This week’s episode of Fear The Walking Dead, “Buried,” managed yet again to tell an entirely new story in The Walking Dead universe, to flip the script on a common theme, to ask: What if those beliefs that keep settlements alive — community, hope, and selflessness — are the very qualities that get them killed? It’s what happened to Nick, as we learn this week through a story that Strand, Luci, and Alicia relay to Althea, forever documenting the zombie apocalypse. They chose to believe that they could save their baseball stadium settlement, that they were stronger together, and that by working as a team, they could save each other.
In the end, that solidarity resulted in the collapse of the stadium settlement. It got Nick killed. Naomi and Madison may be dead because of it, too.
And yet, they persevere, and Alicia, Strand, and Luci do so together because now they’ve found a common goal more powerful even than saving a community. Now, they have a shared interest in revenge, more than ever after the death of Nick, who still clung to the hope that he could save Charlie until the very end.
This week’s story is told mostly in flashback. Three teams split off from Dell Diamond on a supply run, and all or part of each team nearly doesn’t return. In Strand’s case, he sees the writing on the wall and nearly makes the decision to take his stockpile of canned good and leave, but Cole’s refusal to join him — and decision to selflessly stick with the failing settlement — convinces Strand to share a month’s supply of food for two people with a community that would go through it in a day.