Synopsis for 1×05: A new character is introduced and viewers are given the fates of some of the other characters, as well as what exactly the soldiers have been planning.
The introduction of Strand might be what saves this show for me. Inside some kind of holding cells, he’s talking to Doug, the man Travis previously talked out of the bathroom and back to his family. Throughout his dramatic monologue, he’s picking at the poor guy’s weaknesses and assuring him that his wife – Maria – will have no problem finding a new man before Doug is dragged away. It’s then revealed that Nick’s in the same cell.
Ofelia, upset about her mother’s taking, is at the gates antagonizing the soldiers and urging her neighbors to take action. They’re simply hiding and watching, but it’s still enough for the soldiers to argue about what to do with her. Her soldier boyfriend, Adams, is the one to talk them down and offer to take her home.
Chris and Travis are arguing about Liza’s leaving voluntarily when Chris snaps at Maddy that they’re trying to discuss family matters. This leads to them fighting over how Chris treated Maddy and Liza’s decision before Chris storms off in anger. Travis tells Maddy that he’s going to get Chris’ mom back and she reminds him of Nick as well before they hug it out.
Surprise of all surprises, Liza actually was taken to a hospital to help. There used to be more nurses and the Doc is keeping tight lipped on what happened to them, but Liza is more concerned with Griselda.
While investigating her neighbor’s home once more, Maddy hears a noise in the basement and finds Daniel and Ofelia with Adams tied up in the basement. She argues with them over the best course of action and he insists that this is how they bring Griselda, Nick, and Liza home. Naïve Ofelia believes that they can trade him for her mom because of what her father told her, Daniel simply tells Maddy to go home with his daughter. We’re getting an interesting peek at Daniel’s thoughts in this episode and I am intrigued.
Travis boldly goes to the Commander to talk about Nick and they end up discussing soldier morale, with Travis telling him that he’ll have to deal with the people left behind in the wake of how many they took. He decides that Travis can definitely go see the doctor and Liza, but viewers are privy to the knowledge that some of these soldiers have been awake for over fifty hours and his escort team doesn’t necessarily even want to be there.
In the basement, Daniel explains to Adams about how he lied to his daughter. Adams immediately starts spilling his guts about all that he knows, starting with a field hospital at the college. Daniel simply pulls out his straight razors from the barber shop and says that he knows. He repeatedly asks what ‘Cobalt’ means, even as Adams keeps quiet and cries.
On his trip to the hospital, Travis’ Humvee makes a pit stop when they spot a dead woman in a store. They set up the .50 caliber gun and try to goad Travis into shooting her. It’s a tense moment and he ultimately can’t do it, which annoys some of the soldiers he’s with. But that’s not their only distraction.
Castro, the only soldier not really interested in Travis’ shooting abilities, tells him to stay in the Humvee while the rest of the soldiers get called into a building to assist some other soldiers. Travis can hear gunshots and screaming, as well as see soldiers falling out of windows. Only two soldiers make it back to the truck, and their only plans are to drop Travis near the neighborhood and leave for San Diego.
At the makeshift hospital, Liza and the doctor are checking on soldiers that are being brought in. One seems treatable, while the other shows signs of a bite mark. The first soldier is taken in and the second’s fate seems to be death as Liza is rushed to assist with the salvageable one.
Alicia, who has been largely ignored by her family, recruits an angry Chris to destroy one of their neighbor’s houses that has been left abandoned. It’s kind of a weird almost-incestual moment where they end up getting drunk and trashing as much as possible in the home. When they try to sneak back home, they notice something’s wrong with the soldiers driving around in their Humvees.
Strand ends up trading his cufflinks to a soldier named Melvin in order to keep a clearly pained Nick, who is suffering from harsh withdrawals. With Nick throwing up in the cage, Strand seems unaffected and claims that his benevolence has obligated Nick to him. He needs Nick’s ‘talents’ as an unscrupulous heroin addict to help him escape when the time is right. He’s even got a key.
Daniel’s plan comes to a head when he fights with Ofelia, who ends up telling Travis about Adams. He, in turn, confronts Maddy about their decision to torture the soldier. Adams confesses that he chained two thousand or so walkers into the stadium and he tells the group about ‘Cobalt’ finally. It’s a code word that means the soldiers, and only the soldiers, need to leave the Los Angeles base. It also includes procedures for the humane termination of the neighborhood. And it’s happening at 0900 tomorrow.
Finally, Liza is brought to Griselda, who has gone into septic shock. She’s hallucinating about the devil and speaking in Spanish presumably about things that Daniel had done in the past. After she dies, the doctor brings around the previously seen captive bolt pistol. It’s meant to take down livestock, but she tells Liza that the traumatic brain trauma stops the dead from turning. Liza bravely is the one to make sure Griselda does not come back.
The closing shot of the episode is Daniel sneaking around the soldiers to inspect the chains on the stadium doors.