Fear the Walking Dead continues its Season 3 downward slide with the ridiculous Brother's Keeper. Episode twelve, drum roll please, has Troy (Daniel Sharman) returning to wreak havoc on Broke Jaw Ranch. This is an obvious outcome after the deranged killer was released into the wild. The fact that this show keeps this character around is laughable. Troy's continuous catch and release is indicative of the show's terrible writing. His brother, Jake (Sam Underwood) pays the price, but who didn't see that coming.

Brother's Keeper opens with Troy surviving in the desert. He skins a rattler for food, before returning to the lookout barn earlier in the season. This is where Bill was scalped by Taqa and left for dead in a chair. Troy finds a stashed of canned food, then goes to town on a can of tuna. He buries Bill before returning to the house. Behind a knit sign, he finds a hidden grenade launcher. He spends the night outside by a fire. In the morning, he awakens to a noise. He walks to the cliff and breaks into a smile, before firing a shot into the air.

At the ranch, Nick (Frank Dillane) and Crazy Dog (Justin Rain) slaughter the cattle. There's no water to feed them. Jake is upset at this loss. He asks Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) to leave with him. There are other settlements in the Pacific Northwest. They also have a hidden cabin further north. Alicia refuses; they must stay and help the ranch survive.

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Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) and Crazy Dog observe their uneasy truce at lunch. They agree that Nick is the natural leader of the ranch. He is the one who sits in the middle of the ranchers and Indians. At the house, Nick has no interest in eating steak for dinner. He's feels guilty for staying there after killing Jeremiah. That night, Nick hears a noise and goes to investigate. Troy has snuck back into the camp and the house. He warns Nick that a reckoning is coming, before disappearing.

The next morning, Jake questions Alicia about their relationship. Did she seduce him to fortify her family's position at the ranch? Nick knocks at their door and tells them about Troy. Jake deduces where Troy could have gone. He and Nick leave to investigate. Alicia gives Jake a walkie talkie before he leaves. She swears that she cares about him and wants to be in a relationship.

Jake and Nick drive out to find Troy. Nick says Troy could have killed him, but didn't. Jake's response is that Troy will never stop. He warned him what would happen if he ever came back. He tells Nick a story about Troy skinning rabbits alive when they were young. They see a huge cloud of dust coming towards them. Nick drops the f-bomb unedited.

They get out of the truck. A massive horde of walkers is heading towards the ranch. Nick sends a static filled warning to Alicia via the walkie. They hear an explosion. Troy is below them, on a cliff, leading the walkers to the ranch. Back at the ranch, Alicia alerts Ofelia about Troy's visit and the incoming onslaught.

Jake and Nick approach Troy on the cliff. He launches another grenade to lead the walkers. Jake tackles his brother and puts a gun to his head. Nick begs him not to do it. It will haunt him the rest of his life. Troy cackles that Nick should tell the truth about Jeremiah's death. The realization dawns on Jake, but he doesn't care. He's about to kill Troy, when Nick hits him on the head with his rifle. Jake tumbles down below. He's attacked by a group of walkers. Troy and Nick go to help him, but he is bitten by a walker on the arm.

At the ranch, everyone has gathered in the supply room. They are going to stay and defend the ranch. Coop says that they must be armed. Crazy Dog is at first against it, but gives the weaponry key to Ofelia. Outside on the road, Troy holds Jake down while Nick cuts off his hand. They put him in the truck bed and race back.

The ranchers create a wall using their RVs. The hope is to have them deflect the herd. The horde of walkers arrives. They breakthrough the gates and come to the RV barricade. Ofelia, Alicia, Crazy Dog, and others kill them as they slither under. The RVs starts to rock as the walkers press on them.

Nick is watching the chaos with is binoculars. Jake has died from the amputation. Troy holds his brother weeping. This was not supposed to happen. Nick tells him to kill Jake. Troy begs Nick to kill him. Nick throws him a pistol, kill yourself or get it together to save the ranch.

The RVs tumble over as the walkers breach. Ofelia orders everyone to the supply pantry. She tells Alicia to go, the ranchers will follow her. Coop is overcome by the walkers. He tries to kill himself, but is out of bullets. Alicia shoots him in the head before escaping with the others. They lock themselves in the pantry as the walkers overrun the ranch.

Jake has come back as a walker. Troy tearfully puts a knife through his brother's head. He tells Nick that he needs to sleep. Nick responds that he can sleep when he's dead. Troy needs to help him save all the people at the ranch. In the pantry, the walkers bang on the door as everyone waits in horror.

This episode can be picked apart on so many levels. Troy popping up and causing chaos is a no brainer. The idea that he could easily lead hundreds of walkers to the ranch, without anyone noticing, is also laughable. Granted this is the zombie apocalypse, but time and time again, these characters behave nonsensically. Troy's continued existence is perhaps the shiniest example of this show's poor narrative. There are three episodes left to rescue this season on AMC.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman