Los Muertos

What should we call this latest episode? How about “The Dead”? Too fucking obvious? Right…How about “Los Muertos”? That’s Spanish, for the same thing folks. Again, AMC, please try a little harder when you are struggling to come up with episode titles. Take a lesson from The Walking Dead and make them so obscure that we have to Google them to glean a minimal understanding.

Nick, again. He’s in the “hospital,” a.k.a. the back of a taqueria, next to a lady coughing up blood. After he leaves, the town isn’t looking quite as nice as it did before. Its crappier aspects have come into view. He meets a little girl looking tearfully into the distance. In this town, they feed the dead with human sacrifices, just like the good old days! We’re talking Aztecs and Mayans. Aren’t there any errant Chihuahuas available, God Dammit! The living even have a nifty religious sounding chant to repeat while some poor sod gets ripped apart by useless dead people. That sod is the little girl’s daddy.

"Yo quiero...to leeve another day."
Finally, we return to Madison (a.k.a. Mad Mom), black Strand, and Alycia (or is it Felicia?). But so fleeting! Nick, again. The pharmacist who helped him earlier is tending to the old and sick. Lady Gang Leader hovers nearby. Strand et al. discover that The Abigail is gone, taken by the military. Mad Mom suggests waiting around for Nick, who always finds his way home like a stray dog. Alycia’s not so romantic about his prospects. The gang minus Nick and Travis pile up in a decent pickup truck to check in to a luxury high-rise hotel, located right on the beach. It was barricaded with chairs. Strand dings the bell for service.

 Lady Gang Leader recruits Nick for a special job. It involves smearing himself with zombie guts and keeping his mouth shut; one out of these two things he can do very well.

In the hotel, Ofelia, Strand, and MM find a grody uneaten wedding cake. Alycia wants to check the minibars for canned nuts. Strand and MM hit the bar.

How does she do it? The perfect coif without water, conditioner, or keratin.
Nick and his new lady boss chat. The pharmacist, she reveals, was bitten, but he has not turned. Sounds like voodoo to me. Drug dealers have taken over, and you know what? It’s not so bad. Lady Boss exchanges medicine for water, but the deal has changed. The old bait and switch! She grabs a shopping cart, and they enter one of the ugliest Costcos ever. At the Mexican Costco, armed clerks patrol the aisles to make sure you aren’t stealing anything. With a full cart, the duo try to leave, but turns out Nick was smuggling snacks. Oh, no, Nick. As they prepare to chop off Nick’s hand, Nick notes that the chopper’s sister needs Oxy or else she’ll die from withdrawal. Somehow, he gets the guy to stop and listen. They have drugs for her, if they get to take more water. Nick’s insatiable craving for Mexican Cheetos has proved to be his potential undoing!

While Strand and MM get wasted on tequila, Ofelia and Alycia go room to room to get stuff. Do Not Disturb sign means “pissed off zombie inside. Please replace towels later.” They do find peanuts, though. A zombie who tried to hang himself from the showerhead is still there, and is waving his arms desperately. They leave and flip the sign on the knob to DND. Later, Alycia finds some booze. She ponders why the dude in the shower gave up so quickly. Ofelia is less sanguine about their future. What’s the point of hope? Alycia tries some gurl bonding with her to make it better. Strand and MM meanwhile, continue to drink. He assures her that Nick is fine. MM reveals that Nick is just like his dad; a drug addict with a death wish. He died in a car crash, when he was probably high. Travis can only fix so much. MM regrets having kids. Strand tickles the ivories a little, but the piano is horribly out of tune and cacophonous. Guess what zombies like to listen to?

Alycia takes a shower and offers Ofelia to do the same, but the older woman is nowhere to be seen. Alycia ventures out on the balcony, where she can see all the other balconies, from which suicidal zombies are throwing themselves. But they get up afterwards! Ofelia has ventured too far in the hotel and has gotten herself into a pickle of a jam.

Back in town, Nick and the pharmacist discuss fate and faith in the context of a diminishing water supply and no medicines. As the man leans over, Nick sees his shoulder bite.

A lot of zombies want a drink, too, so Strand plays sober guy and tries to herd Mad Mom out of there in a hurry. Images of a religious service for the dead and the zombie bar room brawl duke it out. Nick gets into the chanting too. Strand and MM are the world’s most inept bartenders, and they are surrounded by really angry alcohol-dependent patrons who aren’t leaving until they get their speecy Bloody Marys.

Monday, September 5, 2016

FWD Returns with Dirty Dogs, Dirty Nick, and Fish Tacos (Finally)

Episode 8, Season 2: “Grotesque

Father, it’s been waaaay too long since my last confession. I cannot provide you with an adequate recap of the last episode because my mind was consumed with other pressing issues that arose during the summer hiatus, among them a head lice infestation and Blue Apron. I will say that calling this episode “Grotesque” is like calling an episode of Cupcake Wars “Delicious.” It’s like, ADOY, how lazy can you be, AMC?

Nick wakes up in kind of a nice house, zombie apocalypse nice, that is. A lady with a deep voice is getting ready to drive south with a little boy who waits outside. Nick discusses zombie refuges where weirdos like Cecelia can “embrace the dead.” I understand the logic of avoiding walkers rather than actively hunting them down, but sustaining them with live chihuahuas doesn’t seem like a sound policy either. The lady and kid drive off leaving slimy guts-covered Nick to trek across the arid landscape to a singer-songwritery soundtrack.

Only 100 miles to Tijuana! Is Nick on his way to see slutty bitches shooting ping-pong balls out of their vaginas? Or watching donkeys engage in unspeakable acts with—oh, back to the show. Nick has come across a car accident. Then, he has a flashback to pre-zombie days. He thumb wrestles with a pretty thin blonde. No shampoo to be had back then either, because Nick’s hair is as greasy and limp as it is now.

They do some kind of play-acting therapy session wherein she pretends to be Nick’s shitty dad. Embrace. Back to an even dirtier Nick making his way to Tijuana, renowned for its “raucous bars and souvenir shops,” according to Google. He enters an empty house. Good place to camp out. Builds a fire. Swigs some water. So far, I’m missing the zombies. Zero action.

A woman armed with a metal baseball bat takes several swings at Nick and banishes him from said hacienda as her child cowers in a dimly lit corner. Guess that’s HER abandoned house. He’s on the road again. Abandoned cars with a few walkers in them. Nick snatches one zombie’s water bottle. It’s not like she’ll be needing it anymore. Then he snatches her transistor radio from the dash. Naaah, naaah! Give that baaaack! Water, maybe, but electronics a zombie will not part with. A car filled with tough-looking Mexicans pulls up in the distance. They’re scavenging, too. Nick crouches down as they spear skulls, but the static from his new radio goes off at the wrong time. Nick heads for zee hills with the mad Mexes in tow.

He reaches a clearing, all out of breath. Is he safe for now? Nick is hot. He steps on a cactus and hurts his foot. Channeling his American Indian smarts, he busts open a piece of cactus and drinks. A few drops come out. Nick eats said cactus and has a good purge. After puking up a few pounds, bulimic Nick pees and drinks his urine. Does the fun ever start?

It’s cold at night in the desert, so Nick comforts himself with another flashback. Mad Mom is picking him up from an institutional hallway. Mad Mom reports that his dad was in a car accident and died. This is clearly before MM met her Maori warrior Travis.

Back to reality. A vicious cur attacks Nick as if he were a walking piece of filet mignon, or at least a very tough flank steak. Two dogs, to be exact. He saves himself by climbing up onto the rusted pickup he was sleeping against. A horde of zombies come loping across the plains, and the mean dogs think, alright! Smorgasboard. The feral dogs, however, are no match for ravenous walkers, and Nick watches with some satisfaction as they are devoured by the dead. After the canine appetizers, Nick tries to make himself invisible to the dead on the unfortunately creaky old truck. His leg is badly bitten, and on top of that he’s been spotted. Luckily, car honking sounds in the distance, plus the firing of bullets, music by which they love to groove.

"Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts..."
Nick is free to hobble over to the dead dog for a quick snack himself. He blends in with the walkers as he limps his way across the desert. He’s also hallucinating, which is not ideal when you are trying to blend in. The horde hits the highway. Why do these guys travel in packs? A jeep with armed men stops in front of them to pick off some zombies. Why not, there’s no Facebook. Nick kind of stands out, being alive, and all. One stops to reload so he can get some shots in at Nick. The two gunmen are overtaken and eaten.

The remaining gunmen can’t figure Nick out, who in the meantime has collapsed in the middle of the road because man cannot live on emetic cacti and rabid dog flesh alone! Flashback to better days, when Nick was doing drugs with his druggie blonde girlfriend. Looks like heroin, his fave. To add insult to injury back in the present day, a pounding thunderstorm commences as Nick lies in the road. Good news: he’s not thirsty anymore! Bad news: His camo blood and guts are washing off.

Nick…again, and he’s still dirty, and still limping. He’s reached a medium-sized town. Nobody around, of course, but a welcome change of scenery. He drags himself into a pharmacia. Ugh, nothing useful! He ends up in a barber shop, where the female gang leader and her henchies confront him. They chat a bit, and leave. Nick goes to a shitty medical clinic to get his rancid leg looked at. If you think Obama Care is bad, try post-apocalyptic medicine in Mexico! LOL, a little political humor. A “doctor” cleans his wound as Nick winces. “Death is not meant to be feared,” he warns, “But it doesn’t mean it should be pursued.” EXACTLY.

"Welcome to MexCare! I'm not a real doctor, and I am not actually treating you."
This town Nick found is a nice place…for a shithole. Taco stands, open-air market, happy barking dogs that aren’t trying to tear you limb from limb. He actually smiles. Did I mention the hipster soundtrack as well?

Nick is soooo happy to have tacos again. Diarrhea be damned!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

That's So F#$%*@&: Let's All Drop Our Gs and Cook Blue Apron!

 Hello, executive producer at major cable network for children! I’d like to pitch an idea for a piping-hot new television show for kids. Remember “That’s So Raven”? Well, how about “That’s So Fuckin”? Instead of a cute, sassy tween, TSF features a disturbed 6-year-old boy who says “That’s so fuckin” when life doesn’t go his way. He’s either a budding sociopathic serial murderer OR the next Steve Jobs. Maybe BOTH! What? Yes, that’s right, just like “That’s So Raven,” except filthy, absolutely FILTHY. Hello? HELLO? Another dropped cell phone call…damnable wireless network, why must you continually hinder my creative ambition!!!!

Recently, my son David and I have been at odds. I am either “the meanest mama in the world,” or someone with whom he wants to cuddle at night. At dinnertime, I am the worst short-order cook. Nothing I prepare is good enough, and my customer wants to eat on the sofa with the dog. As I make dinner, he complains that the service is too slow. Upon receiving the food, it is either too hot, not enough, or too much. I’ve failed miserably as a mother.  That is, there’s room for growth.

When the pressures of life become too much for me, I let the F word fly. Not constantly, but often enough that it has left an impression on David. He now uses the word just like mama: judiciously, yet with greater flair than me.  He is wont to exclaim, “That’s so fuckin!” at just the right moment, fists tightly clenched. Maybe his sister slapped him on the butt, or his mother denied him use of his precious iPad Mini. I try not to laugh, because the F word sounds ugly when a little boy says it.

