Fear the Walking Dead heats up season five by shedding light on a few mysteries. "Skidmark" reveals what the children have been hiding, but still no sign of Al. Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) finds a new friend. Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) and Sarah (Mo Collins) get off the bench and back into the game. Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) bury the hatchet. Morgan (Lennie James) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) encounter a black helicopter with three interlocking circles. Identical to the one that whisked away Rick Grimes.

"Skidmark" opens with Salazar in his stocked warehouse. He plays a Son House blues record. The date on the calendar is October 12th. Outside in front of a store, he takes the cat, Skidmark, and puts on a collar with bells. He kills walkers as the cat draws their attention. At the storefront, he sees a machine gun trap at the door. He sets it off, taking the car keys off a dead walker. He stocks up an SUV, then marks the store on his map. Back at his warehouse, he puts up the supplies and uses the calendar date to start a fire. He removes his front teeth to eat soup, then opens a can of cat food.

Charlie sneaks into the warehouse that night. Wendell, Sarah, and Strand are in a car outside guiding her over the radio. Charlie finds the airplane under a tarp. Skidmark starts to follow her. She hides in Salazar's SUV, but then he gets inside and drives out of the gate. Strand radios for her to get out, but Charlie says "she can handle it."

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At the truck stop, Luciana (Danay Garcia) brings a cup of soup for Dylan (Cooper Dodson). He's reading Charlie's "The Little Prince". Morgan radios for John and June. They're out of range looking for Sherry. He and Alicia discuss searching for Al. Dylan pipes up, sending them to a camp he saw in the woods. Luciana will stay with Dylan to try and contact Strand.

At the warehouse, Strand realizes that Salazar has taken the instrument gauges for the plane. He sees a note from Salazar to contact him on the radio. Salazar says he hasn't changed. Sarah gets on the radio and asks for the "gd plane". Salazar once again warns them about Strand. He tells Charlie to "show herself", then lambasts Strand for using a child. Strand warns him not to hurt her. Salazar replies that he's trying to "save her from you."

Strand, Wendell, and Sarah search the warehouse for the gauges. In the SUV, Charlie tells Salazar not to blame Strand. She sees the map and asks if he set the traps. Salazar did not. The man he got the warehouse from did. Salazar plays Son House and is impressed Charlie knows the music.

At the truck stop, Luciana tries to repair the radio antennae. She explains "The Little Prince" to Dylan. She sends the boy to get electrical tape. Inside, he radios Max (Ethan Suess) and Annie (Bailey Gavulic). His siblings are on the road trying to repair one of their roadblocks. Dylan warns that he didn't send anyone that way. Annie sees a black-clad and helmeted figure killing walkers. The children hide in the bushes, but the figure hears them when Dylan radios back.

Salazar drives up to another store. He orders Charlie to wait and sets Skidmark loose. There's another machine gun trap. Charlie joins him and recommends going in the back, then throwing a can or using music to distract the walkers. Salazar tells her that the man who had the warehouse killed the people inside. When he tries to break the back door's lock, a walker sets off the gun and shoots out the window. They race back to the SUV with Skidmark as the walkers pour out.

As they drive away, the herd following them grows. Salazar says they'll lead them to the warehouse and pick them off at the gate. In the woods, Morgan and Alicia find no campsite. They radio Luciana. Dylan grabs the radio. He asks them to search the utility road. He admits his siblings aren't dead. They made up the story. Max and Annie need their help.

On the utility road, Max and Annie see the road is clear. As they leave the brush, the walkers break free and knock Annie down. She hurts her ankle. Max grabs his sister and they try to escape. In the car, Charlie radios Strand at the warehouse. Salazar has the instrument gauges in the car. He wants to lead the herd there, but Sarah broke down the gate to move the plane. Salazar won't endanger Charlie. He orders her to drive the car to the warehouse. He'll distract the walkers with his boombox.

Charlie brings the gauges back. Strand radios Salazar and apologizes for trying to kill him. The herd following behind him, Salazar asks Strand to tell them about Ophelia. Strand admits lying about Salazar's daughter, until it was too late for him to see her. Salazar couldn't "tell her what he wanted her to know." Charlie refuses to leave Salazar behind.

Annie and Max stumble through the woods with walkers right behind him. Just as they're about to be killed, Morgan and Alicia rescue them. Suddenly they are surrounded by other children with guns. Salazar walks down the highway with his boombox. The growing herd a few steps behind. Strand radios that they're coming to help. Salazar sees the MRAV barreling towards him. Sarah orders him to "hug the van." He runs to the side, but the machine guns are jammed. Salazar hides under the MRAV as it's surrounded.

Strand drives up with the plane in tow. He yells for the walkers to follow him, then gets inside the plane. He fires up the engines. The walkers get shredded by the propellers. It's a bloodbath that wipes out the herd, but destroys the engines. Strand gets out and helps Salazar to his feet. The old enemies reconcile. Salazar promises, "I'm not going to shoot you in the face."

At the truck stop, Luciana uses the tow truck to raise the antennae. Annie radios Dylan. Her brother says they can help each other. The children drop their weapons. They can't leave. These were the children of the camp. The walkers trapped in the cabins were their parents.

At the warehouse, Salazar takes down the calendar for October 13th. He makes food for group. Charlie wonders what he was going to tell Ophelia. "Every day brings a chance to start over...to get it right." Salazar packs up to leave. There's a reason he's alone. He has something to take care of. Charlie offers to go with him. He tells her to say with her friends. He brings Charlie the food and asks her to take care of Skidmark. Salazar offers them anything they need in the warehouse, except for a box of cigars Sarah was about to smoke. "A friend asked me to save these." Salazar leaves as they all sit down to dinner with Skidmark.

Luciana radios Strand. They connect, but Strand admits the plane is "damaged beyond repair." Dylan brings up the pilot from "The Little Prince", who fixed his plane and flew away. In the woods, Morgan understands why the kids can't leave. He tells Alicia about his wife and son. Max orders them to wait. They all get down for cover. A black helicopter, with interlocking circles on the side, takes off near them. Alicia wonders why are they leaving? Max replies, "Maybe they got what they came for."

"Skidmark" was an intriguing episode. Fear the Walking Dead is dropping major clues that connect the shows further. Salazar's reveal of the cigars at the end point directly to Abraham. Remember, he, Eugene, and Rosita came from Texas. It's already implied from Al's tapes that she interviewed "Abe and the doc." The warehouse and guns would be right up Abraham's alley. The black helicopter that took Rick may have just spirited away Al. Episode five's preview takes us back to Al's point of view. We still don't know where Salazar is going, but he's definitely established a bond with Charlie. Fear the Walking Dead is finally hitting its season five stride on AMC.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman