Synopsis for 2×01: Picking up a few hours after the season one finale, all things considered, the rag-tag group gets a leisurely cruise off the coast of Los Angeles before realizing that they may be in over their heads.
Picking up a few hours after the events of last season’s finale, everything’s gone to shit. The mansion is on fire, the beach is on fire, Chris is staring at his dead mother’s body, and Madison is staring at the water. Strand’s already on his boat, but sends Nick back for his family. There’s a struggle on the beach with the undead, to remind the audience that these people are still kind of awful and useless.
And yet, they survive another day! Nick takes a walker out with a propeller and they all make it to the boat safely, even Liza’s dead body gets dragged along. Safely on The Abigail, which is a giant yacht that will hold all of them comfortably, the group turns towards plans for survival.
When they come across a lifeboat full of people screaming for help, Strand makes sure to coast by, even as Madison is arguing that they need to stop and help people. He’s going to be the no-nonsense survivor that little kid colleting cans was in the first season. Since he’s already saved seven people, Strand really doesn’t plan on upping that number and Madison should be thankful just to have that.
In the midst of this, Travis has Alicia listen to the radio for ideas of where to go for safety. She hears an announcement that proclaims there is no rescue by sea, land, or air and begging for forgiveness. After a minute freak out, Alicia takes to the radio with zealotry and manages to make a friend over the line. CB radios are the new snapchat.
Travis is still struggling what to do in the wake of killing his ex-wife. Chris is still just sitting there staring at her body and he doesn’t know what happens next. Madison is arguing that they need to start helping people, while Travis is leaning towards protecting his family first. The plan for the group is to get to San Diego, but when Nick questions Strand on what happens if that doesn’t work, he simply says, “I don’t know, you should be used to that answer.”
Chris ends up looking to Daniel for that fatherly advice he doesn’t want from Travis. Daniel apologizes about his mother, and in turn Chris apologizes about his wife. When Travis approaches Daniel to talk about it later, Daniel says they were just fishing there was no talking going on. But he does concede that he would much prefer to stand in Travis’ shoes where he gave mercy, than his failure and abandonment of his wife last season.
A lot of weird tics and talking to himself are showcased this episode with Strand. When Madison can’t find him at the wheel, he’s up top talking to himself and motivating himself to keep going. Later, Madison asks Daniel’s opinion on what’s next and if they should trust Strand. He admits that if this is the end of the world, it’s already over, and that he doesn’t trust Strand, who doesn’t seem to sleep. Strand has motives Daniel hasn’t figured out yet.
At least they haven’t forgotten about the dead body on board because Travis sets up a funeral at sea for his first wife. He says a lot of heartbreaking things and she’s surrounded by everyone except Chris, who is back from the rest of the group. When he’s finished speaking, Chris stomps over and unceremoniously dumps her body overboard. This leads to the two of them having a physical fight below deck before they separate to cool off.
The mysterious radio man Alicia has been talking to for the entire episode lets on that their boat is letting on water and she tries to help them. She lets them know their location and goes to Travis to tell him about Jack. Strand overhears her and he makes it clear that they’re not stopping to pick anyone else up, that she might have already done enough damage telling the other group anything at all.
Nick goes to speak to him and Strand explains that everyone needs to contribute or, at the very least, not compromise the rest of them. But this leads Nick to ask what his contribution might be and Strand explains that he’s got fearlessness and a focus that is unique to him – even as he zeroes in on Nick’s weaknesses when it comes to discussing his father.
Madison attempts to comfort Chris by sharing a story about how she’s also physically fought her father. That’s how you teach life lessons to kids! She also tells Chris that if Travis hadn’t killed his mom, she would have, and then she tells him to come to family dinner. While everyone else is settling in, Chris walks past them without joining. He goes out onto the deck and everyone soon hears the splash.
Nick is the first one to jump in after him, treating it like a casual swim as soon as Chris tries to play it off. Diving deep underwater, it’s only when he goes to resurface that Nick finds himself face to face with a floating zombie. Somehow they’ve stumbled upon a capsized boat riddled with bullets and floating zombies.
Even better, Nick swears he hears someone and goes swimming into the wreckage. He nearly gets bitten before the walker (swimmer?) gets distracted by Travis’ yelling. He manages to grab the boat log and get out of there.
Meanwhile, Alicia is apologizing to Jack that they can’t come get him. He tells her, over the radio, it’s okay Alicia, I’ll see you soon. An alarm on the boat alerts Strand and he shares the news with the rest of the group: another boat is coming – fast. And it’s not a good sign to be floating next to the wreckage of another one…