I note this because all sorts of curse words were flying as I prepared my first week of Blue Apron meals. Since David was born six years ago, I cook about once a year. Both of my kids are picky eaters that prefer processed foods. A quick spin in the microwave or 15 minutes max in the oven will suffice. The husband doesn’t get home from work until after 9:00 PM, so I figured, what’s the point of real food? I’m tired and uninspired. I’ll just have what they’re having.

It turns out, however, that eating real food not only tastes better, it’s more satisfying. After dining on chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and mini pizzas, I was never full. After dinner, I grazed. By bedtime, I felt gross and bloated. I broke the vicious cycle by eating real food. Unfortunately, cooking real food is tediously irritating. Please do not be fooled by the parade of serene, smiling hosts on the Food Network, because they have crews of lackeys who do everything from chopping to cleaning.

Here are the top three annoying things about Blue Apron:

  • They use way too much garlic. I end up using about one-third of their recommended dosage. I mean, if you are going to kiss anyone later that evening, or even sleep next to someone whilst breathing, three cloves of garlic in one meal are downright disrespectful.

  • It asks you to do fussy things with food. I am not going to cut my green beans lengthwise. I simply don’t see the reason why or the need. Sure, it looks prettier than plain old fat green beans, but I almost cut my fingers. Ditto for cutting zucchini into ¼-inch strips. This I accomplished without bleeding, but only after a lot of cursing, and the end result wasn’t pretty.

  • Read all of the steps before you start. I was so proud of myself for finishing steps 1 and 2 in record time, only to discover that I was supposed to be doing step 3 while step 2 was in swing. Reading! Who has the time?

  •  Occasionally, your 20-lb box of weekly meals does not reach your actual address. It is placed in front of your neighbor’s door down the block, where it sits for 18 hours in the pouring rain and blazing heat. Needless to say, the ice packs only work for so long. Since my subscription began on July 18, this has occurred once. If one of your only problems in a given week is “My Blue Apron box went to the wrong address!” consider yourself kind of blessed, because this is definitely a first-world lament.

The resulting meals, however, are admittedly delicious. The one-hour preparation required to make them is not ideal if you are simultaneously herding a Jack Russell and trying to make quality time with your kids, but when I sit down at the cramped dining table littered with art supplies to indulge in my squid ink spaghetti dish studded with pan-fried shrimp and fresh corn from the cob…I am reminded that I really need to hire a personal organizer. After half a glass of wine and a few bites, however, it seems worth it.
You are going to eat this artichoke and you WILL LIKE IT!
Between the excessive cursing and complaining in my smoke-filled tiny kitchen, my real-life execution of Blue Apron in no way resembles that of the carefree woman on the commercials. The husband casually swings by their spacious kitchen to playfully grab her waist as she wields a large knife. I don’t see any kids in these ads. They must be at the neighbor’s house eating cheddar goldfish. Also, my husband is not one for playful banter, especially when sharp cutlery is present. In the past, he’s been lucky if he gets chicken nuggets or mac and cheese at 10:00 PM, but thanks to Blue Apron, goddammit, he will have his Beef Albondigas and his friggin burgers with Serrano chiles and goat cheese.

A great deal of anger and resentment goes into good cooking. Moreover, the lemon chicken with broiled squash and diced Yukon potatoes DOES taste better if you season it with your tears immediately before serving. Bon fucking appetit.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pass the Posole and Hold the Ammunition

Episode 7, Season 2: “Shiva

A wet jungle. Dead bodies float in a river. Ruben-Daniel wakes up. He forces Ofelia to accompany him to the cellars that hold Celia’s dead. She can’t run anymore and stops, stripping the skin from her face with her fingers. Another bad dream! Ruben wakes up again. Double Nightmare.

Celia is pissed at Strand for shooting Thomas in the head. Now, he’ll never come back. She hits him in the face with the back of her hand. Mad Mom intervenes. Ruben is happy to find Ofelia and that her facial skin is intact. Travis finds out that Chris was wielding a knife whilst hovering over Mad Mom and Alicia. Back to Strand. Celia is still angry. Thomas would not want to have been buried! Ok, seriously, Celia is batshit crazy, I don’t care how tasty her posole is. She orders everyone off her property by the end of the next day. No more posole for YOU. Travis looks vainly for Chris, who ran off with his knife after Mad Mom and Alicia caught him in the act.

"Nobody puts Celia in the corner...NOBODY!"
Daybreak. Ruben sharpens a homemade weapon on a rock. Celia spies on him from an obscured window. Travis may have stumbled across Chris’ handiwork: a dead walker with a knife protruding from his skull. We see Chris.

Travis finds more dead bodies. He wanders through the Baja slums, armed only with a knife. He enters a hovel after hearing a noise. Oh, Travis, nothing good ever came from entering an abandoned hovel! An angry Mexican confronts him, but seems harmless. He offers Travis water. Too bad he speaks no English. Travs shows him his feet, which are bloody and disgusting from walking in homemade “shoes.”

Nick returns to the hacienda with a bound, very dead but sorta alive Luis in tow. Nick is wearing his fave outfit of late—a wife-beater and jeans shmeared in zombie blood n’ guts. Celia seems pleased, for once. A peace offering? Luis, for his part, doesn’t seem to recognize his surroundings. Mad Mom is not pleased by Nick’s efforts. Celia approaches Nick. She wants him to stay. Can his family remain, too? They don’t share her pro-death worldview. Nick assures her that his family won’t hurt anyone and may even change their minds. He assumes responsibility for their actions. However, Strand remains on her shit list.

Nick takes a much-needed shower. Mad Mom asks him what the heck is up with him and the zombie guts. Nick tells her he just brought Celia’s son back, that’s all. He claims he can move among the dead, “invisible.”

A panicked Ruben grabs Ofelia to lead her to the gate of the complex. Your mother is waiting there, he tells her excitedly. A bunch of Celia’s henchmen approach as Ofelia tries to pull away. Ruben lashes out with his homemade razor blade. Strand is digging a deep grave, presumably for Thomas. Mad Mom comes to see him about Nick. He confirms that Celia has sunk her talons into a vulnerable Nick. Strand states his intentions to return to the boat, if it indeed still exists.

Meanwhile, Travis’s host offers him boots for his seriously messed-up feet. The man tells him Chris went that-a way, but Travis figures out that Chris is, in fact, in the house. He is holding the man’s young son captive and told the man he will shoot the boy unless he can get his dad to leave. Chris is turning out to be the total douchebag that I always thought he was.

Thomas’ funeral. Celia was the hired help whose employers ignored their son Thomas, so she raised him. She’s then ready to kick Strand out. Ofelia asks Celia where her dad is. He’s safe, Celia says. Mad Mom puts on her best resting bitch face for Celia’s benefit.

Chris makes a run for it. Travis tackles him, and Chris tries to stab him. Chris affirms that he is bad, beyond help. They both look stunned.

Celia tries to spoon-feed a chained Ruben her very tasty posole. He says he’s not afraid of her, and she retorts that he’s afraid of the people he killed. She urges him to confess. Ruben hears the voice of his dead wife. He remains steadfast, revealing nothing. “There is a place for you here,” she tells him, and leaves him with the specter of his late wife, who is pretty chatty for a ghost.

A bloodied Nick finds Travis, who urges his stepdad to return to the complex.  Travis claims that he doesn’t want to return, because Chris needs a father figure. Nick sighs and hands him a knife.

Celia is tidying up Thomas’ bedroom. She knows how to make hospital corners with the sheets. Of course she does, she was a maid. Mad Mom tries to convince Celia to allow Strand to stay. Talk turns to Nick, whom Celia is a fan of because he understands her perspective. Mad Mom says she wants to understand, which is an open invitation to visit Celia’s Cellars infested with the walking dead.

Ruben talks with his dead wife. She’s mad that she never got a proper burial. Plus, she had to carry around his murderous guilt all those years. Also, he never put the toilet seat down after he peed. We see in a flashback that Daniel was a killer from an early age, like 7. He looks broken. Ruben never looks broken.

Celia gives Mad Mom a tour of the cellar where Luis is eating. Celia waxes eloquent about the beauty of taking care of one’s children, even after they turn. Mad Mom silently backs up and locks Celia in with the undead. She’s doing it for her kids, too, just like Celia! Then, she backs away. Celia tears up a bit, but seems accepting of her fate. There goes the best cook this side of Baja, posole and all. Sure, you’ll get sick of it after a while; how about a few tortilla chips to dip, or some fresh guac to mix it up a little?

A man comes to untie Ruben, who head butts him. The bowl of posole with his name on it spills all over the floor. He escapes. Strand is escorted to the gates under cover of night. He waves bye-bye.

Everybody Loves Ruben.
Ruben enters the cellar. He pours gasoline throughout. All the people Ruben killed—quite a motley crew!—notice him and ever so slowly approach. His late wife emerges from the crowd. He drops his lighter. Ruben is ready to die. Strand climbs in a truck. The fire overtakes the complex. Mad Mom searches for Daniel. Ofelia is distraught. Strand orders everyone into the pickup truck, but Mad Mom wants to wait for Nick and Travis. Nick reunites with Mad Mom. He observes that Celia was right about them all along; they destroy everything. Nick does not get on the truck. He joins the dead. Mad Mom can’t look and turns away. The truck slowly leaves the compound, with a smaller crew than they started with. See you in a few; this is the mid-season finale, so FWD will be back before you know it.

The End Is Nigh So Kill, Make Love, and Be Merry

Episode 6, Season 2: “Sicut Cervus

Sicut cervus is Latin, bitches. I looked it up. I have no idea how it relates to this week’s recap, except the opening scene has cute little Latino boys singing a sicut cervus (a Renaissance chorale they sing in church). A priest addresses his congregation in Spanish. He speaks of faith and doubt as everyone receives the sacrament (that’s a wafer and a sip of red wine—body and blood of Christ, for you heathens out there). The parishioners exit the church in a hurry. There’s a pile of guns outside. A man drives up to warn them about fighting back. Hey, he looks like Strand’s BF Thomas! The wafers were poisoned, so everyone drops dead, right after their eyes bleed. As usual, I’m totally confused. Is it just me? Sigh.

Travis chats with Chris. He confronts him about the rumors that Bieber wasn’t actually turning and that Chris shot him just for kicks. Mad Mom, Strand, and his Mexican henchman are arranging a deal with a speedboat approaching their boat. Mad Mom hustles everyone downstairs. Ruben translates the convo occurring above them. Some exchange of payment is being made. Angry Spanish words, then a volley of gunshots. When they reach Strand, Luis (henchman) is dead. Ruben goes on deck with his gun and stabs the dead in the head. Luis, though, is not dead. He gives Ruben a strange button to give to his mom, but Rubes tosses it overboard.

The weary crew makes it ashore. Is this Baja? A black dog munches on a pile of dead bodies as flies buzz around their heads. Not quite the idyllic hideaway that Strand described. Strand sees his boyfriend’s car. Turns out there are quite a few zombies. Even those cute little Mexican choirboys and a little girl with bows in her hair are now amongst the walking dead. The crew gets to stabbing. Ruben finishes off the priest, and then freezes when one of the altar boys tries to bite him. He had a flashback from his days as a contra, or a contranista, whatever he was back in the Old Country. Yeah, he’s killed his share of little boys! Luckily, Ofelia steps in. Chris watches as Mad Mom is nearly overcome by an angry walker—is he turned on by death, or what?—but Alicia rescues her at the last second. Nick is bummed; I think he had to kill one of the cute little girls.
Ruben and Celia refuse to play nice.
They pile in back of the pickup truck. The gates open and it’s a new world. A beautiful hacienda beckons. Fields surround the house, maybe vineyards? They walk through a garden of succulents. Luis’ mom finds out her son was killed by the military. Women in white uniforms greet the newcomers. They have to turn in their weapons. Ruben balks, and says not so fast. She refuses to let him in with the arms and hands over a knife, then another pointy implement. She lets him in. But we know that Ruben is hiding a gun up his butt! It’s what he does. Strand finds Thomas, who has been bitten. They put a bandage on it, but that will not help things any. Strand offers to “help him into bed,” which is guy code for “let’s have sex one more time.”

"I'll slide it in quietly."
Alicia is lounging on a leather sofa and watching…TV? Chris waltzes in. Alicia accuses him of letting Mad Mom get attacked. He denies it, but warns her not to tell anyone. Huh? He froze, that’s all. Psychopathic. Luis’ mother chops cilantro. Nick enters the kitchen and tries to introduce himself in Spanish. “Scusi?” Oy vey. Nick lived in Los Angeles his entire life, yet he learned no Spanish. He’s hungry. Nick brings up Luis’ last moments on the boat. He, unlike Chris, is tired of “all the killing.” She reassures him that the dead were always here, but now we can see them. It’s like Day of the Dead, but a lot more real. Mad Mom walks in, pissed off of course. My son is vulnerable; back off, Luis’ mom!

Then she brings a tray of food for Strand and Thomas, who will need to get stabbed in the head fairly soon. Thomas asks Mad Mom Madison to take care of Strand after his death. Ofelia looks for her Papa Ruben, who is sitting on the edge of a bed with a vacant look in his eyes. He’s not hungry.

Alicia is still watching Elvis movies on the TV. Mad Mom finds her all cozy on the couch. Cut to Mad Mom yelling at Travis about Chris. She fills him in on Chris watching her get attacked. Travis is too busy sailing on a body of water known as de-Nile. Chris needs help. They yell at each other. Chris is probably pressing his ear to the door right now. I know! Let’s take Chris to a psychiatrist. Baja is probably lousy with them.

Strand, meanwhile, is keeping vigil at Thomas’ bedside. His boyfriend does not look well: sweaty and rashy. Strand suggests that they can be gay zombies together. Celia, Luis’ mom, can be their caretaker. Sounds like a plan that everyone can get behind.

In the darkness, Ruben sees a little boy drop a live dog down a chute. Sounds like someone had Strand’s bright idea already!

Ofelia and Nick hang out by the candle-lit memorial shrine. She talks to her deceased mother, while Nick flashes back to season one, episode one, when he discovered a group of half-eaten heroin addicts in an abandoned church.

Ruben follows a little boy. He’s talking to someone who doesn’t answer. It’s his mommy, who just happens to be…behind a secure gate with lots and lots of other walkers. Ruben finds Celia: What gives? She says she knew them, felt sorry for them, and is giving them shelter. She happens to be whipping up some sacrament wafers; Ruben deduces that she is the one who poisoned the churchgoers. Baaah! She tells Rubes that he’s the one with the hang-up about the dead. But for whom are these wafers intended?

Celia is singing to Thomas and applying cool compresses to his head. Strand admires the song, which sounds like a children’s Spanish lullaby. Turns out Celia raised Thomas. The poisoned wafer is for Strand, who as you recall wants to be with Thomas for-evah. This makes little sense, because there’s no such thing as zombie pals, let alone zombie gay lovers.

Nick reconnects with Celia again to talk about the Big Issues. Walkers aren’t really dead, she tells him, “they are what comes next,” which would be a very interesting philosophical observation if walkers weren’t so darn intent on chomping on anything and anyone with a pulse.

The poisoned wafer beckons to Strand. Mad Mom arises in the middle of the night. Strand locks Thomas’ bedroom door. Chris stands over Alicia’s bed as she sleeps with Mad Mom. They both wake up and tell him to scram. A shot rings out: Strand could not go through with it and has shot Thomas in the head.