Synopsis for 3×03: Madison strives to make Broke Jaw Ranch their new home, while Nick and Alicia make friends with the locals.
Basically, that mindset is now more or less a cult. Charlene, the helicopter pilot who was eaten, is given a tense eulogy where the newcomers are obviously unwanted. Facing the tension head-on, Madison introduces herself and her family, but it turns out she’s not the only worry. They’re also concerned with how they’ll get back at whoever took down the helicopter.
Alicia is invited to bible study, which she tries to beg off of, but Madison sees it as another attempt to involve themselves in Broke Jaw Ranch. Luciana, however, still handcuffed to her bed, is telling Nick at the same time that they have to get supplies and leave as soon as possible. She can’t forgive what Troy and his men did at the depot.
When Madison gets back to her cabin, Troy surprises her by complimenting her manipulation of emotions at the meeting earlier. He feels a kinship and understanding towards her, but not Nick, and she enforces that they’re a package deal. She also makes him make the bed he’d been sleeping in.
Strand makes it to his destination in search of a Mr. Dante. He skips the line for water and gets into a scuffle before he’s saved by the friend he was seeking. They’re able to relax, laugh, and catch up on old times like the apocalypse isn’t happening on their doorstep.
Madison warns her kids to stay away from Troy, while Nick is still itching to leave. Alicia gets pissed, expecting him to screw up this living situation next, and he demurs from his heated stance. Despite that, he doesn’t think Luciana will be safe there, but Madison reminds him that Travis died getting him and eventually Nick is going to have to make a choice if they force Luciana to leave.
She follows up that bombshell by seeking out Jeremiah and Jake, requesting reassurance from them and a promise that Troy will stay away. Jake offers to do what he can and they set her up with the infomercial tapes while he goes to speak to his brother. He delivers the message to Troy, who thinks Madison is his friend. He’s upset by the order and only calmed down by Jake’s reminder that they have to lead the people together. Still, Troy insists he was helping by experimenting at the depot.
After watching half of the first tape, Madison goes in search of other things in the office and ends up finding outtakes. Jeremiah fights with his wife and makes a young Troy cry before the older Jeremiah catches her watching the tape. It’s revealed that Troy’s mom died from her alcohol abuse and Jake and Troy are half-siblings. Troy took care of his mother at the end while Jeremiah continued to sell prepper buckets. Madison shares that her father was the same as Troy’s mother.
‘Bible study,’ it turns out, is where the kids go to get high and drink alcohol. Alicia is introduced to Jeff, the reanimated head in a cage, and shares with the other kids about where she’s from and her life on the outside. She tries to tell them they can’t rely on Troy and his militia to protect them forever, but they’re not convinced.
It’s only after they’ve caught up does Dante show Strand that they may not be the friends he thought they were. In a demonstration, Dante’s people throw a past Cartel member over a railing onto a pile of the dead, who promptly tear him to shreds. Strand is tilted over and meant to be next until he begs for his life and offers his help and advice. Dante only wants him to feel powerless, but spares his life anyway.
Troy offers to take Nick boar hunting with the rest of the guys, giving him a gun and pestering him to say yes. Later, when Nick tackles him and threatens to shoot him, Troy only wants to make sure that Nick times how long it takes him to reanimate (his guess is 87 minutes). Nick refuses, opting instead to rip pages from his notebook. Troy tackles him to take it back and thinks they might have reached an understanding.
At the fence, Madison is approached by Jeremiah, who shows her the pantry and explains that nothing heals a family more than purpose in his experience. They reach another understanding of sorts before she visits Luciana in the infirmary. Lucy thanks her for waiting until she heals to leave and apologizes about Travis’ death, to which Madison simply tells her that they survive at all costs now.
The next morning, it’s revealed that Broke Jaw Ranch hasn’t heard from Outpost Alpha in over a day and they need volunteers to go with Troy to check on it. Madison, keen to make her family less of outsiders, volunteers to go.