Fear the Walking Dead reveals what happened to Al (Maggie Grace), introduces a new character, and a truly unexpected dash of lesbian romance. What "The End of Everything" doesn't do is provide any major clues about the mysterious organization behind the three circles. We get a few scant details to further our intrigue. The breadcrumbs are definitely being sprinkled to an overarching plot in The Walking Dead universe.
"The End of Everything" begins with an unconscious Al being dragged in the rain at night. Her hands bound, she awakens to see a black-suited, helmeted figure burning walkers with incendiary powder. Al grabs her bag and takes off into the woods. She loses a shoe in the mud. The figure chases her with a three-pronged rifle. Al falls down, but gets back up and removes the tape from her camera. She comes to a river then continues to a clearing. She's surrounded by walkers, but is saved by gunshots from the figure. The black-suit knocks her down, but Al kicks the helmet off. A young woman with short hair, much like Jadis, is revealed. She forces Al to open the camera. The tape inside is missing.
In daylight, Al is restrained in the back seat of a car surrounded by posts of razor wire. She opens the door with her barefoot, yelling for walkers to come. A walker drags in the razor wire. She kicks it back and uses the wire to cut herself free. She smashes the walker's head with the door. Al takes off into the woods and walks through a camouflage net. The black helicopter is on the other side.
Al enters the cockpit and turns on the engine. It's out of fuel. She tries to call Morgan and Alicia on the radio. Instead she gets a man's response, "Ground 17, respond." The woman appears with a drawn gun. The radio cackles, "Ground 17, do you copy?" The woman throws Al out of the cockpit and grabs the radio, "The Lead was KIA." The man wonders if the "payload is secure" and why she hasn't returned. The woman responds she's out of fuel she "could be inbound in 72 hours." The radio replies that a "reclamation team" will be sent in. The woman sets her watch. She gives Al her lost shoe. Al wonders what's a reclamation team?
The woman leads Al away with a gun at her back. She asks for the tape. When Al says nothing, she throws her to the ground and threatens to break her leg. Al still refuses. She wants to know the woman's story. The helicopter can save Al's friends. The woman steps on her ankle. Al screams that the woman "lost someone out there, but doesn't seem upset about it." Al wants to know the truth. Why is the woman here?
Back at the helicopter, the woman packs climbing gear into the car. They're going to a fuel drop on top of a distant hill. On the drive, Al asks the woman about the maps, the three circles, and why they were at the plane. The woman remains silent. Al nicknames her "Happy". The woman speaks up, why does any of this matter? Suddenly rocks and walkers come crashing down on the road. The woman orders Al to stay in the car, then grabs her pronged rifle. Al follows her. She doesn't take orders. The woman gives Al the top of her black suit. She says, "Everything I do is to make sure there's more than stories left after I die."
Al puts on the jacket, and notices the three circles symbol on the sleeve. The woman easily stabs the walkers in the head with her specialty rifle. Just as they walk forward, an avalanche knocks over the car. Al reminds her, "I don't stay in the car." They get their gear and Al's camera bag. Al reaches down to pick it up, then a walker pops up from the dirt and bites her forearm. But it cannot bite through the jacket's material. The woman saves her, and tears into the bag. She finds a tape, "The Bog #7", in a hidden compartment. She thinks its the hidden tape and draws her gun. Al tells her to watch the tape.
On the tape, Al is recording herself. "The National Guard and the Army is mobilizing. I'm going to have to stay off the street." Gunfire erupts, she curses, then "I'm sorry Jessie, I should have stayed." The tape ends. She could have said goodbye to her brother, but chased the story instead. He's dead and that's all she has left. She throws the jacket back to the woman then asks, "Why did you kill your partner?" The woman tells her to be afraid if she ever sees anyone wearing that jacket. "We are not living for ourselves, but the future. Al has her stories, "We have the future."
They walk to a bunch of cars on the road. The roads aren't passable. That's why Al and her friend's flew in. The woman takes out a tent from the back of a truck. She gives Al a first aid kit to wrap her foot. That night, they rig the climbing tent in the trees. Al admits to the woman that she never told anyone about her brother. The woman replies, "You and me...we're the same kind of bird." She killed her partner because she was doing her job. The woman admits that "stories do matter."
Al and the woman start climbing a steep cliff with the gear. They climb slowly, setting their hooks and ropes. The woman leads, a walker in climbing gear is above them. They have to go past it. The woman loses her grip and falls, but is saved by the rope. The hook she set starts coming loose. She tells Al to unhook the line, but Al refuses. "You fall...I fall." Al kills the walker, cuts herself from the hook, and clamps them both to the walker's hook.
At the top, they both lay exhausted. The woman opens up. They were getting supplies to purify water. She tells Al about the nuclear plant nearby. Her partner, Beckett, began cracking up when he saw the radioactive walkers. She pulls out a key. He had a cabin with a "view to creation." The woman throws the key over the cliff. Al wonders why she didn't let him go. The woman replies, "No one gets to walk away, especially with the maps he carried." Al begs the woman to tell her everything. She wonders if the woman will kill her too. The woman replies, "I need that tape."
They reach the fuel drop on top of the hill. When the woman kills a walker, Al knocks her down and grabs her pronged rifle. The woman puts fuel in two canisters. Al ponders if she should leave. She has the gun, gear, and helicopter location. The woman's watch beeps. The reclamation team will soon be there. She warns that Al and her friends cannot be anywhere near the helicopter when they come. She begs Al to destroy that tape. The woman says it's time for her interview.
They sit by a shielded fire under the starry sky. The woman won't tell Al where she's from or what it's called. "It's the future, the only thing that matters." If someone finds the tapes and maps, it makes what they have "vulnerable." Al wants to see this place, but the woman warns her against it. She needs the tape back. She will die to get it. If Al chooses the story over the tape, her and her partner's deaths mean nothing. She continues, "If you want your brother's death to mean something, there needs to be people around to hear the stories." A misty-eyed Al promises to give her the tape. The woman's watch beeps. They only have the night. The woman gets a beer from the supply drop. As they share a bottle, they share a furtive glance. The woman wishes she met Al "before all of this, or whatever comes after."
The next morning, Al leads the woman back to the river. She hid the tape on a walker stuck on the riverbank. The woman doesn't check it on the camera. She covers the tape in powder and burns it. The woman orders Al to turn around, and puts a gun to her head. Al admits that she finally chose "something more than the story." She gives the woman the tape about her brother, "Make sure his story matters, make sure he lives." The woman uncocks her gun, "Don't chase this story! Don't try to find me!" The woman says, "My name is Isabelle. I am from Indiana. I got to see the prettiest thing since the end of everything." They embrace with a passionate kiss. Al and Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon) walk their separate ways.
Isabelle, back in her gear and helmet, cuts through a roadblock of walkers. This is the scene we saw previously, where the kids hid in the brush. She takes the canisters and refuels the helicopter. Isabelle radios that she's returning and the payload is secure. The site is buttoned up "according to protocol." The man cancels the reclamation team. Isabelle looks at the tape wistfully, then takes off. Al watches her leave, then radios for Morgan (Lennie James). He meets her with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and the camp children in tow. She lies about what happened, not revealing anything about Isabelle. The episode ends with Al telling Morgan and Alicia her last name, Szewczyk-Przygocki. She had two Polish parents that insisted on "double-barrelling."
Fear the Walking Dead introduces Isabelle and fires up a lesbian romance for Gay Pride Day. Same sex relationships aren't new to The Walking Dead universe, but does add a different dimension to Al's character. Did she really give Isabelle the tape? It's obvious that inquisitive Al will track her crush down. It remains to be seen when that will actually happen in the series. Isabelle didn't say much about the three circles. The suits they wear are walker proof. She looks a lot like Jadis. When Rick was taken, he was either an "A or B." It seems like they're rebuilding society in a secure location with a strict social order. "Fear the Walking Dead" returns next week with the search for Sherry, on AMC.