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FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Recap with Spoilers: S3E5 “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame”

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD Recap with Spoilers: S3E5 “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame”

After an episode last week of Fear The Walking Dead, which focused almost entirely on Daniel “holy crap he’s actually a crazy badass” Salazar after his miraculous survival, it’s time to check back in with the Clark family at the Otto Ranch. Let’s jump right in!

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, Danay Garcia as Luciana – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

She Dead, Bro.

We start with an old man, awaking to his wife, Martha standing by the window – she’s dead, and a walker. He reaches out to embrace her, and she has full dentures – still on the table, so she can’t bite him. He holds her close, and shoots them both through the head. The shack they’re in gets lit on fire when his lamp falls. Weird teaser!

Ah, okay, that makes sense now – it was Martha and Russ on the Ranch. The boys try to put out the fire, but there’s no point, something Jeremiah comes and points out. “Save the water, let it burn.”

Madison is still ready to roll with psycho Troy and his hunting party, despite some objections from her kids. Guess Nick, who buddied up to Troy a couple episodes, still doesn’t exactly trust him (probably very smartly).

Jake chats with hung-over Alicia a bit, and we learn that the couple that died the night before were part of the “founding four” who came to the Ranch. That explains why Jake and Troy were so desperate to put out the fire. It’s basically a nice slice of life at the Ranch here at the start; Alicia and her friends, Nick and Luciana, a good look at life being almost normal here. Of course that doesn’t last long (nothing ever does in this world), as Lucy wants she and Nick to leave, sooner than later.

This is the weirdest buddy roadtrip show ever

Daniel and Strand are out searching… for something or someone, we don’t know yet just what exactly. Daniel left Lola in charge at the Dam, implying that yes, he’s the man there now. They’re trying to make it to the hotel to look for Ofelia – Strand is still playing at some nonsense, and Daniel’s not having it. Of course, we know Ofelia isn’t there, even if we don’t know what the heck Jeremiah did with her.

Back at the Ranch, Alicia visits Jake talking sad, and they make out. Yeah, didn’t see that coming.

Troy and Madison (and crew) make a stop on the way to trying to figure out what happened to the helicopter to kill some zombie prisoners. Troy sadistically enjoys it, Madison gets props, and it’s all just a little… icky.

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, Daniel Sharman as Troy Otto – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Bow chicka bow wow

Woooooah Alicia’s zipping up her pants. Guess they went a little quicker than we might have expected. Jake tries to give her a book of poetry – the title of the episode “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame,” and she doesn’t take it as she thinks art is pointless now. Yay nihilism!

Every conversation Jeremiah has with a member of the Clark family has like thirty undertones, and his talk with Nick isn’t an exception. They talk about hard work, souls, self, and guns, and the whole time it sounds like Jeremiah is saying “Eh, I can kill or have you killed anytime I want, don’t forget.”

The chopper is gone. Well, crap. They’re going to try to hunt them down. Another quick cut to Daniel and Victor, and their relationship is very strained. It’s hard to think this is going to end well. Back to Jeremiah and Nick, and talk a bit about Luciana wanting to leave (Jeremiah says let her), then about Troy and his… unstable condition, which he blames himself for (or rather specifically his alcoholism).

Troy’s team find a house and barn, and a couple fairly fresh looking vehicles. After clearing the house, they look to the barn, and it seems like the whole place is deserted. They find a pile of burning bodies, and an old man sitting in a chair alone on a cliff, repeating a terrifying poem while a raven is literally picking away at his brain through a head wound. Poetry is a big part of this episode, I suppose. It’s a poem called “Antigonish,” an 1899 poem by William Hughes Mearns.

The Natives are restless

We meet Walker, a native American with a perfect name (get it? WALKER is the villain! Get it?), who was behind the deaths they just witnessed. Troy and company are surrounded, and lower their weapons. He is taking their weapons, vehicles, boots, and supplies, and tells them they need to go to the Ranch and tell them they all need to leave the land. Oh, and yeah, he was behind the helicopter being taken down.

Jake and Alicia’s next chat is him trying to convince her of hope’s purpose, and also warning her about his dad – “Where do you think Troy gets it?” Uh oh.

Daniel and Victor get to the hotel, and the gate is wide open; there’s no guard, and yeah, looks like everyone is dead. Daniel gets the walkers to come into the loby with them, and holds Victor at gunpoint, asking him where his daughter is; he finally admits he has no idea, and Daniel leaves him there. “Lets see how you get out of this one!” He does escape, but Daniel takes off in the car alone.

In an attempt to keep her there, Nick takes Lucy to the house he’d been working on all day with Jeremiah for a romantic dinner and tells her the story of how the old couple met and got together. She kisses him, so maybe it’s working?

Troy’s crew is hurting, and Madison psychoanalyzes him a bit, and usurps power a bit, too. They’re camping overnight. Madison, asleep by the fire, is awoken to Troy’s knife at her throat. Oh, lovely. At least he’s struggling a bit with what he’s doing? He pulls away, and one of his boys was awake and just watching. THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, Dayton Callie as Jeremiah Otto – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Wrapping it up.

Remember when we said “maybe it’s working?” Just a few lines ago? It wasn’t. Nick wakes up alone in the roofless house, with a note next to him instead of Luciana. She’s by the wall, looking for a way out. At the same time, team Troy are walking, slowly but surely, now on bloodied feet. Alicia stands at a cliff and… she JUMPS?! What? Oh, phew, into a lake or river. She laughs, but also starts to cry-gasp. Girl’s going through some stuff, okay? The episode ends with Jeremiah gifting a fancy gun to Nick, who sits alone in the ruined doorway.

Another awesomeFear the Walking Dead episode, this one introducing a new villain, busting other relationships wide open, and reminding us that yeah, Troy is a dangerous psychopath and that’s not likely to change.

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm EDT on AMC.

About The Author

Lucas Siegel

Lucas Siegel is a freelance journalist, host, and writer with over a decade of comic book, movie, TV, and video game reporting. A lifelong Star Wars fan, the galaxy far, far away shares time in his brain with Disney, superheroes, all things geeky, and Chicago sports. He currently contributes to,,, and other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @LucasSiegel for more.

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