Fear the Walking Dead has a banner midseason finale with two episodes back to back, The Unveiling and Children of Wrath. The race war between the ranchers and Indians didn't come to full blows, but a major character finally paid the price for a lifetime of misdeeds. We also learn what happened to Ofelia (Mercedes Mason), saw Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) get his mojo back, and learned just how much of a killer Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) really is.

The Unveiling begins with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) catching up with Jake (Sam Underwood) on his way to see Walker (Michael Greyeyes) and the Indians. She tells him that the Trimbols were murdered by Walker's people. Unwittingly perpetuating the lie told by Madison and Nick (Frank Dillane) to keep Troy's (Daniel Sharman) massacre a secret. They meet with Walker at his gas station, where he is slaughtering a pig. Alicia is stunned to see Ofelia is with the Indians as she serves them lunch.

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At the ranch, Madison wonders where Alicia has vanished to. Jeremiah (Dayton Callie) tells her that Jake has also left. Madison wants to launch a search party, but Jeremiah is against it. At the gas station, Walker says the old days of fighting Otto in court is over. The land is theirs. Jake pleads with him to avoid more bloodshed. Alicia incorrectly blames Walker for the Trimbols deaths. She speaks to Ofelia alone. Where did she go after she left them in Mexico? Ofelia claims that Walker saved her, that these are good people. When Alicia brings up the Trimbols, Ofelia says they Indians didn't have a mission that night.

Nick trains with a machine gun. He has joined Troy's militia. Needling him with the knowledge of the Trimbols true fate. He takes a knife and cuts off his long hair. His mother watches approvingly as Nick begins to look the part. At the gas station, Walker has agreed to the parlay. Alicia stays with the Indians, Jake and Ofelia are allowed to leave. They return to Broke Jaw and encounter a furious Madison. How could Jake have left her daughter with the Indians? Jake swears she will be safe. Nick and Madison are shocked to see Ofelia.

At the gas station, Walker gives Alicia the tour. He shows her they have fixed the helicopter they shot down. Alicia tells him that he killed her stepfather in the attack. This softens Walker a bit. He then takes her to a camper. It houses the bones the bones of his relatives they had to remove from Otto land. He also shows her ancient Indian paintings that foretold they would get their land back from the whites.

At the ranch, Madison is livid that Jeremiah will take no action to recover Alicia. Jeremiah says that this is Jake's play. He congratulates Ofelia for choosing the right side. She observes Jeremiah with a strange countenance. Madison takes matters in her own hands. She grabs Troy and forces him to launch a rescue.

That night at the gas station, Alicia has been tasked with feeding the pigs. She's snatched by Troy. He kills an Indian who walks into them. The Otto militia races to meet Nick and Madison. Nick tussles with another Indian, who is also killed by Troy. The team jumps into Madison's getaway truck. Leaving in a hail of bullet fire and more dead Indians.

They return to a furious Jake. They have just declared war with Walker. He bitterly scolds Madison for taking this action. Alicia would not have been harmed. He gathers their back-up water supply as a gift to Walker. He's returning with Ofelia to try and keep the peace. Troy counters that he will be killed. Jake responds that the rescue must have been Madison's idea; Troy is too stupid to have thought of it. Ofelia begs Alicia to take her family and return with her to the Indians. She apologizes for Travis and leaving them in Mexico.

Jake's return to the gas station is not well received. He his beaten up by Walker's men. Just as they are about to scalp him, Ofelia intervenes. Jake is allowed to return to the ranch. As he is debriefing Jeremiah, a motorcycle drops off a badly beaten Ofelia. It seems that she has been tossed by the Indians. Jeremiah orders her to the infirmary, and put to work to help the ranch. Ofelia claims she used to work in the kitchen.

Troy and the soldiers go on high alert around the perimeter. At the fence, the soldiers begin to vomit and collapse. Madison, Nick, and Alicia are in their cabin with Ofelia. They hear screams and run outside. People have died from the sickness and turned to walkers. They engage them. Nick sees Ofelia turn around and run away. The Clarks chase her, but Nick falls to the ground ill. Ofelia has made it to a car, she's about to drive away when Madison smashes the window.

Episode eight, Children of Wrath begins with a flashback scene. Ofelia is seen along the border with Mexico. She gets through the fence when gunfire erupts. She hides behind a tree. Jeremiah Otto approaches her. He gives water, but claims that "brown people" aren't wanted her. She spits at him as he drives away. Ofelia is then seen collapsing from thirst in the desert. A vision from her father, Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades), tells her not to give up. She's found at the last minute by Walker. He takes her back to the gas station to recover.

In the present, Madison drags Ofelia from the car and beats her. The next day, the sick, including Nick, are outside under a tent getting care. Jeremiah kills one of the soldiers that has turned. Ofelia poisoned the coffee at dinner. She doesn't know what kind of poison they gave her to use. Madison's forces her at gunpoint to drive back to the gas station. On their way, Madison berates Ofelia for her treachery. Ofelia swears that didn't expect anyone to die, but that she is with the nation now.

Walker tells Madison that they used anthrax to poison the ranchers. There is no cure, but if Nick is strong, he will survive. He tells her that she must take her family and leave. Madison responds that she is through running. Walker allows her to return to Broke Jaw. Ofelia is distressed that she poison was fatal. Walker reminds her that she volunteered for the mission.

In Mexico, we catch up with Victor Strand. He walks towards a beach with meager supplies. In the water, beached but still afloat, he sees the Abigail. Strand swims to the stranded yacht. He quietly finds a knife, then harpoon to dispatch the undead on the boat.

Madison returns with news that the poison is Anthrax. She wants to know their next move. Jake has had enough of Madison's interference. He yells at her, she is not a leader here. Troy interrupts him. Alicia has a plan to gain leverage on Walker.

On the Abigail, Strand searches for more supplies. He finds a bottle of champagne and a white jacket. Relieved after his plight, he pops the cork and celebrates. At the ranch, Nick has made a quick recovery. He notices that Jake is showing signs of illness. He convinces Jake to let him go and rest. Nick wants to talk to Jeremiah about something important. Jake, for the first time shows disgust with his father, the whole mess is his fault.

Jeremiah is burying a stack of bodies with a tractor. The anthrax has taken a deadly toll. Nick goes to the cabin he was fixing with Jeremiah. He starts to tear up the floorboards that Jeremiah had drunkenly shot at before. At the gas station, Ofelia continues to feel guilt for her actions. She and Walker are interrupted by fires blazing outside. The tents where the water was stored have been set ablaze. As they struggle to contain the fire, Alicia and Madison steal the camper with the bones of his dead relatives.

Nick has dug up a coffin underneath the cabin. He takes a skull with a bullet in it to Jeremiah, who is once again drunk. Jeremiah admits to killing several of Walker's family. The skull belongs to Walker's father. Nick is disgusted, but Jeremiah reminds him that this is his ranch. Get on the same page or leave. Nick warns him the Indians are coming to take their revenge.

Madison and Alicia return with the camper. Nick tells them about Walker's father. Alicia is horrified. She also learns the truth about the Trimbols. Alicia states that they are fighting for the wrong side. Madison says they are beyond that point. Alicia bitterly chastises her mother for what has happened. She yells at her mother about her father's suicide. Madison says she knows nothing, or the lengths she will go to protect her children.

On the yacht, a drunken Strand has passed out by the radio. It bleeps to life. A Russian cosmonaut from the space station has witnessed the apocalypse. He informs Strand that the world has fallen, but he would give anything to be there. He is a floating corpse to be. Victor toasts him and says that the world is dead. The cosmonaut says that may be true, but that he, Strand, is still alive. The signal is lost.

The Indians have surrounded Broke Jaw Ranch. Madison brings Walker the skull of his dead father. Walker refuses it. That skull is Otto's white man shame. He gives them until sundown to leave the ranch. Madison returns to the cabin where Alicia is packing. She tells them the story of how she killed her father when she was young. He had beaten her mother. They covered it up, but her mother never looked at her the same again. The same way her children looked at her now. She will not let them be hurt or separated again. Nick and Alicia are blown away by this reveal. Madison goes to talk to Jeremiah and settle everything.

Madison enters Jeremiah's cabin. He's drunk and preparing for the attack. He tells her that her family can stay with him. They share a drink, before Madison's intentions become clear. She pulls out her gun. He asks if she's come to kill him. She says he must kill himself to save the ranch. Nick enters the cabin. Jeremiah bitterly mocks him. Before he can finish his tirade, Nick shoots Jeremiah in the head with the pistol he gave him.

On the Abigail, Strand has collected all the weapons and supplies. He takes a bottle of alcohol and pours it over the cabin. Strand watches from the beach as the Abigail burns. Fully loaded, he walks away with a smile on his face. Victor Strand has finally come to terms with the apocalypse.

Madison leaps into action. She takes the pistol and puts it into Jeremiah's dead hands. She orders Nick to leave immediately. Troy and Jake run towards the cabin. They find Madison sitting with Jeremiah, drinks on the table, the gun in his hand, and a bullet through his skull. The boys bury their father on a hillside. Madison walks towards Walker outside the ranch. She hands him a knapsack with Jeremiah Otto's head. The final scene has the Clark family looking out at the ranch together. They have another bitter secret, but have held off the Indians.

The race war did not explode into a giant battle, but there were certainly casualties. The reappearance of Ofelia, as well as her poisoning of the ranch, was skillfully done. It didn't make sense how easily either side could surprise attack each other, but that's television for you. Madison's reveal shows the ferocity of her character. She is clearly the new leader of Broke Jaw Ranch. It was also good to see Victor Strand stop running around and take control of his situation. We still don't know what happened to Luciana or Daniel Salazar. All fates will be revealed when Fear the Walking Dead returns in the fall on AMC. A specific date has not been given, but I have a feeling it'll be the week after Game of Thrones ends on HBO.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman