Synopsis for 4×04: Strand, Alicia, and Luciana recount the day they made the decision that brought them to this moment. They are all convinced that there was a time when they could have prevented all of this.
In the front of the vehicle, John Dorie is trying to convince Morgan to stay with them because he thinks Morgan will leave once they bury Nick. He tells Morgan about how he used to be a police officer, relaying a story about how one day doesn’t seem to affect people too much. John wants to introduce Morgan to Laura and for her to meet him too, but Morgan confirms that once this is done, he’ll be on his way.
Food is running out at the stadium, they explain that they had to start stretching what little food they had left with cattle feed as the Vultures enjoyed plenty of food just outside their walls. Madison interrupts breakfast to send them all on unconventional scavenging missions in hopes of finding things that the Vultures hadn’t. Their first mistake that day was going on the runs.
Cole and Strand end up at a greenhouse, where their scavenging brings the attention of some of the infected. They manage to fight through the small group, but not before Cole gets stuck with some cactus pricks that had been on one of the infected when it attacked him. Thankfully, they’re safe, otherwise unharmed, and able to load their car up with some of the plants they find.
In the car, Strand finally explains to Cole why they’ve never been out on a run together: he knows that Cole likes him and he doesn’t want him to know who he really is. He shows Cole a piece of the dam that he keeps to remind himself not to become that person again. Strand does, however, take Cole to his hidden stash of supplies and reveals that two people could live on them for a month. Cole, however, is disgusted by Strand’s hoarding and leaves him there to drive back on his own.
Luciana and Nick head to a different place, where Nick is on a mission to find posters, books, and other things for a library at the stadium. She isn’t happy when she realizes he’s trying to make things good for Charlie still. Listening to these memories, Al seems more affected than the people who actually knew Nick. She lets them know that they can stop if it’s too much, but Alicia plows on unaffected.
Alicia and Naomi drive to a carnival in search of supplies, moving through the abandoned carnival rides without too much trouble. They struggle to get through a pool of the infected but manage to climb up the slide to an abandoned camp. At the top, they find a machine gun — with a barrel that Alicia has since sharpened and used to intimidate Al — as well as some infected. They both slip down another slide and end up having to fight against some infected caught at the bottom.
Once they’re safe once more, they climb back up and begin going through the supplies there. They find a crate full of medical equipment and Naomi finds some car keys. She hands Alicia some binoculars and when her back is turned to survey the surrounding areas, Naomi bolts for the vehicle she’d scoped out earlier. Unluckily for her, it’s out of gas and Alicia easily catches up to her. Alicia tells Naomi that she felt like running once too, but it didn’t help anything and they need to work together to keep things going.
At the stadium, Madison walks out to see Mel grilling hot dogs. He asks about her runs and tells her about his past, where he lived on a cattle ranch with his family trying to make things work just like the stadium. A wildfire kicked up nearby and Madison finishes his story by guessing that he and his brother were the only ones smart enough to leave before the fires hit. No one else listened to his idea to leave.
She once again offers the Vultures a place in the stadium, but Mel is convinced the place is going to fall eventually. As she leaves to go back inside, he reveals that she got the story wrong. He convinced everyone to stay on the ranch, that they could save the place, and they all listened to him. When the fire got too close, he and Ennis were the only ones who made it out alive. They had to listen to everyone else die as they drove off.
Al guesses that this day has significance to all of them because they decided to leave the stadium, but that’s not what happened. As they all reflect on the moment when they could have left and instead chose to go back. Strand brought his vehicle of supplies to the stadium, without revealing he’d been saving them for himself. Luciana and Nick brought back a map and a plan to go get seeds and fertilizer to start planting at the stadium again. Alicia and Naomi brought back medical supplies and wanted to get an infirmary going.
Confused, Al asks how everything changed that day and they all admit that they should have listened to their instincts, kept their supplies, convinced Madison to abandon the stadium right there — but Nick is dead because none of them did.
The van finally makes it to a specific field that they wanted to bury Nick in, but when Strand, Luciana, and Alicia start digging they reveal the stockpile of weapons and supplies they were actually after. If Al wants to know how the story ends, she needs to drive them to the confrontation with the Vultures. John thinks this is a terrible idea and wants Al to help him find Laura instead, but she can’t resist.
They do end up burying Nick in the hole from the weapons cache, but when they’re loading up the supplies John recognizes Naomi’s backpack in the pile. He opens it, finds his matching pistol, and realizes that Laura never gave him her real name. Callously, they reveal to him that Laura-slash-Naomi is dead, she never made it out of the stadium. They try to use his anger to recruit him, but he walks away from the van instead.
Morgan opts to stay with John, after apologizing to him about his bad news, and John says Morgan was right: they’re always on their own. Al promises to come back for him after she takes the others to the Vultures using a map they took off of Ennis’ dead body.