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Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) is a drug addict in Los Angeles. He wakes up in a drug den, having just shot up with a new narcotic. One of his fellow junkies must have overdosed, because she starts to eat the others. Nick gets out, but ends up in hospital.
In hospital, Nick refuses to cooperate with the cops. However, he does talk to his stepfather Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ). But when Travis checks out the drug den, there are no zombies or corpses. Has someone cleaned up the crime scene before the cops could find it?
We also meet Nick's mother Madison ( Kim Dickens ) and sister Alicia ( Alycia Debnam-Carey ). Since the zombies are in the background, as they are in the later events portrayed in The Walking Dead , this is mostly a soap opera establishing the characters.
In the second half of the story, Nick escapes from hospital and goes looking for his drug dealer. His assumption is that the zombie outbreak was caused by a new drug. A running joke among fans is that it was the blue meth from Breaking Bad.
There is an incident that is televised on the news channel, and it goes viral on the Internet video-sharing sites. Of course, nobody realizes that it is actually the start of a zombie apocalypse.
Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) goes into town to save his son and ex-wife. The LAPD try to keep the zombies under control. However, the sight of cops using their batons on the walkers reminds the local citizenry of the Rodney King beating, so the locals attack the cops to protect the zombies.
The riot has gotten out of control. Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ), his son Chris and ex-wife join up with the Salazar family.
Back in the suburbs, Madison ( Kim Dickens ) has to defend her home from zombies.
This starts with a recap by Chris, as he narrates a video diary on his camcorder. The National Guard have controled the suburb for the last nine days. This should be a good thing, because they have secured the perimeter. However, something is just not right. When the kid refers to those soldiers as our Saviours, this is a clear indicator that something is wrong.
Dr. Bethany Exner ( Sandrine Holt ) examines the family for infection. She takes one of them away to a quarantine facility.
Nick ends up in a prison cage with Victor Strand (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ). Luckily Melvin the soldier on guard is quite corrupt, and Victor is a great one for bribing people.
The National Guard have been using the codeword Cobalt. Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) wants to know what it means. Unfortunately for his daughter's boyfriend, no good deed goes unpunished.
Chris and his step-sister Alicia ( Alycia Debnam-Carey ) start to bond.
The family decide to retrieve their missing member from the National Guard base. As a distraction, they decide to unleash a massive horde of zombies on the soldiers.
Victor Strand (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ) has a plan to get himself and Nick to safety. Melvin the corrupt soldier is their ride out, but Victor is a cold-blooded SOB.
Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) lays a beat-down on a victim that is reminiscent of what Uncle Bully got in Once Were Warriors.
This takes up a few hours after the end of the previous Season. The survivors get to the beach, and try to board the boat. Unfortunately the zombies are on the loose, so we have a minor action scene to kick off the new Season. All low-key stuff, however, but it is that kind of show. There is an homage to the Lucio Fulci Italian zombie movies, involving an outboard motor.
Aboard the boat, the characters try to get along. Things slow down, but this is a drama rather than a thriller. The daughter Alicia ( Alycia Debnam-Carey ) gets in touch with a stranger on the CB radio. Is he genuinely in need of rescue, or is he baiting her into a trap?
The boys go for a swim near a fog bank, despite having no idea what dangers it contains. It turns out that although zombies cannot swim, they can certainly have enough bouyancy to float.
The survivors are being hunted by another boat. It is bigger, faster, and equipped with military-grade weaponry. Perhaps it is a coastguard cutter, now in the hands of pirates.
The survivors see a light in a nearby house, so they investigate. A family lives there – the father is a survivalist type, his wife is Catherine Dent , and they have a couple of young children. Their plan is to sit things out behind a secure perimeter fence.
The father, an amateur anthropologist, correctly identifies Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) as a Maori from New Zealand. Yes, Curtis actually plays his own background instead of a Latino.
Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) does not trust the boat's captain, Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ), and insists on staying aboard so the others do not get marooned. He also takes the opportunity to poke around. Captain Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ) certainly has something to hide.
The boat has a problem in its engine. Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ), the only trained mechanic, deduces the problem is the water intake under the hull. He then volunteers to SCUBA under the boat to clear the blockage. Since they are in zombie-infested waters, it is obvious what will be responsible for the blockage.
While Travis is messing about with the boat engine, the tweenagers decide to go for a scavenger hunt on the beach. A plane crashed nearby, and the scattered baggage has washed up on the shore. Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) goes along to sheepdog them, but they all wander off and get into trouble. After all, they have forgotten a couple of things. Firstly, there is unlikely to be much of practical use in a pile of airline baggage. Secondly, the passengers are not going to be far away.
Madison's son swims ashore on a mission from Captain Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ). His job is to make contact with Luis, the man who has arranged to smuggle them across the border.
The survivors find a dingy with a couple of people in it. One of them is a pregnant girl. What could possibly go wrong?
Captain Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ) has a hockler submachinegun. Unfortunately Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) took the magazine when he rifled the locker, which renders it useless as an anti-pirate device.
The flashbacks start with Captain Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ) meeting Thomas Abigail (Dougray Scott - Mission Impossible 2 ) in a hotel bar. Their relationship was a complicated one, but the combination of great actors and a great script bring this together.
A couple of the regulars have been press-ganged by pirates. Alicia ( Alycia Debnam-Carey ) is assigned the role of contacting medium-sized boats that pass by so they can be lured into a trap. Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) was supposedly selected for his skill as an engineer. Instead, he is caged as a punishment. It turns out that the pirates actually rescue people, such as the girl who was abandoned in the dingy a couple of episodes ago.
Madison ( Kim Dickens ) has control of the the boat. She only has twelve hours to rescue her family members. Luckily she has one of the pirates as a bargaining chip. Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) is good at getting infomation out of prisoners. Will the kid live long enough for an exchange?
A Mexican priest tells his congregation that the zombie plague is the work of the devil. They then arm up so they can go to war against ... Satan? Thomas Abigail (Dougray Scott - Mission Impossible 2 ) tries to talk some sense into them, but they start to bleed from the eyeballs. Is this a new symptom of the plague, or something worse? Either way, it seems that Baja might not be the paradise it was supposed to be.
The survivors on the boat get to the Mexican border. Luis had one job, to get them past the border patrol. Things do not go the way they were planned.
Eventually the survivors get to the compound in Baja. There are a couple of problems. First, the survivors are traumatised by their struggles. Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) is out of sorts, and Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) the junkie boy has flashbacks. The worst hit is Chris, who freezes up on Madison ( Kim Dickens ) and then gets aggressive with Alicia ( Alycia Debnam-Carey ).
The other problem is that Celia, the Latina woman who runs the compound, has a Mexican Catholic Day of the Dead faith that is reminiscent of Hershel's Georgia Baptist religion.
Chris runs off, and Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) goes after him. A couple of strange things happen. Firstly, Travis manages to get a horrible injury to his foot but this event happens off-screen somehow. Secondly, although Travis spends an apparently short time searching this plays out as a very long time for Nick Clark (Frank Dillane), who crosses vast amounts of territory on foot while this is happening.
Celia is now in command of the compound. She wants the newcomers to leave, especially Captain Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ). Luckily, Nick does her a favour and wins her favour in return. They can all stay, except for Victor of course. As soon as he finishes with the grave, he is gone.
Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades - Predator 2 ) becomes obsessed with his wife's ghost. He tries to get his daughter to leave, but Celia's men use force to stop him. Yes, everyone else needed special permission to stay - but Daniel was held to a different standard.
The climax is a bit confused. Motivations and geography are unclear.
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) decided to stay at the compound. However, the inhabitants chose to split up and go their separate ways. Nick has to option but to walk north, so he can go home to the USA.
The real danger seems to be from other humans. Finally, Nick decides to go with the flow and live among the zombies. After all, they only kill the people that deserve karmic justice.
The rest of the cast are credited, but the only one to appear on-screen is Madison ( Kim Dickens ) who pops up in a flashback of a time when she visited Nick in rehab.
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) the junkie boy has found shelter in a border favela. The locals seem to be a bit religious, like the people at the compound. They seem themselves as the faithful, the chosen people, who have to withstand the zombie apocalypse to inherit the Earth. Well, an apocalyptic event would naturally bring forth religious fundamentalism because average people need superstition to explain the world they live in.
Madison ( Kim Dickens ) insists on going back to search for Travis. Nick is not mentioned at this stage - presumably she respects her son's decision, or she has given up on him. Eventually Alicia ( Alycia Debnam-Carey ) and Captain Victor (Colman Domingo - Assassination Nation (2018) ) persuade her to take them back to the boat. However, the Mexican military have gotten there first.
Nick goes shopping with the beautiful young woman who leads the survivors. The store is a warehouse controlled by a former narcotics cartel. Not a good place to be caught shoplifting. The idea of a young woman being the leader of a survivor group is not the only thing that makes this show reminiscent of The 100 , another show that Alicia used to star in. In comparison, that show looks like Spy Kids .
Madison and Strand take their group to a disused hotel. The adults get drunk in the bar, while the tweenage girls go exploring upstairs. What could possibly go wrong?
Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) has a hard time connecting with Chris while searching for some shelter. They meet up with some young men who offer help, but Travis does not feel comfortable with them.
Alicia meets a lonely woman with a bloody past. She was a manager in the hotel, but had to quarantine the place and sacrifice some of the guests. Now the survivors want revenge on her.
The hotel is not uninhabited, as the survivors first thought. In fact there are two competing factions - the staff and the guests. Alicia and Madison ( Kim Dickens ) try to bring them together.
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) draws upon skills from his past to take on a new role at the Colonia.
Chris bonds with the other guys. Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) tries to act like the sole responsible adult, telling them to eat the eggs and spare the chickens, but the guys do not listen to him. They are also merciless towards anyone who might be dying or bitten, which brings them into further conflict.
At the Colonia, Alejandro reveals his darker side.
A hotel resident becomes violent. Madison ( Kim Dickens ) springs into action and lays down the law. She bans violence. This is a very simple rule, but she may regret making it.
Madison ( Kim Dickens ) struggles to cope with the situation as numerous refugees flood into the hotel, including a familiar but unexpected face.
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) faces a decision about whether to leave the Colonia or stay with Luciana.
Madison ( Kim Dickens ) struggles with things at the hotel, especially with the return of Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ). The place is besieged by new refugees, including a couple of familiar faces.
Madison ( Kim Dickens ) is the one who instituted the No Violence rule. Now she must decide whether she will support Travis (Cliff Curtis - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys ) after his rage and anger cause turmoil at the hotel.
Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) assumes leadership at the Colonia as The Narcos close in. He has a plan that involves letting a gang of well-armed men face off against a relatively small horde of zombies.